Bodybuilders know all about proteins. It’s the macronutrient that we get from food that helps to build muscle. But protein’s benefits aren’t limited only to muscle tissue.
In fact, proteins are found in every cell of your body. Those cells use protein as building blocks to help your hair grow, regenerate your skin and produce hormones, cartilage and tissue.
Protein is popular as a nutrition supplement because, unlike the other two macronutrients, fats and carbs, it breaks down in the body, so it’s not as easy to eat too much protein and it’s not considered a significant contributor to weight gain.
If proteins are the building blocks of our body tissue, amino acids are the building blocks of proteins (amino acids are sometimes called the building blocks of life!). If you’ve noticed that we sometimes say ‘proteins’, it’s because your body uses about 50,000 different proteins, depending on their purpose.
Each protein is the result of a combination of the 20 different amino acids.
Every amino acid falls into one of three classifications:
1. Essential Amino Acids
These are the amino acids that the body does not produce, so it’s ‘essential’ that we get them from the foods we eat.
2. Non-Essential Amino Acids
Just as important as essential amino acids, non-essential aminos are produced by the body.
3. Conditional Amino Acids
Generally non-essential, the production of conditional aminos can be interrupted due to illness, injury or stress, which means that they are occasionally essential.
L-Glutamine – The Most Abundant Amino Acid
Of the 20 amino acids, there’s one that your body uses far more than any other. L-glutamine – and that means we get more benefits from L-glutamine too.
Often referred to only as glutamine, without the ‘L’, this amino acid makes up about 30% of the amino acid nitrogen in your blood. It’s known as a conditional amino acid because the body uses so much L-glutamine, it needs to supplement its own production with L-glutamine from your diet.
More than most amino acids, L-glutamine helps to promote weight loss, fat burning and muscle building. But, as more and more research is conducted into the effect of amino acids on our bodies, particularly L-glutamine, we’re always learning more about L-glutamine’s benefits. Here are just a few:
1. Helps Heal Leaky Gut
As unfortunate as that name sounds, leaky gut means exactly that, a permeability of the walls of the intestine. In a study published in the Lancet, glutamine was shown to ‘prevent deterioration of gut permeability and preserve mucosal structure.”
That ability to strengthen intestinal walls also makes glutamine effective in healing intestinal ulcers and promoting better digestion.
2. Improves Energy & Athletic Performance
If you feel really drained following exercise, it could be because your body isn’t producing enough glutamine and you need to supplement that production. One hour of exercise can cause a 40% reduction in glutamine levels in your body.
3. Burns Fat & Boosts Metabolism
While many people link a higher metabolic rate with fat burning, there is not necessarily a direct connection between the two. Glutamine literally burns fat by prompting the secretion of human growth hormone (HGH). The new muscle growth that results is fueled in part by the fat stores in the body.
When using a glutamine supplement, HGH levels can increase over 300%, a response that leads to an increase in resting metabolic rate.
3. Promotes Weight Loss
In addition to the fat burn from increased HGH production and metabolic rates, studies have linked glutamine with the loss of fat in overweight people. One study concluded that use of glutamine supplements leads to an increase in lean body tissue and a decrease in the circumference of the abdomen. L-glutamine is also known to help control appetite.
If you would like to learn more about L-glutamine’s benefits, and even make Herbal One’s Ultra L-Glutamine supplement part of your weight loss and nutrition program, call or visit your local Herbal One Centre today.