Glutamine is the amplest free amino acid in the body. Amino acids are building blocks of protein. Glutamine is made within muscles and distributed through the blood to the organs required (Gleeson, 2008). Glutamine assists gut function, the immune system, and other essential processes within the body, especially in peak stress times (Gleeson, 2008). It is also essential for providing cells with fuel (nitrogen and carbon). Glutamine is required to make other amino acids in the body.
How does it work
Glutamine serves as a fuel source for the cells lining the intestines, and without it, these cells may waste away. It is also crucial for immune function, as it is essential for white blood cells' function. In animal research, glutamine has shown anti-inflammatory effects. Glutamine is found naturally in high-protein foods such as meat, fish, beans, and dairy products.
Where can you get it from?
After a traumatic injury, nitrogen is necessary to repair the wounds and keep the vital organs functioning. About one-third of this nitrogen comes from glutamine. Although glutamine is essential for lymphocyte reproduction, the glutamine concentration does not fall low after exercise to compromise the rate of proliferation (Legault, Bagnall and Kimmerly, 2015). Acute intakes of glutamine of 20–30 g seem to be without ill effect in healthy adult humans, and no harm was reported in 1 study in which athletes consumed 28 g glutamine every day for 14 d (Gleeson, 2008). Doses of up to 0.65 g/kg body mass of glutamine (in solution or as a suspension) have been reported to be tolerated by patients and did not result in abnormal plasma ammonia levels.
Purchase l-glutamine in health food stores, some pharmacies, and via the internet. The recommended daily dose of glutamine ranges from 15 to 45 grams (average recommendation is 30 grams), for a minimum of five days. It dissolves best in clear liquids (juice, water). It would help not mix glutamine in very hot/cold liquids or foods, or highly acidic liquids (Gleeson, 2008) due to the supplement potentially not being adequately absorbed by the body.
Gleeson, M. (2008). Dosing and Efficacy of Glutamine Supplementation in Human Exercise and Sports Training. The Journal of Nutrition, 138(10), p.2045-2049.
Legault, Z., Bagnall, N. and Kimmerly, D.S. (2015). The Influence of Oral L-Glutamine Supplementation on Muscle Strength Recovery and Soreness Following Unilateral Knee Extension Eccentric Exercise. International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 25(5), p.417–426.