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Benefits of Glutamine.... does it really work?



Staff Member
Aug 11, 2010
Do you use glutamine for recovery?

What do you feel are the benefits of Glutamine?

When do you take it and with what?

How much do you take?

I have been using glutamine for years however sometimes I will take it on an empty stomach and sometimes I mix it in with a protein shake. I usually use 5 grams..... Does it work or doesnt it?


Senior Member
Mar 14, 2011
i dont know and hoavent looked up the scientific results on glutamine...however i can tel the next day when i dont take it. i always take 5 grams with a shake immediately post workout, and add it in with my shake in the morning as well. it def helps me with recovery, soreness, and my next workout...


TID Board Of Directors
Feb 3, 2011
I've used glutamine off and on for a couple years, and I'm not sure I've really noticed a difference between the offs and ons. However, I am a meat eater, big time, and I think the amount of glutamine that I take in from an average day's meat intake saturates my body, and the supplemental glutamine is wasted. But if one was cutting back on calories big-time, and for one reason or another wasn't getting enough meat, especially red meat, then I would guess that glutamine would be of use.
Number LL

Number LL

VIP Member
Dec 4, 2010
I have always been a lemming with Glutamine. I try 5-7.5g in my post workout shake. It is pretty cheap.


TID Lady Member
Mar 17, 2011
glutamine is very improtant and is the most prevelant aa in the body. it goes a long ways in helping the muscle rebuild itself. i have it and i suck at taking it.

suggested use is 5g post workout and 5 g at bedtime. i think it is a simple supp that you wont really 'feel' anything from but should be consumed by everybody who is lifting! building blocks are building blocks, if you dont have them, nothing will go up!


Dec 25, 2010
I can look up the studies, but it's pretty much bunk unless its run through IV.


Effect of glutamine supplementation combined with resistance training in young adults.

Candow DG, Chilibeck PD, Burke DG, Davison KS, Smith-Palmer T.

College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.

The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of oral glutamine supplementation combined with resistance training in young adults. A group of 31 subjects, aged 18-24 years, were randomly allocated to groups (double blind) to receive either glutamine (0.9 g x kg lean tissue mass(-1) x day(-1); n = 17) or a placebo (0.9 g maltodextrin x kg lean tissue mass(-1) x day(-1); n = 14 during 6 weeks of total body resistance training. Exercises were performed for four to five sets of 6-12 repetitions at intensities ranging from 60% to 90% 1 repetition maximum (1 RM). Before and after training, measurements were taken of 1 RM squat and bench press strength, peak knee extension torque (using an isokinetic dynamometer),lean tissue mass (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) and muscle protein degradation (urinary 3-methylhistidine by high performance liquid chromatography). Repeated measures ANOVA showed that strength, torque, lean tissue mass and 3-methylhistidine increased with training (P < 0.05),with no significant difference between groups. Both groups increased their 1 RM squat by approximately 30% and 1 RM bench press by approximately 14%. The glutamine group showed increases of 6% for knee extension torque, 2% for lean tissue mass and 41% for urinary levels of 3-methylhistidine. The placebo group increased knee extension torque by 5%, lean tissue mass by 1.7% and 3-methylhistidine by 56%. We conclude that glutamine supplementation during resistance training has no significant effect on muscle performance, body composition or muscle protein degradation in young healthy adults.

This was one of the studies.
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Sep 29, 2010
This nitric stack mix i LOVE contains glutamine akg- plus I believe plain ol glutamine is good- it FEELS good is all I can say....

This is old but here ya are:

This article was featured in Muscular Development Magazine, November 1996.

To most people, glutamine is just one of the 20 amino acids that are used to make protein. It's not even considered to be an essential amino because the body is capable for making it for itself. However, glutamine may be the single most important amino acid in the body for creating anabolic conditions in the muscle and protecting us from the ravages of overtraining.

It seems almost unbelievable that a single, free amino acid could accomplish so many things in the body. The importance of glutamine is underscored by its sheer abundance. Although every bodily tissue contains glutamine, many human tissues contain very high levels, and it is the most abundant amino acid in muscle and plasma. When something is normally found in large amounts in the body, it is an important function, especially in those tissues that contain the most. The question is, what happens when our bodies are put under stress and these levels of glutamine start to fall? This is exactly what is being asked about the effects of exercise, which can quickly reduce the levels of glutamine in the muscles and plasma.

Glutamine Metabolism

Glutamine is considered to be a nonessential amino acid because it is made by the body and is not absolutely required to be obtained through the diet. Although we do get glutamine in our diets, it is necessary for the body to produce more to meet the vast amounts required.

The major tissue in the body for producing glutamine is muscle. Muscle is capable of combining ammonia and the amino acid glutamate to form glutamine. The production of glutamine in the muscle is so great that it accounts for more than 60% of the free amino acid pool in muscle cells. These large muscle stores also account for most of the body's glutamine reserves, and they can release glutamine into the circulation to maintain plasma levels and provide other tissues with glutamine.

The Effects of Stress on Glutamine

Under normal physiological circumstances the body can produce all the glutamine that it needs. A delicate balance is maintained between tissues that produce and release glutamine and those that depend on it. The reason so many tissues need glutamine is that is had so many functions in the body. It regulates ammonium levels in the tissues, which can be toxic to the body's cells. The ammonium is used to produce glutamine for release into the blood. Here, glutamine is transferred to other tissues to be used for fuel, especially the cells of the immune system. Glutamine is directly involved in the regulation of protein synthesis and breakdown and is a powerful anabolic stimulus. For these reasons, glutamine is perhaps one of the most versatile amino acids in the body.

When the body's physiology is altered by factors, such as stress or disease, its demands for extra glutamine can change drastically. One form of stress that occurs to the body is when a person bodybuild using heavy poundages and intense training. During this training the use of glutamine by other organs of the body increases in response to bodily stress. As a result, plasma gluta mine levels begin to plummet drastically. To replenish these levels, the muscles start to release their glutamine stores into the blood.

Intense exercise also cause the production of lactic acid and ammonium by the muscles. To deal with these toxic products, the production of glutamine from glutamate and ammonia is also increased. this extra glutamine is rapidly transported into the blood to such a degree that plasma glutamine levels begin to rise within five minutes of exercise. As a result, the many tissues that need glutamine, but can't produce it, are provided with ample supplies during the exercise induced stress. The problem is that the muscles are having their intracellular stores depleted in the process.

Intense exercise also cause the release of catabolic hormones, such as corticosteroids. These glucocorticoids also contribute to the depletion of muscle glutamine stores by increasing the release of glutamine from muscle cells. These catabolic steroids can cause glutamine to continue to be release from muscle even after exercise has stopped and the body no longer needs extra supplies. The result is that muscle become severely glutamine depleted.

Glutamine - the Anabolic Stimulator

Glutamine is known to promote anabolic conditions in muscle cells and increase the rate of protein synthesis. It was long thought that glutamine was directly responsible for this anabolic state, but it no seems that glutamine indirectly promotes growth by increasing the hydration state of muscle cells.

The amount of water in cells can change in a matter of minutes, going from being fully hydrated to a state of dehydration. It has been found that the amount of water inside a cell can alter its metabolism, especially protein synthesis and turnover. When cells are swollen with water, this inhibits the breakdown of protein, glycogen and glucose. It also stimulates protein and glycogen synthesis. If a cell becomes dehydrated, it shrinks and immediately goes into a carbolic state that breaks down the muscle's vital proteins.

Experiments have shown that if isolated muscle cells are placed in a solution that contains insulin and amino acids, the insulin drivers the amino acids into the muscle cells and protein synthesis is increase. Protein synthesis can also be increased by placing the cells in pure water, which causes them to swell. Interestingly, when placed in a salt solution, this quickly draws water out of the cells and they rapidly enter a catabolic state. Thus, it appears that cell swelling is necessary for maintaining an anabolic state.

When glutamine levels are high in the muscle cells, this stimulates the entry of other amino acids into the cell. Amino acids cannot directly enter into the muscle cell, but must be carried in by a special transport system. The unique thing about this transport system is that when it allows am amino acid to enter, it also allows sodium to enter A the amino acid and sodium levels increase inside the muscle, this excess sodium causes water to be absorbed across the membrane and the cell swells to an anabolic state.

When glutamine levels are depleted during exercise, this reverses the transport of amino acids and sodium. The cells become dehydrated and enter a catabolic state.

The Role of Glutamine in Overtraining

Men and women who are serious athletes and bodybuilder walk a fine line between being undertrained and overtrained.

Overtraining results when increasing volumes and intensity of training become out of balance with recovery time. Once a person crosses over the line and sets foot in the overtraining zone, from there on out all their hard work and effort will only send their performance spiraling downward. The harder they work, the less their gains.

One reason a person experiences the overtraining syndrome is that they may deplete their bodies of glutamine to the point that they can't recover. As explained above, an intense exercise cycle can deplete the muscles of glutamine. Studies have shown that after such a session, glutamine levels in the muscles bottomed out between 4 to 6 hours post-exercise and took more than 24 hours to fully recover to pre-exercise levels.

It is easy to see that if a person trains intensely each day that they will start depleting their muscles glutamine stores before they have fully recovered from the workout. The result is that each day the amount of muscle glutamine gets a little lower.

Eventually, the muscle go below the critical amount of glutamine needed to sustain a anabolic state and they revert into a long term catabolic state. The more a person works out to try and makes their muscles grow, the more glutamine they use and the greater the catabolic response. Some athletes have suffered from the overtraining syndrome for over two years and have been shown to have low plasma glutamine levels for the entire time. This may be due damage to the muscle's glutamine synthesizing system as a result of it being overtaxed from too much training.

Individuals suffering from overtraining also are more susceptible to disease and infections as a result of lowered immunity. This may be due to the role of glutamine as a primary source of fuel for the cells of the immune system, particularly lymphocytes, macrophages and killer cells. In addition, glutamine is used as precursor in the synthesis of nucleic acids, which are necessary for cell division.

It is thought that adequate amounts of metabolic intermediates for building key molecules are needed to allow a rapid response when immune cells are faced with a challenge. During periods of immunological assaults, glutamine metabolism is increased to support the rapid cell division, protein synthesis and the production of antibodies and cytokines. These immune cells rely on the plasma to supple them with adequate supplies of glutamine. If these supplies are not met by the plasma, which is ultimately provided by the muscles, the immune cells cannot mobilize to defend the body against an infection of disease. Thus, low glutamine levels severely impair the immune system.

Don't Forget the Glutamine

Because intense exercise can severely deplete the muscles of glutamine and the overtraining syndrome may be the result from the progressive and prolonged loss of glutamine, it is imperative to conserve the muscle's glutamine stores. Previously it has been suggested that glutamine was broken down to glutamate in the stomach and that oral supplementation was of no benefit. Now reports show that oral glutamine is a safe and effective means of providing supplemental free glutamine to the body. Oral glutamine has been shown to reduce the loss of glutamine from muscles and help them maintain their reserves during a variety of catabolic conditions.

For this reasons, it makes sense to take a glutamine supplement that provides the free from of this amino prior to intense exercise. This will raise plasma glutamine levels and prevent the depletion of muscle glutamine stores. After exercise, a high quality protein carbohydrate supplement should be taken within 30 minutes to aid in recovery. The protein will provide amino acids, especially glutamine, and the carbohydrate will boost insulin levels, which will help transport these amino acids to the muscle.

As the amino acids are transported into muscle, they will also promote water uptake to keep the muscles hydrated. This superhydrated state will prevent the muscles from entering into a catabolic state and promote anabolic growth. Because glutamine stores are not depleted, recovery time will be shorted and there is less chance that one will become the victim of the overtraining syndrome due to progressive loss of glutamine stores.

Glutamine may be considered to be a nonessential amino acid for the normal individual because the body has the ability to make it, this there is not a great a need to acquire it in the diet. However, for the elite centurions of the bodybuilding community who use iron to forge a better body, glutamine can be considered to be a "conditionally essential" amino acid. It is conditional essential because intense weight training pushes the body to use glutamine in such vast amounts that it cannot be produced fast enough and thus causes temporary and eventually long term deficiencies.

Therefore, keep in mind that glutamine is one of the most important amino acids in the body and may be the single most important amino acid supplement for the bodybuilder.
Feels better with it my experience says.


Mar 2, 2011
we got 2 people both with two good pea ices of information but they both contradict each other... WHO IS RIGHT ???


Dec 25, 2010
I just ask anyone that's supporting glutamine to supply a legitimate study for oral ingestion of glutamine. I really don't put too much value into glutamine.

Facts and fallacies of purported ergogenic amino a... [Clin Sports Med. 1999] - PubMed result

Although current research suggests that individuals involved in either high-intensity resistance or endurance exercise may have an increased need for dietary protein, the available research is either equivocal or negative relative to the ergogenic effects of supplementation with individual amino acids. Although some research suggests that the induction of hyperaminoacidemia via intravenous infusion of a balanced amino acid mixture may induce an increased muscle protein synthesis after exercise, no data support the finding that oral supplementation with amino acids, in contrast to dietary protein, as the source of amino acids is more effective. Some well-controlled studies suggest that aspartate salt supplementation may enhance endurance performance, but other studies do not, meriting additional research. Current data, including results for several well-controlled studies, indicated that supplementation with arginine, ornithine, or lysine, either separately or in combination, does not enhance the effect of exercise stimulation on either hGH or various measures of muscular strength or power in experienced weightlifters. Plasma levels of BCAA and tryptophan may play important roles in the cause of central fatigue during exercise, but the effects of BCAA or tryptophan supplementation do not seem to be effective ergogenics for endurance exercise performance, particularly when compared with carbohydrate supplementation, a more natural choice. Although glutamine supplementation may increase plasma glutamine levels, its effect on enhancement of the immune system and prevention of adverse effects of the overtraining syndrome are equivocal. Glycine, a precursor for creatine, does not seem to possess the ergogenic potential of creatine supplementation. Research with metabolic by-products of amino acid metabolism is in its infancy, and current research findings are equivocal relative to ergogenic applications. In general, physically active individuals are advised to obtain necessary amino acids through consumption of natural, high-quality protein foods.


Sep 29, 2010
Feels good. Studies are great and all, but for this specific organism under the stresses of my life with my food and sleep and supp schedule it seems right on.

But that is just me ;)