What does glutamine do? How to use it? Benefits and side effects

Glutamine is a supplement that attracts the attention of individuals who are especially bodybuilding and want to preserve their muscle mass.

So is the effect just that much? Or does it really have the miraculous effects stated?

In this article: From the question, is glutamine harmful? To the question, What does glutamine? the question of how to use glutamine? I will answer any questions until the question.

If you are ready we go!

What is glutamine?

Glutamine is one of twenty different amino acids found and used in the human body.

What makes it so special is that it is one of the essential amino acids depending on the situation and is concentrated in the body’s muscle mass.

In addition, 60% of the intramuscular amino acid pool also consists of glutamine.

Essential amino acids are a definition that describes amino acids that cannot be produced by the body and must be taken from outside. Besides this definition, I have to explain the essential amino acids depending on the situation.

Essential amino acids, depending on the situation, define amino acids that have to be taken from outside as a result of the body’s inability to meet the needs in certain situations (such as disease, trauma). One of the amino acids that fit this definition is glutamine. ( 1 )

What does glutamine do?

Glutamine is a frequently watched supplement, especially in terms of muscle metabolism. Contrary to popular belief, there are many studies about glutamine’s effect on the immune (immune system) and digestive system as well as muscle metabolism.

Let’s examine it.

1. Preventing muscle loss

Preventing muscle loss is one of the glutamine’s main functions. This feature, which is important for athletes, also has vital roles in many chronic diseases and after surgery.

The important point here is that it is seen that glutamine intake benefits people who are operated on or who have diseases that can cause serious muscle loss. Glutamine, which can provide rapid recovery especially after serious surgeries, also prevents muscle loss in diseases such as HIV.

Glutamine intake is recommended by many physicians, including me, for individuals with HIV.

The important point here is that research cannot clearly show whether glutamine prevents exercise-induced muscle loss. My opinion is that glutamine can be used for muscle loss in individuals who exercise seriously.

2. Prevent fatigue

Athletes who exercise heavily often describe performance degradation and fatigue in the following days. If these types of athletes are dieting with heavy exercise, this fatigue can become more serious and anxious.

In these cases, glutamine can reduce muscle fatigue.

Research 1:

The study is done to show the effects of glutamine intake on muscle strength and fatigue. Sixteen healthy participants are divided into taking glutamine and not taking (placebo).

Both groups are given knee extensor exercise eccentric and these participants start using glutamine (0.3 grams per kilo) 72 hours before the exercise. Muscle fatigue of individuals who take glutamine once a day and who do not take it is questioned immediately after exercise, 24, 48, and 72 hours.

As for muscle fatigue, participants who took glutamine at all hours had lower muscle fatigue scores.

3. Increasing performance

Glutamine is a misconception that is being used to improve performance. If you do not create a serious glutamine deficit in your diet, extra glutamine will not give you an increase in performance.

In addition, studies show that glutamine does not improve performance.


  • Glutamine may benefit irritable bowel disease (IBS) and severe diarrhea by regulating intestinal motility and mucus density.
  • It helps to form a better immune system by supporting the immune system (immune system) elements. This is especially important in fighting diseases that severely suppress the immune system such as cancer and HIV.( 2 )
What does glutamine do? How to use it? Benefits and side effects

What Are the Benefits of Glutamine?

Also, glutamine is an essential component of the immune system and gut health.

Glutamine plays a role in various biochemical functions: ( 3 )

  • Protein synthesis
  • Regulation of acid-base balance in the kidney by producing ammonium
  • Provides cellular energy as a source alongside glucose
  • Nitrogen donation for many anabolic processes, including the synthesis of purines
  • Provides carbon support as a source, replenishing the citric acid cycle
  • It is the non-toxic carrier of ammonia in the bloodstream.
  • The precursor to the neurotransmitter glutamate
  • At the tissue level, glutamine plays a role in maintaining the normal integrity of the intestinal mucosa.

When Is Glutamine Supplement Used?

Glutamine supplements are needed for the muscle mass that occurs in sports movements. In such activities, it prevents muscle tissue loss as well as fat burning. It can also affect excessive exercise syndrome. With this syndrome, conditions such as fatigue, infection, and a decrease in performance may occur.

Glutamine helps protect the lining of the intestine. In inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis, it is a factor in supplementing the treatment modality.

It helps to reduce diarrhea caused by mouth sores and chemotherapy in cancer patients with low glutamine levels. However, as side effects may occur, it should be applied with the advice of the doctor.

It helps to reduce the increase in cortisol hormone that can occur in surgery, injury, infection, burns, and trauma. It also increases body resistance after surgery.

Angina, which occurs as a result of less than normal flow to the heart, causes fatigue, frequent fatigue, and adversely affects daily life. In addition to the medications used, glutamine supplements help to increase performance.

Glutamine helps to correct the weight loss seen in AIDS disease caused by the HIV virus. And it creates cause for weight gain.

What does glutamine do? How to use it? Benefits and side effects

Should I use glutamine?

The serious effects you have heard about glutamine may actually be a reflection of the market demand. For this reason, it is a little unnecessary for individuals who want to increase their muscle mass seriously using glutamine.

If you are on a serious diet and trying to maintain your muscle mass, or if you use long periods of exercise, glutamine can help prevent muscle loss. In addition, the use of glutamine can be tried during severe injuries.

At the beginning of the article, I mentioned that glutamine can be produced in the body, and in some cases the need increases, and in this case it is necessary to take it from the outside. It is useful to use the same information here.

Most of the time, there is no need to take intake to meet the glutamine needs. In addition, dietary glutamine-if enough protein is intake- will often be sufficient.

In addition, glutamine is also used in the treatment of diseases that cause severe muscle loss by talking to your doctor.

Which Foods Contain Glutamine?

Food sources of glutamine are especially beef, chicken, fish, dairy products, eggs, beans, beets, cabbage, spinach, vegetables such as carrots, parsley, vegetable juices, and also protein-rich foods such as wheat, papaya, and Brussel sprouts. ( 4 )

The following are the percentages of protein made up of L-glutamine in each food:

  • Eggs: 4.4% (0.6 g per 100 grams of an egg)
  • Beef: 4.8% (1.2 g per 100 g of beef)
  • Skim milk: 8.1% (0.3 g per 100 g milk)
  • Tofu: 0.6 g per 9.1% (100 g of tofu)
  • White rice: 11.1% (0.3 g for 100 g of rice)
  • Corn: 16.2% (0.4 g in 100 g maize)

How is glutamine used?

The dose control pattern for glutamine varies widely, depending on the situation. In addition, the significant amount of glutamine provided by the diet along with the diet is often sufficient.

For this reason, between 0.3 grams and 0.06 grams of glutamine per kilogram can be selected with the need.

Daily use as usage,

  • Intake before, during, after, and before sleep on training days,
  • When you first wake up and before sleep on non-training days,

Can be arranged in the form.

Is glutamine harmful?

So far there is no determined toxicity of glutamine. Even a few weeks of using 60 grams of glutamine a day did not have any significant side effects. In addition, of course, you should be careful when using all supplements and act with your physician.

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