“We knew that this amino acid had anabolic energy before we created the formula. Our goal was to uncap that energy and set it free.”

 

Long before GLUTAMINE SELECT™ became the hit body-building sensation that it is today, Beverly knew that glutamine was an incredibly important amino acid for athletes. Two simple yet frequently overlooked observations made this clear:

1.      Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the human body. A 70-kg (154-lb) athlete might release anywhere from 60 to 100 g or more of it into circulation in a day.

2.      Over tens of thousands of years of biological evolution, humans have retained the ability to synthesize glutamine (while losing the ability to synthesize others), despite the fact that many commonly eaten foods –plant foods, in particular—contain large amounts of it.

Scientific studies dating back to the 1970s gave Beverly’s research and development team numerous clues as to why glutamine was so important. Besides being quite possibly the most versatile amino acid in existence (it can even enhance arginine and nitric oxide levels), glutamine possessed anabolic properties of particular interest to athletes. These included the ability to stimulate the synthesis of muscle protein and glycogen, cell volumization and the uptake of electrolytes. In fact, one leading scientist suggested that glutamine’s anabolic prowess had been underestimated by his peers.

As powerful as its anabolic properties were, however, Beverly’s scientists sensed that there was something upstream of them, something that might serve as their driving force, or fountainhead. They began looking for it. What they discovered was that a great deal of glutamine’s power as a driver of anabolism stems from its role as an energy precursor.  

The Fountainhead: Glutamine as an Energy Precursor

Energy exists in many forms. Among the most important is a tiny molecule known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Energy in the form of ATP is required for your muscle cells to generate force (i.e. contract), synthesize protein and glycogen, repair holes in their membranes and perform thousands of other anabolic processes that enable you to get through your workouts and get something out of them.

Protein synthesis, of course, is the essential element of building muscle. The synthesis of glycogen, though less important, is hardly non-essential, particularly for athletes. For instance, scientists have determined that when your muscle cells are depleted of glycogen, protein synthesis slows down and muscle atrophy (shrinkage) becomes much more likely. Just think of how flat and out of shape your muscles look (and how sluggish they feel) when they are low in glycogen, such as occurs when you eat too little carbohydrate. The glycogen status of your muscles can even affect vascularity.

“Anabolic Fatigue”

Anabolic processes such as protein synthesis are energy-intensive, like climbing up a steep hill. Approximately 1 out of every 5 calories burned by your body is used to drive protein synthesis, yet bodybuilding athletes demand it from their muscles 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This may result in a condition known as “anabolic fatigue” and could explain the inability of many athletes to recover effectively from their workouts and experience the gains in lean muscle mass and strength that they expect. As an energy precursor, Beverly’s scientists suspected that glutamine supplementation might help alleviate if not prevent anabolic fatigue in muscle cells, thereby enabling them to acquire levels of protein, glycogen, mass, strength and hardness not possible by relying on the diet alone.

Uncapping Glutamine’s “Anabolic Energy”

“But glutamine can’t alleviate anabolic fatigue by itself”, Beverly’s scientists observed. Its role as an energy precursor is affected by the availability of other amino acids, some more than others. Thus, they predicted that supplementing the diet with glutamine by itself wouldn’t be the best plan of attack for a bodybuilding athlete to undertake. Doing so would only serve to cap what they referred to as its “anabolic energy”*. It was at this point that they began searching for other amino acids to partner with glutamine in an effort to uncap this potential.

*[NOTE: Capped or not, even when glutamine is taken alone, it can be surprisingly powerful. In one study, subjects received 8 g of glutamine or 61 g of a glucose polymer after performing exercising that depleted their muscle glycogen stores. Glutamine was found to be just as effective as the glucose polymer at replenishing muscle glycogen levels, despite the markedly different quantity of each nutrient used. Even the authors of the study were startled, remarking “The rates of muscle glycogen storage were not different among trials, which is surprising because it would have been expected that the provision of 61 g glucose polymer (1,125 kJ) as opposed to 8 g glutamine (140 kJ) should result in a greater muscle glycogen synthesis.” In other study, glutamine was found to stimulate protein synthesis by 7% and increase energy expenditure (metabolic rate) by 17% when given to healthy subjects. If glutamine can produce results like these when taken by itself, imagine the possibilities when its anabolic energy is fully uncapped!]

The Perfect Partnership

Glutamine’s anabolic energy can be explained in part by its ability to be converted into glucose (“blood sugar”).  Glucose is your body’s most important fuel. Because glutamine can be converted into glucose, it is classified as a “glucogenic” amino acid. Glutamine may in fact be the most important glucogenic amino acid in the human body.

After extensive research, Beverly’s scientists selected three amino acids to partner with glutamine, all of them related. Known as the branched-chain amino acids (BCAA; namely, leucine, isoleucine and valine), Beverly had been studying them since the early 1980s. Of particular interest to them was the fact that muscle tissue is a huge producer of glutamine and the BCAA are involved in the synthesis of it. All day and night your muscle cells produce glutamine using each of two methods:

1.      Muscle protein catabolism: This involves breaking down muscle proteins to release protein-bound glutamine.

2.      BCAA catabolism: This involves breaking down BCAA and using some of their pieces to synthesize glutamine (so-called de novo synthesis).

Muscle tissue tears apart BCAA at a brisk pace, even after you eat a hearty meal, but especially as levels of anabolic energy fall. During an overnight fast, for instance, the catabolism of BCAA rises dramatically, as does that of muscle protein catabolism. As much as this may antagonize your efforts to build muscle, it is essential for maintaining anabolism in other tissues.

The BCAA were already known for their anabolic properties. By early 1980s, scientists had demonstrated that leucine, in particular, was capable of both inhibiting protein catabolism and stimulating protein synthesis in muscle. Leucine was in fact the most potently anabolic amino acid of those studied to date. It still holds this title. There was even evidence that the concentration of leucine in muscle cells is directly proportional to the rate of protein synthesis in this tissue. Furthermore, scientists had demonstrated that supplementing with glutamine helps maintain or increase BCAA levels; conversely, supplementing with BCAA helps maintain or increase glutamine levels. All things considered, the prospect of combining glutamine and BCAA in order to uncap the anabolic energy of both seemed incredibly exciting.

Milligrams are not enough.

The above observations provided the basis for Beverly’s belief that a supplement containing a combination of glutamine and BCAA could save your muscles a great deal of trouble, thereby giving them more anabolic energy to drive protein synthesis, glycogen synthesis and other downstream muscle-building processes faster. However, in order for such a supplement to have any tangible effect on your body’s appearance or performance, they predicted that it would need to contain several grams each of glutamine and BCAA per serving and be used on a daily basis. A few hundred milligrams here or there would not suffice to release their anabolic energy. This belief was supported by a number of scientific findings, including a study published in 2000 which found that adding glutamine and BCAA to whey, frequently regarded as the most highly anabolic protein in the world, made it even more powerful. The researchers who conducted that study gave resistance exercising subjects a whey-only supplement or a supplement containing whey protein fortified with additional glutamine (5 g) and BCA A (3 g). The subjects receiving the glutamine- and BCAA-fortified whey gained 2 more pounds of muscle and increased their strength by double compared to the subjects receiving regular whey.

Formalizing the partnership: GLUTAMINE SELECT™

No other amino acids seemed as worthy of a partnership with glutamine as did the BCAA. The idea that this combination could uncap glutamine’s anabolic energy, alleviate anabolic fatigue, and drive a vast array of muscle-building and recovery processes forward at speeds not attainable simply by eating a healthy diet seemed to rest on solid scientific grounds.

Beverly’s scientists were now ready to formalize the partnership by developing a pilot batch of a delicious natural cherry-flavored drink mix that would later be called GLUTAMINE SELECT™ and become the hit sensation with bodybuilding athletes around the world that it is today. Like the final formula available on store shelves, each serving of the initial pilot batch contained 5 g of glutamine and 3 g of BCAA, the exact same amounts used in the 2000 study described earlier.

Testing the Theories

The first batch worked and tasted even better than expected. Within 10-14 days of use, test subjects (primarily bodybuilding athletes) who used GLUTAMINE SELECT™ were describing it as the “red bull” of amino acid formulas, not because of any perceived stimulant effects, but rather for the reason that it gave them the undeniable sense that every facet of muscle anabolism was charging ahead at full speed having finally been unleashed by this energizing partnership of amino acids. Increases in muscle size, hardness and vascularity were continually reported. Users felt that their overall energy levels remained more stable over the day. Recovery was enhanced. Even hunger and well-being seemed to be affected, making it easier to avoid overeating, lose body fat and remain lean and shapely.

As each batch rolled out of the lab and into the waiting hands of Beverly’s subjects, the same positive effects were described. There were no undesirable side effects. Importantly, because GLUTAMINE SELECT™ is not a nervous system stimulant, its unique energizing effects did not wear off. Quite the contrary, it continued to provide the anabolic energy that Beverly’s scientist had designed it to deliver with repeated daily use.

Conclusion

Glutamine is an incredibly versatile amino acid. However, its role as an energy precursor, and, thereby, a source of anabolic energy, is typically overlooked. Yet it is this fascinating role which renders it especially qualified to alleviate anabolic fatigue, a condition that may explain the disappointing results experienced by bodybuilding athletes of all kinds and calibers.

However, glutamine cannot alleviate anabolic fatigue all by itself. The availability of BCAA, in particular, may limit glutamine’s powers as an energy precursor and driver of anabolism. Research dating back to at least the 1970s conclusively demonstrates that glutamine and BCAA are closely connected. Some of the benefits of BCAA supplementation can be explained by their effects on glutamine and energy metabolism; conversely, some of the benefits of glutamine supplementation can be explained by its effects on BCAA and energy metabolism.

The development of GLUTAMINE SELECT™ rests on solid scientific grounds. By partnering glutamine with BCAA in sufficiently large and clinically-proven quantities (5 g and 3 g, respectively), its tremendous anabolic energy can finally be uncapped, enabling athletes to achieve levels of muscle protein, glycogen, mass, strength and hardness not possible by relying on the diet alone. This uniquely energizing effect is something you can only fully appreciate by trying GLUTAMINE SELECT™ for yourself. Once you do, you will see why it is referred to as the “red bull” of body-building amino acid formulas.

New GLUTAMINE SELECT™ contains ingredients that published scientific studies suggest can*:


Protect muscle glutamine levels

Reduce BCAA & protein catabolism

Support glycemia (blood glucose levels)

Support arginine & nitric oxide (NO) levels

Reduce ammonia accumulation during exercise

Reduce exercise-induced muscle damage

Reduce central (CNS) and peripheral (e.g. muscle) fatigue

Support arginine and nitric oxide levels

Stimulate protein synthesis

Replenish Krebs (tricarboxylic acid) cycle intermediates

Support ATP levels

Increase muscle cell volume

Increase muscle glycogen storage

Support immune system regulation

Support recovery from exercise

Reduce impact of overtraining

Protect against muscle atrophy

Increase muscle mass & strength

Increase energy expenditure (calorie-burning)

Support electrolyte levels

Support immune system function

SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE
Bassini-Cameron et al. (2008). Br J Sports Med, 42(2): 260.
Bowtell et al. (1999). J Appl Physiol, 86(6): 1770.
Colker (2000). Curr Ther Res, 61:19.
Hankard et al. (1995). Am J Physiol, 269: E663.
Hankard et al. (1996). Am J Physiol, 271: E748.
Loi et al. (2009). Crit Care Med, 37(2): 501.
Tischler et al. (1982). J Biol Chem, 257(4): 1613.
Wu (2009). Amino Acids, 37(1): 1.
Young and Ajami (2001). J Nutr, 131: 2449S.



Bookmark and Share

Beverly International.com : Body Muscle Journal : Back Issues : Order Online : Beverly International Net
Vitamin Supplement Guide : Subscribe to Publications
Beverly International Nutrition