Glutamine is the most abundant conditionally essential amino acid, in the entire human body. More commonly used as a sports supplement for post-workout recovery and soreness, glutamine has gained immense popularity for its added health benefits. In addition to exercise recovery, studies suggest that adding glutamine rich foods to your diet can support your gut and digestive health, improve inflammatory bowel disease such as leaky gut, chrons, and IBS, and strengthen your immune system. Below you’ll find a list of the best glutamine-rich foods to include in your diet, to help promote better performance, better recovery, and optimize the way you live.
What Is Glutamine And What Does It Do?
Glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid. Conditional, meaning that under certain conditions, it goes from nonessential to essential. During times of increased physical stress or trauma, glutamine stores are depleted and must be obtained from your diet or supplementation.
Glutamine is vital in the process of nitrogen transport between tissues, in acid-base regulation, gluconeogenesis, and as a precursor of nucleotide bases and the antioxidant glutathione. L-Glutamine helps direct the body where and when to place nitrogen atoms in order to rebuild and repair muscle tissue. In order to build muscle mass and strength, you need to maintain a positive nitrogen balance and help your body recover. Therefore, glutamine is vital for exercise recovery as well as rebuilding your gut lining to protect from bacteria and invading pathogens.
Glutamine is found in relatively higher concentrations in animal proteins and vegetables.
Beef is the greatest glutamine-rich food containing 26g of protein and 1.5g of glutamine every 4oz. Protein provides abundant sources of amino acids, that will help you build more muscle and recover faster.
Milk is another glutamine-rich food and contains 0.5g of glutamine for every 4oz. Using milk as a base when using it for post-workout protein shakes with whey, or whey isolate will greatly increase glutamine concentration. In addition to being a glutamine-rich food, milk offers high amounts of calcium, protein, potassium, and vitamin d, to help promote bone and tissue repair.
Eggs are incredibly nutritious and contain an abundant number of B-Vitamins, Omega-3s, and essential amino acids including glutamine. One single egg contains 6g of protein and 0.7g of glutamine. They also contain 1.086g of Leucine, the branched-chain amino acid responsible for signaling muscle protein synthesis, the muscle-building process.
Whey Protein Isolate
An easy and convenient way to get the protein and glutamine you need, is by drinking a protein shake made with whey protein isolate. Whey protein is a by-product of the cheese manufacturing process and therefore is derived from milk. Supplementing with whey protein isolate and using milk as your base, will create a very glutamine-rich food. Unflavored and virtually tasteless, you can get an even higher amount of glutamine, by adding in a 5g of Swolverine glutamine to help with post-workout recovery and soreness.
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Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein, amino acids, and rich in glutamine. Most of the protein found in Greek yogurt is casein, the primary protein found in milk and dairy products. In addition to a complete amino acid profile, Greek yogurt contains a large amount of leucine, to help build and rebuild muscle mass, for greater strength gains. 100g of Greek yogurt, contains 1g of leucine and 10g of protein. Since Greek yogurt is low in calories and high in protein, it’s an amazing food for weight loss, building lean muscle mass and optimizing body composition.
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Seawater fish such as salmon, tuna, crab, and scallops contain more glutamine content than freshwater fish [R]. In addition to being a glutamine-rich food, seafood, and freshwater fish provides ample amounts of protein and healthy omega-3 fats.
Glutamine Rich Foods: Takeaway
As part of a healthy functional diet, these foods should make up a significant portion of your nutrition plan. All Glutamine rich foods are also abundant in protein, low in calories, and perfect to help build more muscle, recover from your training, and improve overall health. The highest concentration of glutamine is found in beef at 1.5g per 4oz. Studies suggest that to gain the recovery and performance benefits of glutamine, you need 5-10g post-workout. When you need more glutamine, add in a scoop to your post-workout shake, so you can optimize your performance and recovery. Eating 5 steaks to get 7.5g of glutamine, can be challenging, that's where supplementation comes into play.
Looking to get more Glutamine in your diet?
Swolverine's L-Glutamine contains 100 unflavored 5g servings to help with your athletic performance, digestive health, and immune system function. Click the image below and get yours today!
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