The body does naturally produce glutamine in amounts sufficient enough for a normal daily balance. You also replenish glutamine supplies with certain foods that contain this amino acid. However, when the body is under stress it can easily be depleted of its precious glutamine stores.
For those looking into incorporating extra glutamine in their diet you can do so with either supplements or by adding certain foods to your diet.
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According to the Institute of Traditional Medicine there is growing research that glutamine supplements are not only great for athletes, but for those who are suffering from serious illnesses. Nutritionists are becoming aware of the many benefits of glutamine and are administering it to patients who are in need of this essential amino acid.
Are there foods that have more glutamine than others?
Animal proteins are very rich in glutamine and have high concentrations of the amino acid. Some of the best sources of animal proteins with glutamine are dairy products. These include milk, ricotta cheese, yogurt and cottage cheese.
The meat sources that are high in glutamine are chicken, beef, fish and pork. Beans and certain types of vegetables are also great sources of glutamine. Raw vegetables tend to have better amounts; some of the best vegetables to eat for glutamine are parsley, spinach and cabbage.
For those people who are on the go all the time there are nutrition bars and drinks that contain a large amount of the amino acid. Those that are specially designed to help with energy and bodybuilding are the ones to buy. What these nutritional drinks and bars provide are isolated proteins from milk, soy and other foods.
Why is glutamine so important for the body?
Glutamine is essential for the body and keeping it running properly. Out of all the amino acids in the body, glutamine is the most plentiful. Most of it is stored in the muscles and while it is manufactured naturally by the body, it can become depleted when the body is under stress.
Glutamine is utilized by the body in several ways. One of the most important roles glutamine plays is keeping the intestinal mucosa healthy. Glutamine also provides nitrogen to those cells that are dividing rapidly.
Glutamine has also been shown to improve patients who are undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. Using glutamine supplements, patients who are undergoing treatment have seen fewer complications with chemo treatments, reduced infections and an improvement in their recovery time.
Because glutamine is so essential to the intestinal mucosa it has also shown to be beneficial in those who suffer from gastrointestinal diseases. Those patients who have had surgery on their intestines are usually administered glutamine supplements afterwards. This has been shown to help with recovery.
Not only is glutamine great for those suffering from illness, but also for athletes who stress their bodies with intense physical training. Intense endurance training or weight lifting can stress the muscles of the body causing a depletion of glutamine.
While eating protein and vegetables can help restore some of the glutamine, supplementation has proven to be very effective as well.
What are the concerns surrounding glutamine?
With any supplement it is important to get the correct amount and the correct supplement for your individual needs. Supplementing with glutamine is the same.
Research has shown that doses up to fourteen grams or higher a day are beneficial and safe. However, it’s important to not exceed forty grams of glutamine a day unless instructed to do so by a health professional.
Glutamine should not be taken with any beverage that is considered hot in temperature. This amino acid is very sensitive; hot temperatures and certain acids can destroy it. If you are using glutamine supplements keep them in a dry environment at room temperature.
There are some people who should not supplement with glutamine. People who have Reye syndrome, liver disease and kidney disease should not take glutamine supplements.
Those who are elderly or who have only partially functioning kidneys should be careful about the amount of glutamine they consume. It’s important to check with a health professional before undergoing any new supplement.
Keep in mind that there are some people who shouldn’t use glutamine supplements. It’s important to discuss with your doctor if you have any underlying conditions that could be worsened by the amino acid supplementation.
Athletes without underlying conditions could benefit from glutamine supplementation. Those who are looking into intense training routines and weight lifting plans should consider glutamine supplements because they are beneficial in improving performance.
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