As a NESTA Certified Fitness Nutrition Coach, I am regularly tasked with helping clients develop comprehensive meal plans to accomplish goals ranging from fat loss to sports performance improvement. A Nutrition Coach is a resource to provide support, encouragement, education, guidance and tough love to help clients stay focused and on track to achieve their goals. Continue reading
Weight is not the best indicator to determine your success as part of an exercise and nutrition plan. Weight or more specifically total body mass does not provide a complete picture. To truly assess the effectiveness of any exercise regime, nutrition plan or other training; a person must know and monitor their body composition. Continue reading
L-Glutamine supplementation can help your body repair and recover from the stresses and inflammation caused by regular strength training. Additionally, L-Glutamine supplementation will aid your body’s natural immune defense system by supporting good intestinal health, where many illnesses and diseases originate.
The amino acid L-Glutamine is the most abundant free form amino acid in the body. L-Glutamine is present in nearly every cell and particularly concentrated in skeletal muscles, brain and the intestines. L-Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid, which simply means the body can produce L-Glutamine from the foods we consume or from other amino acids. However it is important to note that L-Glutamine can become conditionally essential under certain circumstances. This means that when stressed, the body rapidly uses up more L-Glutamine than it can produce thereby becoming deficient. Under these circumstances, supplementation with L-Glutamine can become imperative to maintaining health.
So what are the circumstances where L-Glutamine supplementation can become essential? Illness, injury, inflammation, surgery and recovery are prime instances where supplementation with L-Glutamine will support the body’s ability to repair itself.
In the context of physical exercise, for strength athletes training regularly, L-Glutamine supplementation is conditionally essential to maintain the body in an anabolic, muscle building state. Exercise is a physical stress, tearing down muscle fibers and causing inflammation. Exercise results in a high rate of constant consumption of the body’s caches of L-Glutamine. When there is not enough L-Glutamine present to support repair and recovery, over training may occur, performance may suffer and gains may be lost.
Further, L-Glutamine supplementation is critical for maintenance of a healthy immune system via bolstering the gut, where most disease and sickness originate. Natural sources of L-Glutamine can be found in whole foods including eggs, meat, dairy and some vegetables, however the amount of whole food required to supply adequate L-Glutamine for the strength trained athlete introduces excessive and unwanted calories that may lead to weight gain and decreased performance.
So how do you supplement with L-Glutamine? L-Glutamine supplements come in both powder and pill form. Recommendations for strength trained athletes are to consume 5g of L-Glutamine 4 times per day to maintain the body in an anabolic, muscle sparing state of repair and recovery. L-Glutamine is a relatively inexpensive supplement but should be of high quality and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) tested to assure proper absorption and assimilation.