T Nation

Poliquin and Glutamine


Now I know that there is a huge amount of literature(including from great authors on this site) that says glutamine is worthless unless intervenous, but Charles Poliquin seems to be a huge fan of it. He even says to take 2-10g's in the morning to spike GH. Now Poliquin certainly reads his research studies so I doubt he would suggest it if it was crap, after all he isn't affilated with any supplement compaines.

Is there hope for glutamine?

Thoughts, hopefully this can stay a mature and professional discussion about the supplement.


How do you know that he's not affiliated with any supplement companies?

I'm not saying he is, but it wouldn't surprise me.


There are authors on this site that advocate the use of glutamine as well.

At the same time, like you said, there are authors on this site that say it's the biggest scam in supplement history.

The main difference I see is, those who support it base their support on real life results they claim to be due to glutamine supplementation, at least to some degree.

Those who say glutamine sucks base their stance on a ton of scientific studies.

Take your pick, I don't think glutamine is going to make a huge difference in your physique either way. It certainly won't "hurt", but it might not help much either.


Charle's thinking may be along the lines of the following study. According to a TC comment Charle's opinions on nutrition are pretty extreme (remember the Vit. C through IV and Hyperbaric chamber to cut bodyfat).

From the "Seven True Studies" article the other day by RJ Elsing

"Ten young and healthy adults were fed what researchers called a "mixed meal" (6.5kcal/kg, 14%:22%:64% = protein:fat:carb) containing either glutamine or an amino acid mixture containing the same number of calories (1.05 Kcal/kg). I'm sure it was cold and held all the culinary excitement one would expect from a pre-digested Happy Meal, but that's beside the point.

Using indirect calorimetry from 30 minutes prior to the meal until six hours afterward, researchers found overall energy expenditure to be 49 percent greater for the overall post-meal phase in the glutamine group! Researchers concluded glutamine supplementation (with mixed meals) alters nutrient metabolism "by increasing carbohydrate oxidation during the early post-meal phase and fat oxidation during the late post-meal phase."

These glutamine-mediated changes may be due to alterations in insulin action and glucose disposal. (JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2006 Mar-Apr; 30(2): 76-80.)"

It would also be interesting to hear Dave Barr's thoughts on this, Barr has pretty much said there is little to back up all the hype of glutamine, but he's objective enough to give the theories about the benefits.


Bauer97- I do agree with you, it's not going to be a huge difference maker, but what if, it does slightly raise GH? Or what if it does truely prevent muscle loss during dieting? Now no, I do not think we're going to ever know the difference, I think that is for people to decide on their own


Chris- He does write in SAN's mag but I believe thats the extent


Years ago, I had some skin breakdown when I was riding the edge of overtraining. I was having trouble getting the skin to heal. After taking glutamine, I healed and had better recovery. I've repeated this situation with the same results.

I don't need any studies to tell me whether it does or does not work. I know for me IT DOES.


Charles has his own supplement company called 'Poliquin'. He sells from his website.


The only problem with this idea is that most any expert will tell you that a 'slight' increase in GH will not have a measurable effect on your physique. There are tons of things that will result in a slight transient spike in GH, but unfortunately they don't help you get leaner, stronger, or more muscular.

Look at the dosages exogenous GN that people typically need to take to get a physique-enhancement effect and you'll begin to understand.


Or. Maybe you're wrong. And maybe the so-called experts are wrong. It has happened before. If it were so cut and dried, why would there be differing opinions. Maybe every effect isn't measurable. I can tell you this, it aids in my recovery. I've gone stints without and have felt the difference. Can't put a finger on it, can't quantify it, but I can tell the difference. I don't get sick as often or as bad. I'm better for my next workout. I even sleep better.

It works for me.


I might be totally off the mark here, but doesn't glutamine also suck water into your internal organs or stomach or something, which, although harmless, might lead to a bit of a distended stomach? Again, maybe my memory is just failing me . . . .


When I take glutamine, it's like I'm on Deca! Oh wait, that was HMB...


He has been promoting Glutamine before he ever had a website let alone his own Company. And go figure, a company selling a product they believe in???

He writes articles for T-Nation too.

The bottom line, Charles Poliquin recommends products by numerous companies, not because he has financial interest, but because he has seen them in action, with either himself or his athletes/clients.

CP has earned me trust throughout the years, as has T-Nation. So when CP recommends something, I try to give it shot and see if it works for me. As far as the Glutamine use, I only use it before and during my workouts with BCAAs, and have showed great results in performance, recovery, and strength and size gains.


I never said that glutamine supplementation doesn't improve recovery. I simply alluded to the fact that it is unlikley to do so via a GH-related mechanism.

It's nice that it works for you.


Frank Zane was pushing the benefits of Glutamine before anyone else. Ok, maybe not anyone else, but he was the first one I ever heard mention regular use of it. Somebody should call or email him and see if we can get an official quotable comment.