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When should I take glutamine?

When supplementing with glutamine it is important to know your body and its needs. 

Glutamine supplements can aid in muscle recovery. 

They can be taken in different doses and during different parts of the day depending on the athlete.

Before starting any supplement you should first consult your health professional to make sure it’s safe, especially if you have any underlying conditions. 

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According to the magazine Today’s Dietitian, glutamine helps the body in several ways. It facilitates the metabolism of nitrogen and feeds the cells that line the intestines of the body. 

More benefits involved with glutamine are its place in aiding protein synthesis and also improving the body’s immune system.

Why supplement with glutamine?

There are several reasons to supplement with glutamine and it’s not only to provide support for those involved with intense physical training.

During times of stress and critical illness the body becomes depleted of glutamine. 

This is because during times of stress glutamine is released more rapidly to provide fuel for cells of the intestinal lining. 

Glutamine also is used up quickly in aiding production of the body’s immune cells and also in maintaining the balance of acid and base in the kidneys. 

Because of this depletion of glutamine it is quite common for those suffering from illness to be at risk for organ failure, infections and death. Supplementing with glutamine has shown to decrease these risks associated with critical illness.

Some critical illnesses that have improved with glutamine supplementation are those suffering from cancer or HIV/AIDs.

Another reason for depletion of glutamine during cancer is chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can put the body under stress resulting in the depletion of glutamine.  Studies have shown that with glutamine supplements the cancer patients who are receiving chemo tend to do better than those who don’t get the supplement.

Those suffering from HIV/AIDs tend to lose a large amount of weight. Since the disease attacks the immune system, infections and additional illnesses are a huge concern. 

Glutamine supplements help with immune system function. Studies have shown those HIV/AIDs patients who use it have better results. Glutamine is also beneficial for those who have injuries or wounds. 

During physical stress the body releases cortisol into the bloodstream. This in turn lowers the glutamine stores in the body. Supplementation has been known to help restore the glutamine in the body in order for it to run properly.

Injuries and wounds can happen to anyone. Many times athletes who are training for an endurance event or are heavily into weight lifting suffer from injuries and a lowered immune system.

The theory is that an athlete’s lack of glutamine in their body is in direct correlation to their immune function. Studies show a difference between those athletes using the glutamine supplements versus those who didn’t. Those that did showed better immune functions by having fewer colds and less infections.

How much should be taken of glutamine?

For those who are taking glutamine to help improve the side effects of chronic illness, it really is a matter of what your health professional believes is the correct dosage. For those who are using glutamine as a supplement for their weight lifting or intense training, the numbers are a little more straightforward.

Because your body cannot produce enough glutamine during intense training, supplements can help. For best results athletes should take about eight to ten grams per day. For those who are not as athletic, five grams per day may be efficient enough.

If you do not feel the effects of glutamine you can increase it over the period of a week. It’s important to keep in mind that you should not exceed forty grams of glutamine supplements per day.

What are the best times to take glutamine?

While there’s not an exact science as to when glutamine should be ingested it is a good rule of thumb to take it on an empty stomach. Glutamine is very sensitive to other acids.

Keeping that in mind, taking glutamine two to three times per day, spaced out evenly and on an empty stomach is a great way to supplement.

While you do get a large amount of glutamine in your diet, depletion can make it difficult to keep a good supply in your body. Supplementing with glutamine can be a huge boost when training for an athletic event or when suffering from illness. 

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