If you’ve been around awhile you’ve heard me talk about L-Glutamine being the No. 1 weapon to repair a leaky gut. That’s because this powerful amino acid is your body’s natural cell builder, yet more importantly cell re-builder. However, one of the less talked about benefits of L-Glutamine is its role in muscle recovery and development. 

If you have ever used a post-workout supplement after lifting weights, running, swimming, or yoga, there’s a very good chance it contains abundant amounts of L-Glutamine. When you exercise, your body is constantly breaking down proteins in your body. When you rest, it rebuilds these proteins. L-Glutamine is the building block that supports this process. 

L-Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in your body. It facilitates a healthy immune system response, regulates the release of glucose, and is needed to make other amino acids used to synthesize proteins. This is why L-Glutamine is so essential for muscle recovery. 

I’m going to tell you about the many roles glutamine plays in your post-workout muscle recovery, why you should supplement your diet with glutamine, and how you can support your immune system, gut health, and muscle recovery in one simple step. Before I do that, let’s have a refresher on what L-Glutamine is. 

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What is L-Glutamine?

Your body naturally  produces L-Glutamine. As I mentioned, it is the most abundant amino acid in your body.1 L-Glutamine promotes cell growth and gut health. It also facilitates muscle protein synthesis. In other words, glutamine is essential for muscle recovery and muscle building.  

L-Glutamine is synthesized in your muscles from glutamate and ammonia by the enzyme glutamine syntheses. It accounts for 90% of the L-Glutamine created in your body. Your brain and lungs also produce L-Glutamine in small amounts. It’s the one you’re probably most familiar with when you read “glutamine” because it’s the form found in food and glutamine supplements.2  

L-Glutamine is considered a “conditionally essential” amino acid, meaning it’s only necessary in times of stress, injury, or illness. Under one of these circumstances, your body relies heavily on L-Glutamine for recovery.3 This is why L-Glutamine is a great supplement for muscle recovery post-workout. In order to understand why it’s so essential for muscle recovery, you have to understand how it works in the body and how muscle development occurs. First, let’s talk about L-Glutamine’s role in your body and its benefits.    

How L-Glutamine Works in Your Body

L-Glutamine has many roles in your body. It’s a building block for proteins, helps make other amino acids, facilitates the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose, promotes a healthy immune system response, and supports gut health through the rebuilding of cells. When your body is under physical and mental stress, your body uses more glutamine. 

L-Glutamine is stored in your liver and blood cells. It’s also used to signal the release of glycogen when your body needs glucose for energy. Generally, your body stores enough glutamine to overcome slight deficiencies after exercise. 

However, if you’re engaging in intense exercise or are recovering from a major surgery, your body depletes its own L-Glutamine levels at a rapid rate. This is why most post-workout supplements contain high amounts of L-Glutamine in them. To get the full scope of L-Glutamine’s role in muscle recovery and development, you need to understand how muscles recover and develop after exercise. 

How Your Body Repairs & Builds Muscles

A common misconception is that muscles develop during exercise. The process starts during exercise, yet it happens during rest. 

Muscles develop and grow from tension, damage, and metabolic stress. For example, weightlifting and resistance training puts tension and stress on your muscles. Repetitions cause your muscles to break down and become damaged. These three processes depend on your body functioning optimally, more specifically your immune system. Let me explain. 

Your muscles recover and develop when your body breaks down the proteins in your muscles during exercise. After you work out, your body replaces the damaged cells with new ones when it fuses muscle fibers together to form new proteins. This happens when you rest, not when you exercise. In order for this process to take place, your immune system sends cells to your muscles to help it produce a protein to enhance the formation of new muscle fibers.4 If your immune system is not functioning properly, it cannot produce these cells. 

Your body also relies on glycogen for muscle recovery and growth. When your body is rebuilding and repairing your muscles after stress, it signals your body to release glycogen to help swell the muscle along the connective tissue growth. Remember, L-Glutamine regulates glucose and glycogen. If your body doesn’t have enough glucose for energy, L-Glutamine will signal the liver to convert glycogen back into glucose. 

Hormones Used in Muscle Recovery

Finally, your body relies on two hormones for muscle recovery and development – insulin and testosterone. 

Testosterone regulates muscle mass growth because it increases protein synthesis, slows down protein breakdown, and stimulates other hormones. Everyone has testosterone, however if your body is low in testosterone, muscle development and recovery may be slower. Chronic stress, diabetes, steroid use, thyroid disease, and PCOS can all cause a hormone imbalance

Insulin facilitates protein synthesis, sends amino acids such as L-Glutamine to muscles, and activates an immune system response. If you have diabetes or you have insulin resistance, your body cannot get the insulin it needs for muscle recovery. L-Glutamine promotes insulin production and facilitates the release of glucose into the bloodstream.5

When you take into consideration all the benefits of L-Glutamine, it’s easy to see how essential it is in supporting muscle recovery and development.  Let’s talk a little more about the benefits of L-Glutamine. 

Benefits of L-Glutamine

As I’ve outlined, your body uses L-Glutamine for many of its processes. Here’s a few more ways L-Glutamine benefits optimal health. 

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L-Glutamine Supports Your Immune System

One of the most important functions of L-Glutamine is how it supports your immune system. Immune cells use this amino acid as fuel, which is why your immune system becomes compromised if you have an L-Glutamine deficiency.6

More than 80% of your immune system lives in your gut. L-Glutamine not only facilitates the activation of cells, it also supports a healthy gut barrier. 

Think of your gut as a drawbridge. Your gut is naturally semi-permeable to let teeny-tiny boats (micronutrients) pass through your intestinal wall and into your bloodstream. It’s how you absorb nutrients from your food. Certain external factors, including diet, infections, toxins, and stress, can break apart the tight junctions in your intestinal wall, leaving the drawbridge open. Once this happens you have a leaky gut. 

This allows much bigger boats that were never meant to get through such as toxins, microbes and undigested food particles to to get into your bloodstream. This causes an inflammatory response. Chronic inflammation is the No. 1 cause of autoimmune disease. 

L-Glutamine Supports Liver And Kidney Function

Your liver and kidneys are your body’s filtration system. They remove waste and deliver nutrients throughout your body. As I mentioned, your body also stores glycogen in your liver. If your liver and kidney aren’t functioning properly, they may not be able to filter out toxins, deliver nutrients, or release glycogen for muscle recovery and development.  Your liver also regulates the release of glucose in your bloodstream. L-Glutamine facilitates this process. 

Additionally, your kidneys use ammonia to maintain a healthy acid-base balance. L-Glutamine is the most important donor of ammonia to the kidneys, helping to maintain this delicate balance.

Your liver metabolizes the ammonia and sends it to your kidneys where it is either processed in your urine or stored. When too much acid builds up, the acid-base balance is thrown off and kidney disease may result. 

L-Glutamine Curbs Sugar Cravings

L-Glutamine has the same properties as protein in that it helps curb sugar cravings. That makes sense when you consider that L-Glutamine is needed for protein synthesis. Also, remember that L-Glutamine works in the liver to support the regulation of glucose in your bloodstream. 

Now that you know about all of L-Glutamine’s benefits for muscle recovery and development, along with how it supports nearly every process in your body, let’s talk about where you can find this abundant amino acid in food. 

Food Sources of L-Glutamine 

Remember, your body naturally makes L-Glutamine. If you are under constant stress, do intense workouts, or have diabetes or autoimmune disease, your body can become deficient in this amino acid. You can find it in a number of foods. Here are some food sources that contain high levels of L-Glutamine. 

Dietary sources of L-Glutamine – muscle recovery – infographic – Amy Myers MD®Dietary sources of L-Glutamine - muscle recovery - infographic - Amy Myers MD® https://content.amymyersmd.com/article/glutamine-muscle-recovery/Dietary sources of L-Glutamine – muscle recovery – infographic – Amy Myers MD®
  • Meat – Free-range chicken, organic turkey, and grass-fed beef
  • Seafood – Fish, shrimp, crab, mussels
  • Nuts – Almonds, peanuts, or hazelnuts are rich in glutamine, but be sure to be aware of any nut allergies or sensitivities. I recommend an elimination diet to find out if you have any food sensitivities. 
  • Eggs 
  • Leafy Green Vegetables – Kale, collard greens, spinach, romaine lettuce

Why You Should Supplement L-Glutamine 

I recommend everyone supplement L-Glutamine if you are under regular stress, have a leaky gut, or have autoimmune disease. Knowing all the ways it supports muscle recovery and development, I also recommend supplementing L-Glutamine for your post-workout recovery. 

Remember, L-Glutamine supports your immune system, which sends cells to muscles to build proteins. It also helps regulate glucose and the release of glycogen, which is also needed for muscle recovery and development. Not to mention that it also is the building block of the proteins needed for muscle repair and growth. It’s truly your post-workout superstar!  

Leaky Gut Revive® and Leaky Gut Revive® Strawberry Lemonade are my No 1 weapon to repair a leaky gut. Both contain 3,000 mg of L-Glutamine in each delicious serving. What if I told you that you could get all the benefits of Leaky Gut Revive® and support your immune system in one delicious powder? Then I have a secret to share with you. 

I’m about to tell you about the newest weapon in my arsenal that not only contains 3,000mg of L-Glutamine, it also contains immunoglobulins to support a healthy inflammatory response and immune system activation. 

Introducing Leaky Gut Revive® Max

Your immune system is so important to a healthy gut barrier. That’s why I have spent the last year going over mountains of research to formulate the most advanced formula of Leaky Gut Revive® to date. 

I took pharmaceutical-grade L-Glutamine, restorative botanicals, and added ImmunoLin®, a powerful serum that contains the highest naturally occurring concentration of immunoglobulins in the world to create Leaky Gut Revive® Max

This third-party tested, physician-formulated powder contains optimal levels of L-Glutamine along with Aloe leaf to boost beneficial bacteria and mitigate unhealthy bacteria in your gut, Licorice Root Powder to soothe your stomach lining and support your adrenal glands, and Larch Arabinogalactain to promote healthy gut microflora and fatty acid production. 

L-Glutamine is a star ingredient in this powerful, gut-repairing formula. Pharmaceutical-grade glutamine works in tandem with ingredients like aloe, licorice, arabinogalactan, slippery elm, and marshmallow root to facilitate muscle cell regeneration and soothe your gut lining. 

It also supports your immune system to facilitate the release of needed immune system cells for muscle recovery and development and helps facilitate the release of glycogen to swell muscle fibers. 

ImmunoLin® works to bind endotoxins to help maintain immune balance and support gut barrier function. Restore healthy gut lining faster with the powerful blend of nutrients and immunoglobulins in Leaky Gut Revive® Max.

Leaky Gut Revive® Max is the most powerful weapon against leaky gut and to support optimal immune system function. With 3,000mg of L-Glutamine and Immunolin®, it also makes a great post-workout supplement to facilitate optimal muscle recovery and development after any exercise. 

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Article Sources

  1. Glutamine. J C Hall, K Heel, and R McCauley. Glutamine. Br J Surg. 1996.
  2. Glutamine: Benefits, Uses and Side Effects. Grant Tinsley. Healthline. 2018.
  3. Is glutamine a conditionally essential amino acid?. J M Lacey and D W Wilmore. Nutrition Reveiw. 1990.
  4. How the immune system helps build muscle. Jessica Moore. Sanford Burnham Prebys. 2016.
  5. A randomized cross-over study of the metabolic and hormonal responses following two preoperative conditioning drinks. Sherif Awad. Nutrition. 2011.
  6. Nutrition, Anabolism, and the Wound Healing Process: An Overview. Robert H. Demling. Eplasty. 2009.