So you've come to the conclusion that you spend far too long trying to get your socks on in the morning, and that view from the top of your stairs might just as well be the decent from Mount Everest! And well, as for the number of toilet pans you’ve managed to demolish through succumbing to your aching quads in the morning…I think L-Glutamine is a supplement you should definitely consider using (if you’re not already)!
Now I’m not one to pass blame, but the aches and pains you experience after a good bout of exercise is almost always DOMS's fault! DOMs or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is the bane of many athletes, bodybuilders and/or fitness enthusiasts training life, in fact it is so uncomfortable that it can actually put people off performing heavy compound moves such as deadlifts, clean and jerks and squats! If there is a lack of the amino acid Glutamine either because of excessive exercise, inadequate rest and poor nutrition then you are exposing yourself to overreaching and overtraining syndrome (click the links for our overtraining articles). Glutamine is very important to our muscles with over 90% of the body’s Glutamine being stored within skeletal muscle. According to Llewellyn, (2009) the body’s Glutamine stores deplete after a heavy training session, meaning the replenishment of the Glutamine pools are important to minimising catabolism (muscle breakdown) and supporting recovery.
History of Glutamine : Origins
The industrial production of Glutamine owes its existence to Dr Kikunae Ikeda who in 1908 discovered monosodium glutamate (MSG) which is commonly found in fast food and processed snacks as a taste enhancer. As a result of this discovery, small scale production of amino acids came about via a method known as extraction. In the 50’s a process known as fermentation meant amino acids could be manufactured at a faster and more efficient rate, and ten years on in 1960 L-Glutamine was readily produced for mass consumption.
Amino acids are manufactured via extraction from animal or plant protein, chemical synthesis, fermentation and/or enzymic techniques. Most amino acids are now made through chemical synthesis and enzymic processes whilst the branched chain amino acid L-Leucine and other amino acids such as hydroxyl L-proline, L-tyrosine and L-cystine are all manufactured via fermentation and chemical synthesis. L-Glutamine is manufactured via fermentation so that it can enter our protein shakes, Glutamine powders and be used in hospitals as a protector against infection and malnutrition, and of course to aid recovery!
Production of quality Glutamine
The fermentation process is stage one in the production of top quality Glutamine, following on from this the amino acids will undergo crude isolation and then thorough purification processes. During fermentation the scientists can program a microorganism to specifically produce L-Glutamine, from here the fermentation broth containing the L-Glutamine is processed via crude isolation which then undergoes further processing to leave the familiar fine crystalline powder that we all recognise as…L-Glutamine!
The final Glutamine product is only released once it has undergone quality tests ensuring it meets legal requirements and each manufacturing step has been verified. The overall quality of an L-Glutamine product is dependent on all manufacturing steps being followed and batch tests meeting consumer standards set by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA, 2013).
Kusumoto, I, (2001). Industrial Production of L-Glutamine. The American Society for Nutritional Sciences. The Journal Of Nutrition. 131 (9) : 25525-25555.
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, (2013). Retrieved 28th Feb, 2013, from http://www.mhra.gov.uk/#page=DynamicListMedicines.