Athlete for Awareness Susan Maloney explains an important part of choosing glutamine supplements.
Hello gluten-free friends,
Today I’m talking about one specific supplement that many bodybuilders and fitness athletes may consider taking as a daily part of their supplement and recovery aides. Glutamine is often misunderstood in the literature and is also a very common ingredient found in most protein powders out there on the market. It is the most abundant amino acid in the body and has myriad benefits for those of us with celiac disease, and for anyone engaging in activities where the body’s naturally supplied source of glutamine is used up through exertional exercise, stress and hard training. Glutamine is considered an essential amino acid and has been found to help reduce inflammation, improve immunity and promote cellular repair of tissues. It also assists in production of other protective factors in the gut. Research indicates that glutamine supplementation can help preserve the mucosal structure of the gut (van Der Hulst et al., 1993. Glutamine and the preservation of gut integrity. The Lancet, 341, 1363-1365).
As with any supplement, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider or dietitian before adding it to your diet. This is even more important when using glutamine because there are different varieties of the supplement, so you’ll want to make sure the kind you choose is gluten-free. Glutamine comes in two forms: Pure or “free form” L-Glutamine and glutamine peptides (also sometimes called glutamine precursors). Glutamine peptides are often derived from wheat, so gluten-free athletes should avoid taking this form of the supplement. Remember, manufacturers are not required to list gluten on the label, so there may not be a warning about such risks. Opt for L-glutamine instead.
It’s best to take caution when choosing any supplement to enhance your workouts and performance; choosing those that are not pure and free of potentials toxins can derail your training efforts instead of enhance them. Ask your healthcare provider or dietitian to help you choose supplements that are safe and beneficial for your body.
Once you choose a gluten-free protein supplement, mix a full scoop with juice, skim milk, almond milk or rice milk and turn it into a meal replacement rich in amino acids and free from harmful chemicals.
Stay tuned for more gluten-free information, gluten-free training tips and follow my show prep gluten-free diet. Send me your questions and we’ll address those as well!
Susan C. Maloney, PhD, FNP-BC
NFCA Athlete for Awareness
IFPA Pro Lightweight Bodybuilder