What is glutamine used for?

Glutamine: that's behind the power substance

What is Glutamine?

Glutamine is one of the amino acids. To be precise, it's a non-essential amino acid. That means your body makes them by itself. However, you can also get glutamine with your food. But why should one do that? Because glutamine gets you going during training. Before we explain how it works, a few basics.

This is how the power material works

The synthesis of glutamine takes place in the liver, brain, lungs and kidneys. Several essential amino acids are needed for this to work smoothly. Above all, valine and isoleucine are in demand. Once the power substance is formed, it takes on numerous tasks in your organism. In this way, it produces messenger substances and keeps the metabolism that is building up and breaking down in balance. With a share of 20 percent, glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the blood plasma.

This is what makes glutamine exciting for athletes

Of course, that's all well and good, but it only helps you to a limited extent in sports. But the substance has more to offer. It has a built-in, performance-enhancing function. Glutamine also regulates the storage of water in the body's cells. That might not sound particularly exciting, but it is, because with physical stress it allows the volume of the small organic building blocks to increase. This sets off a chain reaction: the body notices the enlarged cells and then cranks up the production of proteins and glycogen.

This is how glutamine ignites your turbo

If you are pumped out after a hard training session, glutamine ensures that you can regenerate faster from the exertion. This is due to the replenishment of glycogen, which supplies your muscles with energy. Speaking of energy: Your body gets it from its own proteins. That's a good thing, but it has the negative effect that this process also reduces muscle mass. The good news: Glutamine prevents the body's own overexploitation of your muscle mass through the aforementioned protein production.

The amino acid even promotes muscle building when you are resting. Your immune system is also supported by this and so you are protected against colds, for example, to which you are particularly susceptible after strenuous training sessions. In addition, the organic substance heats up fat burning.

Pleasant side effects

Glutamine also promotes your ability to concentrate and you can remember information better. Anyone who is physically active accordingly needs periods of recovery to regenerate. Glutamine supports this by promoting your inner peace and sleep. It is also said to have a rejuvenating effect. It is said to strengthen hair growth and nails as well as tighten the skin.

How do you top up your glutamine supply?

You can only benefit from all of the positive effects of glutamine if you have enough glutamine flowing through your veins. The right level is particularly important for athletes and high-performance athletes. The reason for this is that the body slowly but surely runs out of organic super fuel during extensive training. In that case, you should refuel because the level of the helpful substance can halve under load. The best way to counter this is with the right food. You should therefore include foods with a lot of protein and dairy products on your menu. For example:

  • Whole grain products
  • sea ​​fish
  • Legumes (lentils, beans)
  • Yogurt, cottage cheese, milk
  • Soy products
  • raw or smoked meat
  • nuts

Be careful with dietary supplements

Glutamine is also available as a dietary supplement in the form of tablets, capsules, powder or as a liquid. But you shouldn't take it according to the motto "a lot helps a lot", because then there is a risk of overdosing. Incidentally, this cannot happen with the consumption of the natural foods mentioned above, such as fish, yogurt and nuts. The consequences of excessive amounts of glutamine are not to be trifled with. If you overdid it with the replenishment, you could regret it with the following symptoms: diarrhea, constipation, intestinal obstruction, nausea, vomiting, trembling fingers, headaches or heat waves. So caution is advised. If you still use glutamine in dietary supplements, you should consult your doctor beforehand and adhere to the manufacturer's information on quantities when taking it.

How Much Glutamine is Good?

Whether glutamine gets you going or slows you down is therefore a question of the dose. However, the exact height to be recommended has not been fully researched. Blood values ​​between 600 and 900 µmol (micromol) glutamine per liter are considered normal. It gets tricky with a glutamine intake of more than 30 grams per day. At this point at the latest, the aforementioned unsightly side effects can occur.

How quickly does it work?

Improved psychological effects only appear after weeks. Physical reactions become noticeable more quickly. Glutamine acts on the immune system immediately after it is absorbed and strengthens the body's defenses. This also applies to the energy-giving storage of glycogen in the muscle cells.