Glutamine for gains

Is Glutamine Really Worth It?

You may have spoken to seasoned gym goers about the supplements they take and their response is probably a list something like “protein shake, pre-workout, BCAAs and glutamine”. Glutamine is an amino acid readily found and available in many of our food sources of protein, in fact is thought to be one of the most important amino acids which is why supplementation may be required if demand for it has increased ie – heavy and frequent resistance training.

Glutamine impacts positively in our bodies by:

  • working with other aminos such as BCAAs, contributing to muscle growth and recovery
  • neutralizes blood acidity levels – good news if you suffer from lactic acid build up days after a hard training session
  • is a key ingredient for brain hormones to help us focus and concentrate – to help you really get your mind into your training
  • repairing stomach and intestinal lining – which means better digestive capacity and increased absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream

As a nutritionist, glutamine often forms part of my initial treatment plan for clients as nearly every person I see has some form of gastrointestinal or mood complaint. But it is also a crucial component of my prescription for athletes as the more physical and mental stress a person demands of their body, the more glutamine is required.

Research by the National Strength and Conditioning Association tested the effects of glutamine supplementation on body composition and performance in athletes. It found that after just 8 weeks, athletes lean body mass (muscle growth and fat loss) had increased significantly and muscle power efficiency had also improved. Who wouldn’t like that result?

So how do you implement it into your supplement regime and which is the best product to go for?

Amino acids help with absorption and use of other aminos so you can add pure glutamine to your complete protein shakes throughout the day. Most research suggests the therapeutic dose is between 5-10g per day. You can split this up into 2 serves eg. morning and post-workout.

Most glutamine supplements are pure, unflavoured and a high quality. Glutamine mostly dissolves in water, one of the single aminos that will, (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve ever tried to mix pure creatine monohydrate in water…)

So why not add glutamine to your regime and see how it can improve your training performance and muscle recovery!

Ones we recommend:

  • EHP Labz Glutamine
  • Optimum Nutrition Glutamine Powder

These will give you gram for gram dose and are both the ‘active’ form, most recognised by your body, (L-glutamine).

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Melanie Palmer
BHSc Nutritional Medicine, Personal Trainer/Coach