Considering bodybuilders only workout for about an hour several times a week, the amount of systemic damage and nutrient depletion which occurs is pretty phenomenal. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that bodybuilders often prop themselves up with nutrients, supplements and vitamins galore. Some see it as ludicrous, for others, it’s a must.
L-glutamine is one such supplement (it’s an amino acid) bodybuilders use, and for good reason: it keeps the immune system fuelled (glutamine is the primary source of fuel for the immune system) and it is key in aiding protein synthesis.
Keeping the immune system fuelled is important because, due to the toll heavy weight training takes on our system, our immune system is maxed out and depleted – and needs to refuel so strips our muscles of glutamine. Less glutamine in the muscles means less protein synthesis, which means less muscle recovery and growth. And also, while the immune system is low, we become much more susceptible to illness.
In my view, it’s well worth looking into. It’s often the case that the people who have a solid supplemental regime (vitamins, minerals, amino acids etc.) are far less susceptible to illness, when by rights, they should be more susceptible due to strenuous weight training. Of course some people may not notice any benefits, but for some, it may be just what they need, so these things are always worth trying.
There are also other studies knocking around which indicate further benefits of glutamine, such as increased growth hormone production, cell hydration (it’s often used to treat those suffering with diarrhoea) and also possibly beneficial to proper bowel activity.