Protein has always been the “go-to” for athletes in order to improve performance. There are 20 amino acids that make up dietary protein. How much protein an athlete needs is dependent upon many factors, including body weight and activity level.
However, increasing overall protein may not be as necessary or as efficient as increasing individual amino acids, such as glutamine. “Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the human muscle and plasma, fulfilling numerous cell regulatory roles and acts as a fuel source for intestinal cells and leukocytes” (Roth 2008; Wernerman 2008; Castell 2003; Walsh et al. 1998).
Many studies have shown that glutamine supplementation may be helpful after high intensity training. One studied took a look at the effects of glutamine post workout for endurance athletes, especially marathoners/ultramarathoners, to reduce the amount of infection after endurance events. Why? After prolonged vigorous exercise or endurance races, your body’s immune system is suppressed (glutamine levels are at a low), which puts you at a higher risk for infection. This is where glutamine comes in. Glutamine is needed for lymphocyte proliferation. Lymphocytes are a category of white blood cells that are part of your immune system. They are your body’s defense line, and protect your body by fighting off foreign invaders.
Not only does glutamine help your immune function, but it is also needed to remove excess ammonia (waste product) from the body. During exercise, if your body runs out of glucose for muscle fuel, it turns to protein for an alternative energy source. In this process, the body will breakdown protein into nitrogen compounds, including ammonia. Your liver converts ammonia to urea so that the kidneys can remove the urea through urine. Sometimes the body cannot convert ammonia quick enough so it excretes ammonia through sweat in order to avoid an ammonia build up (because ammonia is toxic). Athletes may be familiar with a metallic taste or smell after an intense workout, which means there is a high concentration of ammonia in your sweat. You can decrease the ammonia concentration through adequate hydration during the day and by replenishing glycogen (carbohydrate) stores as well as supplementing with glutamine after workouts.
The bottom line is - POST is the perfect solution. It combines plenty of carbohydrates (64g), protein (19g), as well as 2g of L-glutamine.
Tip: Glutamine powder should not be added to hot beverages because heat destroys glutamine.