glutamine or L-glutamine: what ist he difference?
Whenever glutamine is referred to, actually L-glutamine is meant. This proteinogenic amino acid that is non-essential to you as a human is produced, for example, in the skeletal muscles, lungs, and brain and also taken in through food.
Glutamine is produced from the L-glutamine acid in your body by means of the so-called glutamine synthesis. The highest concentration of glutamine can be found inside muscle cells, where most of the synthesis takes place as well. Apart from other processes, it is also responsible for storing water in the cells and causes an increase in cell volume during training. This way the formation of glycogen and proteins in your body is cranked up. With a share of 20%, glutamine is the main component in the pool of free amino acids in the blood plasma. That makes glutamine also an important source of energy.
After operations, in case of serious injuries, burns, or infections, usually a strong decline of L-glutamine in the body can be observed. That is why L-glutamine is also considered a conditionally essential amino acid because it is required after operations and in case of burns and serious illness. So your body’s own production of L-glutamine can be decreased due to illnesses – or stress, too. But glutamine also plays a key role in the development of muscles. When training intensively, the muscle cells lose glutamine you can provide by taking it in through food or supplements.
food items containing L-glutamine
There are many food items containing L-glutamine in varying amounts. Glutamine can easily be taken in through food – even by vegetarians and vegans, who often struggle with other amino acids like carnitine contained almost exclusively in meat.
Food items containing a high amount of chemically bound L-glutamine:
- spelt flour
Glutamine takes part in numerous metabolic processes. These include that glutamine plays a key role in the development and maintenance of muscles. But many other important bodily functions and processes require glutamine.
The most important advantages glutamine can bring your body:
- support of the muscle development
- muscle maintenance
- positive impact on the immune system
- improved performance
- enhanced breakdown of ammonia (which is formed during training)
- has an anti-inflammatory effect
- helps improving intestinal functions
glutamine in sports: muscle buildup and muscle maintenance
Why do many athletes eat so much quark? Because in addition to protein and other amino acids quark also contains glutamine. However, at least 300 grams (10.5 oz.) – better 500 grams (17.5 oz.) – of quark should be eaten in order to satisfy the need for glutamine. If you do not like that because of the calories or for other reasons, glutamine supplements can help you providing your body with sufficient amounts of L-glutamine. Many bodybuilders and athletes realize over the course of their training that they need more glutamine than their bodies can produce on their own, which is why they rely on sport nutrition.
Bodybuilders and anyone aiming for developing muscles like to rely on glutamine when it comes to food supplements. The highest concentration of it can be found in your muscle cells. It fosters an anabolic – that is a developing – state. What is more, L-glutamine is responsible for storing water in cells and causes an increase in cell volume during training. Your muscles look more tautly! Also the formation of protein in your body gets cranked up.
After an intensive training, your glutamine and carbohydrate reservoirs are empty. In order to quickly restore some energy, your body now is in need of glucose. And this is where L-glutamine comes in because: Glutamine can be converted to glucose! That way your organism quickly regains energy without turning to the precious muscle protein as a source of energy. The maintenance of muscle mass can be supported this ways.
Another reason why glutamine is so popular among athletes is it boosting regeneration. The keyword here is fast replenishment of the glucose reservoirs. Full glucose reservoirs mean more energy for your workout. Instead of dextrose you may use calorie-free glutamine as an energy supplier – which is especially beneficial during diet phases.