Is L-Glutamine Actually Effective?

We all know what L-Glutamine is supposed to do. It’s supposed to aid recovery and prevent muscle wasting due to the fact that it’s one of the most abundant amino acids found in muscle.

However I’ve heard that supplementing with L-Glutamine is useless for these two reasons.

-L-Glutamine denatures in stomach due to acidity.

This one I’m not so sure about. Isn’t it protein that denatures? Or do the actual building blocks of the proteins themselves denature and become useless? I thought that when protein denatures it loses it’s structure and therefore loses it’s function, but the amino acids could still be useful if the protein is broken down in digestion. If that is true, L-Glutamine can’t denature right?

-L-Glutamine will never reach muscle if it makes it past the stomach because it is absorbed by the cells that line the small intestine and are utilized there instead.

Those are the reasons I’ve heard indicating that supplmenting with L-Glutamine is pointless. Thoughts?

I think you should do a search on glutamine. The button is right there, right bellow “articles”.

www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=230glut2

I think the second point about being used up by the cells of the gut is closer to the truth. Amino acids themselves are pretty stable and can’t unfold in solution like a longer protein can.

Here is an interesting and recent study concerning glutamine. It doesn’t relate to muscle growth and recovery though…

Glutamine Supplementation Increases Postprandial Energy Expenditure and Fat Oxidation in Humans
http://jpen.aspenjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/30/2/76
[i]Background: Glutamine interacts with insulin-mediated glucose disposal, which is a component of the increase in energy expenditure (EE) after a meal. The study aim was to examine if glutamine supplementation alters postmeal nutrient oxidation.

Conclusions: Glutamine supplementation with a mixed meal alters nutrient metabolism to increase postmeal EE by increasing carbohydrate oxidation during the early postmeal phase and fat oxidation during the late postmeal phase. Consideration must be given to the potential that these postprandial changes in EE are related to glutamine-mediated changes in insulin action and consequently glucose disposal.[/i]

Glutamine works. I don’t know how everyone can claim it doesn’t. Before I started taking it I was sore as hell after every workout. This was partially due to the fact I was training incorrectly, but when I started taking glutamine the soreness disappeared. I could train more frequently without getting sore.

This is why glutamine is most effective, in recovery. Increased strength etc. are biproducts of the speedy recovery.

It has to work because it’s the most abundant amino acid in muscle cells. Doesn’t this just make sense?

Also, glutamine has been known to cure ulcers etc. and in my case it cured cyclical vomiting syndrome (basically puking your guts out for 20 hours straight…literally 20 hours straight every 10 minutes, once a month). I suffered from it ever since I could remember. I started takign glutamine and now it’s almsot been a year since this has happened to me.

Coincidence? Maybe.

But really this website destroys glutamine. It’s understandable because this is a bodybuilding site, and it may not be very effective with that style of training etc. , but for an athlete I am very happy with the results.

bends over and waits for more people to respond to his post

I remember reading in someone’s article that your body uses glutamine to neutralize acidity, so the first may be true as well.

In the stomach, it’s entirely possible for Glutamine to by hydrolyzed into Glutamic acid, or glutamate(really glutamic in the stomach),

BUT this reaction, takes a very strong acid like HCl, about 100C degree heat, and must be left for about 2 hours. It’s a pretty slow reaction.

So NO, i would not be afraid to supplement glutamine, a very small amount will be lost to become glutamic acid, but the majority will be absorbed before this process converts most of the glutamine.

Interesting:

More interesting information on those wishing to supplement with Glutamine. It is not only found in higher protein foods, but also in some vegetables:

“Glutamine is found most abundantly in high protein foods, such as meat, fish, legumes, and dairy. Two particularly high vegetable sources are raw (uncooked) cabbage and beets. (1-5) It is known that cooking can destroy glutamine, particularly in vegetables. In addition, cabbage in particular appears to contain “unknown” effective components that, when ingested and absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, stimulate the production of tumor necrosis factor [alpha] (TNF[alpha]) and interleukin-1 (IL-1), important players in antitumorial, antiviral, immunoregulatory, and inflammatory responses. (6) Further, cabbage contains glucosinolates and their breakdown products that show clear benefits in optimizing immune function. (7)”

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0ISW/is_2002_April/ai_84211192

I don’t mean any disrespect to Dave Barr and his oft-quoted article on this site, but I know a lot of well-respected figures in the strength and performance field who swear by glutamine. I’ve recently added glutamine into my regimine and it seems to help recovery. I had a bottle sitting in my closet for about 3 years, and decided what the hell and started throwing a bunch into my workout shakes. Nothing scientific about what I’ve done, but subjectively I seem to notice better workout recovery after supplementing with glutamine.

[quote]Donut62 wrote:
I don’t mean any disrespect to Dave Barr and his oft-quoted article on this site, but I know a lot of well-respected figures in the strength and performance field who swear by glutamine. I’ve recently added glutamine into my regimine and it seems to help recovery. I had a bottle sitting in my closet for about 3 years, and decided what the hell and started throwing a bunch into my workout shakes. Nothing scientific about what I’ve done, but subjectively I notice I seem to notice better workout recovery after supplementing with glutamine. [/quote]

Some of the studies that I’ve read state that it’s only effective when taken with no other amino acids.

Now…that doesn’t mean that those studies are accurate.

Both Poliquin and C Thibaudeau say it really helps in recovery. They deal first hand with athletes and a very credible sources.

Poliquin actually recommands a PWO shake of protein + 50g of glutamine (instead of carbs) for those with over 10% bodyfat.

I’ve just begun the AD diet and have ordered AST glutamine - because that’s the pic they showed here of a glutamine supplement. It cost me twice what other brands cost so it better be better!

[quote]ZEB wrote:
Some of the studies that I’ve read state that it’s only effective when taken with no other amino acids.

Now…that doesn’t mean that those studies are accurate.
[/quote]

Those studies are referring to the secretion of hgh, otherwise you can take l-glutamine with other aminos.

I like it with BCAAs. Those who critique it probably eat a lot more carbs than I do. If you do the low carb thing most of the time glutamine/bcaa’s seem to help with fatloss, energy levels, recovery and help you get the pumped feeling even with low carbs.
I think if you’re eating a lot of food/carbs it may not be necessary but when dieting or low carb it’s good stuff.