Glutamine is most abundant in the small intestine and is essential for proper immune function. When glutamine levels are depleted by stress, bodybuilders are more susceptible to illnesses. Glutamine has been found to have a wide variety of beneficial effects on muscle recuperation. Depleted glutamine levels can result in decreases in strength, stamina, and recovery. Studies have shown that L-glutamine supplementation can minimize breakdown of muscle and improve protein metabolism. A new benefit of glutamine that may spark a bodybuilder’s interest is its ability to raise glucose levels, which may enhance muscle glycogen stores. A previous study reported that eight grams of glutamine promote storage of muscle glycogen to an extent similar to 330 ml of an 8.5%glucose drink, suggesting that glutamine raises blood glucose levels. A researcher reported recently in the International Journal of Endocrinology that glutamine was superior to glucose for raising blood sugar levels after hypoglycemia. The researchers administered rats insulin, which caused them to become hypoglycemic. The researchers found that glutamine was more effective in promoting elevated blood sugar levels in recovery compared with glucose, lactate, glycerol, or alanine. Bodybuilders may want to consider adding glutamine to their post-workout shake as it quickly elevates blood sugar faster than glucose, which can enhance glycogen stores and promote faster recovery. - FLEX
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