Glutamine is an amino acid that our body uses to make other compounds essential for our body to function. This includes many areas of the body including the functioning of the digestive system, immune system and ability to regulate stress and hormonal function as well.
Glutamine works by providing the energy to our cells in various systems throughout the body. It does this by processing glucose and amino acids which are used by other areas of the body. It is especially important in recovery from injury, in that it supplies about a third of the nitrogen we need to do so.
Another benefit of taking glutamine is that it helps to fight against atrophy. Atrophy is the wasting away of the muscles which is done when they are not used, or in this case when the body takes nutrients from the muscles that it needs elsewhere.
Glutamine is also essential when it comes to brain function as well, this is because of the influence glutamine has on the body’s ability to create energy on a cellular level. The brain is by far and away the tissue that uses the most energy per weight and thus levels of glutamine impact brain functioning even more so.
What Are Good Sources of Glutamine?
Glutamine is different than most of the other amino acids we need from our diet because of how we can get it through other processes without directly consuming it through diet. This means that technically it is not considered an “essential amino acid” but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t important. Essential amino acids are ones that our body doesn’t make it, and in this case we do make some.
With that being said, we still do not get enough indirectly and should look for food sources that are high in glutamine to reap all the benefit.
Foods that are high in glutamine include meat, fish, yogurt, cheese, eggs, beans and tofu.
Why Should You Take Glutamine?
Glutamine is believed to help alleviate a wide array of medical issues. These include:
low energy levels
Irritable bowel disease(IBD)
In addition to all of these general health benefits, glutamine is believed to be especially effective in boosting the immune system and fighting diseases like cancer, increasing the time needed to heal wounds, decreasing recovery time needed from surgery, and reducing the symptoms associated with sickle cell anemia and HIV.
Best Glutamine Supplements Available
Like most other nutrients we need for our body to function optimally, sometime getting all that we need from our diet is difficult if not impossible. This is especially true today where most people do not eat a healthy diet to the point where many food items themselves have to have supplements added to compensate.
The point here is that more than likely you aren’t going to get enough of glutamine from your diet, and a supplement is your best option. Supplements can be a safe, effective and easy way of making up that nutritional deficit as a result of diet.
When it comes to glutamine supplements, you should look for a product that utilizes a blend of amino acids that work together which can amplify these cognitive boosting effects you gain as a result. A product like Brain Gain which contains not only glutamine but also carnitine and ginkgo biloba to boost your ability even more.
Can I Take Glutamine If I Take Other Medication?
Glutamine is best taken under the advice of a medical professional like your doctor. Glutamine is not a good choice if you have kidney or liver disease and may interact with some seizure medications as well.
The effects on glutamine and mental health are not clear either, and may cause changes in some people with mania. It is not 100% known whether or not glutamine is the main contributor to these changes, but if you have mania it is best that you avoid taking this supplement.