Brain Health, Digestive Health

How Glutamine Can Rapidly Improve Your Life

A few weeks ago, I wrote about several amino acids called “EAAs,” or Essential Amino Acids.

These amino acids are essential for human health, and the “issue” with them is that you cannot make them on your own. You have to get them from your diet.

The good news is that quite a few other amino acids, while incredibly important for overall health, can be made from the foods you eat.

Let me remind you that amino acids are life’s building blocks. They play a crucial role in various bodily functions, and what most people understand about them is that they contribute significantly to protein synthesis. This, in turn, is useful for building muscle mass, helping facilitate neurotransmitter activity so you can think straight, and also helping regulate your metabolism. 

The human body can synthesize some amino acids, known as non-essential amino acids, while others, called essential amino acids, must be obtained through diet. The balance and consumption of these essential and non-essential amino acids are key to maintaining health and supporting the body’s natural processes.

The importance of amino acid intake is critical, and that’s why you’ve seen me talk more frequently about eating more meat and increasing protein intake, as that is the best place to get amino acids.

You can get them from vegetables, but I believe meat is superior overall.

You see, dietary protein breaks down into amino acids during digestion.

Today, I’ll focus on glutamine and tell you why it is one of the amino acids that you may want to take as a supplement to feel great all the time.

Glutamine: A Closer Look at This Critical Amino Acid

Glutamine is an incredibly important amino acid, and I recommend it for many different reasons.

First, it’s the most abundant amino acid in the bloodstream, meaning your body loves it.

Even though it is a non-essential amino acid, it can become conditionally essential in times of stress or illness, which is why it’s so important to have ample supply. It can be especially helpful in preventing disease and promoting overall well-being.

It also plays a pivotal role in various biological processes, which I’ll talk about below.

If you’re wondering where you’d get glutamine, as I mentioned before, it’s in protein-rich goods.

The best sources are foods like beef, pork, fish, eggs, cheese, yogurt and more. The higher the protein content, the more glutamine you’ll get.

Recently, supplementation has become a popular way to ensure optimal levels, especially for those with specific health goals or dietary restrictions, which I would absolutely encourage for anyone who wants to get some of the benefits it can provide.

Top 5 Benefits of Glutamine Supplementation

Regardless of where you get your glutamine, it’s important to realize it is really great for you.

Here are 5 benefits it can help:

1 – Boosts Immune Function:

Glutamine is crucial for the optimal functioning of immune cells, including lymphocytes and macrophages.

If you are stressed or sick, your body’s demand for glutamine increases significantly, which helps mobilize an immune response.

Supplementation can provide the necessary support to bolster the immune system. Studies have shown that supplementing with glutamine can help reduce the incidence of infections, particularly in post-surgery or critically ill patients. 

2 – Helps the Gut Health:

I’ve written about the importance of healing the gut and the dangers of a leaky gut.

The intestinal lining heavily relies on glutamine as a fuel source, and if you don’t have enough of it in your diet, your gut lining can become permeable, which presents some serious issues.

This amino acid helps maintain the barrier between the inside of your intestines and the rest of your body, thereby preventing harmful bacteria or toxins from moving from your intestines into the bloodstream. Supplementing with glutamine can contribute to better overall gut health, which is a linchpin of general health and immune system strength. 

3 – Support for Muscle Growth and Recovery:

Some of the biggest users of glutamine (users sounds like a bad word in this sentence) are athletes and people who work out a lot.

They use it because glutamine helps with recovery and prevents muscle breakdown.

Glutamine supports the synthesis of proteins while also inhibiting muscle breakdown, promoting recovery and muscle growth after strenuous activities. Research suggests that glutamine supplementation can decrease muscle soreness and improve recovery in endurance athletes. 

4 – Improves Athletic Performance and Recovery:

Studies also link Glutamine supplementation to an improvement in athletic performance. Glutamine aids metabolism and buffers the accumulation of ammonia in the body during intense exercise. By clearing ammonia, glutamine helps maintain acid-base balance, which may lead to improved performance and endurance (source).

5 – It Can Benefit the Brain With Neuroprotective Effects:

I know many of our patients are interested in preserving their cognitive ability.

Since glutamine is a precursor to the neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA, glutamine plays a vital role in the brain’s function. It helps with memory, focus, and concentration.

Studies suggest that glutamine possesses neuroprotective properties and can be beneficial in the management of neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive disorders.

Regardless of How You Get It, Make Sure to Get Enough

The thing about it is glutamine is great for total health.

While some might say there’s no wrong way to get more of it, I’d recommend not using raw soy products and avoiding grains or dairy (unless raw or grass-fed dairy are options).

Stick to meat and supplements as some of the best ways to get ample amounts that are significant enough to affect health.

Glutamine, though a simple amino acid, packs a powerful punch regarding its benefits for overall health. I don’t think it matters if you’re an athlete looking to enhance recovery and performance…someone aiming to support your immune system, or just interested in maintaining good health, considering glutamine supplementation could be a beneficial addition to your wellness regime.

Talk soon,