If you buy whole chickens, you may have wondered what the difference is between broilers, fryers and roasters. These terms came about based on the main way chickens of different sizes are usually cooked, so the weight of the birds is the only difference. This inexpensive and nutritious meat is a good source of protein, which means it provides you with some glutamine.
Glutamine is one of the amino acids that make up protein. Although it isn't essential, since your body can usually make the glutamine it needs, if you are stressed or sick, you may need to get some glutamine from your diet as well. You need glutamine for digestion, immune function and brain function.
The amount of glutamine you typically get through your diet is safe, but high doses of supplements might not be. Stick with the typical supplement dosage of 500 milligrams taken three times per day, unless your doctor prescribes more. Doctors may prescribe up to 14 grams per day for certain conditions. A 1-cup serving of chopped, roasted chicken contains 38 grams of protein, including 5,587 milligrams of glutamine.
Glutamine and Monosodium Glutamate
If you are trying to avoid monosodium glutamate, or MSG, you don't have to worry about avoiding naturally occurring glutamate in foods, since this glutamate isn't free to combine with sodium and form MSG. Just avoid foods containing hydrolyzed protein, which can include many processed foods, such as soups, imitation meat products, sauces, cheese powder, flavorings, broths and bullion. The amino acids have all been broken apart in hydrolyzed proteins, so the glutamate can sometimes pair with sodium to form MSG.
Talk to your doctor before taking glutamine supplements, since they are not safe for everyone. If you have liver disease, kidney disease or Reye's syndrome, don't take supplemental glutamine. Glutamine supplements can also cause side effects, including sweating, rash, nausea, vomiting, gas, stomach pain, dizziness, headache, muscle or joint pain and dry mouth.
- University of Kentucky Extension: Chapter 2 -- Facts and Figures
- MedlinePlus: Protein in Diet
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: Chicken, Broilers or Fryers, Meat and Skin, Cooked, Roasted
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Glutamine
- Drugs.com: Glutamine
- USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: Food Safety: Natural Flavorings on Meat and Poultry Labels
Based in Massachusetts, Jessica Bruso has been writing since 2008. She holds a master of science degree in food policy and applied nutrition and a bachelor of arts degree in international relations, both from Tufts University.