Are you looking to increase lean muscle mass, definition and tone within your muscles? By now you should be familiar with the role of amino acids within the body and in particular the essential ones. For those of you that don't know, amino acids are responsible for every metabolic process which occurs in everyday life. Essentially, amino acids help transport and store nutrients within the body so that they can be used when needed. They are stored in what is known as the amino acid pool and for instance when you begin to exercise, your body will instantly take the ones that are needed for the task ahead.
Building Lean Muscle
Many of you will start the new year wanting to build lean muscle tissue by staying in shape and not developing a bloated stomach. In order to build lean muscle tissue it is important you meet your protein and your essential branched chain requirements daily. Initially there has to be a stimulus for your muscles to grow and with that said your training must work your muscles to the point where they break down in order to repair and grow stronger. During this recovery period it is essential you give your muscles what they need for you to ultimately reach your end goal, build lean muscle tissue!
What Amino Acid
A key amino acid which is going to help build lean muscle mass is glutamine and although it isn't listed as an essential amino acid, it is very important for your muscles. Did you know that approximately 60%of your muscle tissue is made up of glutamine and it has been shown to act as a powerful muscle cell volumizer. When you exercise glutamine levels are greatly depleted in your body which as a result decreases strength, endurance and recovery. By definition like I said above it isn't classed as an essential amino acid because it can be produced within the body, however it's functions suggest that it is certainly essential for your muscles.
Muscle Protein Synthesis
Without question of a doubt, glutamine helps develop stronger and leaner muscles during muscle protein synthesis as it helps keep your muscles looking full. It also helps your body secrete human growth hormone which will increase the support of of new muscle growth. Another major key function is that it slows the rate at which your muscles break down (catabolism) and therefore starts the recovery process for your muscles. When you exercise you break your muscles down and after your session it is important to tell your body you no longer what this to happen, so having glutamine post workout is great for muscle building.
How Much Should You Have
In order to increase strength and recovery you should supplement approximately 10-15 grams of glutamine per day by having servings of 5 grams. So 2 - 3 servings of the stuff will see your body recovering more effectively and possibly not being affected so frequently by doms (delayed onset muscle soreness). Although there are no side effects as such by consuming more than this per day, it seems logically to me that you keep within these guidelines. Be sure to also look at your other supplements you may take as glutamine is put into many protein powders and BCAA formulas, both of which are staples in my diet to enhance lean muscle growth.
To conclude how you can effectively grow lean muscle tissue, here are the summarised benefits of using glutamine.
1) - Glutamine helps with muscle protein synthesis and prevents further muscles breakdown (catabolism)
2) - Glutamine helps increase growth hormone within the body which will help increase strength.
3) - Glutamine helps maintain cell volume within the muscles and hydration levels.
If you are constantly exercising, lifting weights and pushing your body to develop a lean muscular physique then, I suggest you include this amino acid into your diet to amplify the rate at which your body will increase lean muscle mass.
Supplementation "Bodybuilding For You", 2002
Glutamine FAQ's "The Ministry of Fitness", 2000
Glutamine Q&A "Pas-Fitness", New Castle, DE, 2002