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Friday 28 June 2024

Is Glutamine Good For Muscle Growth?

Glutamine is an amino acid that has gained significant popularity in the world of sports nutrition and supplements. Despite its many roles in the body, there are some claims that glutamine can improve muscle growth and athletic performance.

Is glutamine good for muscle growth

This article will explore the ways in which glutamine works in the body as well as its potential role in muscle growth.

What is Glutamine?

Glutamine is an amino acid, which is an essential building block of protein in the body. In fact, glutamine is the most abundant and versatile amino acid in the human body (1).

Glutamine is important for the immune system and optimal functioning of the intestines.

Not only does it play a crucial role in the health and function of body tissues, but it’s especially concentrated in muscles. In muscles, glutamine plays a role in maintaining and repairing the structure and function of muscle cells and muscle fibers.

Your body naturally produces this amino acid, and it is also found in many foods. Yet, you may be unsure if you need extra glutamine from supplements for optimal health.

Is Glutamine an Essential Amino Acid?

Is glutamine good for muscle growth

The body can make glutamine on its own, which means it is not considered an essential amino acid.

A healthy person can typically make enough glutamine to meet its needs. You may be wondering why people even consider supplementing with something that we already make on our own.

However, there are certain times when the body requires more glutamine than it can actually produce.

What is a Conditionally Essential Amino Acid?

Glutamine is in fact considered a conditionally essential amino acid. This means that it becomes essential to supplement with glutamine under certain conditions.

During periods of heightened stress or illness, the demand for glutamine may exceed the body's ability to synthesize it, making dietary intake or supplementation necessary (2).

Is Glutamine Good for Athletes?

Is glutamine good for muscle growth

There have been many studies on glutamine supplementation in athletes. Some studies suggest that athletes, especially endurance athletes, may benefit from taking glutamine supplements.

Athletes who undergo rigorous training may be at heightened risk for a weakened immune system, and the thought is that glutamine can help keep the immune system strong whilst doing intense physical activity.

One study suggested that supplementing with glutamine daily can reduce skeletal muscle damage from intense exercise (3).

It’s also important to note that there have also been studies that show no real difference in muscle growth or performance in groups that took a glutamine supplement and those that didn’t.

While glutamine may be good for athletes, and is harmless to take, more research is needed to better understand if there is a real benefit.


Does Glutamine Support Muscle Mass?

There is some evidence to suggest that glutamine contributes to some of the processes involved in muscle growth.

It’s suggested that glutamine supplements can enhance protein synthesis, which therefore might help build proteins within muscles, contributing to increased muscle mass.

Recent studies found that glutamine may reduce muscle soreness after exercise, which then can help athletes get back to their training regimen more quickly (4).

However, the evidence about glutamine and muscle growth is not totally conclusive and more research is needed to better understand the link between glutamine supplements and increasing muscle mass.

Is Glutamine Good for Endurance?

Is glutamine good for muscle growth

Endurance athletes, who push their bodies to the limits, often face challenges related to immune function and recovery. Glutamine's potential role in supporting the immune system may be particularly relevant for these athletes.

Additionally, some research suggests that glutamine may help restore glycogen, which is crucial for athletes working to sustain their energy levels during long periods of physical activity. 

What are the Other Benefits of Glutamine?

In addition to the potential muscle growth and endurance benefits of glutamine, there are various other health benefits that the amino acid may offer.

It’s proposed that glutamine plays an important role in gut health, as it’s an amino acid that has a particular infinity to the gut lining. A stronger and healthier gut lining leads to a more diverse  bacterial balance in the intestines, which supports health digestion (5).

Additionally, because gut health plays such an important role in the immune system, glutamine can actually support overall immune health by supporting the intestinal cells.

When it comes to athletes, having a strong gut and healthy digestion is necessary as intense training can sometimes lead to gastrointestinal issues.


When to Take Glutamine for Muscle Growth?

Many people will choose to take glutamine in hopes of increasing muscle growth. Despite the mixed evidence on whether or not glutamine can increase muscle mass, it’s beneficial for athletes to take glutamine for immune support and faster muscle recovery.

It’s recommended to take glutamine after a workout, when the body’s demand for amino acids is higher.

Be sure to take glutamine along with a source of carbohydrates and protein to help optimize digestion and absorption.

What are the Best Dietary Sources of Glutamine?

There are several foods that contain glutamine, particularly those rich in protein.

Meats, dairy products, seafood, and eggs are all great sources of glutamine. You can also get glutamine from some plant-based sources of protein such as beans and legumes.

Eating a varied and balanced diet with adequate protein will typically ensure you’re meeting your body’s basic glutamine needs.

If you’re an athlete with an intense training regimen, or perhaps you have a hard time getting adequate protein, opting for a glutamine supplement is recommended. You can conveniently ensure you’re getting adequate glutamine by taking Naked Glutamine in a pill form. Simply put your supplement bottle in your gym bag or store it near your daily supplements to make glutamine part of your daily routine.


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