Glutamine is an amino acid within the 20 amino acids responsible for protein formation in the human body.
Glutamine sold as a dietary supplement in powder and pill form to build and maintain muscle during cutting, improve athletic performance, and to treat a variety of diseases.
How effective is this supplement? What is its dose and how to use it and what are its harms?
Glutamine acid (Gln)
We call it also L-Glutamine.
Amino acids fall into two categories: Essential Amino Acids, and there are 9 essential amino acids.
And 11 non-essential or unnecessary amino acids.
The meaning of essential or essential amino acids is that the body cannot produce them inside it and needs to get them directly from food.
As for the 11 non-essential amino acids, the body can manufacture them from various foodstuffs, and they need not consume it directly.
Glutamine is a non-essential acid.
The body made it inside muscles and transported through the blood to the organs that need it.
But it is more precisely categorized as a conditionally essential amino acid, or Conditionally Essential.
Meaning that in conditions of illness and stress on the body, muscles not synthesize it enough, and therefore you need to take it directly from food or as a dietary supplement.
For example, AIDS and cancer patients and those who have had surgery or have had injuries and burns, need an enormous amount of Gln that their body cannot manufacture.
Thus they need to get glutamine either from food or a supplement.
What are the functions of glutamine inside the human body?
- It is used to make several proteins inside the human body (like all amino acids).
- The second source of energy for cells after glucose.
- It supplies the body with nitrogen and carbon during anabolic processes.
- It transports ammonia into the blood.
- They use it in the manufacture of another amino acid, Glutamic Acid.
- Boosts immune system functions. As athletes who do not take enough Gln that affect to their immunity by time and they are more susceptible to disease.
Food sources of glutamine
First, we will mention to the natural food sources of glutamine.
As nutritional studies show that the daily diet should contain 3 to 6 grams of glutamine, and animal products are high in protein and plant foods that also contain a good proportion of the proteins.
And plant foods that also contain a good proportion of the proteins for the human body.
A list of the food items and the amount of Gln they contain:
- Eggs: eggs contain approximately 4.4% of glutamine, equivalent to 0.6 grams of glutamine per 100 grams of eggs.
- Beef: Beef contains approximately 4.8% of glutamine, equivalent to 0.3 grams per 100 grams of beef.
- Skimmed milk: Skimmed milk contains approximately 8.1% of glutamine, equivalent to 0.3 grams per 100 grams of milk.
- White rice: White rice contains approximately 11.1% of glutamine, equivalent to 0.3 grams per 100 grams of white rice.
- Corn: Corn contains approximately 16.2% of glutamine, which is equivalent to 0.4 grams per 100 grams of corn.
Glutamine supplement for muscle building
When you enter any online store that sells the product, you will find huge publicity for its benefits for enlarging and preserving muscle mass during cutting and increasing strength and energy.. etc. Are these allegations true?
First Study :
– In a study conducted in 2001, they divide 31 youths in two groups:
A group taking a Gln supplement at 0.9 grams per kilogram of their daily weight.
Another group consumes sugar (maltodexrin) in the same amount.
The two groups did Iron exercises for 6 weeks.
Scientists measured increases in physical strength and muscle mass for both groups, and found no difference between Gln and sugar.
Second Study :
– A study published in 2002 in which power lifters (weightlifters) took 0.3 grams of Gln per kg of body weight.
He did not notice an increase in their physical strength and the weights they lifted.
Third Study :
– A study published in 2011 found that taking 0.3 grams of Gln per kg of weight helped maintain physical strength and relieve post-workout DOMS.
– An Iranian study published in 2012 found that a non-trained Iron intake of 0.35 grams per kg of glutamine:
- Increased physical strength and muscle mass.
- Reduced fat.
- Increased growth hormone HGH.
- IGF-1 and male hormone.
- Help muscle recovery
This study is frequently used to advertise the supplement.
However, the similar results occurred with taking a BCAA supplement.
As for those who didn’t train in iron exercises, their diet is uncontrolled, and it is possible that the amount of protein they eat daily is insufficient.
Therefore, the extra Gln they take in will have a positive effect.
In order for the judgment to be more accurate, the study volunteers’ diet should be monitored, and an examination of whether the additional amount of Gln would benefit them or not!
Fourth Study :
A study published in 2008 found that professional athletes who consumed high calories and protein and amino acid supplements consumed enough glutamine and thus did not benefit from it as an additional supplement.
As long as you eat a healthy, high-protein diet, and you achieve sufficient protein intake from food or supplements such as quay and casein, adding Gln will not help you.
It may benefit people who do not eat enough protein such as vegetarians or sick people.
Glutamine benefits for body
There are many health benefits of glutamine.
The following are the most important of these benefits:
Boost immune system functions:
Gln plays an important role in the immune system, and it is the primary energy source for immune cells.
And levels of this amino acid in the blood can decrease because of burns, or undergo surgery, and the body can analyze protein stores such as muscles, to release amino acids if needed.
The body has more Gln than it produces, and the lack of sufficient quantities of it can weaken the functions of the immune system.
And therefore they usually recommend following a high-protein diet, or eat food sources of Gln or its supplements after exposure to injuries; Such as burns.
Besides this, studies have shown that these supplements can improve health, reduce the risk of infection, and may reduce the period of stay in the hospital after undergoing surgery, and other studies have shown that they can improve immune functions in affected animals.
With bacteria or viruses.
Contribute to reducing muscle pain:
As some studies showed that Gln supplementation can reduce muscle pain and improve recovery after intense exercise, and one study showed that Gln helped reduce the indicator of fatigue in the blood during a two-hour run.
Studies have not proven that it has a role in gaining or strengthening muscles; And more studies are still needed to prove this, and athletes usually eat high amounts of protein.
They get their glutamine without the need to take a supplement.
Contribute to promoting bowel health:
Where the intestine is the largest part of the immune system.
This is because many intestinal cells have immune functions, and the intestine contains bacteria that affect immune health.
And Gln is an important source of energy for these cells, and it also contributes to maintaining the barrier between the inner part of the intestine and other parts of the body.
Which helps reduce The risk of intestinal leakage, which prevents the transmission of harmful toxins and bacteria to the rest of the body, and besides this, Gln is important for the normal growth and maintenance of intestinal cells.
Improve the condition of people with IBD:
As Gln has a role in maintaining the gastrointestinal mucosa.
And researchers have shown that people with inflammatory bowel disease (English: Inflammatory bowel disease) can have glutamine deficiency.
But some studies have shown none of an effect of Gln supplementation in Crohn’s disease.
Glutamine benefits for slimming
Several studies have found several benefits of a high-protein diet to maintain muscle mass, increase satiety and burn fat.
As for Gln supplement, it does not aid weight loss or extra fat loss (source).
The best protein supplement I recommend while cutting is whey protein
Besides that, it contributes to achieving your sufficiency of protein and increases muscle building.
They found it helps to increase satiety.
Also, one cup of whey protein contains 4 grams of glutamine and 5 grams of BCAA.
Dosage and how to use glutamine
The recommended dose is 0.35 grams per kilogram of your weight.
If you weigh 100 kg, take 35 grams of glutamine.
The dose is divide into 3 times, dose with each meal, because of which glutamine absorbed better with food.
Even if you weigh less than 100 kg and consume 30-40 grams of glutamine, there are no harm or side effects (source).
Tea spoon = 5 grams, and you may find a 5 gram scoop inside the package.
It’s also okay to mix it with protein. And there is no problem taking it with creatine.
Glutamine is good for women, especially vegetarians and those on a low-protein diet.
The capsules have a concentration of 500 to 1000 mg, and you may need to take 20 or 30 capsules daily to feel its benefit.
This is impractical and expensive. Thus, it is preferable to use powder or powder.
The best glutamine on the market
According to the analyzes of the LABDOOR website (Source), the top 5 products in terms of quality, contamination-free and potency are:
- Bodyfortress Glutamine
Some other beneficial supplements besides glutamine are for bodybuilding
Glutamine supplement is safe.
There are two very important reasons for mixing the two supplements together, which is to increase muscle mass and improve performance:
- First, the concentrations of ammonia and glutamine because they directly affect the metabolism of BCAA.
- Second, the MTor signaling from glutamine outside cells requires the absorption of BCAA.
Especially leucine, so the BCAA along with glutamine improves muscle performance and increases.
Glutamine acts as a chain for arginine synthesis and nitric oxide synthesis by transporting citrulline between tissues.
Using glutamine along with citrulline enhances citrulline’s ability to stimulate nitric oxide production, which improves the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the skeletal muscles.
Alpha-ketoglutarate: Glutamine and AKG primer and its function is to precipitate glutamine, increase MTOR signaling, increase glutathione, and enhance muscle tone and glutathione production, one of the most powerful antioxidants.
Glucose or N-acetyl glucosamine:
Lack of glucose reduces glutamine absorption and negatively affects cell growth and survival means if you follow a low-carbohydrate diet
The N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG) glycoprotein available in the supplement remains the best solution for you.
As it can restore glutamine absorption, nutritional intake, metabolism and also to enhance capacity to recover, and to improve cell function.
As with all nutrients, too much glutamine can lead to glutamine damage and its frequent side effects:
1. It interacts with the absorption of some other amino acids:
Glutamine may interfere with the transport of some other amino acids into the body’s tissues or their absorption into the liver.
Taking glutamine supplements could increase its concentration to the extent that it causes problems with absorption or transmission of other amino acids.
2. It might decrease endogenous glutamine production:
Taking large amounts of glutamine supplements may impede the body’s natural production of glutamine.
Which may lead to the production of body decomposers such as glutamate and ammonia.
3. Impairs the body’s ability to get rid of ammonia:
One of the damages of glutamine that may occur in the human body is that it reduces the body’s ability to eliminate ammonia.
It also reduces the transport of ammonia by glutamine between tissues.
4. It may cause cancer
One of the serious damages of glutamine is that it may cause cancer, as cancer cells feed on glutamine, so that sometimes, cancer cells depend on glutamine to grow and survive.
This is the reason cancer patients stop taking glutamine supplement.
5. May cause allergic reactions
There are some people who suffer from allergies to Gln, so their intake of glutamine may cause certain symptoms, including :
nausea, vomiting, joint pain, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and sometimes swelling of the throat.
And some red marks may appear on the person’s skin, causing itching.
The benefits of glutamine for bodybuilding are many and important, because it is a very important component in many functions that affect health and reach fitness.
However, if you rely on it alone without using other ingredients, you will not find the expected results.
Increasing the effects of Gln in the body requires you to operate your brain.
Meaning if you exercise light exercises without discomfort, your body will provide you with the percentage you need, but if you are the type that puts pressure on his body and punishes him in exercise will consume Glutamine in the right way to maintain a high level of performance.