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The Truth About Glutamine

Despite its numerous benefits, glutamine still has its skeptics. Luckily, M&F is here to clear up a few misconceptions.


Recently a reader dropped a question on our message board about glutamine. Apparently, another publication downplayed the effectiveness of this supplement, saying, among other things that glutamine has no effect on energy production.

Well, we appreciate you bringing this gross inaccuracy to our attention. We won't lie — we love this product and, being the training brainiacs that we are, we have a response backed by plenty more science than this other ill-informed (and perhaps biased) publication bothered to explore.

Although many claim that glutamine does not improve athletic performance, there is plenty of research to show it does.

In a study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine, subjects underwent an exhaustive training session and then took either glutamine, or a placebo for six days. After six days, every subject had their power measured and then performed the same exhaustive training session. Subjects who received the glutamine supplements experienced no drop-off in power from day one to day six. The placebo group was found to have a decrease in power after six days, indicating their muscles were still not fully recovered. Additionally, the glutamine group was able to train longer before becoming exhausted on day 6 compared to day 1, while the placebo group showed no improvement. Taking glutamine supplements in between training sessions may help speed recovery so you can start growing faster and get back into the weight-room as fast as possible.



In two separate studies conducted at LSU, researchers found that a dose of only 2 grams of glutamine increased bicarbonate levels over a 90-minute period. Taking glutamine before exercising could help increase your bicarbonate stores, allowing you to tolerate higher levels of lactic acid produced from hard training and therefore allow you to get more reps per set.

In addition to the increase in bicarbonate levels, the LSU study found that glutamine supplementation was found to increase growth hormone (GH) levels only 90 minutes after ingestion.


In two separate studies, glutamine supplements were found to increase metabolic rate at rest and during exercise, which could help to burn more fat.

We're not sure what these other publications are looking at when they review the literature, but there is plenty of research showing that glutamine is very effective for athletes and everyday gym rats for numerous reasons.