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  • Ingredient Explained: Glutamine

    Step 1: What is it?

    Glutamine is a naturally occurring amino acid. Glutamine is a building block for making proteins in the body. It's also needed to make other amino acids and glucose.

    Step 2: What does it do?

    Glutamine assists in recovery following physical stress, such as weight training, for example. Glutamine notably has anti muscle wasting, immune-supporting and digestive system benefits.

    Step 3: How do I take it?

     

    • Dosage

     

    To maximise glutamine’s holistic effects of muscle-sparing, digestion aid and immunity support, Amino Z recommends that you take 3g per day unless directed otherwise.

     

    • Timing

     

    Amino Z recommends taking 3g in a fasted state - 30-60 minutes before consuming a meal.

     

    • Frequency

     

    Every day - 3g. 

    Step 4: What are the top products?

    We recommend that you try to find the best value for money glutamine product i.e. look for a cost-effective price point! Just be sure to check the ingredient profile of the product to ensure that it’s 100% glutamine.

  • Should You Be Taking Glutamine?

    Every once and a while a supplement seems to take over the fitness industry. It becomes the hot topic amongst every gym goer on the planet, while simultaneously becoming the primary interest of every exercise scientist around the globe.

    Which is what happened a couple of years ago to Glutamine.

    But is it really it's all cracked up to be, or is it just another overhyped supplement that is costing you money?

    What is Glutamine?

    Glutamine is one of the 20 amino acids your body needs to survive.

    Although amino acids play a number of important roles in your body, they are arguably most well known because they are used to produce proteins. These little compounds are used to create every protein in your body, which means that they ultimately act as the building block for your cells.

    And of course this includes your muscle cells, as well as the cells that make up your bones, organs, skins, hair, and practically anything else you can think of.

    In short, they are very important -- and none more so than glutamine.

    Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in your body. The vast majority of it is found within your muscle tissue. This indicates that it plays an important role in the production and development of new muscle tissue, which also explains its popularity as a supplement.

    I should note that the form of glutamine found in your body is called “L-glutamine”, and it can actually be made by your body. However, there are times when the amount of glutamine made in your body is insufficient to meet its demands -- which is thought to impair function.

    All of which should give you some insight into why supplementing with glutamine might be such a good idea.

    What are the Benefits of Glutamine?

    So, we know that glutamine has a number of important roles in the human body, particularly when it comes to muscle cell function -- but how does its supplementation benefit you?

    Glutamine and Recovery

    When it comes to gaining size, your ability to recover is integral.

    I mean, I am sure you have heard it all before.

    Training in the gym is what breaks down your muscle tissue, and tells your body that it needs to rebuild itself bigger and stronger -- a process that can only occur if you recover appropriately.

    While this is a rather simple way of looking at things, it is very much true.

     

    Now, the supplementation of glutamine has been shown to speed up recovery after intense bouts of resistance exercise. It has also been shown to lead to reductions in muscle soreness after training compared to not taking glutamine [1].

    This means that it can facilitate your ability to repeatedly show up and train at the gym -- which is key to making long term, injury free, progress.

    Glutamine and Immunity

    Although most of the glutamine in your body is found within muscle tissue, it also has a very important function with respect to your immune system.

    In short, glutamine is used for energy by your immune cells.

    As a result, it has the ability to improve your recovery after things like major injuries. It has also been shown to boost immunity and reduce your likelihood of getting an infection, while also helping your body fight off invading bacteria and viruses [2].

    While this may not sound as flashy as improved recovery, I would argue that it is even more important.

    I mean, there is no doubt in my mind that the most important predictor of training success is your ability to actually get in the gym and train. And very simply, you cannot train if you are sick.

    With this in mind, glutamine might be able to keep you consistent in the gym, which is essential to making gains.

    Glutamine and Gut Health

    Finally, glutamine has also been shown to improve digestive health -- especially in people who are in a high state of stress.

    Like your immune cells, glutamine is also used as a fuel source for many of the healthy bacteria that live in your gut. As such, it can help maintain the barrier between your intestines and the rest of your body, aiding in digestion [3].

    Interestingly, this has been suggested to improve the uptake of protein from the digestive tract in people who are highly stressed (stress has been shown to impair gut function).

    So, if you are someone who suffers from a rather stressful lifestyle, or are currently in a high-stress state, glutamine could be a very useful addition to your weekly regime.

    Does Glutamine Improve Muscle Growth?

    Now, something that I want to note here is that the supplementation of glutamine alone does not appear to improve muscle growth -- or at least in the one study that has explored it in depth.

    In this study, people were allocated to two groups. One group underwent a 6 week gym training program while taking a glutamine supplement every day, while the other group did the same training program but took a placebo.

    And at the end of the 6 weeks, both groups saw the exact same increases in muscle size [4].

    This most likely comes down to the fact that if you are eating enough protein on a daily basis (~1.6 grams per kg of bodyweight), you are maximizing your potential for muscle growth from a dietary standpoint -- somewhat blunting glutamine's effectiveness in this area.

    This does not mean that glutamine supplementation is useless, just that it becomes a little less effective if you are eating adequate protein.

    Is Glutamine Safe?

    Because glutamine is produced by your body, and also found in a number of common foods within a regular diet (albeit in small amounts), there is no reason to believe that it will be harmful in what we could consider “normal” amounts.

    What is a normal amount?

    Well, it has been estimated that someone eating a typical western diet will consume between 3 and 6 grams of glutamine per day, although this is going to be a little less if you follow a vegan or vegetarian way of eating.

    Some research has looked at people taking up to 14 grams per day without any notable side effects, suggesting that this would be a safe upper limit for the vast majority of the population over a 4-10 week period [5].

    I do also want to point out that the effects of long term glutamine supplementation have not been explored. Some people believe that adding glutamine supplements to a regular diet may impair your body's ability to absorb glutamine from the food you eat.

    As such, making sure that you take some time to cycle off glutamine supplements every 10 weeks would offer a way to mitigate this risk. And of course, make sure you seek advice from a medical professional before supplementation -- just in case.

    We would also encourage you to start with a lower dosage (3-5 grams per day) to gauge how your body responds to it. If you do not experience any negative side effects, you can then increase the dosage slowly over time.

    Key Points

    So, should you be taking glutamine? Like most things in the health and fitness industry, it depends.

    Glutamine has been shown to improve recovery after exercise, while also enhancing immune system function. Moreover, it can promote nutrient absorption in people who are currently in a high stressed state -- all of which may improve long term training outcomes.

    This makes it the perfect option if you feel your recovery is slower than it should be, or if you are currently stressed out.

    However, it will not have huge effects on muscle growth if your diet is on point and you are eating enough protein on a daily basis. While this does not negatively impact its other effects, it does need to be considered.

     

    References

    1. Legault, Zachary, Nicholas Bagnall, and Derek S. Kimmerly. "The influence of oral L-glutamine supplementation on muscle strength recovery and soreness following unilateral knee extension eccentric exercise." International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism 25.5 (2015): 417-426.
    2. Cruzat, Vinicius, et al. "Glutamine: metabolism and immune function, supplementation and clinical translation." Nutrients 10.11 (2018): 1564.
    3. Camilleri, Michael, et al. "Intestinal barrier function in health and gastrointestinal disease." Neurogastroenterology & Motility 24.6 (2012): 503-512.
    4. Candow, Darren G., et al. "Effect of glutamine supplementation combined with resistance training in young adults." European journal of applied physiology 86.2 (2001): 142-149.
    5. Shao, Andrew, and John N. Hathcock. "Risk assessment for the amino acids taurine, L-glutamine and L-arginine." Regulatory toxicology and pharmacology 50.3 (2008): 376-399.
  • Scientific Dosages of Whey Protein, Beta Alanine, Glutamine, Creatine and D-Aspartic Acid

    When you walk through your local supplement shop, you may be surprised to find that the same ingredient can have a wildly different dosage depending on the brand.

     

    Some brands will put in less to cut cost while other brands go above and beyond ensuring to use the exact dosage you need to see results.

     

    Do you know what the ideal dosage is for your favorite supplement ingredients?

    Let's take a look at the top 5 most popular supplement ingredients and the scientifically proven dosage for each.

     

    How Much Whey Protein Should You Use?

    Hands down, the staple of the supplement industry, whey protein offers a variety of benefits. It offers muscle protection from breakdown, increased lean tissue growth, and supports recovery. It is also one of the most debated supplements for an appropriate dosage. (1-5)

     

    The amount of whey protein you should use depends on what your goals are. On a daily basis, if your goals are muscle growth and promoting anabolic environment, you'll want to use a whey protein twice per day. The amount per serving should be between 25 and 30 grams of protein. This will vary by brand so you'll have to adjust accordingly.

     

    Per serving: 25 to 30 grams

    How often: Daily

     

    How Much Beta Alanine Should You Use?

    Found in nearly every pre-workout on the market, Beta Alanine is an amino acid that helps to support intra-workout performance along with recovery. Its most notable feature is that flushed feeling you get in your neck and face when taking it. (6-8)

     

    The industry standard for Beta Alanine is 1,200 mg (1.2 grams) per day, typically taken pre-workout. Depending on your bodyweight, activity level, and goals, you can take up to 2,000 mg (2 grams) per day to support performance and recovery.

     

    Per serving: 1,200 mg (1.2 grams) – Up to 2,000 mg (2 grams)

    How often: Daily

     

    Why settle for under-dosed supplements? Try the Amino Z Supplement Builder and create your own supplements with the perfect dosage per serving.

    How Much Glutamine Should You Use?

    Glutamine, considered the counterpart to Creatine, is one of the most effective and popular supplement ingredients for sports recovery and promoting lean muscle gains. It's also used to alleviate stomach inflammation, which is great news if you have a sensitive stomach. (9-10)

     

    For the average person, you can supplement with 5,000 mg (5 grams) of Glutamine per day. Again, based on your bodyweight, goals, and activity level, it is safe to increase that amount to 10,000 mg (10 grams per day).

     

    Per serving: 5,000 mg (5 grams) – Tolerable up to 10,000 mg (10 grams)

    How often: Daily

     

    How Much Creatine Should You Use?

    Famously used by the bodybuilding crowd long before it hit the general market, Creatine is one of the best pre-, intra-, and post-workout supplements you can use. It directly supports energy production for muscle tissue, sports performance, and boosts recovery. (11-12)

     

    Studies show that 5 grams of Creatine is the industry standard but it is tolerable up to 20 grams per day during a loading cycle of 7 to 14 days. Although studies have demonstrated the safety of Creatine over the long term, you still may want to cycle off of it after one month of consistent use.

     

    Per serving: 5,000 mg (5 grams) – Tolerable up to 20,000 mg (20 grams)

    How often: Daily – May require an off-cycle after one month of consistent use

     

    How Much D-Aspartic Acid Should You Use?

    Finally, we have one of the best all-around fitness supplements. D-Aspartic Acid may be able to amplify testosterone levels in men while supporting strength, lean muscle, and performance. This is, without a doubt, one of the most common under-dosed supplements out there.  (13-14)

     

    3,000 mg of D-Aspartic Acid is the industry standard but it's not always easy to find a supplement with this amount. For men looking to increase their testosterone levels, you'll take 3 grams twice per day.

     

    Per serving: 3,000 mg (3 grams) – Up to 6,000 mg (6 grams) for men wanting to increase testosterone levels

    How often: Daily

     

    Conclusion

    There's no reason to take a chance on getting under-dosed supplements. You can ensure you get the right supplement with the correct dosage every time by using the Amino Z Supplement Builder.

     

    Build your very own supplement today!

    References

    1. Tsutsumi R, Tsutsumi YM. Peptides and proteins in whey and their benefits for human health. Austin J Nutri Food Sci 2014;1(1): 1002.
    1. Phillips, S. M., and L. J. Van. "Dietary Protein for Athletes: From Requirements to Optimum Adaptation." Journal of Sports Sciences. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2011. Web.
    1. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan; 136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.
    1. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.
    1. De Lorenzo A, Petroni ML, Masala S, Melchiorri G, Pietrantuono M, Perriello G, Andreoli A. Effect of acute and chronic branched-chain amino acids on energy metabolism and muscle performance. Diabetes Nutr Metab. 2003 Oct-Dec;16(5-6):291-7.
    1. Hobson RM, Saunders B, Ball G, Harris RC, Sale C. Effects of ?-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Amino Acids. 2012 Jul;43(1):25-37. doi: 10.1007/s00726-011-1200-z. Epub 2012 Jan 24.
    1. Artioli GG, Gualano B, Smith A, Stout J, Lancha AH Jr. Role of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine and exercise performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010 Jun;42(6):1162-73. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181c74e38.
    1. Hoffman J, Ratamess N, Kang J, Mangine G, Faigenbaum A, Stout J. (2006) Effect of Creatine and Beta-Alanine Supplementation on Performance and Endocrine Responses in Strength/Power Athletes. IJSNEM, 16(4).
    1. Gleeson M. Dosing and efficacy of glutamine supplementation in human exercise and sport training. J Nutr. 2008 Oct;138(10):2045S-2049S.
    1. Legault Z, Bagnall N, Kimmerly DS. The Influence of Oral L-Glutamine Supplementation on Muscle Strength Recovery and Soreness Following Unilateral Knee Extension Eccentric Exercise. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2015 Oct;25(5):417-26. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2014-0209. Epub 2015 Mar 26.
    1. Kreider RB. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):89-94.
    1. Robert Cooper, Fernando Naclerio, Judith Allgrove, and Alfonso Jimenez. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012; 9: 33. Published online 2012 Jul 20. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-33.
    1. Topo E, Soricelli A, D'Aniello A, Ronsini S, D'Aniello G. The role and molecular mechanism of D-aspartic acid in the release and synthesis of LH and testosterone in humans and rats. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2009 Oct 27;7:120. doi: 10.1186/1477-7827-7-120.
    1. Spillane M, Schwarz N, Leddy S, Correa T, Minter M, Longoria V, Willoughby DS. Effects of 28 days of resistance exercise while consuming commercially available pre- and post-workout supplements, NO-Shotgun® and NO-Synthesize® on body composition, muscle strength and mass, markers of protein synthesis, and clinical safety markers in males. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2011 Nov 3;8:78. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-8-78.
  • Want Muscle Size? Why You Need to Pair Creatine with Glutamine

    Supplementation is no longer considered a luxury option. Chances are that anyone you chat with in the gym is supplementing with something. When it comes to gaining muscle size, everyone knows that having a protein supplement is a requirement.

     

    What if you really want to ensure maximum size gains?

    What can you do that doesn't require breaking the law or endangering your body?

    The solution is simple, you pair up the two biggest names in the supplement industry to see real gains.

     

    Let's take a look at the benefits of creatine and glutamine and why they make the perfect supplement pair.

     

    Benefits of Creatine

     

    Your body naturally makes creatine but it's limited to about one gram per day. Creatine plays an important role in providing energy to muscle tissue. Stored within this tissue, it's released during high energy demands such as exercise. It's then converted to ATP and used as fuel to complete whatever energy demanding task you're doing.

     

    Creatine is also used for muscle recovery. Recent studies show that creatine was successful in reducing inflammation and muscle tissue damage post-workout. (1)

     

    Benefits of Glutamine

     

    The primary reason that glutamine is such a popular supplement is due to its ability to support muscle recovery, especially after intense workouts. Taken on a regular basis, subjects saw a decrease in post-workout inflammation and muscle damage. This benefit is extended on a hormonal level as glutamine is also used to prevent catabolic breakdown of protein in the body. In other words, it's a muscle sparing supplement. (2, 3)

     

    Why You Should Pair Them

     

    The name of the game is performance and recovery. You need to perform well if you want to achieve your fitness goals. This is especially true during high intensity workouts. If you're a bodybuilder, what good is it to throw in the towel halfway through your workout?

     

    More important than performing well is recovering well. Over training will put a stop to any fitness goal faster than you can imagine. The combination of providing your muscles with the fuel they need and the ability to reduce inflammation and support recovery is why these two industry giants need to be taken together.

     

    The Proper Way to Take Them

     

    Despite huge advancements in supplement technology, it's still recommended to perform a loading phase with creatine. The idea behind this is to completely saturate your muscles with 20 grams of creatine per day for 7 to 14 days. You could do 5 grams per day but that will take at least a full month to see the same results. It's best to take creatine following a workout when your body is primed to absorb it all.

     

    Glutamine can be taken at its normal 5 gram serving but if you are a serious bodybuilder or power lifter then you may want to consider 10 grams. It's best to take Glutamine on an empty stomach so do it as soon as you wake up.

     

    Creatine:

    • 20 grams for 14 days
    • 5 grams after that
    • Take post-workout

     

    Glutamine

    • 5 to 10 grams based on intensity
    • Take in the morning on an empty stomach

     

    Conclusion

     

    Creatine and glutamine have been stand alone supplements for decades. There's a reason that they are still around and still the most purchased supplements on the market. They've been proven time and time again to be an effective way to fuel your muscles while aiding in recovery. If you want to see serious results, then you need to be adding these effective and inexpensive supplements to your diet program.

     

    References

     

    1. Kreider RB. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):89-94.

     

    1. Piattoly, Tavis. L-glutamine supplementation: effects on recovery from Exercise. Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College. (4 – 9) August 2005.

     

    1. Calder PC, Yaqoob P. Glutamine and the immune system. Amino Acids. 1999;17(3):227-41.
  • The Benefits of Glutamine Supplementation for Fitness & Health

    Glutamine (or L-Glutamine) supplementation offers an array of fitness and health benefits to the body, whether you are an avid exerciser or not. We discuss the benefits of glutamine supplements.
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