Glutamine is one of the most common drugs in the bodybuilding industry. That’s because glutamine is recognized for its ability to build muscles; hence why you will find it in several bodybuilding supplements.
Besides its potential bodybuilding properties, glutamine also plays a vital role in many of the body’s natural processes. But what we’ve found many people want to know is what effect there could be on the body when glutamine is taken before bed.
That’s what we will explore right here, and it may surprise you.
But First: What is Glutamine?
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body, and it is used for the production of proteins, glucose, and other amino acids.
It has a wide range of functions, from being the building block of proteins to supporting the immune system and intestinal system. It also aids in detoxifying foreign elements in the liver.
Glutamine is naturally produced in the body. However, in times of extreme stress, the body’s demand for glutamine increases, and extra glutamine must be obtained from supplements or diets rich in glutamine.
Glutamine exists in 2 different forms; L glutamine and D glutamine. The most important one, and the one found in food and supplements is L glutamine.
Glutamine Before Bed: What To Expect
Glutamine is usually used as an ingredient in bodybuilding supplements; thus, there is no extensive and conclusive research on the effects of taking glutamine before bed.
However, it is still possible to infer some probable effects it might have when taken before sleeping from its general effects on the body.
Glutamine is one of the amino acids that cause an increase in gamma amino-butyric acid (GABA) – one of the most important natural sedatives in the body and the brain.
GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, and its primary function is to reduce neuronal excitement.
GABA thus aids in promoting peace of mind, calmness, and relaxation – all properties that can help promote a good night’s sleep. This suggests that taking glutamine before bed might actually improve sleep quality.
Glutamine also aids in smooth muscle relaxation – another effect that can cause improved sleep quality.
There have also been claims that L glutamine also helps with anxiety, depression, and stress relief; hence, it is also called the calming amino acid.
The effect that L glutamine might have when taken before bed is mainly based on its ability to increase the production of GABA. This neurotransmitter can help induce relaxation and calmness and relieve stress.
There is, however, no conclusive evidence and research to back these claims up.
Another primary effect that taking glutamine before bed might cause is an increase in metabolism, which may cause weight loss and an increase in lean body mass.
Glutamine does this by increasing protein production in the body, thus, providing the muscles with the nutrients they need to produce new muscle.
This process works faster and better when the body is at rest; thus some bodybuilders suggest that taking glutamine before bed might help increase muscle mass more than when taken at other times of the day.
The General Effects of Glutamine on the Body
1. It Supports the Immune System
One of the primary functions of glutamine in the body is the vital role it plays in boosting the immune system.
Glutamine is a significant source of energy for white blood cells and intestinal cells that support the immune system.
This is why glutamine supplements and glutamine-rich diets are usually prescribed to patients with injuries and infections.
2. Muscle Gain and Exercise
Glutamine is an important amino acid involved in the building and production of protein. That is why it is used as a primary ingredient in bodybuilding supplements – because of its ability to potentially improve muscle gain and exercise performance.
Studies also show that glutamine supplements help to reduce muscle soreness after a workout. It can also improve recovery as well and reduce fatigue after exercise.
However, there is no conclusive evidence to support glutamine’s beneficial effects on muscle gain and growth.
3. Gastrointestinal Disturbances
Like every other supplement, glutamine also has some common side effects. Most of which are gastrointestinal. Common side effects of taking glutamine include nausea, vomiting, constipation, bloating and stomach pain.
Other serious effects include; chest pains, hearing problems, and back and joint pain.
4. Treatment of Sickle Cell Disease
Endari – an oral glutamine powder-has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat sickle cell complications.
A study was carried out on patients who had painful sickle cell crises and were within 5-58 years.
Glutamine oral powder was administered for 48 weeks, and the treatment was evaluated. It was discovered that subjects placed on Endari had fewer hospital visits for pain than those who received placebos.
5. Role in Cancer and Metabolism
It has been discovered that the metabolism of glutamine serves as a carbon and nitrogen source for the growth of cancer cells.
Studies also show that prevention of the metabolism of glutamine can help prevent the growth of tumors in the breast, liver, and kidney.
6. Regulation of the Intestinal System
The intestinal system is a major part of the immune system, and since glutamine supports the immune system, it is only natural that it also helps the intestinal system.
Just like it does for immune cells, glutamine also serves as an energy source for intestinal cells.
Being an amino acid, glutamine helps regulate the intestinal system by maintaining the intestinal lining and aiding in the body’s absorption of nutrients.
Another way glutamine aids the intestinal system is by helping to maintain the barrier between the intestine and the body, thus preventing a leaky gut.
It confines harmful bacteria present in the intestinal system and prevents them from entering other parts of the body where they can cause diseases.
Some studies also suggest that glutamine might effectively treat gut conditions like Celiac Disease, IBS, Crohn’s disease, and gut inflammation.
Glutamine Before Bed: Our Final Thoughts
While it can’t be denied that glutamine plays a vital role in the body, especially when it comes to protein synthesis, there is not enough backing to support many of the acclaimed health benefits of glutamine.
It has only been proven that glutamine helps in supporting the immune and intestinal systems. All other claims, including its effect on sleep, are mostly based on speculation.
As always. if you’re thinking of adding a new supplement to your diet then you should always consult your doctor first to ensure it is safe and won’t interfere with any medication or supplements you currently take.