Did you know that amino acids can do wonders?Yes, you heard it right. There are 23 amino acids, and each of them offers certain benefits by preventing and curing various diseases or health conditions starting from cold to memory loss.
In addition, the chain of amino acids comprising oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and hydrogen play a key role for building fabric of bones, hormones, muscles, skin, hair and more.
Out of all the amino acids, L-Glutamine particularly stands out for its ability to enhance muscle growth, fight cancer and blood sugar, boost digestive health, and improve athletic performance. We would discuss more benefits of this amino acid in this post. So, read on.
What is L-Glutamine?
As discussed in the beginning, L-Glutamine is an amino acid that is useful for human body. This amino acid is commonly found in muscles. In fact, more than 61 percent of skeletal muscle is Glutamine, which consists of 19 percent nitrogen, and carries nitrogen into muscle cells.
Various studies have revealed that L-Glutamine can minimize muscle breakdowns and improve protein metabolism.
Key Facts about L-Glutamine at a Glance:
- It is an essential amino acid that a human body needs in a significant amount
- L-Glutamine promotes digestive/brain health, accelerates muscle growth, and improves athletic performance
- Prevents diseases like cancer and high blood sugar
- Exists in both plant and animal proteins
- Available as a supplement
During intense workouts, the levels of Glutamine get substantially depleted in the body, along with decreased strength and stamina. It may take up to six days for Glutamine levels to return to normal.
When You Need More L-Glutamine
Not just bodybuilders or athletes, L-Glutamine is essential for everyone to keep the body functions up and running. Particularly, people who are suffering from intestinal dysfunction and low immune response, need to increase the levels of this amino acid in their body for healthy living.
The white bloods cells in the body use Glutamine and help restoring the normal immune-system function. People with muscle-wasting and immune-system related illnesses where their body is incapable of producing this key amino acid, may benefit from consuming glutamine supplements along with other amino acids. Getting sick often or losing lean muscles are potential signs of glutamine deficiency. A nutritionist or dietician can easily diagnose such deficiency, and prescribe consuming foods or supplements that contain L- Glutamine.
Overall, in the following cases you need to have more L-Glutamine:
- When you need to maintain body cell volume and hydration
- For speeding up healing from wound and burn
- When trying to produce growth hormone levels. Studies show that 2 grams of L-Glutamine can increase growth hormones by more than 400 percent
- For boosting your immune system
- For maintaining the bowel movement
- For curing ulcers. Researchers have found that consuming 1.6 grams of Glutamine every day may have 92 percent cure rate in four weeks
- For improving gastrointestinal health as L-Glutamine is a vital nutrient for the intestines
- For improving memory and focus as this amino acid is an essential neurotransmitter in the brain
- For promoting muscle growth and decreasing muscle wasting
- For improving endurance and recovery from workouts
- For improving metabolism and cellular detoxification
- For reducing cravings for sugar and alcohol
Researchers suggest that L-Glutamine is particularly an important amino acid for sportspersons. It is because this amino acid is a key component in muscle metabolism and cellular support. Due to this, consumption of foods or supplements containing L-Glutamine is suggested by dieticians.
Dietary Sources of Glutamine
The common dietary sources of L-Glutamine are plant and animal proteins. Foods such as milk, cottage cheese, cabbage, yogurt and raw spinach are good sources of this amino acid.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre, glutamine is usually found in the form of L-Glutamine, you can either get it from natural food sources or as a protein supplement such as powder, capsules, and tablets.
5 Foods in India with L-Glutamine
India is the home to a wide range of raw, leafy vegetables that contain high levels of glutamine. Remember that cooking can destroy glutamine, and eating raw vegetables can maximize the glutamine content and increase bioavailability.
Here are the five foods available in India that contain a substantial level of glutamine:
Raw spinach is a great source of L-Glutamine. You can make a delicious and healthy spinach salad while having meal every day and enjoy the benefits of glutamine. Reiterating that cooking this vegetable will destroy the properties of amino acid, so consume them raw with your salad or cook as minimally as possible.
Cabbage is well-known for having a significant amount of glutamine. For a large dose of the amino acid, drink freshly juiced cabbage. It will help build your immunity and improve your overall health. For juicing or fermenting, you can use cold filtered water to maintain the nutrition value.
All types of beans are excellent sources of L-Glutamine. No matter whether you are a vegetarian or non-vegetarian, include beans regularly into your diet to get the adequate amount of dietary protein. Consuming beans as salad or vegetable juice are the best ways to get the maximum benefits.
4. Dairy Products
India has abundance of dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, which can get you the required amount of glutamine. Usually, milk is consumed in India hot, however, to maintain the benefits of glutamine, drinking it cold by preparing a shake is ideal.
Egg whites contain high-levels essential amino acids, particularly L-Glutamine. In 100 grams of egg whites, you can get nearly 10.9 grams of glutamic acid. Human body can produce 10 amino acids itself, which are called “nonessential amino acids.” There are nine essential amino acids that human body cannot produce, and are required to be obtained through diet. Consuming egg whites is a good way fill that void.
Other than the foods listed in this post, various animal proteins such as fish and organic meats are rich sources of L-glutamine. Though it is suggested to consume foods without heating, you can still get glutamine from some cooked foods such as sushi and sashimi.
All these discussions give us many reasons to believe that L-Glutamine is not only important for sportspersons such as bodybuilders and athletes but also for average people to improve metabolism and keep off diseases. So, don’t delay, include these foods in your diet to get the daily dose of the much-needed L-Glutamine.