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  • Ingredients Explained: L-Glutamine

    What is it?

    L-Glutamine is an amino acid, which is a building block of protein. It is naturally produced in the body and is found in many foods such as meat, fish, and dairy products. 

    L-Glutamine is also available as a dietary supplement, which people use for a variety of reasons, such as to improve their gut health, enhance athletic performance, and support their immune system.

    Why would someone take L-Glutamine?

    • Individuals that want to gain muscle or improve their recovery but do not consume enough protein with high glutamine content may consider supplementing with L-Glutamine.
    • People who suffer from specific gut health or digestion issues. L-Glutamine can improve the health of your gut, which is essential for proper digestion and nutrient absorption. L-Glutamine facilitates the cells in your gut lining, promoting growth and repair, resulting in improved gut health and easier digestion.
    • People who’re searching for natural ways of improving their immune function. L-Glutamine has the potential to enhance immune function by fighting against things that can damage it, such as inflammation and oxidative stress.

    Who’s L-Glutamine not for?

    While L-Glutamine is generally safe for most people, certain groups of individuals should reconsider supplementing L-Glutamine or consult with a healthcare professional before doing so. 

    These groups include:

    1. Individuals with certain medical conditions: If you have liver or kidney disease, you should avoid taking L-Glutamine, as your body may not be able to process it effectively. Additionally, individuals with epilepsy or bipolar disorder should consult with a healthcare professional before taking L-Glutamine, as it may interact with certain medications used to treat these conditions.
    2. Pregnant or breastfeeding women: It is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women to take L-Glutamine, as there is not enough research to confirm its safety for these groups.
    3. Allergies: If you are allergic to monosodium glutamate (MSG), you may also be allergic to L-Glutamine, as they have similar structures. In this case, it's important to avoid supplementing with L-Glutamine.

    What to look for in L-Glutamine?

    Thankfully, L-Glutamine is a simple supplement that doesn't require a bunch of complex considerations.

    1. Quality: Look for a supplement that is high quality and from a reputable brand. You can check the company's website, reviews, and certifications to ensure that the product is safe and effective.
    2. Purity: Look for a pure supplement free of additives, fillers, or contaminants. 
    3. Form: L-Glutamine is available in different forms, such as powder, capsules, and tablets. Choose the form that is most convenient for you and fits your lifestyle.
    4. Dosage: Look for a supplement that provides an adequate dosage of L-Glutamine per serving. The recommended dosage may vary depending on your age, weight, and health status, so consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement.
    5. Price: Look for a supplement that fits your budget and offers good value for money. However, don't compromise on quality or purity for a lower price.

    How to take L-Glutamine?

    The recommended usage will vary based on the intended purpose.

    For the amino acid supplementation purpose: To take L-Glutamine for protein synthesis, it is typically recommended to consume 5-10 grams of L-Glutamine per day. This can be taken as a single dose or divided into smaller doses throughout the day. It's often recommended to take L-Glutamine immediately after exercise to help with muscle recovery, but it can also be taken at other times of the day as well. 

    For gut health purposes

    If you are taking L-Glutamine for gut health, it's best to take it on an empty stomach so that it can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream and reach the cells of the intestinal lining. It's also important to drink plenty of water to help with absorption. The typical recommended dose ranges from 5 to 10 grams per day. 

    For immune health

    There is no specific recommended dosage of glutamine for immune health, but a general guideline is to take 2-5 grams of glutamine per day. 

    When to take L-Glutamine?

    Please refer to the section outlining the recommended usage for further guidance.

    How long should I expect to see results?

    The time it takes to see results with L-Glutamine can vary depending on the individual and the purpose for which it is being used. Some people may experience results within a few days, while others may need to use L-Glutamine for several weeks or even months before seeing any noticeable benefits. 

    For example, individuals using L-Glutamine to support gut health may need to use it consistently for several weeks to see improvements in digestion and nutrient absorption. It's important to note that L-Glutamine is not a quick fix and that results may take time to manifest. As with any supplement or health-related change, it's important to be patient and consistent in your use to see the best results.

    Can L-Glutamine be used with other supplements?

    Yes, L-glutamine can be used with other supplements. However, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified nutritionist before combining supplements. Some supplements may have interactions with L-glutamine or may affect its absorption, so it's important to make sure that the combination is safe and effective. It's also important to follow recommended dosages and not exceed the maximum daily dose.

    What differs from product to product?

    So long as the product is pure L-Glutamine, free from additives like colours and fillers, and is manufactured by a reputable company, it is recommended that you choose a product that fits your budget or aligns with a brand that you trust.

    References:

    1. Gao, Z., Tseng, C. H., Strober, B. E., Pei, Z., & Blaser, M. J. (2018). Substantial alterations of the gut microbial ecology and function after antibiotic treatment. ISME Journal, 12(11), 2833-2843. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41396-018-0160-7
    2. Varnier, M., Leese, G. P., Thompson, J., Rennie, M. J., & Pacy, P. J. (1995). Stimulatory effect of glutamine on glycogen accumulation in human skeletal muscle. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, 269(2), E309-E315. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.1995.269.2.E309
    3. Windmueller, H. G., & Spaeth, A. E. (1974). Intestinal metabolism of glutamine and glutamate from the lumen as compared to glutamine from blood. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 165(1), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1016/0003-9861(74)90280-7
    4. Castell, L. M., Poortmans, J. R., & Newsholme, E. A. (1996). Does glutamine have a role in reducing infections in athletes? European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology, 73(5), 488-490. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02425410
    5. Cury-Boaventura, M. F., Levada-Pires, A. C., Folador, A., Gorjão, R., Alba-Loureiro, T. C., Hirabara, S. M., & Pithon-Curi, T. C. (2008). Effects of exercise on leukocyte death: prevention by hydrolyzed whey protein enriched with glutamine dipeptide. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 103(3), 289-294. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-008-0719-9
  • It Takes More Than Muscle to Lift Heavy

    Neural adaptations can be responsible for different strength gains, despite similar muscle mass from person to person. Building muscle can be different from case to case. Now, there is scientific data to support this theory. Brain cells can be responsible for this as there could be more electrical signals sent to the muscle with higher repetitions and lower weight compared to lower repetitions with higher weight.

    Neural adaptations study and findings

    A 2017 study[i] made by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln build on empirical data and showed how neural adaptations can be responsible for different strength gains. These gains can be similar, regardless of the weights, but with different repetitions.

    Researchers took 26 men and chose leg extensions as the base exercise for the study. Two groups were formed. The first group used a load of 80% of the maximum weight they could lift. The second group used 30% of their maximum handled weight. While the first group did fewer repetitions, the second group performed the exercises with higher repetitions, due to the lower weights. After three workouts each week for a total of six weeks, researchers concluded that the heavy-load group improved voluntary activation by 0.15% while the light-load group improved voluntary activation by 2.35 percent. So what caused these results?

    In simple terms, muscles are activated by the brain through electrical signals. These signals are triggered by the neuron motor cortex. This then leads to muscle excitation which is responsible for contractions. These signals could be activated to a larger degree for those performing a higher number of repetitions. It is why the study found better strength gains for this group. Researchers concluded that training with higher frequency repetitions leads to better strength adaptations. This is constant for amateurs, average lifters or athletes.

    Of course, the research has vast interpretations and it could be a great base for further investigation. One of the areas which are critical to assess comes with fatigue. Researchers believe that simply lifting lower weights every day is more practical on the long-term. This is due to possible delayed muscle fatigue.

    The study can also be the ground for new research when it comes to joint impact and the training of the elderly. But even if the results are similar with different loads, the researchers do not exclude the possibility of training with heavy loads based on a low number of repetitions. For those who have busy lifestyles, this method of training remains a good option. People with busy lifestyles can also consume an amino acidamino acids cannot be produced by the human body and they need to come from foods.

    Neural adaptations are responsible for strength development in both low and high-intensity training and it goes to show that muscles are largely impacted by the brain and its electric signals. The research can be applied in different ways. For some people, it means that higher frequency with low weights can mean building muscle with reduced fatigue. But the traditional heavy loads with fewer repetitions should not be excluded. It is yet to be seen how these two types of training methods can be combined for more complex workouts.

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  • Glutamine (Amino Acid) Facts, Benefits and Functions

    Glutamine (amino acid) benefits, functions, uses, applications and purchasing information.
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