T Nation

Supplements and Anti-depressents


Hello All:

Im new to the forums and would love to ask if anyone has issues with taking supplements and also use antidepressents. I myself have (unfortunately) been taking anti-depressants for many years and have often wondered about the adverse effects the two, while taken together may have. I currently use Leucine, glutamine, creatine and whey protein. I also take fish oil and B-complex daily.

I have not had an issues while taking these yet I am curious and nervous about taking other supplements on the market and even on this site. I have read the warnings but would like to hear some first hand accounts. Any help would be greatly appreciated.



I think anything that is a non stimulant will be fine.

And save your self some money and forget about the glutamine.


The fish oil might have a positive effect on your depression. The rest of what you're taking is all found in normal food, so you really don't have much to worry about.


OK, so I guess that Surge Workout Fuel would be out of the question?

As far as Glutamine goes I have been taking it for a while and use it for muscle recovery and help with my immune system.

I feel it has helped, how much its tough to tell. Is it a placebo effect I dont know, as with most vitamins and supplements the benefits usually start with the word "may" instead of "will."


I would think Surge Workout Fuel would be fine.

Try BCAA for recovery instead of glutamine. Just know with glutamine you are paying a premium for something that has minimal affect. Some believe it does NOTHING. If it truly worked then there would be no doubt.



From the article:

Myth: Glutamine is a great supplement for weight lifters.
Mythbuster: Tim Ziegenfuss

First, let me point out that I don't expect my take on glutamine to resonate with those who're convinced it's a worthwhile supplement.

I'll concede that glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid in the body, and has important roles in muscle tissue (as a nitrogen shuttle), the brain (as a component of cerebrospinal fluid), and the intestinal mucosa/immune cells (as an energy substrate). It's also cheap and pretty much tasteless, and supplement companies have worked hard to convince consumers that glutamine has anti-catabolic properties in humans.

But when you get right down to it, the most important role of glutamine for athletes is gut health. If you're an athlete competing in endurance-based sports, glutamine may help prevent upper-respiratory infections. If you simply slam the iron, a few grams of glutamine isn't going to do squat.

Put simply, I don't know of a single study in humans that shows glutamine has anabolic or anti-catabolic properties that increase training adaptations during resistance exercise. That includes a terrific study from Canada in which subjects were given 45 grams of glutamine per day during a six-week training program. Compared to the placebo group, subjects consuming glutamine had no greater increases in strength (measured via squat, bench press, and knee-extension torque), body composition (lean mass determined via DEXA), or muscle-protein breakdown (determined via urinary 3-methylhistidine excretion).

So ultimately, my take on glutamine and weight training is this: If you're into micromanaging things, glutamine probably won't hurt your efforts in the gym. But it almost certainly won't help.

Tim Ziegenfuss


Ok cool, I appreciate the feed back. Im gonna try the BCAAs. I will admit its all so confusing, it seems for every point there is a counter-point. Im going to a nutrition store and will get it, and Ill probably blow my money on some flashy new bullshit...lol...just kidding.


more on glutamine:



OK, very interesting. What would you suggest to take in place of Glutamine? To take place of what many people glutamine helps with.

Essential and non essential and now sortof essential? geez man!


i take anti-depressants as well, and the only problem i have run into with taking supplements is a very adverse reaction to anything containing large amounts of caffeine. otherwise everything i have tried is fine.

i have begun to look into slowly getting off of the anti-depressants as i get older. morally, i feel a little bad about depending on a pill to make me happy. but it really does help with my mood swings and anxiety.


Just leave out the glutamine, you don't have to replace it with anything. BCAA is expensive and people have mixed results, I believe it's best to superdose it and taken on a cut.
Surge Workout Fuel is great, just read the article/thread and decide if you need it.


I agree whole heartedly.


It really depends on what anti-depressant you're taking. Any food-based supplement will not cause a problem.


I am taking anti-depressants in the SNRI category Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors I am not taking older antidepressants such as MAOI Monoamine oxidase inhibitors

The conundrum is basically medical professionals usually know nothing about supplements so they err on the side of caution and say dont take them at all and others are not to well versed on anti-depressants and there effects with nutritional and or performance supplements.


All you folks who think Glutamine is a useless supplement are sorely mistaken. Studies don't mean crap; supplements work differently on different people, and there are a number of parameters that effect the outcome. The research that Mr. Ziegenfuss posted does not indicate what the subjects' goals were, and whether they were powerlifters, athletes, body builders or just regular people.

Glutamine works. In terms of recovery, digestion, muscle sparing, and increased workout intensity. I've been using it for years. I've worked out without it as well.

Great supplement for recovery, especially if you're on a low cal diet.



I never took antidepressants, however in case of 'blues' times, I noticed that Rhodiola Rosea was working very well to greatly improve my mood.

I have no idea if Rhodiola Rosea can be taken with antidepressants, or only instead of them, but did you try it ?
If yes what happened if you were taking Rhodiola instead of them ?

Biotest Rhodiola is very potent and effective, I am a new addict to it (better focus, mood, more energy).

If you are intesrested by a strong immune system, below is what you can read on the Biotest Rhodiola product page :



I was on SSRI's for a while and tried HOT-ROX Extreme (whatever they sell now) and Surge Post-Workout in addition to various Protein/MRP's. Never had any adverse side effects.

I got off the SSRI's a year ago and recently discovered the source of my depression: hypothyroid. The thyroid meds make me feel amazing, 10x better than the blunted emotions of anti-depressants. I would recommend finding the cause of your depression as it is often a symptom of a larger/different problem.


If glutamine improves your gut health, you ARE going to benefit from it.

If you already have a healthy gut and good digestion, you won't see the benefit.

So figure out which one you are.

Also, you may benefit from glutamine only at a time when your gut needs it. When I had a raging peptic ulcer, glutamine rapidly healed it. But once the gut is healthy again, you may no longer benefit from continuing to take it.


You have to be very careful taking natural supplements to aid depression along with antidepressant medication often times these supplements and meds effect the same chemicals in the brain and have an adverse effect. Believe me, St Johns Wort did a number on me years ago.

As far as underlying meanings for mental / emotional illness it just isnt easy to pinpoint one reason. Unfortunately it has been a part of my life all my life for both external and internal reasons....in a nutshell psychotherapy is the best help along with unfortunately meds. I say unfortunately because as one poster so eloquently put it its hard to know you have to rely on a pill for happiness. But I am living proof that mental illness does not mean your a wacko, I have family kids and an extreme passion for slammin iron.

But I digress I am going to try the Biotest Surge as well as BCAAs. We are looking for some sort of edge or someway to get more results. I just have to worry about whats going in my system more than some others.

Thanks for all the suggestions and comments



I've been on zoloft, and switched to Wellbutrin. Spike or any other stimulant did NOT go well with the former, but seem to be fine with the latter.

I have found Biotest's Rhodiola rosea to be massively helpful in conjunction with wellbutrin.