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Glutamine and Glycogen Synthesis

Glycogen is the storage form of glucose in animals and humans.Glycogen is synthesized and stored mainly in the liver and the muscles.Stored glycogen is the primary fuel for all body functions including heavy exercise. For bodybuilders, muscles filled with glycogen mean a greater work capacity, faster recovery and muscle growth.

But bodybuilders restrict their carbohydrate intake in order to stay lean.This leads to depleted glycogen levels in the liver and muscles, less energy for intense workouts and slower recovery.

One study demonstrated that taking Glutamine during or after a workout, stimulates and increases glycogen synthesis as effective as taking a high dose of carbs.The study showed that taking an 8-gram glutamine solution after an intense workout was as equally effective as taking 60 grams of carbohydrates for restoring muscle glycogen.The combination of glutamine and carbohydrates (glycose) was even more effective than glutamine or carbohydrates separately.

This information is of great value to bodybuilders and all athletes that restrict their carbohydrate intake but require high glycogen levels for better sport performance.These results also have important implications for those that follow a low-carb diet.This means bodybuilders and other athletes can replenish muscle glycogen levels with minimal amounts of carbohydrates. Pre-contest bodybuilders can use glutamine in their carb loading phase to enhance muscle glycogen accumulation.

Bodybuilders and other strength athletes should aim for rapid replenishment of muscle glycogen stores straight after exercise. By adding glutamine to your post-workout meals you will enhance the replenishment of vital muscle glycogen and whole body energy stores.

This research demonstrates more important benefits of glutamine supplementation for athletes. Glutamine helps improve athletic performance, increase muscular strength and improve recovery.

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