Glutamine is a vital amino acid that serves many functions in the body.
It is a fundamental component of proteins and a fundamental part of the immune system. Additionally, glutamine has a unique role in gut health.
Your body makes it naturally, and it’s also found in many foods. However, if you are here, you may be wondering if you need additional glutamine from supplements.
This article describes the benefits, dosages, uses, and side effects of glutamine and when it is good to take supplements.
Glutamine What is it?
Glutamine is one of the 20 amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the human body. (1)
Glutamine plays a fundamental role in the immune system and intestinal health. A lack of this component can decrease protein synthesis and disorders in the digestive system.
Unlike essential amino acids, glutamine can be synthesized by the body. However, for some people taking an extra amount through supplements or food can be helpful.
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Like the rest of the amino acids, the benefits of glutamine are to restore muscle fibers after physical exercise. In addition, this molecule is of great importance in strengthening the immune and intestinal systems. The benefits of glutamine are:
- Reduce muscle recovery times
Taking glutamine supplements is recommended for athletes in muscle definition processes. Including this amino acid is essential to reducing muscle recovery times. The benefits of taking these supplements to increase muscle mass have not been confirmed by research. (1,2)
- Strengthen the immune system
Glutamine is one of the main components of the cells of the immune system. Taking supplements is recommended after surgery, after severe burns, or muscle tears. Studies associate a lack of glutamine in the body with low defense. (3)
- Improve the digestive system
Glutamine acts synergistically with microorganisms present in the human intestine. One of the benefits of taking glutamine is stimulating the growth of health-beneficial microorganisms. Ultimately it prevents infections in the digestive system such as colitis.
Effects of glutamine on increasing muscle mass
The effects of taking glutamine to increase muscle mass have not been confirmed by research. However, its effects have been proven to reduce fatigue and muscle recovery times. (1,2,4)
Most studies conclude that glutamine is not one of the best supplements for increasing muscle mass. When testing the effects of glutamine on athletes, the strength and volume indicators were comparable to those of a placebo. (4)
In conclusion, research suggests that taking glutamine in supplements can help improve athletic performance and reduce muscle ammonium concentrations. (5) (1) It should not be taken to increase muscle mass.
Glutamine Uses – Food vs. Supplements
Glutamine is found both in food and in the form of dietary supplements. An average diet provides about 3-6 g per day. On a protein diet, the values are around the upper limit. The foods with the most glutamine are:
- Red meat: 1.3 g each 100 g
- White meat: 1.0 g each 100 g
- Eggs: 0.7 g each 100 g
- Tofu: 0.6 g Cada 100g
- Brown rice: 0.6 g every 100 g
- Oats: 0.4 g each 100 g
- Skim milk: 0.3 g each 100 g
The benefit of supplements over food is their assimilation. This is because, in the presence of other amino acids, these compete with each other when it comes to being absorbed. (4) One of the most common uses is to avoid muscle breakdown that occurs when working at high intensities.
Recommended dosage and side effects
Glutamine is considered a safe supplement for health. The recommended amount per day is 3-5 g per day.
Studies have not recorded severe side effects even when taking doses of up to 45 g for short periods.
However, taking these amounts will not benefit health or athletic performance. Its long-term side effects have yet to be determined.
Glutamine is one of the 11 non-essential amino acids. The main benefit of this molecule is to stimulate the immune and digestive systems.
Taking a 5g dose in the form of supplements can reduce muscle recovery times. This is one of the most beneficial uses for athletes.
There have been no severe side effects from taking glutamine. However, its long-term effects have not yet been proven.