Should You Use Glutamine?

Glutamine seems to be a pretty popular supplement as as many of you may know. Why is it good to supplement with, when you are not terminally ill or in a hospital bed? I have no idea. I remember hearing Bro Science that glutamine could help decrease muscle soreness, but I was unable to find any research to back this claim. If you’re bored and want some entertainment check out the Bro Science here.

Glutamine is a very important amino acid in our bodies. ‘It is considered to be a major fuels for many cells including enterocytes, reticulocytes, stimulated lymphocytes, fibroblast and malignant cells. These cells share the common characteristics of relative rapid growth rates, high glicolitic rates, relative poor glucose oxidative capacity, and high glutaminase activity.’ (Vasconcelos et al, 1998)

The beauty of glutamine is that it’s a non-essential amino acid. This means the body can acquire glutamine from the body and doesn’t need it from the diet. Obviously, you don’t want your body breaking down muscle to acquire glutamine. However, there are many ways your body can move glutamine in your body to the gut if your gut requires glutamine.

For one thing, about 50% of the amino acid pool in your blood is made up of glutamine. This means if you are healthy, you should have approximately 50 grams of glutamine contained in your blood (the amino acid pool contains around 100 grams of amino acids). So that’s one way the body can acquire glutamine.

Eating is also another simple way for the body to get glutamine. Eat a steak or chicken breast and your body will have more than enough glutamine. Click on the links above and expand the protein content. Look at which amino acid dominates the protein content in those foods: glutamic acid (glutamic acid becomes glutamine in the body).

Pretty much all the research I found on glutamine sought out to study the effects of glutamine supplementation on sick people. There are many different reasons sick people might use glutamine, I will not cover them as I don’t prescribe supplements for sick people.

There was some interesting research that I found on how glutamine effects glycogen resynthesis after intense exercise. Since intense exercise does deplete glycogen stores, restoring them after is important. The study investigated the effects of glycogen resynthesis when a glucose beverage was mixed with a glutamine beverage, and two other protein powders with varying amounts of glutamine. The study concluded ‘that ingestion of a glutamine/carbohydrate mixture does not increase the rate of glycogen resynthesis in muscle.’ (Hall et al, 2000)

So my conclusion is to save the money you could spend on glutamine, and spend it on meat. Unless you are sick, or have some form of gut issues, you simply do not need to supplement with glutamine. Until next time.

3 Habits For Improved Body Composition and Health

If you’re a regular reader of this site, you know that I am a fan of both Intermittent Fasting and Habit-Based Nutrition. As the title states, I’m going to focus on 3 habits that you can make right now to improve your body composition and improve your health.

1. Make Protein A Priority
This has been beaten to death, but pretty much every time I assess a clients nutrition they aren’t consuming enough protein. You need 1g/lb of bodyweight of protein. If you’re 120 pounds, you need 120 grams of protein. If you’re 200 pounds, you need 200 grams of protein. It’s a simple calculation. If you passed grade 4 math, I think you can multiply 1×1 right? Just kidding (kind of).

In an ideal world you’d have your protein split evenly in all meals. If you consume 2 meals per day you’re protein intake would be cut in half. If you eat 4 meals per day, you’d eat 25% of your daily protein intake at each meal. However, this won’t always happen. If you get 80 grams of protein in one meal, 40 grams in another meal and another 80 grams in another meal, you will still lose weight.

Just try to get an equal amount of protein per meal. So make sure to make protein a priority. There are a crap ton of protein sources out there. I won’t bore you with them.

2. Limit Calorie-Containing Beverages
A cup of most juice and pop contains 25-30 grams of sugar. This equals 100+ calories. I don’t know about you but I can destroy a litre of pop or juice and not feel satiated at all. So if you are trying to lose weight, skip these drinks and have water, tea or coffee (if your blood pressure is ok).

There is a lot of talk about the “deleterious” effects of artiicial sweeteners. There are a lot of them out there. As long as you aren’t consuming a crap load of these sweeteners you are fine. I’ve successfully lost weight while drinking diet pop. So if you need a sugar kick and you can stand artificial sweeteners than go ahead and have some diet pop every once in a while.

3. Snack on Vegetables
If you need to snack then eat vegetables. Stay away from processed junk if you can. If you need to eat dip with your vegetables then go for it. Just know that you are adding calories. If you do this small habit, I guarantee you will decrease your caloric intake substantially if you adopt this habit.

If you feel that you don’t have time to prepare fresh veggies, then buy them pre-cut! There isn’t an excuse for you if time is an issue. If you are unable to eat raw veggies (which I’ve seen before) then you will have a little work cut out for you.

There you have it folks. Three habits you can add to your daily eating patterns that will help you now. You may have all these habits covered. If you do, I’m assuming you are at a healthy bodyweight and body fat percentage. If you aren’t then you will need to brain storm more habits. There are many more habits out there, you just need to figure out which habit is going to have the biggest impact. Remember, a habit can be something you add or subtract!