Living the Dream with Glutamine

Supplementing with glutamine ensures the body’s stores of this important amino acid are optimized and the skeletal muscle size is maintained.

Living the Dream with GlutamineLet us imagine three training scenarios.

1. An athlete’s dream: A plateau-less mountain of massive continuous gains.
2. An athlete’s worst fear: An injury that sets him or her back weeks or even months.
3. An athlete’s reality: The injury is avoidable and the Mount Everest of training is achievable with smart planned training and nutrition.

Next, let us ponder the ways in which an athlete can make this dream a reality.

Firstly, training plateaus can occur for many reasons. The most common causes include:

  • Program staleness leading to a lack of motivation and interest
  • Poor nutrition leading to a lack of energy and consequently lower motivation and interest
  • Physiological and psychological fatigue, linked directly to exhaustion

Although all these plateau causers can hinder your ability to train, the most serious and unfortunately the most common is physiological and psychological fatigue, referred to sometimes as overtraining. Whether it is for speed, size or strength, many athletes continuously find themselves pushing their limits – striving for progress. Consequently, overtraining has become common among many inexperienced athletes.

According to the Journal of Sports Medicine, overtraining is an accumulation of training and/or non-training stress resulting in a long-term decrement in performance capacity in which restoration of performance capacity may take several weeks or months. This occurs when decreased performance goes unrecognized and overreaching (see below) is used as a stimulus, increasing training to improve diminished performance. In other words, proper recovery is not permitted, and the brain and muscles are not allotted the proper time to rest and grow.

In comparison, the second theory of training tends to push the envelope as well, but with muscle recovery in mind. The Journal of Sports Medicine defines overreaching as an accumulation of training and/or non-training stress resulting in a short-term decrement of performance capacity in which restoration of performance capacity may take several days to several weeks. In overreaching, an athlete may train to fatigue with sufficient time allotted for proper recovery. This act stimulates a super-compensation effect, where in returning to training, the athlete’s performance may increase to a higher level.

The trick: learning the boundary between overreaching and overtraining, and designing your program accordingly.

Tips to Avoid Overtraining

  1. Take time off. It is recommended that all athletes, even elite athletes, take at least one week off every 8 to 10 weeks.
  2. Listen to your body – it is more than just a voice in your head. If you are sore, sick or tired – STAY HOME.
  3. Avoid muscular adaptation by switching up your program regularly.
  4. Eat to train. Every goal has a meal plan.

Sports supplementation in times of intense training becomes central to ensure the body is recovering and repairing itself properly, but with so many supplements on the market it is easy to over look certain essentials.

Glutamine, known for its role in muscle recovery, is produced naturally by the body. As the most abundant amino acid in skeletal muscle protein, its uptake exceeds that of other amino acids during exercise. In addition to aiding with protein synthesis, glutamine also plays a role in aiding with cerebral function, and helps to increase the amount of GABA in the brain which is central to sustaining proper brain function and mental activity.

As noted in the AMAA Journal, although the body is able to produce glutamine on its own, in times of vigorous training and non-training stress, the body’s supply of glutamine in skeletal muscles can fall short of need. Studies have found that those who overtrained suffer from a 23% lower glutamine concentration – making recovery more difficult.

Supplementing with glutamine will aid in building a proper nutritional platform, allowing you to reach beyond your boundaries. ALLMAX Nutrition offers one of the highest grades of Micronized Glutamine on the sports nutrition market. Made from 100% pure Japanese-Grade Powder, it plays a central role in aiding with recovery and improving immune function.

ALLMAX Glutamine uses Glutasure Technology, a pressure ceramic membrane process that performs 3 functions:

  1. Decreases Glutamine particle size
  2. Increases Glutamine suspension time in liquid
  3. Speeds Glutamine absorption into the bloodstream

As an amateur fitness and figure competitor, I personally rely heavily on ALLMAX Nutrition’s Glutamine to ensure my body is able to continuously repair itself under large amounts of dieting and training stress.

 

Sources:

  • Balch, Phyllis A. Prescription for Nutritional Healing; The A to Z Guide to Supplements. Penguin Group, New York: 2006.
  • Halson SL, Jeukendrup AE. ‘Does Overtraining Exist? An Analysis of Overreaching and Overtraining Research.’ Journal of Sports Medicine, 2004 34(14), 967-987.
  • Nessel, Edward H. RPH, MS, MPH PharmD. ‘Helping the Body Heal.’ AMAA Journal Fall 2006 9-10.
Valeria Fazio

Valeria Fazio holds a B.A. Honors degree in history from Carleton University and a diploma in professional writing from Algonquin College. She has been competing in amateur fitness and figure competitions for three years, and has recently qualified for the 2011 Ontario Provincial Figure Championships. As a certified personal trainer and nutritional coach, Valeria helps others in her free time to achieve their fitness goals.

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