People who are serious about fitness are always looking for ways to get the most out of their workout, to go harder on their lifts or longer on their cardio. However when you increase your efforts you tend to get sore more often and need more recovery. Recovery and rest are vital to gaining strength, but there are ways that you can help your body bounce back faster and prevent the dreaded zombie walk that soreness can cause. One of the best supplements for recovery is glutamine. Let’s break it down to find out why.
What is Glutamine?
Before we jump in to what glutamine does, let’s go over what it is. Amino acids are the basic building blocks of the body and help form tissue, muscles, organs, as well as skin and hair. They also help regulate the body’s metabolic processes, which is crucial for your health.
Glutamine, our bodies most abundant nonessential amino acid, meaning that the body can produce them on it’s own and does not require dietary sources, is an essential component of protein. It is also the only amino acid capable of crossing the barrier between blood and the brain, and accounts for roughly 80 percent of the amino nitrogen of brain tissue. So it’s kind of a big deal.
How does this relate to my workout?
Studies have shown that after periods of prolonged exercise or heavy training sessions your glutamine levels decrease, which can cause fatigue, soreness and increase your susceptibility to infection and immune impairment. Glutamine helps keep your body in balance during times of stress and provides nitrogen and carbon that are necessary for repairing wounds and muscles, as well as keeping your organs functioning properly. Basically, it speeds up recovery and helps prevent excessive fatigue.
How do I get it?
As we mentioned earlier, glutamine is a nonessential amino acid, so the body does produce pliantly of it on it’s own for the average person. When you’re working your body like an athlete or putting it under added stress, more is good. The best sources of glutamine are animal and plant-based proteins, including meat, seafood, beans, beets, cabbage, carrots and cottage cheese. Supplements are also a great way to quickly and easily get the glutamine you need. You can even mix a scoop into your water bottle and consume it during your workout to help prevent burnout. It’s an effective way to keep your energy levels steady without having to think about it.
As with all supplements, start off slow to see how your body responds and talk to your doctor if you have any health concerns before adding it to your diet. When taken correctly, glutamine can be extremely helpful in aiding in recovery and helping you reach your goals. So find the right application for your routine and let the amino acids work for you.