Glutamic acid is an amino acid that the body uses to produce protein. Amino acids are often referred to as the building blocks of protein and are essential to your health. Glutamic acid plays a role in your immune system, digestion, and brain health.
What Are The Benefits Of Glutamic Acid?
You may have already heard of glutamine, another important amino acid in the body. The two amino acids are closely related in a chemical sense and can actually change their structure and transform into one another. If there is an increase of stress on the mind and body, you need more glutamic acid. As you age, the production of glutamic acid starts to slow down. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re eating a balanced diet with plenty of amino acids to support your overall health.
Here are six benefits of glutamic acid:
- Improve memory and focus
- Boost the immune system
- Support prostate health
- Detox the body
- Improve athletic performance
- Benefit digestive health
What is Glutamic Acid?
Glutamic acid is an amino acid that is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. It is an excitatory neurotransmitter, in fact the most abundant one, in the vertebrate nervous system.
Amino acids are broken down into two categories: essential and non-essential. Your body can’t produce essential amino acids, of which there are nine. While you can produce non-essential amino acids. Glutamic acid is a non-essential amino acid. However, as you age or if you’re performing very strenuous exercises, consuming external sources of glutamic acid can be beneficial. Glutamic acid has become a must-have in many pre-workout protein blends. But, it’s not just your performance that can benefit but your brain and heart too.
Your body naturally produces glutamic acid. Everyday roughly 80g of glutamic acid is released into the body from the muscles. Your muscles are the main storage site of this amino acid. The human body is able to produce glutamine from glutamic acid. In particular, your muscles need glutamine quickly to perform during exercise. This is why it’s so important to have a good supply of glutamic acid and glutamine in the body if you’re bodybuilding or just strength training . Glutamic acid supports an active lifestyle.
Related: Strength Training: Train and Grow Stronger
What is the Role of Glutamic Acid in the Body?
Glutamic acid plays a major role in the central nervous system. It works as an excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. This means that it helps promote an electrical signal known as an action potential when neurons communicate with each other. The amino acid helps nerve cells send messages and receive information from cells.
In order to act as a neurotransmitter, glutamic acid must attach to specific receptors in the central nervous system. After this process, it can also regulate calcium, magnesium, and sodium ions in the cells. The amino acid is necessary for proper cell functioning. It’s thought that glutamic acid can influence other neurotransmitters and has a role to play in mental health and neurophysiological disorders.
Glutamic acid is used to build protein in the body which is essential as well as play a key role in the central nervous system. The amino acid is involved in many processes within the body, therefore it can benefit multiple areas of your health.
Why Do You Need Glutamic Acid?
Although your body does produce glutamic acid on its own, many people choose to consume supplements and foods with glutamic acid as it can get used up quickly during exercise. Sources of glutamic acid include eggs, dairy, and meat. But, you can add more glutamic acid to your diet without sacrificing your commitment to a plant-based lifestyle. Whether you follow a plant-based diet or just want to cut down your meat intake, there are plenty of plant-based sources of glutamic acid including:
- Hemp seeds
- Beans, lentils, and peas
- Green tea
- Amaranth and Quinoa
- Brown rice
In general, most food sources of protein have a good supply of glutamic acid. So, if a person was deficient in protein, then they would be more likely to be deficient in glutamic acid. Glutamic acid turns into glutamine in the body. Without enough glutamic acid, you could develop low levels of glutamine. A glutamine deficiency is thought to cause symptoms like insomnia, low energy, and mental exhaustion.
6 Benefits of Glutamic Acid
1. Improve Memory and Focus
Glutamic acid works as a fuel for the brain. As you can imagine, it has a number of benefits on your brain. Besides being fuel for the brain, this amino acid helps to stimulate focus and improve memory. As it’s a chemical messenger in the brain, it’s thought to help increase mental clarity and mood. This is why the amino acid is used to help treat conditions like Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety.
2. Boost the Immune System
Your body uses glutamic acid to produce glutathione. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant found in the body’s cells and supports the immune system. The immune system needs a delicate balance of glutathione to function optimally. Glutathione is particularly important for fighting free radicals, protecting cells, and supporting the immune system.
Related: The Powerful Antioxidant Glutathione
3. Support Prostate Health
Glutamic acid plays a key role in many different areas of the body, including the prostate. The amino acid is essential for proper functioning in the prostate. As men age, it’s common for the prostate glands to start to increase in size. The medical name for this condition is prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). About half of all men ages 51 to 60 have BPH and up to 90% of men over the age of 80 have it. Experts often recommend glutamic acid supplements for prostate health to reduce symptoms of BPH.
4. Detox the Body
Glutamic acid is one of the few nutrients that can pass the blood-brain barrier. The amino acid is known for its ability to detoxify cells. In particular, its effect on ammonia. During intense exercise, levels of ammonia in the muscle cells increase. This can slow down muscle recovery. The amino acid bonds to nitrogen and turns into glutamine. It’s this process that gets rid of the toxic waste and detoxifies ammonia from the body.
Related: 7 Ways To Detox Naturally
5. Improve Athletic Performance
When it comes to athletic performance, glutamine is a popular supplement used to increase strength, speed up recovery, and prevent overtraining. As glutamic acid is a precursor to glutamine, it helps support an active lifestyle and improve athletic performance. Generally, athletes who take glutamine supplements do so to prevent muscle breakdown. Anything that helps with recovery will benefit your performance and may reduce your risk of injury.
Related: 10 Superfood To Improve Athletic Performance
6. Benefit Digestive Health
Glutamic acid may benefit your digestive health in a number of ways. Studies show that glutamic acid supports a healthy digestive system by encouraging nutrient absorption and maintaining a healthy gut lining. It also appears to optimize the concentration of serotonin in the intestine. Serotonin is a crucial neurotransmitter that’s essential for your sleep, appetite, and feeling calm.
Your gut and digestive health play a big part in your overall health. Foods like processed meats and junk food can have a negative impact on your gut and impede your digestive system. Try to eat fresh, whole foods like ginger, bananas, lentils, chia seeds, and coconut oil to support your stomach and digestive health.
Related: How To Heal Leaky Gut & Improve Digestion
Plant-Based Protein Powder Blends
Legumes like beans, peas, and lentils are some of the best plant-based sources of glutamic acid. They provide large quantities of glutamic acid while allowing you to stick to a plant-based diet. Foods such as green tea and spirulina are also great sources of glutamic acid, giving your body the fuel it needs to build muscle and get stronger.
The majority of protein powders contain both essential and non-essential amino acids like glutamic acid. If you live an active lifestyle, protein powders are a great way to hit your protein requirements. This helps increase muscle mass, strength, and weight management.
When it comes to vegan protein powders, Sunwarrior has carried out extensive research to design protein powder blends with powerful, natural ingredients.
Related: The Best Vegan Protein Powders
Sunwarrior’s protein blends test extremely high in glutamic acid. They contain different plant-based protein combinations with yellow peas, brown rice, hemp seeds, chia seeds, quinoa, amaranth, goji berry, and coconut. With a complete amino acid profile and a rich source of glutamic acid, it’s a clean protein source with powerful ingredients.
Although considered a non-essential amino acid, glutamic acid is necessary for so many different processes in the body. From improving focus and memory to supporting the immune system and detoxing the body. This is just another reason why including protein powder in your routine is so useful.