BCAA stands for branched chain amino acids.
Although glutamine is an amino acid in the body, it is not a branched chain amino acid.
Both glutamine and BCAAs are important supplements needed for the body to function at its best and they work well together.
These supplements are not approved or regulated by the FDA.
Many athletes and body builders realize the beneficial effects of BCAA and glutamine and take them daily.
Besides helping increase athleticism, both of them can help with other health issues.
We will take a look at the benefits of both BCAA and glutamine for fitness and non-fitness related issues.
How do BCAAs help you?
Branched chain amino acids are very important for your health. Amino acids are building blocks for protein and are important factors in regards to building muscle.
For those who exercise, amino acids are burned off quickly. It is important to stock up with amino acids after exercise in order to make progress with your workouts.
The essential BCAAs are metabolized in the muscle, which can then be used as fuel or to build up new muscle protein. Essential amino acids refer to those amino acids that are not made by the body itself. You need to supplement with them, whether it is through food or nutritional supplements.
Body builders take BCAAs because they don’t want to lose muscle strength or size. Besides helping to build muscle, branched chain amino acids have additional benefits.
BCAAs can help to speed recovery after a workout. Intense training depletes energy stores and causes micro trauma to the muscles. By supplementing with BCAAs, your body will recover faster so that you can get back to working out hard again sooner.
Branched chain amino acids can also help increase endurance. BCAAs can reduce the amount of glycogen used from the muscles and liver during exercise so that you can exercise for longer periods of time. This supplementation can help you if you are on a low calorie or low carbohydrate diet because you will be able to maintain your training endurance and intensity.
Branched chain amino acids can also stimulate your body to lose more fat by using fat as fuel rather than the breakdown of muscle. BCAAs can also increase your immune system. Intense exercise can wear down your immune system so it is important to supplement with BCAAs during high intensity training.
What are the benefits of glutamine?
Because glutamine is an amino acid, it has similar benefits to BCAAs such as muscle building, fat loss, and increased immune function. Glutamine has other benefits as well.
Glutamine can improve the health of your digestive tract so it is a great supplement for those who have stomach issues or illnesses. Glutamine may also improve memory and mood as well as support mental alertness.
Glutamine has been shown to possibly help with certain cravings. Some studies have shown that it can help decrease your desire and craving for alcohol as well as for sugar. These benefits along with the possible fat loss effect make glutamine a beneficial part of a diet program.
Glutamine helps support the body in times of stress, such as when it is fighting off an illness. When your body is going through stress, your muscles release a greater amount of glutamine so if the glutamine is not replaced, your muscles will start to waste away.
What are the sources of BCAA and glutamine?
As essential amino acids, BCAAs need to be taken in through your diet. BCAAs can be found in the largest amounts in red meat and dairy products, although they are available in all foods that contain protein.
Egg protein and whey protein supplements are good sources of BCAAs. You can also find supplements of BCAAs specifically from nutritional supplement companies.
Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid, which means that your body actually produces it. For some people, no additional supplementation is needed because what your body makes is adequate. For athletes or those fighting off infection or illness, additional supplementation of glutamine is necessary.
Food sources of glutamine include fish, beef, dairy, eggs, poultry, legumes, soybeans, raw spinach, and parsley. Glutamine can be found in most protein shakes, powders, and drinks. You can also buy glutamine supplements at supplement retailers.