L-Glutamine is non-essential and conditionally essential in humans, meaning the body can usually synthesize sufficient amounts of it, but in some instances of stress (such as intense exercise), the body’s demand for glutamine increases and glutamine must be obtained from the diet. In fact, glutamine is so important to the body, it is the most abundant amino acid found in the blood.
A study examined the effects that L-glutamine supplementation has on quadriceps muscle strength and soreness ratings following resistance exercise. It was thought that glutamine ingestion would quicken the recovery rate of peak force production and decrease muscle soreness ratings over a 72-hr recovery period. Sixteen healthy participants volunteered in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover study. Muscle soreness was measured before, immediately following, 24, 48, and 72 hr post-resistance exercise. L-glutamine resulted in greater relative peak power during the exercise. In all the individuals, L-glutamine resulted in lower soreness ratings at 24, 48 and 72 hour post-exercise. The bottom line is that L-glutamine supplementation resulted in faster recovery of peak power and diminished muscle soreness following exercise.
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