Nutrition Video Series: Glutamine + Gut Health & Athletic Performance

Glutamine (L-glutamine) is an amino acid that can be produced by the body, found naturally in several food sources, & taken as a supplement. Glutamine is a major source of energy for enterocytes (the cells in your intestinal lining) and can play an important role in gut health & immunity. Because glutamine is so abundant, it can play various roles in helping protect our bodies against illness, muscle soreness, & stress.

What is the role of glutamine on gut health?

Research indicates glutamine can play an important role in gut health by protecting the lining of our intestines and improving our gastrointestinal integrity, which means it can help facilitate immune defense, promote a healthy mucosal lining in our intestines, and neutralize free radicals to aid in discomfort or pain within the GI tract. Glutamine helps promote healthy tissue within your gut and helps your intestines absorb and utilize nutrients how they should.

In a recent study, male patients with Crohn’s disease showed significant improvement in intestinal permeability when supplementing with oral glutamine for two months.

Research also indicates patients with IBS can use supplementation to repair intestinal lining, but may not cure their condition all together.

What is the role of glutamine on performance?

Glutamine can play a huge role in recovery as well as immune support. Prolonged periods of intense training such as ultra endurance competitions, triathlon, & marathon running can cause your blood glutamine levels to drop significantly. Supplementing with glutamine could potentially provide benefits such as:
-Helping offset the blood glutamine drops during prolonged, strenuous exercise.
-Combatting fatigue, illness, or poor performance (potentially caused by overtraining) by initiating an immune response.
-Help to replenish muscle stores, aiding in quicker recovery.
-Allow athletes to bounce back from sport related injury at a much faster rate.

Food sources of glutamine include: bone broth, poultry, fish, eggs, cabbage, dairy, spinach, tofu, beans & lentils. 

Athletes looking to supplement with glutamine should use a third-party tested NSF certified for sport product, such as this one from Thorne Research.

Watch my video on glutamine below!