The functionality of our bodies is important to productive athletes, especially bodybuilders. In order to compete and have hopes of winning any sort of competition, our bodies need to look and act the part of a champion. To reach the pinnacles of perfect builds and heightened strengths, we pump our bodies full of supplements and eat certain types of foods. The end results typically look pretty stellar; exactly what we wanted, right? All of this is well and good, but the reality is that our organs and the inner workings of our bodies tend to suffer from what we ingest – particularly the liver. Remember: Everything we consume is processed through our bodies.
Outside of being a mouthful to say, Glutathione represents something that not many other substances can: an overall positive approach to staying healthy. Low levels of Glutathione can cause immune system issues, often leading to chronic illnesses. If you’re one who is always sick, there’s a good chance your Glutathione levels are too low. So what benefits can taking Glutathione – a substance that is only available via a shot or IV – provide?
– Glutathione boosts immunity levels, helping to prevent constant illnesses and improving overall health.
– Protects the body from free radicals (in theory, reducing the effects of the natural aging process), chemicals and negative substances in food, and unhealthy objects in the environment.
– Works to detoxify the liver and kidney, especially important for bodybuilders who ingest a lot of supplements.
– Promotes healthy skin and can lighten skin.
– Low levels of Glutathione can contribute to arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, chronic fatigue, asthma, and more.
As far as the negatives of taking Glutathione, you’re really limited to just one:
– People hypersensitive to Glutathione can develop or experience allergic reactions, which include hives.
Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? That’s because it is. After doing some extra research, the negatives of Glutathione – outside of maybe costing you a pretty penny here and there – is that you can have an allergic reaction. While not trying to downplay allergic reactions (they’re serious and should be cause for concern), Glutathione has not been shown to contribute negatively to the body.
How to get
LiquIVida Lounge offers IV drips and shots for Glutathione, for one, with offices spread throughout the U.S.A. Do some light research where you live and find out who offers Glutathione boosts. Should you not wish to pay for the IV or shot, you can naturally improve your levels by consuming green vegetables (like spinach, asparagus, avocado, broccoli, etc.), as well as carrots and grapefruit. Vitamins C and D provide a boost, too, along with green tea, fish oil, and milk thistle. Despite taking these, you won’t notice a worthwhile gain in Glutathione levels.
Reasons for elevated costs are pretty clear, too. No preservatives are put in Glutathione, meaning after 30 days, the product must be thrown away. Keeping preservatives out of Glutathione means you’ll be receiving a healthier dose during each visit. The cost has dropped significantly over the last decade, meaning more people have access to Glutathione, too.
As already mentioned, the only two methods of actually boosting Glutathione significantly are via an IV drip or through a shot. To this point, there is no pill or supplement that you can take orally, as we only absorb a miniscule amount of what we ingest. Here are the rundowns on both methods:
– The intravenous (IV) drip provides a 90-97% absorption rate, meaning the body absorbs almost 100% of the Glutathione provided (as opposed to the 3% from ingestion).
– With the IV, you’ll receive a 100CC drip, or about 2000 mg (2 grams), over a fifteen minute period.
– The shot form of Glutathione provides an approximately 85% absorption rate.
– For the shot, you’ll receive a 200mg dosage, typically to the shoulder.
Everyone can benefit from glutathione supplementation
Declines in glutathione levels are associated with ageing, and studies have shown that adults who took glutathione had better health than those who did not. So, glutathione supplementation is especially important for this population.
Hard training is known to deplete glutathione levels. Thus, the hard-training athlete can benefit especially from glutathione supplementation and the enhanced recovery and muscle building results seen from its use.
Persons with low glutathione levels can include: smokers, those with HIV / AIDS, diabetics, men with low sperm counts / impotence, and Alzheimer’s and cancer patients.
Deficiencies of glutathione do not produce diseases, but low glutathione levels can accelerate ageing, can lead to functional decline and weaken the immune system.
How to use and Side Effects
Strictly adhere to label directions. No side effects of glutathione use are known.
Research has conflicted as to whether glutathione is effectively absorbed in human subjects. but one study suggests that glutathione is best taken by letting a tablet dissolve in the mouth that is placed between the teeth and the inner cheek.
Glutathione pre-cursor supplementation should be avoided by persons with milk protein allergies, as well as those who have received organ transplants.
Taking GSH supplements during pregnancy or breastfeeding is not recommended.
If you experience side effects, the glutathione-boosting supplements may be over-stimulating your immune system. Always carefully track your response to determine if they are working or not.
This often means keeping track of your labs and symptoms, especially if you struggle with unrelenting inflammation that’s hard to pinpoint.
Side effects of 4-week oral glutathione (1 g/day) in clinical trials included:
– Loose stools
– Weight gain
Side effects of higher doses (up to around 150 mg/kg/day) in people with cystic fibrosis included chest tightness, diarrhea, and fever. These may not apply to the general population and lower doses.
Way to increase levels
Consume Sulfur-Rich Foods
Sulfur is an important mineral that occurs naturally in some plant and protein foods. It’s required for the structure and activity of important proteins and enzymes in the body. Notably, sulfur is required for the synthesis of glutathione. Sulfur is found in two amino acids in food: methionine and cysteine. It’s primarily derived from dietary proteins, such as beef, fish and poultry.
However, there are vegetarian sources of sulfur as well, such as cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, watercress and mustard greens. A number of human and animal studies have found that eating sulfur-rich vegetables may reduce oxidative stress by increasing glutathione levels.
Allium vegetables, including garlic, shallots and onions, also boost glutathione levels — likely due to their sulfur-containing compounds.
2- Increase Your Vitamin C Intake
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin found in a variety of foods, particularly fruits and vegetables. Strawberries, citrus fruits, papayas, kiwis and bell peppers are all examples of foods rich in vitamin C. This vitamin has many functions, including working as an antioxidant to protect cells from oxidative damage. It also maintains the body’s supply of other antioxidants, including glutathione. Researchers have discovered that vitamin C may help increase glutathione levels by attacking free radicals first, thereby sparing glutathione. They also found that vitamin C helps reprocess glutathione by converting oxidized glutathione back to its active form.
3- Eat Foods Naturally Rich in Glutathione
The human body produces glutathione, but there are also dietary sources. Spinach, avocados, asparagus and okra are some of the richest dietary sources. However, dietary glutathione is poorly absorbed by the human body. Additionally, cooking and storage conditions can decrease the amount of glutathione found in food. Despite having a lower impact on increasing glutathione levels, glutathione-rich foods may help decrease oxidative stress. For example, a non-experimental study showed that people who consumed the most glutathione-rich foods had a lower risk of developing mouth cancer. Ultimately, further research is warranted to fully understand the effect of glutathione-rich foods on oxidative stress and glutathione levels.
4- Supplement With Whey Protein
Your body’s production of glutathione depends on certain amino acids. An amino acid called cysteine is a particularly important amino acid that is involved in glutathione synthesis. Foods rich in cysteine, such as whey protein, may increase your glutathione supply.
5- Get Enough Sleep
A good night’s rest is essential for overall health. Interestingly, long-term lack of sleep can cause oxidative stress and even hormone imbalances. Furthermore, research has shown that chronic lack of sleep may decrease glutathione levels. For example, a study measuring glutathione levels in 30 healthy people and 30 people with insomnia found that glutathione peroxidase activity was significantly lower in those with insomnia. Multiple animal studies have also shown that sleep deprivation causes a decrease in glutathione levels. Therefore, making sure you get good, restorative sleep each night may help maintain or boost your levels of this antioxidant.
6- Exercise Regularly
Regular physical activity has long been recommended by physicians and healthcare providers. It’s no surprise that exercise is good for both your physical and mental health. Recent research shows that exercise is also helpful in maintaining or increasing antioxidant levels, especially glutathione. Completing a combination of both cardio and circuit weight training increases glutathione the most, compared to completing cardio or weight training alone. However, athletes who overtrain without maintaining adequate nutrition and rest may be at risk of decreased glutathione production. Therefore, be sure to incorporate physical activity into your regular routine in a gradual and sensible way.
7- Avoid Drinking Too Much Alcohol
It’s no surprise that many adverse health effects are associated with chronic and excessive alcohol intake. Alcoholism is commonly associated with ailments such as liver cirrhosis, brain damage and pancreatitis. While not as well known, lung damage is also an adverse effect of alcoholism. This is likely related to a depletion of glutathione levels in the lungs. The small airways of the lungs require glutathione to function properly. In fact, healthy lungs have up to 1,000 times more glutathione than other parts of the body. Depletion of glutathione in the lungs of alcoholics is most likely due to oxidative stress caused by chronic alcohol use. Research has identified an 80–90% decrease in lung glutathione levels in those who regularly consume excessive amounts of alcohol. Thus, limiting your alcohol intake may help you maintain healthy glutathione levels.