Glutamine remains the supplement of choice for many bodybuilders. Glutamine is an amino acid that can be found naturally in lots of foods such as beans, meat, fish, poultry and dairy products. Glutamine is also an important component of protein powders and is one of the twenty non-essential amino acids found in the body. Glutamine is the most common amino acid that is in skeletal tissues and makes up just over 60% of amino acids in muscles. And this is why Glutamine is so important for building muscle.

Glutamine for Building Muscle

Glutamine is distributed throughout the body and plays an important role in protein metabolism. In the eyes of someone that is trying to gain muscle, the strength of glutamine is its ability to reduce the amount of muscle deterioration that occurs as a result of intense physical training. Not being able to replace the high levels of glutamine used up during intense exercise could result in greater status to illness due to a weakening of the immune system. In addition, glutamine ‘stolen’ from the muscles to maintain the immune system must be replaced to keep those muscles in ‘building’ mode.

Supplementing with Glutamine

People wanting to build muscle can, therefore, benefit from supplementing with glutamine each day, preferably taken post-workout to enhance its recuperative effects. Glutamine is a classed as a non essential amino acid. Non essential means the body produces it naturally, not that it is not essential. Just over 60% of our glutamine is found in the skeletal muscle, with the remainder occupying in the lungs, liver, brain and stomach. Glutamine has a unique molecule structure with two nitrogen side chains. This structure makes glutamine the primary transporter of nitrogen in the muscle cells, crucial for supporting muscle growth.

Glutamine Research

Recently, glutamine has gained importance through research demonstrating its unique contribution to protein synthesis (muscle growth), anti-catabolic breakdown functions (prevents muscle tissue breaking down) and muscle building hormone elevating properties. Due to these effects, glutamine plays an important part in your body by aiding recovery of muscle cells. The immune and digestive systems crave glutamine. The digestive system often struggles to get enough glutamine to cope with the high protein diet of a for example a bodybuilder. The other main cause of glutamine depletion is intense physical exercise. When a person undertakes in intense physical activity (working out) more glutamine is required than the total amount produced by the body. If the body cannot get the required glutamine needed from the bloodstream it must revert to the storage facility, the muscles. The body will now break down the glutamine stored in the muscles and send it into the bloodstream. It’s under these circumstances that glutamine supplementation through glutamine powder is required.



Getting down to business with the very best supplements and food, TPW™ Nutritionist has an incredible amount of knowledge on all things sports nutrition. With a Masters in Sports nutrition, some say TPW™ Nutritionist is a bit of a know it all, but we love that!

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