As an Amino acid which is the building block for all proteins in your entire Body, glutamine is naturally found naturally occurring in your body, being used to boost overall energy as well as counter several side effects of intense medical treatment. Glutamine is essentially fuel for nearly every type of cell in the body, and it is necessary to promote the making of other chemicals in your body such as glucose and amino acids.
Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) are the three most easily-absorbed amino acids in your body. The three BCAA’s are valine, leucine and isoleucine, and they are the most anabolic amino acids that you can supply your body with (muscle building). BCAA’s are considered an essential amino acid because your body does not synthesize or create them naturally, yet they are necessary for your body to function properly. BCAA’s make up about 35% of all the amino acids in your Muscle tissue, and they are the most vital and prevalent of amino acids. Furthermore, BCAA’s are absorbed directly in to your muscles, and by pass the processes of digestion which most other amino-acids go through. This makes them invaluable and irreplaceable for morning training, pre-workout nutrition, and post-workout nutrition!
Together, this is an invaluable tag-team which should be in every athlete’s supplement closet. Whether they are taken pre-workout, post-workout, or intra-workout, there is nearly no bad time to get your daily doses of Glutamine and Branch Chain Amino Acids!
How Does Glutamine Work?
Known as the most abundant free-amino acid in your body, it is produced in your muscles and distributed throughout to your organs and other places in your body which are in need of it by your bloodstream. Glutamine is well-known to boost your immune system, digestive system, and many other essential processes of the body due to its ability to negate physical and mental stresses. Glutamine supplies your body with the ability to fight back against many various threats, thus making your body stronger overall.
Since nitrogen is essential in the process of repairing wounds and keeping vital organs functioning, glutamine plays an immediate and substantial role in regulating nitrogen supplies so they can successfully work to help your body.
In situations where the body needs to use more glutamine than it is capable, muscle wasting may occur as the body will preferentially use glutamine for the largest stress in your body. People who have HIV/Aids or any other auto-immune disease, glutamine supplementation becomes incredibly important, as your body starts wasting away your muscles quicker than ever. Certain types of chemotherapy can lower the level of glutamine in the body drastically, however supplementation of glutamine can restore these levels relatively well. For those who are in need of chemotherapy, glutamine can be beneficial for helping with:
- Joint and Muscle Pain caused as a result of the cancer drug Taxol.
- Swelling and pain in the mouth
Reasons Why Glutamine should be Used
There are several reasons why the use of glutamine is undeniably beneficial to the body:
- Evidence exists that indicates that glutamine is able to prevent bacteria from moving and leaving the intestines and traveling to other parts of the body. Thus reducing the chance for diseases to spread.
- Intravenously administering glutamine has been shown to reduce or shorten the number of days a patient stay’s in the hospital, reducing infections, and improving the healing of wounds of people who sustained burns.
- There is evidence to suggest that glutamine is able to reduce swelling inside the mouth which is caused by chemotherapy treatments. Glutamine does not have this effect on all patients that undergo chemotherapy and presently there is insufficient evidence to confirm why some patients are unable to enjoy this benefit.
- Administering glutamine intravenously and along with intravenous nutrition helps to reduce complications that are associated with surgery, by improving the immune function substantially. The same applies with any bone marrow transplant, as it lowers the risks of infection and helps to improve recovery better than when intravenous nutrition is only given to the patient.
Possible Side Effects
There is presently no known serious side effects from taking glutamine, and it is potentially safe being taken in oral doses up to 40g daily (approximately 600 milligrams per kilogram of body weight) daily. It is also generally safe for children as well, but a doctor should be consulted before taking anything.
The use of glutamine during pregnancy should be supervised by a doctor since medical evidence is not clear about the safety of this currently, and it may be advisable to refrain from taking during this time period. In general, if you are not sure about a certain condition you have and whether or not glutamine can be used, it is best to ask a medical doctor.
Branch Chain Amino Acids
Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s), are the three most easily-absorbed amino acids in your body. The three BCAA’s are valine, leucine and isoleucine, and they are the most anabolic amino acids that you can supply your body with (muscle building).
BCAA’s are considered an essential amino acid because your body does not synthesize or create them naturally, yet they are necessary for your body to function properly. BCAA’s make up about 35% of all the amino acids in your muscle tissue, and they are the most vital and prevalent of amino acids.
Furthermore, BCAA’s are absorbed directly in to your muscles, and by pass the processes of digestion which most other amino-acids go through. This makes them invaluable and irreplaceable for morning training, pre-workout nutrition, and post-workout nutrition!
It is considered as the most important of the three essential amino acids when it comes to muscle building, it directly works to induce Muscle Protein Synthesis. It always has the highest dose among the amino acids in BCAA supplement because of its usefulness. However, it cannot work at all without the other two.
It also works to boost muscle protein synthesis, though not as strongly as leucine. One of the advantages of isoleucine is its ability to increase your glucose uptake, and usage during workouts. Isoleucine gives your body similar energy as carbohydrates, although not changing or spiking your insulin or blood sugar levels at all. It leads to substantially increased energy levels in your body.
Although valine is the least when it has to do with muscle building, it produces a noticeable improvement in muscle protein synthesis when it is combined with the other 2 BCAAs. Its most substantial other benefit is that it also plays a major role in limiting tryptophan uptake in the brain, which results in delayed fatigue. Valine intake helps mask the fatigue that your brain understands, helping you push through physical barriers easily.
Optimal BCAA Ratio
Based on studies, the ratio that yields the highest effect on muscle protein synthesis is the 2:1:1 ratio. Essentially, this ratio is two leucine for every one valine, and one isoleucine. Although there are products that boast of having superior formulations, most of them are strategic marketing strategies. Some products market higher levels of leucine, stating that since it is the most anabolic it will provide you with better results. However, scientific research currently only supports the 2:1:1 ratio.
Reason Why You Should Use BCAAs
During your workouts, the amount of BCAAs are depleted, relying your muscles to search in other places for fuel to continue training. The simplest and most generally effective way of replenishing your bodies supplies of BCAAs is through supplementation. By replenishing your body with new BCAA’s, you will provide a foundation for muscle protein synthesis, and your body will then make use of the complete protein as a fuel for the creation and growth of muscle.
BCAA Supplements Benefits
Neurotransmitters during workouts usually signal to the brain that muscles are experiencing fatigue; BCAA’s slow down the cause of fatigue by slowing the uptake of tryptophan in your brain. This gives you numerous benefits including energy to do extra workouts and perform better in various physical activities. Taking a BCAA supplement will provide you a full-range of potential benefits, especially since there are many extremely good products on the market currently.
Personally, Scivation Xtend is my favorite BCAA product I have taken. Scivation has also recently released new products, with options for the addition of caffeine, or opting for 100% naturally made products.
Benefits of BCAAs and Glutamine for Fasted Training
As I have written about previously, I have always been a huge fan of fasted training. Personally, I have hugely benefitted from Intermittent Fasting. This would not be possible if I did not add my own-personal twist on traditional Intermittent Fasting, ensuring that my muscles would be safe during the process. To ensure proper fasted training, I intake a minimum of 15 grams of BCAAs and 10gs of Glutamine every morning (my current stack is featured as the articles feature). Along with this I also intake a few essential fatty acids such as Fish Oil, CLA and Sesamin; as well as caffeine.
Speaking about BCAAs and Glutamine specifically, these two products make fasted training possible and highly effective because they protect your muscles with a form of a protective-bubble. I think of it as having this effect because it is essentially what happens. Glutamine and BCAAs form a buffer which feeds your muscles consistently during your training, so that your muscles cannot attempt to eat themselves for fuel. Therefore, this leaves your body-fat as an exposed fuel source, and one which now your body will preferentially use!
No matter how you incorporate these two products in to your diet, there is absolutely no doubt that you will benefit from supplementation of them. As an athlete, your body is constantly at a need for both of these compounds. Supplementing with them will raise your energy levels, increase your work capacity, fight fatigue, and help-enable you to build a healthier and more capable body!
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