Nutrition Market

What is Glutamine?

Glutamine is an amino acid that is made up of glutamine in the body's proteins. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body and plays a key role in protein synthesis, muscle building, intestinal health, immune function, and more. As a supplement, L-glutamine provides a concentrated dose to optimize glutamine levels in the body.

Glutamine as an Amino Acid

  • Classified as a non-essential amino acid since the body converts glutamine
  • Becomes a conditional essential amino acid during illness or stress
  • Main site of production is the muscles which contain high protein

L-Glutamine Benefits

  • Promotes muscle protein synthesis and growth
  • Supports exercise recovery
  • Maintains intestinal integrity and gut health
  • Boosts immune function
  • Helps regulate acid-base balance

Glutamine for Muscle Mass

Intense exercise like heavy weight training can reduce glutamine levels by up to 50%. Glutamine supplements can help normalise glutamine levels and promote muscle protein synthesis after strenuous workouts. This enhances recovery and supports strength and muscle mass gains.

Glutamine and Intestinal Health

Glutamine is the primary fuel source for intestinal cells and helps maintain gut mucosal health. It helps maintain the gut barrier and prevent permeability or "leaky gut." Glutamine supplements can alleviate intestinal inflammation and conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Why Supplement with Glutamine?

Glutamine levels can drop during periods of stress like illness or intense exercise. Supplementing allows you to optimize your glutamine levels, aiding recovery, intestinal health, immune function and overall well-being.

How to Take Glutamine

Glutamine comes in powder or capsule supplement form. The typical dosage is 2-5 grams per day. Many fitness enthusiasts take 5-10 grams post-workout along with protein. For gut health, start with a lower dose like 5 grams daily.

Timing and Dosage

    • Pre or post-workout: 5-10 grams
  • For general wellness: 3-5 grams daily
  • For leaky gut: Start with 5 grams daily away from food

Forms of Glutamine

    • L-glutamine powder - convenient to mix into shakes
    • Capsules - easy to swallow; often in 750mg doses
  • Transalanyl or alanyl glutamine - more stable form

Stacking Glutamine

Glutamine works well with other supplements like:

  • BCAAs - Support muscle recovery
  • Antioxidants like vitamin C - Fight exercise stress
  • Probiotics - Boost gut health

Potential Side Effects

Glutamine supplements are likely safe for most people at recommended doses. High doses may cause:

  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

Those with serious health issues should avoid glutamine supplementation.

Glutamine for Workouts

Studies show supplemental L-glutamine can boost athletic performance. It helps increase growth hormone levels, glycogen storage, and protein synthesis. Take 5-10 grams of glutamine with pre or post workout nutrition.

Recovery and Muscle Growth

The decrease in glutamine after prolonged endurance exercise contributes to muscle breakdown and soreness. Glutamine supplements speed recovery by supporting protein synthesis. Studies confirm glutamine aids muscle growth when combined with weight training.

Glutamine for Leaky Gut

Low glutamine levels are linked to impaired gut function and permeability. Glutamine helps heal this intestinal hyperpermeability and related issues like IBS. Take 5 grams daily on an empty stomach. Slowly increase to 10 grams over 4-6 weeks with gut-healing supplements.

Immune Support

About 30% of glutamine is used by immune cells. It helps improve immune function and maintain antioxidant status. Those recovering from illness may benefit from glutamine supplementation.

The Evidence

Multiple studies demonstrate the benefits of L-glutamine supplements for exercise recovery, building muscle, gut health, immunity, and more. However, effects can vary based on health status, dosage, and diet. Work closely with your healthcare provider.

Who Should Avoid Glutamine

Avoid glutamine supplements if:

  • You have kidney or liver disease - glutamine may accumulate
  • You have cirrhosis - it may cause complications
  • You have seizures or mental health disorders - glutamine affects neurotransmitters


Glutamine may interact with:

    • Lithium - Decreases its absorption
    • Anticonvulsants - May reduce efficacy
    • Chemotherapy drugs - Consult your oncologist

Long-Term Effects

There are few adverse effects reported with long-term use when taken as recommended. However, limited research has extended beyond a few months. Consult your doctor before starting long-term supplementation.

In Critically Ill Patients

Glutamine was used to help prevent complications in critically ill patients. However, recent research found it increased mortality rates. Do not take glutamine supplements in the hospital or ICU without medical guidance.

Choosing Quality Glutamine

When shopping for glutamine, look for:

    • L-glutamine rather than D-glutamine
  • Reputable manufacturing
  • No unnecessary additives
  • Independent testing for purity

Discuss glutamine supplementation with your healthcare provider, especially if you have health conditions. Research optimal dosage and timing for your goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the signs of low glutamine?

Some signs of glutamine deficiency include muscle wasting, cramps, fatigue, poor immunity, intestinal issues, and low energy. Prolonged stress or illness can deplete glutamine levels.

When should you take glutamine supplements?

Most experts recommend taking glutamine supplements either before or after exercise to optimize workout performance, recovery, and muscle growth. Other good times are first thing in the morning or between meals if using glutamine for gut health.

How long does it take for glutamine to work?

The effects of glutamine supplements may be felt within days or weeks depending on the individual and targeted benefits. For exercise recovery, effects are often noticed within 1-2 weeks. Gut health improvements may take 4-6 weeks.

What foods contain glutamine?

Some high glutamine foods include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, beans, spinach, cabbage, beets, and carrots. Eating a high protein diet can help maintain glutamine levels.

Can you take too much glutamine?

There is minimal evidence of toxicity with high glutamine intakes from food. However, excess supplementation may potentially cause side effects. Doses over 40 grams per day are not recommended without medical supervision.

Is glutamine good for weight loss?

Glutamine may help with weight management due to its role in muscle building and preventing the breakdown of muscle proteins. However, its effects are small and more research is needed on glutamine and weight loss.

What are some glutamine supplement brands?

Some commonly used brands of glutamine supplements include Optimum Nutrition, MusclePharm, BulkSupplements, NOW Sports, Dymatize, Universal Nutrition, Cellucor, and MRM.

Does glutamine expire?

Like all supplements and medications, glutamine does expire after a period of time. Glutamine powders or capsules typically expire after 1-3 years from the manufacturing date if stored properly. The expiration should be printed on the packaging.

Is glutamine an excitotoxin?

In high doses, some types of glutamine derivatives act as excitotoxins. However, the free-form L-glutamine supplements do not. Studies confirm L-glutamine is safe at moderate supplementation doses.

What is glutamine peptide?

Glutamine peptide supplements contain glutamine bound to other amino acids. They may be labeled as L-alanyl L-glutamine or glycyl L-glutamine. This form is more stable but has a lower glutamine content by weight.

Read More

Showing 1–12 of 17 results

Shopping cart close