Glutamine | What Does It Do And Should You Start Taking It?
Time and time again we see products rise in popularity from claims that trend through social media outlets. Unfortunately, many times these claims don’t actually align with the usage and recommendations of these products. However, that’s why we’re here to filter through research and give you the facts. In this post, we’re going over L-Glutamine and it’s benefits!
What Is Glutamine?
L-glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid, which means the body can produce it naturally, but there may be times you’ll need to supplement it. Additionally, glutamine is one of the most abundant and versatile amino acid in the body. It plays a roles in many body systems including metabolic functions, immune system, muscle performance, and others. (1,2) But, it’s also naturally found in foods like: (3)
- Skim milk
- White Rice
In this section, we’ll be going over what glutamine does and the benefits of supplementing with it!
- Immune System
- Gut And Digestive Health
- Muscle Recovery
- Heart Health
Glutamine And Your Immune System:
Glutamine plays a significant role in promoting your immunity through fueling immune cells like white blood cells. So naturally, when your body is in a state of sickness or injury, your need for glutamine can increase. However, if the supply for glutamine is lower than your body’s need, your body may break down protein stores, such as muscle. (3,4,5)
1. Anabolic, anticatabolic
2. Stimulates human growth hormone release
3. Acts as Antioxidant
4. Direct fuel for rapidly dividing cells
5. Immune stimulant
6. Shuttle for ammonia
7. Synthesis for purine and pyrimidines
These properties glutamine may assist with reducing the risk of wound infection and may improve healing of wounds. Though it may not dramatically impact the wound on its own.(3)
Glutamine And Gut Health:
Related to your immune system is your intestinal health, aka gut and digestive health. This is probably why you’re here so let’s start with saying current research does support the claims that glutamine can help with gut health. (6) In case you didn’t know, there are trillions of good bacteria in your intestines that make up your gut flora. As a source of energy for intestinal cells and immune cells, glutamine can help maintain a barrier between your gut and the rest of your body. This helps protect against leaky gut and other pathogens that can lead to illness or inflammation. Current research also shows that glutamine supplementation not only supports barrier maintenance, but also can also improve function. (7)
Additionally, research suggests supplementation may be beneficial for certain gastrointestinal disorders like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowl syndrome (IBS). However, alternative studies indicate that these benefits may be limited to times of remission, not during flares. (8,9)
Does It Help With Bloating?
However, more research is necessary to show if supplementing with glutamine can be beneficial for individuals without a gastrointestinal disorder.
One of glutamine’s most famous benefits is as an ergogenic aid. While research on this benefit can contradict, there is research that supports glutamine’s ability to prevent muscle catabolism (breakdown) and reduce muscle soreness. (11,12) However, research does not currently indicate this amino acid can directly promote strength or muscle growth. And several studies suggest that it necessarily boosts performance, despite reducing fatigue. (13)
New studies are emerging which suggest l glutamine may be beneficial for cardiovascular health and disease. Due to its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, glutamine may help reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease, like hypertension. (14)
Here we’ll list some popular l-glutamine products and how to take them!
- Optimum Nutrition Glutamine (Powder / Capsules)
- AllMax Nutrition Glutamine Powder
- NOW Foods L-Glutamine (Veg Capsules)
- Nutrex Glutamine Drive
How To Take Optimum Nutrition Glutamine:
Caps: The manufacturer recommends taking 1-2 capsules 30-45 minutes before workouts and/or immediately after workouts.
Powder: The manufacturer recommends mixing one (1) rounded teaspoon (5g) with 8oz water or your favorite beverage.
Customer Review By Andrew: “This is a great product. I have been taking it for years and feel its helped me maintain my results throughout fitness and health journey.”
How To Take AllMax Nutrition Glutamine:
The manufacturer recommends mixing one (1) rounded teaspoon (5g) in water or juice once daily. For training sessions and athletic events, take approximately 30 minutes prior to training and immediately after training to help prevent muscle tissue breakdown and aid muscle recovery. At times when you are not training, mix 1 rounded teaspoon (5g) in water or juice approximately 45-60 minutes prior to meals.
Customer Review By Gilmar: “First time a bought this Allmax Glutamine to help on my recovery. Very happy with the results!”
How To Take NOW Foods L-Glutamine (Veg Capsules):
The manufacturer recommends taking one (1) capsule 1 to 3 times daily, preferably between meals. Store in a cool, dry place after opening.
Customer Review By David: “I have more energy, as well as my relief from acid reflux. My sweet craving has also diminished. I’ve been taking L Glutamine for 5 weeks. I will be placing another order.”
How To Take Nutrex Glutamine Drive:
The manufacturer recommends mixing one (1) scoop with 6-8oz of water or any beverage of your choice. They also suggest taking two (2) servings daily; one in the morning upon rising and one before going to bed. On training days, you may want to take an extra serving following your workout.
Customer Review Gary: “Easy to mix, and great for recovery. A must for any serious lifter, or athlete.”
In this section, we’re tackling down some of your top frequently asked questions about l glutamine!
Glutamine VS Glutamate
|Both glutamine and glutamate belong to the family of amino acids, “glutamate family”. Where, l glutamate is the most abundant free amino acid in brain, but is also a non-essential amino acid. This amino acid is the major excitatory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system. Through synthesis of l glutamine and Kreb’s cycle intermediates, glutamic acid in the brain is formed. Here, glutamate plays a role in many neuronal functions like synaptic maintenance and plasticity. (15)
Glutamine For Mood?
|It’s possible as some studies suggest that an increase in the glutamine–glutamate ratio may improve mood and cognition. However, other study’s results suggest that accumulation of glutamine in the blood and brain can negatively affect brain function. Ultimately, more research is necessary to understand the relationship between glutamine and the cognition/mood. (16,17)|
Can It Help Weight Loss?
|A pilot research study’s results suggest that glutamine supplementation may improve insulin sensitivity in sick patients and may enhance glucose metabolism. Similar results were found in a separate recent study that focused on overweight and obese populations. These results do suggest that glutamine supplementation may assist with weight loss. However, more research is necessary for to assess if these results will be consistent alternative groups. (18,19,20)|
Should You Stack It With Creatine?
|Both creatine and glutamine may assist with muscle recovery and promote performance. However, the studies on glutamines effects on muscle growth and performance are not as clear as with creatine. So while these supplements can be a great stack for some individuals, others may not get experience all the potential benefits. (21,22)|
When it comes to amino acids, you have the fortunate opportunity to get them from a variety of sources. Likewise, glutamine can be supplemented on its own or with other blends. In this section, we’re going to dive into some popular intra and post workout supplements that feature glutamine.
- Blackstone Labs Formula 19
- Alani Nu BCAA
- Scivation Xtend BCAA
- NutraKey BCAA Optima
- USP Labs BCAA Supreme
Our first post workout supplement is Blackstone Lab’s Formula 19. Formula 19 features a recovery, carbohydrate-formula with 4 ingredient, including 9 grams of glutamine per serving.
R3 Carbohydrate Blend:
Current research studies support consuming carbohydrates post-workout as a way to replenish muscle glycogen stores. (23)
Magnesium Glycyl Glutamine:
Magnesium Glycyl-Glutamine can help promote the recovery and anabolic benefits from glutamine with the enhanced metabolic processes from magnesium. (26)
How To Take Blackstone Labs Formula 19:
The manufacturer recommends men mix two (2) scoops in 8-10 oz. of water and take post-workout on training days. While, women mix one (1) scoop in 8-10 oz. of water and take post-workout on training days.
Customer Review By John: “Keeps me powered up through my workout, great pumps and muscle fullness.”
Our next featured product is Alani Nu BCAA. This formula features a simple 5 gram BCAA formula with only .5 grams of glutamine. Unfortunately, this is lower than most recommendations for glutamine, as it is often supplemented at doses between 5-30 grams. (28)
Isoleucine is part of the 3 branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). It plays a role in muscle metabolism, including building and repairing muscle. Isoleucine is an essential amino acid, so you need to consume it from food or supplements. The current recommendation of isoleucine for adults is around 13 mg daily. However, for muscle growth, it is common to see isoleucine in a BCAA supplement dosed in a 2:1:1 ratio with leucine and valine. (29,24)
Valine is our last of the branched-chain amino acids and our last shared amino acid between the products. And like the other two, valine helps stimulate muscle growth and repair, as well as energy production. (24,30)
How To Take Alani Nu BCAA:
The manufacturers recommend mixing one (1) scoop per 8-10oz of water. Shake well for the best consistency and flavor. This product is best consumed during exercise or in between meals.
Customer Review By Michele: “Can’t do a workout without this! It’s a game changer. Prevents me from being sore and I have a much better workout! Absolutely love it. And it’s delicious too!”
Next up, we have Scivation Xtend BCAA, which is one of our more popular BCAA supplements. This intra-workout supplement features 7 grams of BCAAs and 2.5 grams of glutamine. In addition to these ingredients, Xtend also features around 1.2 grams of electrolytes and 1 gram of citrulline malate.
Citrulline Malate features a combination of the nonessential amino acid L Citrulline and Malic Acid. This amino acid plays a role in improving exercise performance and widening your blood vessels, which may aid in improving muscle growth. (34,35)
How To Take Scivation Xtend BCAA:
The manufacturer recommends mixing two (2) scoops daily in 10-14 fl. oz. of water (adjust for taste preference) and shake well.
- On training days: Mix one (1) scoop during exercise and one (1) scoop after exercise.
- On non-training days: Mix two (2) scoops throughout the day.
Customer Review By Mathew: “Fruit Punch is our favorite, & it really helps for workouts, just can’t do without it, but for some reason unable find the 90 servings locally, so was happy to find this store. It arrived quickly, which was great since low on our existing batch, so this is our go to supplier going forward.”
Our next BCAA matrix comes from NutraKey’s BCAA Optima. This formula features 7 grams of BCAAs like Xtend, but with more 100 mg of glutamine and 500mg less of citrulline malate. However, unlike in Xtend, BCAA Optima also features Taurine in it’s electrolyte blend.
Taurine is an amino acid found commonly in the brain. It serves multiple purposes in the body including (36):
- Maintaining hydration and electrolytes
- Regulates minerals such as calcium
- Supports the nervous system and eyes
- Regulate immune system functions
But, taurine also may boost exercise performance studies suggest that taurine may aid in removing waste products that lead to fatigue and muscle burn. What this translates to is it being effective for promoting endurance, increasing alertness and enhancing recovery. (37)
How To Take Nutrakey BCAA Optima:
The manufacturers recommend mixing one (1) scoop with 8-12 oz. of water before your workout and one (1) scoop with 8-12 oz. of water an hour after your workout. However, you may want to adjust the servings based on your lifestyle. The manufacturers recommend casual-light activity take one (1) scoop post-workout. While users with a more moderate-weekly activity level may want to take one (1) scoop post-workout and one (1) scoop before bed. Athletes may want to take one (1) scoop with a meal and one (1) scoop before and after a workout.
Customer Review By Robert: “These BCAA’s are great! Taste great and gets the job done. Highly recommended!”
And the last intra-post workout supplement in our list is BCAA Supreme from USP Labs. This formula features a proprietary blend, so we wouldn’t be able to directly compare each of the ingredients. In addition to BCAAs, BCAA Supreme also features L-Alanine, Taurine, Glycine, L-Lysine HCl, and L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine (aka Sustamine™).
Alanine or beta alanine is a popular ingredient for pre workouts, which is because beta alanine can help aid performance. This amino acid can help buffer away lactic acid build-up, which is associated with the “burn” effect of training a muscle. For these benefits, you would need around 2-5 grams of beta alanine. (38)
Glycine, in addition to being an amino acid, is used by the body to make glutathione (an antioxidant) and is a component of creatine and collagen. This ingredient may help enhance cognitive function, lower blood pressure, and may help control blood glucose. (39)
Sustamine™ is a combination of two amino acids L-glutamine and L-alanine. This combination has potential protective, absorption enhancing activities, and even inhibit muscle protein catabolism (muscle breakdown). (41)
How To Take USP Labs BCAA Supreme:
The manufacturers recommend mixing one (1) serving (2 level scoops) in 20 ounces of water and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Sip throughout workout, athletic event or any time additional amino acids are needed. Due to high leucine content some initial foaming may occur, which should subside over a few minutes time with light shaking. Shake container before each use to disperse ingredients that may have settle.
Customer Review By Jacob: “Just got it today. Rocket Pop flavor tastes great. Powder mixes well.”
And this marks the end of our post on Glutamine. Thank you for reading! And as always, if there was something that wasn’t clear, another question you might have, or if you have another idea for a blog, Email Us!
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Do not exceed recommended daily dose. Consult a physician prior to use if you have any medical conditions. Intended only for adults 18 years and older. Not for use by those who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or nursing.
†PLEASE NOTE: The intention of the information provided is for reference only. Furthermore, we are in no way providing medical advice or instruction. Instead, the information provided in this guide/blog utilizes anecdotal information and available studies/reviews. While our goal is to maintain and display accurate information, we can’t guarantee it represents the latest formulation of the product or information. Therefore, please visit the manufacturer’s website if you have any concerns. Also, the information above does not represent our views here at Same Day Supplements. Instead, these are the views and information provided by the manufacturers and users. The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. Finally, the intention of these products is not to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.
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