Today I’m venturing back into our power up series and talking about glutamine! What is it, why do you need it and how does it help you? Glutamine is an amino acid and a building block of protein. Proteins do some pretty cool things that you might not know about (or have just forgotten if you learned about it in science class once upon a time)! They transport things through the blood, make enzymes and hormones, build and repair tissues, and fight off viruses and bacteria. Handy little things to have working for you!
Let’s dive into glutamine specifically. There are two types of glutamine, L-Glutamine, and D-Glutamine. D-Glutamine is sort of a dud. It doesn’t really do much for you so we’ll not go into that one today. L-Glutamine, on the other hand, is very useful to the human body and it’s the version you’ll find in foods or any glutamine supplement. This amino acid acts as a fuel source for white blood cells and therefore plays an important part of keeping the immune system healthy! It also fuels certain types of intestinal cells. The intestines play a huge role in the immune system, hence all the focus on gut health these days, and keeping those intestinal cells fueled and healthy is important!
Another cool thing about L-Glutamine that has been shown in studies is its ability to help in muscle fatigue and recovery! It was reported that a glutamine supplement could help reduce soreness after an intense workout. Now, a little soreness after I work out is sometimes nice, helps you know you actually did something, right? But, when it’s murder to walk down a flight of stairs or lift your arms up for 3 days, it’s a little less fun so adding a power up to my smoothie to avoid it seems like a great idea to me!
As with any supplement, talk to your doctor first to make sure it’s right for you and if so, it’s always best to start with a moderate amount. There is not a set RDA for L-Glutamine but about 5 grams per day is the typical recommendation for supplementation.