Is Glutamine An Effective Supplement?

What used to be a standard amongst bodybuilders has recently become a hotly debated supplement. Although glutamine is still widely used, many will argue its effects.

The Question:

What used to be a standard amongst bodybuilders has recently become a hotly debated supplement. Although glutamine is still widely used, many will argue its effects.

Is glutamine an effective supplement?

What kind of results can glutamine deliver?

Which brands would you recommend?

Bonus Question: Have you ever used glutamine? Did you notice any effects from using it?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

    Prizes:
      1st place - 75 in store credit. 2nd place - 25 in store credit. *Rule In Effect: Learn More

To use your credit, e-mail Justin @ justin.podzimek@bodybuilding.com for more info.

1st Place - Jayce_

View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Glutamine

Is Glutamine An Effective Supplement?

Yes and no. But to fully understand this answer, first people must understand what glutamine actually is. Glutamine is an amino acid; used in the synthesis of protein and thus supports the production of muscle, it also supports & regulates the immune system, it is an alternative fuel source for the brain and it also supports & regulates the dietary system.

So the short answer is yes, glutamine is useful in the production of muscle and thus bodybuilding in general.

However, the long answer is a lot more complex.

Glutamine is an easily attainable amino acid, especially for bodybuilders. It can be found in almost all major food sources that are also rich in protein for instance:

Now if there is an excess of glutamine in the body, it just goes to waste. It can't be stored for an extended period of time in the body, so if you are on a maintenance diet - not trying to lose or gain weight (muscle or fat) or you are bulking (putting on muscle/fat or just muscle) then you probably do not need to use glutamine supplements.

However, for those who are cutting (losing fat and attempting to maintain muscle) then glutamine is a fantastic supplement. One that should definitely be recommended to everyone.

Results

What Kind Of Results Can Glutamine Deliver?

In two studies conducted on glutamine by the Journal of Applied Physiology and The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research they found that taking glutamine as part of your normal diet did not increase; bench press strength, knee-extension torque or lean muscle mass when compared to controls taking a placebo. 1,2

However, as outlined above the study was not conducted on people who were cutting. This of course explains why glutamine as a supplement was not useful. They had too much in their system already.

On a side note - studies have shown for endurance athletes, such as long distance runners or people who lead a very active life-style glutamine is a helpful substance. 3

Brands

Which Brands Would You Recommend?

The most popular brand would be Higher Power Micronized Glutamine 1000, which retails at $0.03 per-gram. Especially while it is on sale at the Bodybuilding.com store - so you might as well get some while it is so cheap.

Bonus Question

Have You Ever Used Glutamine? Did You Notice Any Effects From Using It?

At the moment I am not using glutamine. However, once I have finished gaining muscle (and fat) and I am attempting to lose the fat I will use glutamine.

References:

  1. Candow DG, Chilibeck PD, Burke DG, Davison KS, Smith-Palmer T. (2001) Effect of glutamine supplementation combined with resistance training in young adults, European Journal of Applied Physiology?
  2. Antonio, J., Sanders, M., Kalman, D., Woodgate, D. and Street, C. (2002) The effects of high-dose glutamine ingestion on weightlifting performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 16, 157-160
  3. Castell, L. and Newsholme, E. (1997) The effects of oral glutamine supplementation on athletes after prolonged, exhaustive exercise. Nutrition 13, 738-742

2nd Place - thunder_thighs

View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Glutamine

Is Glutamine An Effective Supplement?

Yes, glutamine is very effective. It is a conditionally essential amino acid; meaning under certain circumstances your body cannot produce it on its own. When your body has been through stressful situations (illness, surgery, intense exercise), plasma glutamine levels drop. Taking supplemental glutamine will help bring your bodies levels back to a normal range.

Results

What Kind Of Results Can It Deliver?

When your body is low on amino acids that it cannot produce on its own, as in the case of a highly trained athlete that is depleted of glutamine, it cannot build muscle effectively and may become over-trained.

Supplementing with glutamine has been shown to increase protein synthesis, strengthen the immune system, and increase energy. Glutamine supports the immune system in numerous ways, but one in particular is important. It blocks the protein Ubiquitin mRNA, which promotes protein breakdown.

Specifically, it prevents breakdown in the gastrointestinal tract. 70%-80% of the body's immune tissues are in the gastrointestinal tract! Studies have also shown a synergistic effect when glutamine and creatine are combined. The results were greater power output and strength than with the placebo group or creatine monohydrate alone.

Brands

Which Brands Would You Recommend?

BSN's CellMass combines both glutamine and creatine, which is a great combination, Optimum Nutrition's Procomplex has 10 grams of glutamine and precursors per serving, or VPX's NO Shotgun - creatine, glutamine, and N.O. boosters.

Bonus Question

Have You Ever Used Glutamine? Did You Notice Any Effects From Using It?

Yes, I have used it and had great results. I felt much more energetic and focused while taking it. But best results I had were when I took it for a health problem. I upped my dosage to 20 grams a day and noticed the symptoms were gone in a couple of days. My roommates had symptoms for over a week, and my boss even had to go to the hospital! All of us are very healthy individuals, and glutamine is the only supplement I could think of that would have given such dramatic results.

3rd Place - KarlDevicky

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Our Friend Glutamine

Hello, all.

This week we are discussing whether or not glutamine is an effective supplement. It's billed as one of the basic supplements of bodybuilding along with Protein, BCAAs, and Creatine. But has it really earned it's reputation?

The Theory

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body (I've heard it composes up to 60% of free-form amino acids in skeletal muscle). We are told that bouts of intense exercise deplete the body of glutamine and that it is necessary to replenish it.

Glutamine is also used as a fuel of sorts for the immune system.

The Results

Glutamine is, in my opinion, undoubtedly beneficial in supporting the immune system. As for aiding recovery, that's a different story. While I believe the amino acid glutamine is beneficial for promoting recovery, I don't believe supplementation is always necessary.

I think most people can get all the glutamine they need from whey protein and other food in general. If someone is consuming 250+ grams of protein a day, you are bound to be getting enough glutamine unless you are truly training like an animal... I guess only you can judge for yourself whether or not it's a worthwhile way to spend your hard-earned money.

Recommended Brands

I personally use AllMax glutamine as it's the cheapest one I can buy that's a reputable brand. I also hear that Higher Power makes a solid glutamine.

Bonus Question

Personal Experience

I generally find glutamine to be a useful in addition to my post workout shake. However, I find it unnecessary to take any before bed or upon waking. That is of course unless I'm in the midst of a cutting stage, In which case I usually find it beneficial to take a serving before bedtime.

I hope this has been helpful to you all. And as I said earlier, only you can judge whether or not you feel glutamine is an effective supplement to add to your arsenal.