Using L-Glutamine to Speed Recovery

L-Glutamine is a naturally occurring non-essential amino acid that is often referred to as glutamine.

It is stored in muscles and used by the immune system during intense physical exertion and times of stress. Research shows that athletes with deficiencies in L-Glutamine may experience more inflammation, oxidative stress and weakened immune systems. For this reason, athletes who are at risk will use it to maintain muscle mass and glycogen storage or to ward off illness.

Where do you get it?

Your body stores glutamine attained from natural sources (in your diet) when you eat high-protein foods and certain plant foods. As an athlete, it is essential to maintain a healthy and balanced diet including foods that provide glutamine, such as fish, eggs, beef, chicken, milk, yogurt, beetroot, barley, peanuts, spinach, beans, cabbage and cheese. However, for seasoned athletes who are regularly exposed to high-intensity efforts and might be nutrient deficient, a top-up in the form of a supplement, may be needed.

What about other amino acids?

Your body needs 20 essential and non-essential amino acids to be healthy. L-Glutamine’s main role is in moving nitrogen atoms to aid muscle recovery. It is an important function but research shows focusing on one amino acid is not necessarily a balanced or optimal approach for athletes. Consider adding a complete protein shake to your diet, this will add a variety of essential amino acids that may be in demand.

In summary | Getting the best possible nutrition is key to performing at an elite level. It is therefore always advisable to make an appointment with a sports nutritionist who can evaluate your diet and training demands and provide you with a tailored solution. L-Glutamine is not banned by any sports organizations and is classified as a nutritional supplement.

| REFERENCES: Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, PubMed, University of Maryland |