by Kris Pitcher
Well, now I've got your attention! Fat loss? That's right. Glutamine aids in fat loss and I'm going to tell you why. I'm going to tell you a whole bunch of stuff about glutamine...and, I'm getting all sciency-excited about it!
It's the most abundant amino acid in the body. All amino acids by the way end in "ine". Anywho - it's predominately synthesized and stored in skeletal muscle. One of the most important things it does is acts as fuel for the cells that line our intestines.
Glutamine is also involved in metabolic processes and it helps maintain our blood glucose levels. It also helps us maintain a certain pH range in our bodies. It plays a role in immune function, and (drum roll) it increases the body's ability to secrete human growth hormone (HGH) which assists in metabolizing fat and supports new muscle tissue growth.
Is everyone grinning ear to ear?! Am I the only one who is super-science-excited right now? Well, there's more. Glutamine enhances our brain function, memory, mental alertness and mood. (Maybe that's why I'm so happy?)
Glutamine's role in muscle preservation, intestinal health, and immune function make it an important amino acid for exercisers to get. Especially for those who exercise intensely or regularly. Stress on the body, and the release of cortisol, decrease our glutamine stores. The greater the stress on the body, the greater the demand for this essential amino acid.
So, where do we get it? We get glutamine from beef, pork, poultry, eggs, milk, ricotta and cottage cheese, raw spinach, raw parsley and cabbage. The typical dietary intake ranges from 5 to 10 gms daily. While you should always consult your physician before taking any supplement, therapeutic dosages of 1.5-6 gms, divided, have been given.
There are side effects and contraindications. Side effects include headache, bloating and intestinal distress. And people with kidney, liver disease or Reye's syndrome should not take glutamine. Again, always consult your physician before taking any supplement.
You can have your levels checked when you get a full blood panel done. Consuming food sources above should ensure adequate intake, and many pre-workout formulas, and even protein powders, have this amino acid added to it. Read your labels. There you go!