Glutamine… Is it worth it?

Glutamine is one of those aminos that on paper, should have been as big (or bigger) than creatine. It’s the most abundant amino in muscle tissue, regulating both protein synthesis and cellular hydration. So at first blush it was going to do everything creatine did and then some. To this day, you see sports nutrition companies hawking the stuff, in bottles ranging from 100g up to a kilo. One positive is the price has come down, but that doesn’t solve some of its inherent problems. Let’s take a closer look…

Glutamine is one of those “conditionally essential” aminos that still gets a lot of play in the muscle magazines. The part about it being the most abundant amino in muscle and regulating protein synthesis is true, although as we’ll see the end game just isn’t there. The fact is, most oral glutamine is taken up by the stomach lining. That is, it excels at repairing the stomach and aiding digestion. To get it past the stomach, doses of 10g or more are required and even then – nothing magical happens. The one exception is for people with Crohn’s disease or like conditions. For these folks, Glutamine can be a godsend. Even without that condition, glutamine is soothing to the stomach. There are a few other situations where it’s useful though, so here they are..

When you’re sick, the body goes through a boatload of Glutamine. It’s probably the most important amino to use if you find yourself under the weather, certainly for flu like conditions or stomach viruses. It can also be useful here in offsetting muscle catabolism, as you can’t get much food down but Glutamine you can get down – or at least hold it under your tongue to be absorbed sublingually. A few grams of glutamine has also been shown to boost GH considerably. If you’re looking to boost GH during the day, glutamine may make sense vs GABA, as GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that can lead to drowsiness.

As far as making a meaningful muscle impact though, I’m afraid the answer is no. I dosed it heavy and 8 ways to Sunday when it was new and expensive. It didn’t work then, and it doesn’t work now.

From the Blueprint PowerHour on Superhuman Radio. Feb 28, 2017

Coach Rob Regish

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