Can Glutamine Supplement Improve Workout Performance?

In A Nutshell: Glutamine, or L-Glutamine, is an amino acid supplement that improves workout performance, repairs gastrointestinal injury, accelerates metabolism, and helps with fat loss and weight maintenance.

Supplement Overview

L-Glutamine is naturally produced inside your body. It is stored in about 60% of all skeletal tissues. People normally don’t need supplementation of glutamine, except in times of stress, during a training program, or if they have certain disorders that glutamine intake can help treat.

Taking glutamine supplements can also improve the natural production of the same substance in the body.

Uses of Glutamine Supplement

Glutamine has so many uses and benefits to the body that health experts sometimes refer to it as a wonder chemical or a cure-all. For healthy individuals, glutamine is useful in the following ways:

  • Providing extra fuel for workouts and quicker recovery periods
  • Enhancing fat loss and promoting lean muscle mass growth while the person is on a strength-training program
  • Strengthening the immune and digestive systems, which are very relevant in people recovering from illness
  • Accelerating growth and metabolism by increasing human growth hormone (HGH) levels
  • Improving mental concentration, alertness, memory, and intellectual performance
  • Stabilizing blood sugar levels, thus reducing cravings for sweets and alcohol
  • Improving the appearance and health of skin and hair

For people with certain health or medical conditions, glutamine helps by:

  • Reducing the side effects of cancer treatments, including oral sores and swelling
  • Helping people to recover from traumatic injuries and regain lost weight
  • Treating digestive and intestinal disorders, such as stomach ulcers, diverticulitis, and Crohn’s disease
  • Lessening the symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, depression, and mood disorders
  • Preventing muscle wasting in patients with HIV and other chronic illnesses

Many other uses of glutamine exist, but not enough scientific evidence is available to back them all up. However, in the case of existing illnesses, it is wise to seek the advice of your primary caregiver.

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Form and Dosage of Glutamine Supplement

Glutamine is available in tablet or pill form and in powder form that can be mixed with other drinks.

The maximum daily dosage is 40 grams. One can start by taking 5 grams and gradually increasing this up to 20 or 30 grams daily. It is best to spread out intake during the day, starting at breakfast, taking glutamine again pre-workout and post-workout, and 30-60 minutes before bed. Among bodybuilders, a daily dosage of 5 to 15 grams is common.

Safety and Precautions of Glutamine Supplement

Glutamine is generally safe, as it is a naturally occurring amino acid found inside our body. Side effects are rarely seen, and they are usually mild and not a cause for worry. Simply cut down on the dosage if you observe side effects.

Caution, however, is advised for people who are taking any of these medications:

  • Lactulose (to decrease ammonia)
  • Chemotherapy drugs (for cancer)
  • Anticonvulsants and other anti-seizure drugs

Consult your doctor if you are taking these drugs before you supplement with glutamine. Your doctor may need to adjust the dosage of these medications and recommend an appropriate glutamine dose that should work just right for you.

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