Should I Take Glutamine Before Or After Workout?


lutamine is an amino acid. As we all know, amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and proteins are very much essential in building our body and keeping our immune system intact. It is a conditionally essential amino acid, which means that it has to be derived from our diet in case the body suffers an injury or illness. It exists in two forms, L – Glutamine, and D-Glutamine. The form that is found in food sources is L-Glutamine. D- Glutamine is considered to be unimportant in living organisms. Hence L-Glutamine is the most commonly used form. Glutamine can be found in a variety of foods from both plant and animal sources. Though a larger amount of it is found in animal products such as beef, eggs, and milk, some plant-based foods such as tofu, corn, and white rice have a greater percentage of the protein in them. The exact content of Glutamine in any food hasn't exactly been found out, but it’s an assured fact that all foods that contain protein will contain some amount of Glutamine in them since it is a necessary part of proteins. So, if you need Glutamine in your body, then ensure to include a good amount of protein in your diet.

Glutamine is an important source of fuel for the red blood cells and some intestinal cells. Hence it plays an important role in keeping the immune system intact. In other words, it can also be told that it helps in maintaining intestinal health because the intestine forms a major part of our immune system. When the body suffers a serious injury or an illness or undergoes surgery, the levels of Glutamine in the blood can considerably decrease leading to a situation where the health of the immune system can be compromised. In such cases, a high protein or a high Glutamine diet is prescribed to improve health and reduce the chances of infection. Such are the benefits of Glutamine.

As we all know, proteins are the building blocks of our body tissues and amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. So, there is a common doubt which might arise whether Glutamine might help in building muscles or aid weight loss. Glutamine helps in burning fat by promoting the secretion of the human growth hormone (HGH). So, it does help in building muscles. Studies have also linked Glutamine with loss of weight in overweight people. the use of Glutamine supplements is shown have increased the lean tissue and decrease the circumference of the abdomen and even help to control appetite. It is also known to improve energy levels and athletic performance. So, in case you are feeling tired after a workout, it could be because of the decreased levels of Glutamine in your body. Taking Glutamine supplements might help to increase energy levels and reduce fatigue.

So, now let us come to the big question. When is the best time to take Glutamine? Is it before or after a workout? During exercise, our body needs energy to be used and spent to maintain the same intensity of the workout. So, when energy is spent, it also results in the reduction of levels of Glutamine in our body. Since it is not possible to get all the Glutamine needed only from the diet, it is necessary to take it in the form of supplements at an appropriate time so that the body gets adequate levels to maximize performance.

Glutamine as a pre-workout supplement doesn't seem so effective and there are very few facts or theories to support the same. As told earlier, there is a lot of energy used and spent during heavy exercise. Taking Glutamine supplements before a workout might lead it to get absorbed in the intestinal tract even before it gets to the muscles. It does not help to reduce the fat mass also. It failed to enhance muscle performance when used on a group of athletes who were undergoing a resistance program. There is no evidence that Glutamine as a pre-workout supplement will enhance your muscle recovery, boost performance, or help to improve body composition.

On the other hand, many studies have shown that taking Glutamine supplements as a protein shake or just in a simple form post-workout helps to maintain more lean muscles. This is because it prevents the body from using muscles as energy and uses only carbohydrates even during low carbs level. Hence it prevents the body from breaking down the muscle tissues for energy and maintains lean muscles. It creates the right internal environment for muscle recovery and helps in repairing the damaged tissues. Taking Glutamine after a workout also leads to increased production of the human growth hormone (HGH) in the body. This increase in the levels of the hormone is a huge advantage as it increases the metabolism in the body, increases the muscle tissues, and breaks down the body fat. As a result, less sugar is used up which suppresses the levels of Insulin in the body. This is a boon for diabetic patients as they need to maintain blood sugar levels in the body. So, Glutamine is a great supplement for anyone suffering from insulin sensitivity or having complications in maintaining blood sugar levels.

Now, speaking about the dosage of Glutamine to be taken, it would be very surprising to know that not much is required. A dosage anywhere between 2-6gms of Glutamine post work out would be more than enough to supplement all that has been lost during the workout. Even if a higher dose of Glutamine is consumed, it would not result in any kind of adverse effects as it will be either used up by the body or simply be excreted, which means you need not worry about consuming too much Glutamine after a workout. So, taking adequate levels of Glutamine in your protein shake post-workout will help you maintain lean muscles, help to prevent muscle waste after a workout, and also help in regulating the blood glucose levels in the body.