Glutamine Overview

  Should I start taking insert supplement names here? I answer questions about the value of supplements on a daily bases, and today, I will talk about glutamine. Glutamine has been shown to help with muscle synthesis. I have found that other benefits are askew. Before we dive into the facts, lets first take a look at what exactly glutamine is.

            Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid used to make proteins in the body. “Glutamine is coded for by the base pairs CAA and CAG (where C stands for cytosine, A for adenine and G for guanine), said Sally Robertson of News (Robertson, 2018).” Usually, the body produces enough glutamine to function appropriately, but glutamine levels can become depleted due to injury, chronic stress (such as weight lifting), or infection. While under stress, the body will release cortisol into the blood. Cortisol reduces the amount of glutamine stored in the body. Reduced glutamine levels lead to immune deficiencies and illness. A glutamine supplement may be recommended if the body undergoes such stress.

            Glutamine is also used to create glucose and other amino acids in the body. Most consumers will find that their Bcaa products will contain a dose of glutamine for this reason. Glutamine is also used to remove excess ammonia from the body (Robertson, 2018). Glutamine also serves as the transport vehicle of nitrogen between tissue (Gleeson, 2008). Glutamine also assists in muscle cell proliferation.  It is interesting to note that the other benefits of glutamine have not been proven through scientific study.

            Muscle protein breakdowns occur when the body enters a fasted stated, and muscle synthesis occurs once amino acids are taken in by the body (Rasmussen, Tipton, Miller, 2000).

“This promotes amino acid uptake into muscle and increases the rate of synthesis of tissue protein without affecting the rate of protein breakdown. Provided that the ingested protein contains the 8 essential amino acids, taking supplements of individual non-essential amino acids at this time is unlikely to provide any additional benefit.” – (Tipton, Ferrando, and Phillips, 1999)

            Meaning that the consumption of non-essential amino acids alone provides no benefit, but essential amino acids have been shown to provide an advantage in muscle synthesis (Gleeson, 2008).


Gleeson, M. (2008, October 1). Dosing and Efficacy of Glutamine Supplementation in Human Exercise and Sport Training, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 138, Issue 10, October 2008, Pages 2045S–2049S, Retrieved August 6, 2019, from

Rasmussen, B; Tipton, K; and Miller, S. An oral essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement enhances muscle protein anabolism after resistance exercise. J Appl Physiol. 2000;88:386–9

Robertson, S. (2018, August 23). What is Glutamine? Retrieved August 6, 2019, from

Tipton, K; Ferrando,A. and Phillips, S. Postexercise net protein synthesis in human muscle from orally administered amino acids. Am J Physiol. 1999;276:E628–34


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Created with love by Ian Knight