If you’re looking for dietary supplements then you have many options. They include amino acids, which are the building blocks for protein. There is a total of 20 amino acids in the human body and one of them is glutamine. This is an important one for functions like the immune system and the digestive system. You might have read that this amino acid can also improve athletic performance and glutamine for muscle soreness is a thing. It’s important to know the facts about dietary supplements since they’re not regulated in the United States. Glutamine can definitely provide some benefits but others are a question mark.
One of the uses of the amino acid is to improve athletic performance. A hot topic is whether or not glutamine is effective in boosting muscle mass and strength, for example. Multiple studies have been done about this potential functionality of the amino acid. What’s the verdict? It’s not clear whether or not it can build lean muscle mass and increase strength but past studies don’t’ seem to show that it does. Another area that seems to show more promise is muscle recovery. That said, the results are mixed so it’s important to know how glutamine might help with muscle soreness and workout recovery.
What Are Amino Acids and Glutamine?
This is a critical question to ask before discussing the functions and benefits of the substance. Amino acids are known as the “building blocks” of protein. The human body has 20 of them and nine of them are “essential.” In other words, people have to get them from food.
Glutamine is one of the body’s essential amino acids. in general, you can get these substances from foods like meat, fish, seafood, soy, tofu, and dairy. In fact, it’s important to eat different protein sources to get enough of different amino acids.
Let’s get back to glutamine. This is one of the body’s most common “free” amino acids. In fact, it makes up around 60% of the body’s skeletal muscles.
It’s important to note that while glutamine is an essential amino acid it’s “conditional” In other words, usually the body doesn’t need to get this amino acid from one’s diet.
That said, in some situations the body doesn’t make enough of this amino acid. That includes situations like stress, illness, and weak muscles. This can sometimes cut glutamine levels by up to 50%. This can have a negative effect on the body’s cells.
You might be wondering why glutamine is so critical in people’s diet. It provides some important functions. For example, glutamine can boost your immune system and help protect the body from bacteria.
The amino acids can also help to improve a person’s gut health. This is important because it improves the overall digestive system. Food is the body’s fuel so it’s critical for this system to work on all cylinders.
You can get this amino acid from several foods. They include fish, beets, beans, cabbage, and dairy. Eating a wide variety will help to prevent getting bored with any particular one, which is always a good thing.
Glutamine for Muscle Soreness
If you want to boost your intake of the amino acid you can also pick supplements. The truth is food is always the best source of nutrients.
However, there are some caveats. Sometimes we don’t have access to home-cooked meals because we’re out and about during the day. In those cases, supplements are more practical.
Yet an interesting benefit of glutamine is the amount contained in several foods hasn’t been researched yet. This means it might be difficult to determine whether or not foods X, Y, and Z are high in glutamine.
Can glutamine help with athletic performance? Several studies have been done and it doesn’t seem like the amino acid provides a big benefit in terms of issues like boosting strength or muscle mass.
There seems to be some evidence glutamine might increase muscle mass. However, this usually is combined with weight-resistance training. So, there should be an asterisk about whether or not this amino acid can build muscle mass.
If you want to get all kinds of gains you should probably consider other amino acid supplements. Based on research they seem to be a better option.
On the other hand, some studies seem to show that glutamine can be effective in muscle recovery. That’s through relieving muscle soreness, which is one of the keys to a faster recovery.
The problem is the studies showing these results don’t make it clear that glutamine should be your go-to supplement for muscle recovery. Some studies seem to show it helps in this area while others seem to show otherwise.
What’s the bottom line? You could use glutamine as a way to speed up muscle soreness. However, there’s no guarantee you’ll get that result and you might be better off using a different type of supplement. Another option would be to use a combination of the amino acid with other options.
Tips for Treating Muscle Soreness
There’s some evidence that glutamine might help to treat muscle soreness effectiveness. Here are some other options to consider:
This can be used after a workout to treat your sore muscles. This helps to massage the muscles. Make sure to use 5+ rolls on each muscle group. Begin with the calf muscles then work upwards. When you get to sore spots make sure to spend more time on those areas.
This will help to reduce the sore muscle’s inflammation. It allows you to keep moving the muscle, which helps to boost healing. This basically has the same effect as stretching.
This one is probably obvious yet is worth noting. It’s a good idea to make massages a part of your post-workout schedule. A good option is right after your workout although anytime between workouts is also effective. If you can’t get in a massage use the foam roll.
Use heat treatments
This can include different options like Jacuzzis. This helps to relax the muscles, which is critical after a tough workout. This type of treatment also helps to relax your mind.
Drink chocolate milk
Studies show that this can be even more effective than drinking water for fast recovery. Yes, you’ll need to hydrate your body after a workout. However, the antioxidants in chocolate can speed up the recovery of sore muscles. Just watch the sugar content.
This is one of the best ways to end your workout. Exercising causes the muscle fibers to shorten. So, after the workout it’s a good idea to lengthen them. This can provide various benefits like more mobility.
There are many different stretches you can do after your workout to deal with sore muscles. Just surf the web to find 101 or more stretches that are as beneficial as glutamine for muscle soreness.