In conversations about amino acids, it seems the Branched Chain's (Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine) seem to dominate the topic. After those three are the other Essential Amino Acids, with their potential benefits being hotly debated as greater than that of the BCAA's alone. During these debates, Glutamine can easily get lost, and the vast benefits it can provide can go unspoken. This is incredibly unfortunate, as Glutamine deserves to be in the conversation for most beneficial amino acid to supplement. Here are a few reasons why.
- Immune System Booster
- Improves Recovery
- Digestive Health Benefits
- Boosts Hydration
First of all, what exactly is Glutamine?
Glutamine is considered a "conditionally essential amino acid". This means that while the body is able to produce Glutamine from other amino acids, there are certain times where it is unable to produce enough to support it's needs fully. When this occurs, it is important to increase Glutamine intake, either through diet or supplementation.
When does the body need more Glutamine?
Studies have shown that during times of stress or illness, the body's demand for Glutamine can exceed what it is able to produce. These causes can range from injuries and surgery, to lack of sleep or external stress. Due to the role it plays in recovery, which we will cover shortly, it can be extremely important to ensure the body has an adequate supply of Glutamine after surgery or when dealing with an injury.
1. Immune System Booster
Glutamine is a fuel source for critical components of our immune system, including white blood cells and certain intestinal cells. By feeding these important cells in the intestines, which is one of the most important organs in relation to our immune systems, it helps ensure proper cell growth and function.
2. Improves Recovery
Similar to how it can aid in intestinal cell health, Glutamine has shown to be an important carrier of nitrogen between cells, as well as fueling cell growth. This can be of great benefit to tissue recovering from damage, be it from surgery or injury.
3. Digestive Health Benefits
Since Glutamine is so beneficial to the growth of intestinal cells, it is easy to understand why it is also incredibly helpful in digestive health. Beyond just aiding the proper cell function, it is also able to create a type of barrier between the intestines and the rest of the body, helping to prevent issues like leaky gut, and keeping the harmful bacteria and toxins in your intestines (that your body is trying to get rid of), from spreading back into the body.
4. Boosts Hydration
Staying at a cellular level, Glutamine can help boost cell volume and hydration, which is the most basic level of hydration. When the bodies cells can stay hydrated more readily, it becomes much easier to stay hydrated. Now this doesn't mean that Glutamine alone will provide proper hydration, only that it plays a key role.
So while it may be one of the lesser considered amino acids to supplement, Glutamine might very well be one of the most important.
Here are a few of the Glutamine supplement options we carry