Both Creatine and Glutamine are two of the most used supplements both in the fitness field and in many other sport disciplines. I would dare to say that, together with proteins, they would form the classic trio of supplements that sportspeople and athletes use to experience the best recoveries.
The world of supplementation has been the object of too much controversy. There is too much content and information which can be confusing at the same time. This article will objectively explain one of the ways to take these two well-known products: creatine and glutamine..
In this particular case, we are going to use both supplements at one of the most critical times, and one that has always had a lot of focus, we talk about the Post-Workout.
As its own name suggests, this period begins once we finish our daily exercise routine or any physical activity. Depending on our diet, we may be able to get less or more benefit from certain supplements at this specific period.
Creatine and high intensity activities
Benefits of taking Creatine and Glutamine
Even though each one of these supplements provide a series of important benefits separately, their combination can be even better: promoting muscle growth and accelerating the recovery.
Glutamine, by definition, is the most abundant amino acid in our body. It is also a conditionally essential amino acid, because its synthesis could be compromised under certain situations. One of the possible scenarios maintaining a high workload or intensity, apart from a possible caloric restriction. Under these circumstances, the organism can slow down the production of amino acids and produce a decrease in plasma, which can reflect a possible deficit and lead to an overtraining syndrome.
In this scenario, the recovery process may be prolonged, which means that the athlete may not experience an appropriate recovery. In these cases, we experience a phenomenon known as DOMS or literally translated as “Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness”, although we all commonly know them as muscle “stiffness”. Well, according to some studies, supplementation with glutamine may reduce the time and the symptoms related to DOMS, which mostly involve localized muscle pain.
Glutamine also plays a fundamental role in the synthesis of DNA/RNA, support for the immune system, nitrogen transport, gluconeogenesis, it is involved in the synthesis of proteins and the metabolism of BCAA’s.
Another important role is the fact that it intervenes in the acid-base balance of the organism. In this sense, the kidneys are the main organs that demand glutamine, since it contributes to the excretion of ammonia. As the body acidifies, the use of renal glutamine increases in response to intense training, for example
Glutamine can counter the overtraining syndrome during competition period
Creatine, meanwhile, relies on a lot of scientific evidence which highlights the potential benefits as an ergogenic support (improved performance). These properties can be briefly summarized in:
- Promoting high intensity physical activities
- Ideal for explosive and power exercises
- Contributing to improving muscle strength and endurance
- Supporting muscle growth
Creatine is an organic substance that our body produces from 3 amino acids: arginine, methionine and glycine. Once creatine meets a phosphate group, it will be stored in the corresponding cell deposits located in the muscle tissue, mostly as phosphocreatine. In this way, it will be mainly used to produce energy, a process which will result in the ATP molecule (adenosine triphosphate).
Increasing the availability through creatine supplementation can optimize the process of energy exchange that occurs in response to a demand depending on the intensity of the activity. Thus, the energy pathway of the phosphate substrate will take place at submaximal efforts, using this molecule. If the intensity demands the glycolytic substrate, the energy exchange where creatine participates will not be so involved; and it will use the oxidative route for lower intensities.
Despite the previous premises, creatine can also provide benefits for those athletes who practice intense endurance activities.
How to take Creatine and Glutamine?
The dose for each supplement can vary according to:
- Creatine -> 1g per 10kg of body weight
- Glutamine -> between 5-10g
In the case of creatine, we have skipped the loading phase and taken the maintenance dose directly. The creatine dose can be individually adjusted to 0.1g per kg body weight.
How to combine Creatine and Glutamine?
As we have previously mentioned, it is advisable to use it as a post-workout drink. At this point, we can use any type of protein shake, such as a Whey Protein Isolate.
Another choice would be to combine Carbohydrates + Creatine + Glutamine, specially those who train more than once a day. In these circumstances, blending Glutamine and Carbs can help to lower the ammonia levels that can be reached due to the physical stress caused by the workout.
Who can benefit from taking Creatine and Glutamine?
A Creatine Stack with Glutamine is highly advisable for any sportsperson and/or athlete who carries an intense type of training, such as Exercises with Weights, as a means to improve the recovery or under the following circumstances:
Very low Carbohydrate Diet
Glutamine helps to recharge the glycogen after the workout when we lack carbohydrates or if we are following a low-carb diet. On the other hand, using creatine during cutting phase can improve the athlete’s physique, in case we are talking about someone who is looking for an esthetic effect. This will be mainly due to the water retention caused by the creatine at the intracellular level.
Glutamine can improve the intestinal permeability syndrome. This condition can be caused by prolonged or high intensity activities, which produce a series of reactions on organs or systems, causing pathologies like the one we have just mentioned. Quite often, there are cases of stomach discomfort or gastrointestinal problems among endurance athletes such as nausea, diarrhea or even bleeding. In these cases, it is strongly recommended to see a doctor. Glutamine has an added benefit for the cells of the small intestine.
Explosive and Power Activities
Some of these disciplines are sports such as CrossFit, Weightlifting, Athletics (including both Sprint, Middle Distances, Marathon), Collective Sports ( Football, Basketball, Handball…), and/or Individual Sports (Contact Sports such as Boxing or Taekwondo, Rowing, Tennis…).
Creatine and Glutamine supplementation can support many sports in which we have to perform a high effort during a long period of time
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