If you are in the habit of routinely going to the gym, I’m sure you have heard about the supplements Creatine and Glutamine. This may bring up questions as “What are these supplements?” “How do I use them?” “Are they safe to take?” It’s your body, so you need to know what you’re putting into it. I will uncover some of the mystery of these supplements for you.
When I was first looking into the vast world of supplements, I had no idea what creatine or glutamine were or how to use them correctly. I wanted to make better muscle and strength gains in the gym and heard that these two supplements were possible ways to get such gains. I found that supplementing with both creatine and glutamine is most beneficial, but if you had to only choose to use one of these supplements, which would it be? Let’s take a closer look at these two supplements.
Creatine What Is It?
Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that’s naturally created in all animals with a backbone. Creatine is synthesized mainly in the liver, kidney’s and pancreas, from 3 amino acids, arginine, glycine,methionine. About 90% of all creatine is stored in our muscles and the rest in the heart, brain and testes. 1/3 of the creatine in our body is just plain old creatine and the rest is actually creatine bound to a phosphate molecule.
So what does creatine do? Creatine helps supply energy to our muscle cells. It does this by interacting with ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is what your muscles go after for needed energy when they contract, it’s also needed for protein production. It releasse a phosphate molecule for energy, then it becomes ADP (adenosine diphosphate). That energy only lasts seconds, then your muscles need more ATP. This is where creatine comes in. When you workout, phosphocreatine is broken down into creatine and phosphate, that phosphate is supplied to those little ADPs and makes it ATP again! By taking creatine, you will increase the amount of ATP available in the form of energy for your muscles, which helps you workout longer and makes you stronger to boot.
Glutamine What Is It?
Glutamine or (L-Glutamine) is just one out of the twenty amino acids used to form our bodies genetic code. Amino acids are what protein is built out of and plays a part in cell support and muscle metabolism which is not shared by any other amino acids. So glutamine is actually kinda special.
Glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid in our muscles and brain. About half of our total amino acids pools are glutamine. It’s called a non-essential amino acid, but under stressful conditions your needs more glutamine than your body can produce. So very important if you exercise hard.
Glutamine is about 19% nitrogen which is the primary donor of nitrogen to your muscles. Ammonia is absorbed into organic compounds by turning glumatic acid into glutamine, so now glutamine can be used as a source of nitrogen. It is also the main energy source for your bodies immune system. Glutamine is formed in your muscles, then it is sent to your kidney’s, liver, small intestines and cells for your immune system.
If you want to make good gains in your muscle size and strength then you must give them some creatine and glutamine from outside sources as eating and or supplements.
Creatine Food Sources:
Glutamine Food Sources:
- Dairy Products
Creatine was a very popular upplement after the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. A few medal winners were reported to have been supplemented with creatine for they training for their events. In 1994 the FDA approved the usage of creatine in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. Creatine comes in two forms, creatine monohydrate (creatine bonded with a water molecule) and creatine ethyl ester. Creatine can be ingested in a few ways, mix it up as a powder in your drinks, pill form or a serum. Heavy weight lifters as well as bodybuilders may put themselves in to a glutamine deficiency due to the huge amount of stress they put on their muscles. This can cause a weakened immune system and a wasting away of muscles, hence the need to supplement with glutamine. There’s just not as big of hype for glutamine as there is for creatine. You can get glutamine in powder or pill form. It’s also mixed into a lot of other supplements, so check your labels.
The Benefits Of Taking Creatine
New users of taking creatine will see fast quick weight gains usually in the first few weeks, from muscle gain and water weight. The water retention will volumize your muscle cells making your muscles feel more pumped plus they’ll look bigger. An average bodybuilder taking creatine can put on about a solid 15lbs in a month. Creatine will also produce muscle hypertrophy ( bigger muscles) by increasing the number of myonuclei available for satellite cells to give to damaged muscles. Studies have even shown that creatine can inhibit fat loss and will increase your max lift in many exercises.
Many studies have shown short term use and even long term use of creatine supplements to be safe, so use it, it can be very beneficial. Take creatine before and after your workouts for best results.
The Benefits Of Taking Glutamine
Glutamine is an amino acid and if you exercise hard you use up your body’s natural stores of glutamine. If you do not replace it you going to tire your body as it has to create it on its own, so you need to help out. If you start to supplement with glutamine then your body will not have to break down other amino acids to make more glutamine. You don’t want your body breaking down your muscle protein after all that hard work you just did in the gym right? That’s exactly what will happen if your body runs low on glutamine. So supplement some glutamine before and after your workouts refill your body stores, so your precious muscle will not suffer. Remember this, muscle loss is a very good sign you have a glutamine deficiency. Also by supplementing with glutamine you will also enhance your glycogen replenishment. Glycogen is used as an energy reserve for your body, which means more energy for you for your workouts.