Glutamine is widely used across the world for its supposed health benefits.
Research indicates that glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body. Amino acids are essentially the building blocks for protein and they play a key role in our immune system.
In recent years, we found that glutamine levels can become low for a variety of reasons, whether it’s disease-related, a side effect of chemotherapy, or poor nutrition.
Glutamine is also given to patients to help recover from surgery, injury, burns, bone marrow transplants and radiation.
Glutamine is considered non-essential in healthy individuals. It is considered conditionally essential in metabolically-stressed individuals.
Here are our picks for the top 7 best glutamine supplements:
Nutricost L-glutamine contains 5000mg of glutamine per serving, the company states that the formula is also non-GMO and gluten-free.
This product is cGMP compliant and manufactured in an FDA registered facility, to ensure quality, cleanliness, and potency.
The company also states that this product has been third party tested to ensure quality, potency and cleanliness.
There are no additives in or inactive ingredients found in this product.
Nutricost L-glutamine is available for purchase on Amazon.
If you are looking for a moderate dose of glutamine this may be the product for you, each serving contains 200 grams of L-glutamine per serving.
This product is certified paleo friendly, gluten-free and plant-based.
The company states this product is also vegan formulated in a cGMP-certified facility.
AMRAP Nutrition Vegan Glutamine Powder has been third-party tested to ensure quality, cleanliness, and potency.
AMRAP Nutrition Vegan Glutamine Powder is available for purchase on Amazon.
Naked Glutamine Pure L-Glutamine is great because it only consists of one single ingredient, “L- Glutamine” meaning there are no fillers, artificial dyes, or other harmful ingredients found in this product, thus making it gluten and soy-free.
The company claims that all of their products are independently third-party tested for purity, safety and nutritional value.
Each serving contains 5 grams of undiluted free-form l-glutamine that is designed to maximize the absorption of the essential amino acid.
Naked Glutamine Pure L-Glutamine is available for purchase on Amazon.
This product contains 500mg of free form L-glutamine, however, there are other active ingredients such as rice flour, which may work as an inulin prebiotic.
Now L-glutamine is certified kosher, Non-GMO, and vegan making it friendly for many of our diets.
This product is GMP assured meaning it was manufactured in a facility under direct correlation of the FDA.
Now L-Glutamine 500mg is available for purchase on Amazon.
In comparison to other products, this one is considered great due to its wide range of certifications ranging from OU Kosher, Vegan Hypoallergenic, Non-GMO, BSE-Free.
Each dose contains 5 grams of fermented glutamine to help quickly replenish glutamine levels following tough workouts, and does not include any other ingredients making this product whole.
The company states that this product has been third-party tested to ensure quality.
KAGED MUSCLE L-Glutamine Powder is available for purchase on Amazon.
This product can be mixed with water or fruit juice. Some consumers have reported that it dissolves easily.
Each dose contains a dose of 5000mg of glutamine and the company has confirmed this product is hypoallergenic and free of following allergens: milk/casein, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, gluten, soybeans, corn, and yeast. It contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Klaire Labs L Glutamine Powder is manufactured in the USA by a cGMP certified facility.
Klaire Labs L Glutamine Powder is available for purchase on Amazon.
Each dose contains 2000mg of 100% L-Glutamine and no other substance, making it whole and friendly for many diets.
The company has confirmed that they offer shipping to other countries, which is great if you are abroad and want an American supplement.
Jarrow Formulas L-Glutamine Powder is now available for purchase on Amazon.
What is Glutamine?
Glutamine is an amino acid that is naturally-occurring in the body however, it can be found in many common foods. It’s main function is to build protein.
Protein is essential to life, organs, energy levels and much more.
There are two different forms of Glutamine: L-glutamine and D-glutamine. Both forms are very similar and the only differential factor is the molecular arrangement.
L-glutamine is used to build proteins and perform other functions in the body, while D- glutamine has been considered non-essential to living organisms.
Glutamine Health Benefits
Glutamine influences a number of signaling pathways that regulate cell cycle regulation and proliferation which has been considered essential in gut homeostasis.
Glutamine has also been shown to maintain normal cellular functions in the digestive tract.
Animal studies found that supplementation of glutamine is able to protect the intestinal mucosa as well as increase small-intestinal intraepithelial T cells in animals that suffer from IBD (irritable bowel syndrome).
Immune cells largely depend on glutamine’s availability to survive.
Glutamine’s most important function is its role on the immune system because it’s considered a critical fuel source for immune cells.
The cells that glutamine protects are ultimately responsible for defending our body against pathogens.
In the event of a catabolic/hypercatabolic circumstance, glutamine is highly demanded and if the levels are not met this can lead to glutamine deprivation where the immune function becomes impaired.
Studies indicate that glutamine has the ability to promote functionalities that ultimately can increase overall immune health.
In a clinical study participants were given glutamine for an 8 week period. The study was conducted to find the effects of glutamine supplementation on performance, and hormonal changes.
The study concluded that the 8 week glutamine supplementation during resistance training increased performance, muscle strength and improved body composition by reducing body fat.
Other research suggests that glutamine has the ability to delay fatigue through a variety of mechanisms including:
- Influencing gluconeogenesis
- Stimulation of glutathione synthesis
- Glutamine carries ammonia, which avoids the accumulation of metabolites
Recovery from Exercise
Various studies indicate that supplementation of L-glutamine results in faster recovery of peak torque and furthermore its been shown to diminish muscle soreness caused from exercise.
L-glutamine on muscle force recovery is thought to be greater in men than women.
Glutamine has the ability to increase hydration which has been shown to help muscles recover faster.
Glutamine promotes collagen synthesis and accumulation. Increased collagen levels have been associated with faster wound healing, reduced joint pain, increased muscle mass and has been shown to help promote cardiovascular health.
Glutamine has also been shown to decrease infectious complications which may allow the body to heal better without the risks of infection but this functionality does not help wound healing directly.
Studies indicate that glutamine increases the height of villi in both jejunum and ileum, thus restoring gut function which is considered an important factor in wound healing.
Who Are Glutamine Supplements For?
Competition and training can leave an athlete’s body feeling stressed. The body demands higher amounts of glutamine during workouts and during recovery periods, which has led many athletes to turn to seek supplemental sources of glutamine.
Glutamine can be found in many different foods including meats, eggs, and dairy, however, many athletes have low-calorie diets or are vegan or vegetarian so many are unable to obtain an adequate amount through natural sources.
Glutamine promotes energy by improving the absorption of key nutrients that provide us with long-lasting energy.
Glutamine also has an important role in muscle cells and has been associated with faster muscle recovery and improved body composition.
Recent studies have found that prolonged exercise and heavy training are directly associated with a detrimental decrease in glutamine levels, and has been considered the potential cause of exercise impairment, and increased susceptibility to various infections.
Glutamine is great for weight lifters because just like any amino acid it helps build the blocks to our muscles.
A recent study assessed the effects of oral glutamine and creatine supplementation during an 8 week period. The results found that those who took the glutamine had significantly improved power production.
People Who Want to Lose Weight
Some studies indicate that glutamine has the ability to promote weight loss. However, more sufficient evidence is still needed. Here’s some of what we do know about glutamine and weight loss:
Glutamine promotes gut health, by improving digestion and increasing nutrient absorption. Researchers believe this functionality may promote weight loss.
Glutamine supplementation improves overall insulin sensitivity and has been shown to prevent obesity in animals.
Glutamine is considered safe and effective in favoring weight loss and possibly enhancing glucose metabolism.
According to ISSA (International Sanitary Supply Association), taking L-glutamine on an empty stomach before bed has been associated with direct weight loss.
Potential Side Effects of Glutamine
There have been adverse side effects associated with glutamine supplementation, however the problem can stem from allergens found in the product or underlying allergies.
Some drugs may interact with glutamine, including herbal products, vitamins, medications that are used in the treatment of epilepsy and many other over-the-counter medicines.
In the occurrence of an allergic reaction that includes signs of hives, difficulty breathing or abnormal swelling, seek direct emergency medical help.
Some users have reported the following side effects:
- Stomach pain
- Skin rash
- Dry mouth
- Increased sweating
Glutamine has been considered safe for healthy adults.
How and When to Take a Glutamine Supplement
If you and your health care provider have decided that a glutamine supplement is a good fit for you then be sure to take it as directed on the bottle, or preferably the amount prescribed by your doctor.
The University of Michigan recommends only taking glutamine capsules on an empty stomach.
When glutamine is in powder form it’s recommended to take it with a light meal or snack unless recommended otherwise by your healthcare provider.
Glutamine has been shown to work more effectively when taken after a workout. Some research suggests that glutamine supplementation decreases muscle soreness and has the ability to improve recovery time after intense exercise.
Recommended Glutamine Dosage
The recommended dose of glutamine will vary with age, weight, general health, and specific treatments.
Those who are seeking glutamine for its healing properties it’s suggested to take 0.35 – 0.5 grams per kilogram of body weight or 4.3 grams every four hours.
There is strong data suggesting that one can take up to 30g per day. A recent toxicity study found the “no-observed adverse effect level” (NOAEL) for L-glutamine occurred at the highest daily dose provided to male and female rats.
With many different factors to consider, its best to speak with a licensed healthcare professional to find your optimal dose. When consulting with the doctor be sure to disclose any known health conditions such as kidney or cardiovascular conditions.
How to Pick a High-Quality Glutamine Supplement
If you decided glutamine is a good fit for you, then it’s time to choose a high quality product.
Here’s what to look for:
Refers to the Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations enforced by the FDA. cGMPs assure proper design, monitoring, and control of manufacturing processes and facilities.
This better ensures that the product has undergone third-party testing for quality, cleanliness, and potency.
Origin of Manufacture
The United States has relatively safe guidelines, so choosing domestic is advisable.
Brands from outside of the United States may not follow as strict of safety guidelines as those within the US and therefore can be of lower quality or can even be unsafe.
Be sure to choose a well-known company that has positive reviews. This isn’t a foolproof method of determining if a product is high quality or not. Customer reviews can be faked, after all. However, you can get a general idea of a products’ quality by reading consumer reviews – both the good and bad ones.
Many companies will cut their products short of active ingredients, thus making the supplement ineffective.
If you know your optimal dose, be sure to choose a product that contains the correct amount of active glutamine.
No Additives or Inactive Ingredients
No matter the supplement fillers, additives, and inactive ingredients can be included, this has been shown to pose a serious problem for those who are allergic.
Furthermore, the fillers and inactive ingredients have been shown to host adverse effects down the road.