Choosing a workout supplement is not child’s play. It requires thorough research, especially when you have a set goal or issue in mind.
When it comes to reducing fatigue or getting more muscle protein, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts resort to BCAA or Glutamine. While both options come in handy, it is necessary to pick the best one. This requires understanding the difference, which is exactly what this article is about.
Read ahead and find out the difference between Glutamine and BCAA.
Proteins, such as glutamine, are built from amino acids. Besides building muscles, proteins help the body’s immune system, transport essential substances through the blood, and transport crucial substances to the cells. To maintain your health, Glutamine is necessary.
In many cases, amino acids are available in two forms. The amino acid glutamine belongs to this group. L-glutamine and D-glutamine are two types of Glutamine. Both forms of glutamine have different molecular arrangements that allow them to function differently.
Several supplements and foods contain L-glutamine, also known as glutamate. To build proteins, L-glutamine is essential. Amino acids are among our body’s most abundant components.
It is possible to need more L-glutamine than we usually do when we suffer from injuries or illnesses. L-glutamine may be required in more significant amounts than the body can produce, so we may have to obtain it through supplements or a diet that includes L-glutamine. Because of its biochemical functions, Glutamine has become a popular sports supplement.
We cannot synthesize three essential amino acids on our own, so we must eat them. All three of these essential amino acids belong to the branched-chain amino acid family. Those amino acid chains that make up these molecules are linked together by many different elements. These chains have a complex chemical function. The three essential amino acids are necessary for muscle building. They are referred to by their names as a result of this.
Leucine, the most important of the three amino acids, helps maintain energy levels by stabilizing glucose levels in the blood. By assisting in biochemical processes of muscle production, leucine helps build muscle. Because leucine enhances our muscle healing ability, it can also help with recovery. Soreness is reduced as a result. The amount of muscle tissue can be increased by 25% with leucine.
Isoleucine must be acquired from outside the body since the body cannot produce it. Undoubtedly, we obtain isoleucine through nutritional sources, but protein supplements can also supply this vital amino acid. Leucine and isoleucine both perform their metabolic activities through fats, but isoleucine doesn’t.
During times of stress or when the muscles are being worked, valine brings more glucose into the muscles to help them build muscle. As a standalone nutrient, valine has no muscle-building effect. It helps increase muscle mass when combined with leucine and isoleucine. It also enables you to sleep and aids brain function. The insomniacs will appreciate this.
A dynamic trio of these three amino acids is responsible for the growth and development of muscles. All three amino acids contribute to building muscle, improving recovery from workouts, and reducing soreness after workouts.
Glutamine: what does it do?
Supplements containing Glutamine are usually taken to gain muscle. Muscle protein synthesis relies heavily on glutamate, so it naturally lends itself to building lean, effective muscles.
Over six weeks, people who took glutamine supplements significantly improved their muscle mass compared to people who took a placebo. The glutamine supplement group showed significantly more muscle growth than the control group, although both groups increased their muscles naturally through working out.
This is another benefit of Glutamine for muscle building and exercise supplements. It also reduces soreness and fatigue. Increased endurance is the result of this overall effect. Your workouts will result in more muscle mass if you do more prolonged and practical activities with minor soreness and fatigue.
Longer workouts require more Glutamine for the best recovery. Despite its benefits for building lean muscle, Glutamine appears to be primarily beneficial for endurance.
Main benefits of Glutamine include Immune System
People who suffer from burns are especially vulnerable since their immune systems are weakened. As you can see, Glutamine cannot be synthesized by the body in this case.To obtain more glutamine, the body may have to break down muscle tissue. It may be necessary to take glutamine supplements in these circumstances.
Supplements containing Glutamine can boost the immune system in such conditions.
It has also been found that glutamine-containing supplements possess antimicrobial and antiviral properties.
This isn’t the whole picture, though. Besides its role in protein synthesis and breakdown, glutamine is also essential for cell growth.
The ammonia produced by glutamine helps maintain the acid-base balance in your body through your kidneys, one of its biggest consumers. Ammonia is found anywhere glutamine is present. Renal glutamine uptake increases with metabolic acidosis, such as with intense training and a high-protein diet. The glutamine level in the plasma and muscle tissue dropped by 25 percent after four days on a high-protein, high-fat diet.
The body may not produce enough glutamine to meet all of these competing demands, and symptoms like muscle wasting, fatigue, and infection might appear.
BCAAs: What are they suitable for?
Muscle mass is the primary benefit of BCAA supplements. BCAAs are among the best supplements for gaining lean muscle because of their immediate availability for muscle protein synthesis.
In addition, BCAAs help build muscle by activating metabolic enzymes. BCAAs promote muscle growth directly due to the combination of active amino acids and enzymes that comprise muscle proteins.
Researchers have discovered that BCAA supplements that contain more leucine and isoleucine promote muscle growth most effectively. BCAAs have the substantial advantage of being active amino acids that directly contribute to muscle building.
An athlete’s ability to recover from a hard workout depends more on the intensity than the length of the exercise. BCAAs supply muscle-building elements to your metabolism. In other words, BCAAs will likely be most effective when recovering from shorter, more intense workouts.
A BCAA supplement may also alleviate muscle soreness like Glutamine. Their metabolic mechanism enables them to do this.BCAAs lower blood levels of both enzymes. As BCAAs decrease muscle soreness-signaling chemicals, they can help reduce fatigue and stiffness. In this way, you will be able to exercise longer and harder and gain more muscle mass.
Branched-chain amino acids: risks and side effects
Supplementing with BCAAs for up to 6 months has seldom been associated with adverse side effects. There are, however, some possible side effects:
BCAAs may affect blood glucose levels both before and after a surgical procedure. As well, if you suffer from branched-chain ketoaciduria or are an alcoholic, you’re at risk.
Glutamine Vs. BCAA
The fundamental difference between Glutamine and BCAAs lies in the way each of them works for you.
The primary job of Glutamine is to preserve muscle tissue and prevent it from becoming damaged. By taking glutamine supplements, you will give your muscles the ability to work harder and longer due to build more muscle. Aside from helping your body release a growth hormone crucial for muscle building, Glutamine helps maintain the anabolic phase state.
It seems that Glutamine is beneficial for bodybuilders because it sustains a workout appropriate for mass building.
By supplying your body with a steady stream of basic building blocks, BCAAs are able to support anabolic phases as opposed to sustaining your workouts. In particular, leucine and isoleucine are essential for muscle development, while valine prevents fatigue and maintains energy levels.
BCAAs will help you build serious muscle, but they have a more positive impact on your overall physique than they do on intensifying muscle mass.
BCAAs may also reduce abdominal fat as an added benefit. Certain types of athletes benefit from BCAAs due to reduced visceral fat and ideal body composition.
What is the recommended amount of Glutamine?
We should consume Glutamine within a few hours following exercise. In the case of consumption of 10 grams, split it into two doses of 5 grams each. If you are trying to build muscle and increase strength, adding Glutamine to your protein shakes can help.
Remember the two-hour protein rule: Two hours after your workout, consume two extra grams of protein to maximize your muscle strength and size.
What is the recommended number of BCAAs?
Research has been conducted on doses of Glutamine, ranging from 5 grams to 45 grams daily for up to a year, and no harm has been found. Several studies have found that an intake of up to 14 grams a day does not pose any safety concerns.
Starting with 5 grams of Glutamine per day when taking Glutamine as an exercise supplement is recommended. There have been no side effects of taking glutamine supplements, but too much Glutamine may prevent your body from absorbing other amino acids. A training program could end up being counter-productive if this were allowed to happen.
We should take approximately four to twenty grams (three BCAA capsules) every day. Leucine, isoleucine, and valine dosage and ratios vary from study to study, but most examinations prescribe between 4-20 grams of BCAAs per day, usually spread over several meals.
With BCAAs again, the two-hour protein rule is vital to take into account.
Best time to take Glutamine?
Increasing plasma glutamine concentrations requires consuming high levels of supplemental glutamine – at least 20-30 grams per day and frequently drunk.
For context, critically ill patients typically receive a constant intravenous supply of glutamine, between 20 and 30 grams per day. Orally consumed glutamine provides about 30 percent of the amount. Nonetheless, the glutamine infused into their bodies is 100 percent bioavailable. As a result, I recommend taking 30 grams of glutamine per day, divided into three or four smaller doses throughout the day, preferably with carbohydrate-containing meals or snacks.
I recommend consuming glutamine before or during training for better hydration, electrolyte transport, and BCAA metabolism. It is possible to take 10g before your workout and 5g afterward, or you can reduce those dosages as soon as you have finished your workout. To increase plasma glutamine concentrations consistently, drink at least 5 g of glutamine every 2-3 hours, even on non-training days.
Cycles of glutamine do not appear to be necessary. It’s increasingly apparent that chronic consumption of glutamine during physiological stress is crucial.
Best time to take BCAA?
The amino acids in BCAAs increase blood amino acid levels rapidly, aid in protein synthesis, and protect muscle tissue from breakdown. If you are not consuming enough BCAAs through your diet, such as meat, dairy, fish, eggs, etc., you may take them between meals.
BCAA supplements are commonly taken by athletes and trainers 15-60 minutes after exercise. The anabolic window occurs during this timeframe. We should perform exercise during this time to maximize the benefits of the nutrients we consume.
Which One is Better, BCAA or Glutamine:
Research has proven that both glutamine and BCAAs have real benefits. Maintaining high-intensity exercise requires Glutamine to pack on muscle.
It comes down to your workout goals to determine whether Glutamine and BCAAs will help you build lean muscle and reduce fatigue and soreness. Exercises requiring more intense programs and more Glutamine are often more challenging to sustain. With BCAAs, you will get more out of your workout.
It depends on what you need, and not which is better for you — Glutamine or BCAAs. The amino acid glutamine serves as a source of nourishment for muscles. Glutamine fuels your muscles when you exercise and enables you to do intense training that leads to results. BCAA is a fundamental component of muscle building. BCAAs are amino acids that provide the basic building blocks for muscle protein synthesis.
Whether you want to gain muscle sustainably, lose weight, or do both—Mirganshi is the person you reach out to! She has a B.Sc in Nutrition and Dietetics from Lovely Professional University (LPU) and certification from Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute (GGFI). She grew up and completed her schooling in Jaipur, Rajasthan back in the early 2000s. Currently, she helps hundreds of individuals in correcting their diets, lifestyle habits, and physical health.
She currently lives with her husband in Navi Mumbai, and they have been happily married since 2017. She is also a fitness freak herself and has completed several marathons like TATA Mumbai Marathon, Pinkathon, and more! In her free time, she likes to listen to music while writing her journal. Discipline is her best friend, and she ensures to impart this virtue in her clientele as well.
Due to her impeccable grip on body nutrition and well-being, Mirganshi understands precisely what is right for your body and recommends/reviews products she only truly has faith in. Mirganshi is also a champion for mental health advocacy and understands how keeping your brain fit and mind sane is an essential part of well-being.