Posted by: Martie | 2009-08-10


Dear Doc. I am starting an exercise program to compete in marathon mountain biking events. I am considering takin L-Glutamine because of its effect on muscle recovery and the immune system. After reading the article on health24 about it, I am a bit doubtful whether this is a suitable supplement in my case, because of the comments re Multiple sclerosis and especially Alzheimers. My aunt has MS, my maternal grandma has ?Alzheimers, and my dads'  brother had early onset Alz and died young.Should I avoid L-Glut?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Martie
When I attended a course on sports nutrition at the University of Potchefstroom, emphasis was placed on the fact that the majority of sports supplements are really unnecessary! If you eat a diet that is rich in carbs to provide you with sufficient fuel to do your strenuous exercise, and eat approx. 1.5 to 2 g of protein per kg of body weight (let's say you weigh 50 kg? then this would amount to 100g of protein a day) and also ensure that you are adequately hydrated (but don't drink too much water), then there is no need to supplement. In your case I would avoid taking L-glutamine and obtain this amino acid from the protein in your diet. Click on 'Fitness' at the top of this page and then on 'Nutrition' and read the articles on 'Diets for Sportsmen and women', esp those on energy requirement, carbs, carbo-loading and protein intake.
Enjoy the mountain biking
Best regards

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