All About L-Glutamine
by Dave Slagle, General Manager of Paradise Fitness Centers
How much value would you place on a single powder that has the ability to improve your fat metabolism, increase your brain power, strengthen your immune system and increase your muscle mass by taking a mere teaspoon or two per day? I would consider it essential!
Let me introduce you to L-glutamine: a conditionally essential nutrient.
L-Glutamine (or GLUTAMINE) is an amino acid, which is important to normal brain activity. L-Glutamine, found in high concentrates in cerebrospinal fluid, improves mental clarity, concentration and mood. This amino acid can be used by cells as a source of energy and helps maintain blood sugar levels. L-Glutamine supplementation has been used for depression, senility, and seems to reduce sugar cravings. Supplementation with L-glutamine may help borderline diabetics avoid becoming insulin dependent. The clinical uses of supplemental glutamine also include the treatment of alcoholism, colitis, ulcers and hypertension.
This is where I begin to skim through some of the biological effects of glutamine. So think back to your health-education class! L-Glutamine has been listed as a non-essential amino acid because your liver and kidneys naturally produce it. However the more research that is done, the more I'm convinced that glutamine supplementation is absolutely essential for active people.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in the body primarily located in the lining of the small intestines. Glutamine contributes a significant role in muscle metabolism during sickness, stress and exercise. The gastro-intestinal (G.I.) tract cannot function without glutamine present. Glutamine is primary treatment for ulcers and disorders of the small and large intestine such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Glutamine feeds the tissue of the small intestine enabling the villi to grow and improve absorption of nutrients across the cell membrane more efficiently. Glutamine works inside the liver to produce the super powerful amino acid GLUTATHIONE, which is one of the main free radical fighters within the body. While the addition of antioxidants (vitamin E, C and Beta-Carotene) is important in the removal of free radicals, without glutathione, the battle would be lost and the body would suffer in many ways. Supplementing with glutamine will assist your body in resisting outside assaults from pathogenic microorganisms (UN-friendly bacteria). Glutamine is the major component in making neuro-transmitters. Also glutamine has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and transport nutrients with it. Research has shown that supplemental glutamine increases memory retention and cognitive ability. As I already mentioned, glutamine helps to maintain steady blood sugar levels. This state of blood sugar balance is necessary for optimal brain function since the brain utilizes glucose (blood sugar) as a primary source of fuel in addition to oxygen.
Bodybuilding and L-Glutamine:
L-glutamine became popular with bodybuilders about ten years ago. It's interesting (and maybe not a coincidence) that the highest food based concentration of L-glutamine is cottage cheese. The original version of the leading Meal Replacement Powder (M.R.P.) was based on the amino acid profile of cottage cheese. That M.R.P. is still the most widely consumed M.R.P. today! Some of the early success of that M.R.P. was based on the results consumers received from high concentrations of L-glutamine (the original formula had SEVEN GRAMS of L-glutamine per serving!). Most people consumed 2-3 of these M.R.Ps per day. That's 14 to 21 grams of L-Glutamine daily! No wonder they got such fantastic results!
Bodybuilding champion Norbert Datuin, 2001 Mr. GUAM, told me that Max Muscle L-glutamine played a significant role in his most recent victory. He supplemented 10 grams daily along with his Max Muscle HIGH 5 protein shakes (HIGH 5 has approximately 3 grams of L-glutamine per serving). The high levels of L-glutamine in his diet helped Norbert to maintain his phenomenal muscle mass while consuming fewer calories. Anyone who saw Norbert at that contest could recall the amazing condition he displayed: Big, ripped, cut. Separated, vascular and totally dried out! Sure his proletarian work ethic and Spartan discipline helped him focus on optimal training and dieting, but Norbert says that without L-glutamine he would have had a difficult time recuperating from his super- intense training sessions. As if the scientific evidence wasn't enough, the best bodybuilder on GUAM highly recommends L-Glutamine to anyone who is pursuing optimal health and their best physical condition.
If you want to feel the benefits of L-Glutamine, you could eat 1 to 2 lbs. cottage cheese daily .I really don't recommend doing that for a few reasons including the high fat and sodium content as well as the intestinal reaction it may cause. You could try to find an M.R.P. (like MAX DELUXE) that has high levels of quality L-Glutamine or a protein powder (HIGH 5). As far as just taking an L-glutamine supplement, I have two favorites that I can earnestly recommend:
1. Max L-Glutamine from MAX MUSCLE
Max Muscle products are available at the Paradise Fitness Centers
2. Nitro-Max from ANABOL NATURALS
Nitro-Max is available from Anabol Naturals, Santa Cruz Ca.
Max Muscle has secured distribution from one of the world's largest suppliers of pharmaceutical grade L-glutamine. Max Muscle L-glutamine is tasteless and mixes easily in water or juice. I personally add it to my protein shakes.
Nitro Max also uses the best source of L-glutamine. Nitro Max includes a good amount of the branched chain amino acids in each serving, which makes it a staple for any bodybuilding diet.
I really like the Nitro-Max because it comes in capsules and I can easily carry them with me.
I do not recommend any other brands due to uncertainty of purity!