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Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in the human body and is arguably the most important in the process of building muscle and gaining strength. It can be found naturally in food sources such as beans, poultry, fish and dairy products, but in order to consume a highly beneficial amount you should probably consider buying it in powdered form as a nutritional supplement. Most serious weightlifters and bodybuilders would consider glutamine as one of the most important supplements out there, and for good reason.
What exactly does glutamine do, and how is this beneficial to the muscle growth process?
Glutamine is best known for being an “anti-catabolic” agent. What this means is that rather than directly promoting the growth of new muscle tissue, glutamine works by preserving the muscle tissue that you have already built. You see, muscle breakdown is occurring all the time. This naturally happens when you train intensely, when you don’t provide your body with enough protein or during the time that you are sleeping. This process is completely naturally and is to be expected. However, if you are training and eating properly, then your body is also synthesizing new muscle tissue throughout the day. Your overall muscle gains can be calculated by taking the rate of muscle growth and subtracting the rate of muscle breakdown. Glutamine helps by minimizing the rate of muscle breakdown, resulting in greater overall net gains in muscle mass.
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