Glutamine supplementation is a topic in the fitness world that often gets forgotten or dismissed. Glutamine is probably one of the lamest supplements out on the market. It doesn’t have any flashy ingredients like pre-workout supplements, or any delicious flavors like protein powders have. Glutamine is like that one guy back in high school who wore the same suspenders everyday and was the captain of the chess club. No one knows his name or anything about him. Ask any random gym goer and chances are he/she will not know much about the supplement. However, glutamine can have many benefits if used correctly. This article is going to break down glutamine supplementation and answer any questions you may have on it.
What Is Glutamine?
In short, glutamine is simply an amino acid. It is the most abundant free amino acid in the body. It is found naturally in the body and composes 60% of skeletal muscle. In addition to this, it is also found in common foods that are known for their protein content. This can include beef, chicken, turkey, eggs, milk and nuts.
Glutamine has many important health functions in the body including kidney health, an immune system boost, and a nitrogen and carbon source to certain cells who use them as fuel.
For sports performance reasons, glutamine is generally used for recovery purposes. It enhances protein synthesis and prevents muscle catabolism, which is the breakdown of muscle tissue (AKA losing your gainz). There is also some research showing that it can increase your growth hormone levels.
Different Types Of Glutamine
There are three different types of glutamine, but two different types that you will see in supplement stores. These are glutamine and L-glutamine. The third type is D-glutamine, but I have never seen a D-glutamine supplement in my life. D-glutamine and L-glutamine are isomers of glutamine. This means that they have a different molecular shape that glutamine.
L-glutamine is the only form that can be utilized by the body, so I would definitely recommend using this type only. Most supplements that are only labeled “glutamine” actually use L-glutamine despite what the front label says. This can be confusing, so it is important to check the ingrediants on the back of the bottle before you buy any glutamine product. As long as L-glutamine is the form of glutamine used, it should be okay to use.
Controversy Around Glutamine Supplements
There are some individuals who say that supplementing with glutamine has no benefit and is a waste of money. They claim that using the supplement didn’t cause them to “feel any different” and they didn’t make progress as they should have with the supplement. While it is no miracle supplement, I do believe that it has benefits to using it. I know for me, I have noticed that when I use glutamine, I am rarely sore after I train. When a certain muscle does get sore, I also notice that I recover from the soreness faster. This could be from a placebo effect when I use glutamine, but either way I definitely notice a difference.
To counter the arguments of the people who say they don’t feel the effects of glutamine, I think that just because they “don’t feel anything” doesn’t mean that the supplement hasn’t worked. There are plenty of supplements that I don’t “feel anything” from, such as my fish oil and my multi-vitamin. This doesn’t mean they aren’t working effectively. This why you need to do research and see what science has to say about any supplement before you put it in your body. You cannot always judge a supplement based on how it makes you feel, because you may not necessarily notice effects from every supplement you choose to use.
In addition to this, many people opt not to use glutamine due to the fact that many protein powders contain glutamine in them. While this is true, chances are you will only find 5 or so grams of glutamine in them. This will slightly benefit you, but it is recommended to take 15-25 grams of glutamine a day if you are going to supplement with it. Personally, I do not experience the same feeling of recovery from only using protein powder, but of course not everyone will agree with me.
Should You Use A Glutamine Supplement?
In my opinion, glutamine can be very beneficial for many different people. However, I think that certain people can benefit more than other people will from the supplement. I believe that how hard you train should be a big factor in determining if you want to use glutamine or not. If you are training hard every week and pushing your body to the limits, I think you could really benefit from a glutamine supplement. Consistently training hard is going to deplete your glutamine stores, which is going to cause your recovery to suffer, if you are not replenishing yourself properly. Supplementing with glutamine will help restore these levels to normal, and keep your recovery time optimal.
As I stated earlier, glutamine is mainly found in animal products. If you are a vegetarian or a vegan, you may have trouble getting adequate amounts of glutamine. Supplementing with glutamine may be a way to fix this. Again, if you are vegetarian or vegan and choose to supplement with a protein powder of some kind, you may feel like you don’t need glutamine. If you are vegetarian or vegan then chances are you are not getting adequate amounts of glutamine from food consumption alone (especially if you are vegan) due to the lack of meat and/or animal products in your diet.
There are many different glutamine products available on the market. As I stated earlier, as long as L-glutamine is the type of glutamine used, it should do it’s job great. The glutamine product I use is the Optimum Nutrition glutamine. I have found it to give me great results, mostly in my recovery. I feel that with glutamine, I don’t have nearly as much muscle soreness as I used to, and I feel more recovered in time for my next workout.
Where To Buy
There are several different options you have if you are looking to buy glutamine. Often times glutamine is not sold at your local grocery store, so this leaves you with the choices of buying from a supplement store or buying online. Supplement stores are pretty much always overpriced, and their selection is usually terrible, so I recommend buying online. Buying online gives you the best price (even after you add shipping costs in) and the best selection. I buy glutamine, as well as almost all of my other supplements from bodybuilding.com. If interested, feel free to click the picture below to take you straight to the glutamine product that I have recommended.
Hopefully this article has helped you to have a better understanding of glutamine. If you have any further questions about glutamine, or have a glutamine product that you prefer, please leave a comment for us below!