L-glutamine is one of the important amino acids in the body because it provides several functions. This amino acid is naturally produced inside the body and is also found in different foods like those sourced out from animal protein and plant protein. There is no required glutamine intake per day but the average consumption ranges from 1-6 grams. There are also L-glutamine supplements that are available and some people take these supplements which contain L-glutamine if they drink alcohol so as to avoid hangover effects. With this said, we may take a look at L-glutamine and alcohol and the possible effects, good or bad, of taking the two together.
L-glutamine or glutamine is a type of amino acid which helps support the immune system as well as the muscles and cells of the intestinal tract. The human body produces enough glutamine for the body’s needs so there’s no need to take glutamine supplements. However, there are some conditions wherein glutamine level is depleted like in the case of severe infections, intense exercise and surgery. Individuals suffering from certain diseases or endurance athletes take glutamine supplements in order to maintain their glutamine levels as well as to support their immune systems. Drinking alcohol can also make the level of glutamine fluctuate.
Effects of Alcohol to Glutamine
Those people who drink alcohol may suffer from hangover after drinking. However, the severity of the hangover depends on how much the person drinks. When a person has hangover, symptoms are nausea, dehydration, light sensitivity and malaise. Drinking alcohol can suppress glutamine which can act as a stimulant. But as soon as you have stopped drinking alcohol, the body will now produce more glutamine to counteract this effect which they may call the process as glutamine rebound. The rise of the stimulating effects of glutamine is the cause of the hangover symptoms which follows the alcohol consumption.
Alcohol Withdrawal and L-Glutamine
Once a person becomes addicted to drinking alcohol, it is hard for him to quit. Significant symptoms may arise as the cause of this alcohol withdrawal. These are tremor, nausea, anxiety, insomnia, hallucinations and headaches. Some alcoholic individuals may suffer from deficiencies in neurotransmitters, the chemicals in the brain that are normally consisted of L-glutamine, according to UC, San Diego. Glutamine, in combination with other amino acids, can help reduce the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal when taken as a part of the supplement together with a multivitamin.
Precautions when Taking L-Glutamine with Alcohol
L-glutamine, though it works with those people who drink alcohol, should not be misunderstood as a cure for alcoholism or a remedy to avoid too much drinking. If you choose to use L-glutamine as a supplement, consult your doctor about any medications that you are taking at the moment and the amount of alcohol you drink. If you have the habit of drinking too much alcohol, ask for some pieces of advice from your doctor who can guide you about the detoxification process and not only relying on L-glutamine, says the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism which is a branch of the National Institutes of Health.
L-glutamine and alcohol, although they have a good relationship, may also cause troubles in the long run. As the old saying goes, “it is better to be safe than sorry”; and in this case you still have to inquire about L-glutamine supplements if you are an alcohol drinker.