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Glutamine is the
most abundant amino acid in muscle tissue. It is involved in key metabolic
processes, such as ammonia removal (*1), and is crucial for
the maintenance of the immune system (*2). We offer high-quality
glutamine formulas available in both tablet and powder form.
As the most naturally abundant amino acid in the body, glutamine
has several important physiological functions. Although glutamine can be
found in the liver, lungs, brain and blood plasma, most of it is stored in
Glutamine is a precursor of both arginine and citrulline, two important
amino acids for vasodilatation (*3), (*4). It is also a precursor of the
neurotransmitter GABA and the antioxidant glutathione.
very interesting from a physiological point of view. It helps remove
exercise-generated ammonia (*5), a harmful toxin in the body, and plays
a fundamental role in fueling the immune system (*6).
Glutamine is the main energy
source for some of the immune system's cells, including lymphocytes and
macrophages (*7), (*8), (*9). Research suggests that these cells rely on
glutamine in a greater amount than they rely on glucose, hence the importance
of glutamine for a strong immune system.
exercise can lower blood glutamine drastically (*10), therefore exposing the
body to the harmful free radicals. Research has shown that endurance athletes
are more vulnerable to infections, due to low glutamine levels after stressful
The good news,
however, is that this dramatic drop in glutamine levels can be counteracted by
supplementing with this amino acid. Glutamine supplementation can help
reduce the risk of infections and lower inflammation levels (*12).
Glutamine is also known for its hydration effect
on muscle cells. Research shows glutamine pulls water into the
cells thus contributing to glycogen synthesis (*13).
Glutamine dosage will depend on
how intense your workouts are. The more demanding your workouts are the
higher the dose should be. Experienced athletes may need a high-dose of
glutamine (10 to 20 g) whereas beginners would do just fine with a low-dose (5
The best way to benefit from
glutamine supplementation is to take between 5 to 15 grams after working
out. The dosage will depend on how intense your workout is. Remember that
on rest days you should still consume glutamine.
Research has demonstrated that short-term
glutamine supplementation is safe. One scientific study evaluated the
safety of consuming large doses of glutamine over a period of 5 days.
Volunteers were given from 0,3 to 0,6 g / kg of glutamine every day. This would
be similar to a 80 kg person consuming between 22-45 g of glutamine.
There was no evidence of toxicity
recorded in the subjects that consumed the higher doses. Furthermore,
glutamine supplementation combined with a high-calorie and a
high-protein diet increased body's ability to retain nitrogen, an important factor
for stimulating muscle growth (*14).
scientific study, athletes taking 28 g of glutamine every day for a period of
14 days didn't report any negative side effect. This seems to indicate that
glutamine supplementation on the short-term is completely safe (*15).
However, it's not recommended to
consume high-doses of glutamine (over 40 g / day) for an undetermined period of
time, as glutamine competes for transporters with other amino acids
and this could lead to a decrease in the absorption of those other important
amino acids (*16).
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Semi-essential amino acid