T Nation

Effects of Glutamine

Ive read that glutamine doesnt do what is was opriginallyh supposed to do which is prevent muscle breakdown or prevent doms or something to that effect. Ive herd people still use it for various reasons but what im basically asking without getting confusing what exactly glutamine does and all its effects

[quote]crod266 wrote:
Ive read that glutamine doesnt do what is was opriginallyh supposed to do which is prevent muscle breakdown or prevent doms or something to that effect. Ive herd people still use it for various reasons but what im basically asking without getting confusing what exactly glutamine does and all its effects[/quote]

I am not sure what you mean by glutamine does not do what it was origionally supposed to do. I can tell you that it should be an integral part of anyone’s supplement cabinet.

Recent scientific research has demonstrated that consuming glutamine following exercise can accelerate muscle glycogen resynthesis and glutamine levels, which are critical in the prevention of overtraining, and the creation of an anabolic environment. I recommend ingesting 0.33 g/kg of glutamine, so for a 90 kg man that would be 30 grams. If someone has a higher percentage bodyfat, I up the glutamine and reduce the carbs.

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid (building block of protein) in the bloodstream. It is considered a “conditionally essential amino acid” because it can be manufactured in the body, but under extreme physical stress the demand for glutamine exceeds the body’s ability to synthesize it. Most glutamine in the body is stored in muscles followed by the lungs, where much of the glutamine is manufactured. Glutamine is important for removing excess ammonia (a common waste product in the body). In the process of picking up ammonia, glutamine donates it when needed to make other amino acids, as well as sugar, and the antioxidant glutathione.

Several types of important immune cells rely on glutamine for energy – without it, the immune system would be impaired. Glutamine also appears to be necessary for normal brain function and digestion. Remember you are only going to be as good as the nutrients you absorb and if you have any digestive disorders one of the first steps (actually the second following an elimination diet) is to use glutamine, aloe, marshmellow root and a few other gems to repair the gut.

Glutamine helps to protect the lining of the gastrointestinal tract known as the mucosa. Because of this, some experts speculate that glutamine deficiency may play a role in the development of IBD, namely ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. These conditions are characterized by damage to the mucosal lining of the small and/or large intestines, which leads to inflammation, infection, and ulcerations (holes). In fact, some preliminary research suggests that glutamine may be a valuable supplement during treatment of IBD because it promotes healing of the cells in the intestines and improves diarrhea associated with IBD. Not all studies have found this positive benefit, however. For this reason, more research is needed before conclusions can be drawn. In the meantime, follow the advice of your healthcare provider when deciding whether to use glutamine for IBD.

Glutamine supplementation has long been known to maintain the health of the mucosa (inner wall) of the gastrointestinal tract and inhibit muscle wasting in critically ill patients. Keeping the intestinal mucosa healthy helps prevent infections such as peritonitis (inflammation of the peritoneum, the thin membrane that lines the abdominal wall and covers most of the organs of the body).

Animal studies indicate that a diet supplemented with glutamine may protect the lining of the intestine, inhibit the growth of bacteria, and improve survival rates in animals with peritonitis.

Additional studies of people at high risk for peritonitis infection suggest that diets high in glutamine, arginine, and omega-3 fatty acids may lower the risk of infection by more than 50% and significantly shorten the length of hospital stay. These results are somewhat controversial, however, as the way that these supplements appear to work involves an inflammatory response in the peritoneum – a reaction known to cause peritonitis.

Athletes who train excessively may deplete their glutamine stores. This is because they are overusing their skeletal muscles, where much of the glutamine in the body is stored. Athletes who overstress their muscles (without adequate time for recovery between workouts) may be at increased risk for infection and often recover slowly from injuries. This is also true for people who participate in prolonged exercise, such as ultra-marathon runners. For this select group of athletes, glutamine supplementation may be useful. This is not true, however, for most exercisers who tend to work out at a much more moderate intensity.

Many people with cancer have abnormally low levels of glutamine. For this reason, some experts speculate that glutamine may prove to be a good addition to conventional treatment of cancer under certain conditions. In fact, nutritional support with supplemental glutamine is often used in malnourished cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments and sometimes used in patients undergoing bone marrow transplants.

Glutamine is used to protect the lining of the small and large intestines from damage caused by chemotherapy or radiation. Glutamine may also protect against the development of mucositis (breakdown of the mucosal membranes of the mouth and nasal passages) caused by therapy for head and neck cancer.

There is some question, however, about whether protection of the intestinal mucosa is a desired result for colon cancer. Plus, some studies suggest that this nutrient may actually stimulate the growth of tumors. Therefore, more research is needed to know whether use of glutamine is safe or effective to use as part of the treatment regimen for cancer.

Glutamine can aid in healing stomach ulcers and prevent inflammation of the stomach that is caused by chronic use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS).

Dietary Sources
Dietary sources of glutamine include plant and animal proteins such as beef, pork and poultry, milk, yogurt, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, raw spinach, raw parsley, and cabbage.

Available Forms
Glutamine, usually in the form of L-glutamine, is available as an individual supplement or as part of a protein supplement. These come in powder, capsule, tablet, or liquid form.

Standard preparations are typically available in 500 mg tablets or capsules.

How to Take It
Glutamine should be taken with cold or room temperature foods or liquids. It should not be added to hot beverages because heat destroys glutamine.


If laboratory tests reveal that a child has an amino acid imbalance that requires treatment, a healthcare provider may recommend a complete amino acid supplement that contains glutamine.


Doses ranging from 500 to 1,500 mg per day are generally considered safe. Amounts as high as 5,000 to 15,000 mg per day (in divided doses) may be prescribed by a healthcare professional.

Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, dietary supplements should be taken only under the supervision of a knowledgeable healthcare provider.

Glutamine powder should not be added to hot beverages because heat destroys this amino acid. Glutamine supplements should also be kept in a dry location. Moisture leads to breakdown of this substance.

People with kidney disease, liver disease, or Reye’s syndrome (a rare, sometimes fatal disease of childhood that is generally associated with use of aspirin in conjunction with chicken pox or an upper respiratory illness) should not take glutamine.

Many elderly people have diminished kidney function and may need to reduce the dose of glutamine.

Glutamine is different from glutamate (glutamic acid), monosodium glutamate, and gluten. Glutamine will not cause symptoms (headaches, facial pressure, tingling, or burning sensation) associated with sensitivity to monosodium glutamate. People who are gluten sensitive can use glutamine without problems.

Possible Interactions
If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use glutamine supplements without first talking to your healthcare provider.

Cancer Therapy
Glutamine may increase the effectiveness and reduce the side effects of chemotherapy treatments with doxorubicin, methotrexate, and 5-fluorouracil in people with colon cancer. Similarly, preliminary studies suggest that glutamine supplements may prevent nerve damage associated with a medication called paclitaxel, used for breast and other types of cancers.

However, test tube studies suggest that glutamine may actually stimulate growth of tumors. Much more research is needed before it is known whether it is safe to use glutamine if you have cancer.

Bill Roberts says glutamine and AAKG are probably your least bang for the buck items.

I tried glutamine in the past I didn’t notice any difference. I’ve done a search on here too. I certainly won’t be including it.

Read this : http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_supplements/glutamine_destroying_the_dogma_part_2

if you don’t want to read the whole article here is the end:

Glutamine is good for hospital patients and rich people with money to waste. If you?re involved in resistance training and already have proper post workout nutrition, along with a moderate carb intake, then glutamine probably won?t do anything for you. In fact, none of the proposed theories dealing with glutamine supplementation have worked out in the athletic world. It?s also one of the most expensive supplements around (simply based on dosage recommendations), so it?s way too costly to use for personal experimentation ? especially when the updated scientific literature doesn?t support the theories.

David J. Barr, CSCS, MSc. Candidate, is a Varsity Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Waterloo

I think glutamine is a fabulous supplement, but I don?t know why makes me hold to lots of subcutaneous water. I wish use it for its benefits for my nutritional programs. I tried introduce it last week:

In a low carb approach:

5 grams pre
10-15 grams during with 40 grams of BCAA
30 grams post work

And my weight bumped up from 167 lb to 178 lb in a few days. It?s been a hard week. All work of months missed in a few days. Plus I increased my protein to 2.0lbs.

I find out my baseline protein intake: 1.5-1.75. If I up to 2.0 (without glutamine), I hold water too. Don?t as much water as glutamine, but is very appreciable in my torso area (pecs, abs, back)

Anyone has this experience too?

Well, least bang for the buck within the particular list that was being cited.

There are other things that for sure are just absolutely worthless, yet expensive. I didn’t mean that they were, IMO, worst in this regard with reference to the entire supplement market. Just that they are questionable IMO, and not cheap.

For glutamine I give the immune enhancement theory when taken postworkout after very hard training more credibility than anabolic properties. It would take a large scale study to determine for sure that there is no immune enhancement property in this situation, if there is none, so it seems hard for me to see why anyone is dogmatic against it. There are a lot that seem to think it works for them including some that consistently had a lot of problems when training hard and not so on adopting the glutamine. That could be chance, but it seems to me that if having that problem, it’s worth seeing if it seems to work for oneself.

But spending money in the hopes of more muscle seems probably futile to me and not the most productive expenditure.

As for restoring glycogen, good ol’ glucose does that. And as for “evil insulin” being generated from it, well if you want protein anabolism I think the insulin will do nicely there, more so than not having it.

Laroyal – did you really write all that?

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
Well, least bang for the buck within the particular list that was being cited.


Yes sorry Bill, it was misleading.

I always considered it more of a substitute for carbs when dieting. I agree with Laroyal on a lot of things, but this probably isn’t one of them.

[quote]Trenchant wrote:
I always considered it more of a substitute for carbs when dieting.[/quote]

For me this is too expensive.

I have taken it before, noticed absolutely no difference…therefore I don’t take it anymore. Don’t care what any research says, lack of results for me personally is all it takes for me to not purchase it anymore.

Glutamine is known for presenting an alkaline load to the body, which makes it good for counter-acting an acidic diet. It’s also good for the intestines, especially after surgery. It’s probably not particularly beneficial to body builders.

I supplemented with it for a few months, which was expensive. I didn’t notice any physical/visible differences while supplementing with it. I haven’t used it since. However, with all the health benefits it supposedly has, I may consider adding it back into my supp protocal.

[quote]elusive wrote:
with all the health benefits it supposedly has, I may consider adding it back into my supp protocal.[/quote]

Let me know how it works for you.

I’m testing it now this month because I have a lot of exams. Carb-heavy meals destroy me (I fall asleep “instantly”), but glutamine makes me able to focus better during the day and stay awake. I havent noticed any difference in my lifting/restitution.
I also take Lecitine-supplements to be able to focus better.

Glutamine is not worth it during other times of the year, in my opinion. Maybe if it cost 1/10 of what it does now.

It will help heal your gut and keep it in good health apart from that I wouldn’t take it for anything else unless your going Poliquin style for post workout carb alternative… Its a great sup to take for gut health benefit. only if you can afford it though!

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

As another member has mentioned before, about 30g a day is great for acid reflux. I can eat Rolaids a few times a day or take Glutamine twice a day and prevent any discomfort.

It’s an easy choice.

[quote]Mick28 wrote:
crod266 wrote:
Ive read that glutamine doesnt do what is was opriginallyh supposed to do which is prevent muscle breakdown or prevent doms or something to that effect. Ive herd people still use it for various reasons but what im basically asking without getting confusing what exactly glutamine does and all its effects

I tried it for 12 weeks and it did absolutely nothing. I then read somewhere that it raised your bad cholesterol, LDL and thought well at least it did something. Nothing good, but something.[/quote]

In 15 years of using and researching Glutamine I have never read that, I am not disagreeing with you personally but, I would like to see the refrences for the study for my own intrest.

During winter, I dose up on glutamine whenever I feel as though I am starting to get a cold.

I don’t use glutamine as a regular training supplement though, as I don’t believe it’s particularly cost effective.

It helped heel my gut after a nasty bout of diarohea. Have noticed no benefits in the PWO window, even when trying the magical peptidie bonded version.