If you have ever shopped at GNC or Bodybuilding.com, you may have come across a protein powder containing glutamine, or perhaps glutamine powder sold alone or as or capsules. But what is it, and what are the benefits of glutamine?
What is glutamine?
Glutamine is an amino acid. It is one of the twenty amino acids that make up our standard genetic code. It is not an essential amino acid. It is, however, the most abundant free amino acid in the human blood.
Being the most abundant free amino acid, glutamine is quite busy. It’s primary role is acting as a substrate (a substance acted on by an enzyme) for DNA replication, during which two identical DNA molecules are produced from a single double-stranded DNA molecule. That’s all good and well, but what does it mean to you, the hardgainer looking to recover from an exhausting workout.
Like any amino acid, glutamine is involved in protein synthesis. After your workout your muscles are damaged. They need to be rebuilt, and this is where you reap the benefits of glutamine. Glutamine helps minimize the breakdown of muscle tissue so that more muscle gain be continously built. This is essential, because if you attempt to work out, say, the next day, and your muscles aren’t fully recovered, you won’t be able to make the same gains.
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