Alanine and Glutamine—Assisting Liver Function
Why do you get a hangover when you drink too much? It's because of the acetaldehyde that is made when the liver breaks down alcohol in your body. Once the acetaldehyde is broken down the unpleasantness disappears. However, as long as acetaldehyde accumulates in your body you will continue to feel hung over. This is where amino acids can help you.
The amino acids alanine and glutamine are glucogenic amino acids that make glucose in the body to provide energy. This process uses up the coenzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) that is made when our bodies break down alcohol, which helps the decomposition reaction in the liver.
Taking amino acids enables your body to break down alcohol more efficiently in the liver so that you can recover faster from a hangover.
Suda & Tanaka, JJPEN. Vol. 11, 10, 1179-1183 (1989)
According to a survey on the amount of alcohol in the breath of healthy adults, alcohol in blood declines over time after an alcoholic drink, but a study showed that blood alcohol drops faster if we add alanine and glutamine, which doesn’t happen with sugar. The reason is that the liver can metabolize alcohol faster in the presence of alanine and glutamine.
Ohta et al, ISSN Vol. 3, No. 1, 57-58 (2009)
Although it is best not to drink in excess sometimes we can end up having a few too many drinks. Alanine and glutamine help to ease liver dysfunction and promote liver regeneration. Use amino acids wisely if you are going to drink.