Glutamine is one of the twenty amino acids involved in the construction of proteins in the human body. This amino acid is non-essential, meaning that it can be synthesized by the body on its own.
But during increased physical exertion, illness and stress (weight lifting is also considered stress for the human organism), some parts of the body need so much glutamine that the body can not cope with this task.
In such cases, L-glutamine supplements come to the rescue. What is the best L-Glutamine supplement? Let’s find out together!
Table of Contents
- 1 L-Glutamine Functions
- 2 Natural Sources of L-Glutamine
- 3 Daily Needs of L-Glutamine
- 4 What is the Best Time to Consume L-Glutamine?
- 5 Are L-Glutamine Supplements Good for Everyone?
- 6 Capsules or Powder Form?
- 7 Best L-Glutamine Supplements Reviewed
- 8 The Final Verdict
Before we proceed to answer the question, let’s find out a little bit more why this amino acid is important, especially for bodybuilders.
#1. Glutamine Increases the Level of Growth Hormone in the Blood
The main function of growth hormone in sports is to actively participate in the development and maintenance of lean muscle tissue while burning fat.
#2. Detox Function
During the period of rest and relaxation after tough workouts, the liver is the most important organ, as it is responsible for hundreds of biochemical reactions.
It produces and consumes glutamine. Glutamine is involved in the formation of antioxidants and, thus, plays a key role in many processes of liver detoxification.
This amino acid protects the body from toxic substances and stress arising from training. In addition, glutamine has a beneficial effect on the digestive system.
#3. Hydration of Muscle Cells
Glutamine is essential for normal muscle protein synthesis. Glutamine (like other amino acids) is a structural element of muscle tissue. This means that, without a high concentration of glutamine in the muscles, muscle growth is simply impossible.
The action of glutamine, which helps to build muscle, is also based on the hydration of cells or the cell volume of individual muscle cells.
However, the process of hydration of muscle cells (accumulation of water) should not be confused with increasing accumulation of water with an imbalance of sodium and potassium.
With this imbalance, water accumulates in the subcutaneous fat, as a result of which the muscles look porous.
When muscle cells are hydrated, water accumulates directly in the cell nucleus, resulting in an increase in volume, and the muscles look stronger and denser.
#4. L-Glutamine Enhances the Production of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)
Due to this, it has a calming effect and promotes concentration, especially during stress and exhaustion.
#5. Supports Immune System
Some studies have shown that L-Glutamine is able to strengthen the immune system, the group of athletes that were taking L-Glutamine was less subjected to catch cold or other bacterial challenges.
Overall, the most important properties of L-Glutamine are:
- Participates in the transportation of nitrogen to the muscles;
- Accelerates protein synthesis;
- Controls the amount of ammonia in the body (when glutamate combines with ammonia, glutamine is obtained);
- Helps to establish the normal work of the gastrointestinal tract and the nervous system;
- Increases the protective properties of the immune system;
- Maintains normal levels of blood sugar;
- Lowers the rate of cortisol (stress hormone);
- Accelerates the metabolism.
Natural Sources of L-Glutamine
L-Glutamine is found in both animal and plant sources. Animal sources are beef, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, dairy products.
Plant sources are cabbage, beets, beans, spinach, parsley. A small amount of glutamine is also found in vegetable juices and fermentation products.
Daily Needs of L-Glutamine
The approximate dose of glutamine for an adult is up to 20 grams per day, divided into 3 takings throughout the day.
A more accurate dosage depends on your diet, general physical condition, intensity, and frequency of your workouts and most often, is calculated individually.
Because our diet is not always as balanced as needed, and because it might be difficult to calculate the amount of L-Glutamine you consume with foods, it is worth considering supplementing your diet with L-Glutamine supplements.
Besides that, when practicing any kind of sports, including high-intensity weight lifting workouts, the need for L-Glutamine raises significantly.
What is the Best Time to Consume L-Glutamine?
L-Glutamine is taken at the time of a high peak of catabolism in the body. This usually happens in the morning and after a workout.
It also could be taken at night before bedtime because it contributes to the production of growth hormone.
Are L-Glutamine Supplements Good for Everyone?
Although L-Glutamine has a positive effect on human organisms, still, there are few contraindications that are worth to be aware of before deciding to take L-Glutamine supplements.
Thus, pregnant women and those that are in the period of babies’ breastfeeding are not recommended to take L-Glutamine supplements.
Also, people that have cirrhosis of the liver and kidneys failure are advised to stay away from taking L-Glutamine supplements.
Recommended Read: Best Supplements for a Healthy Liver – Recommended by Nature
It is always better to consult with your physician before deciding to take any dietary supplements.
Capsules or Powder Form?
There are different forms in which L-Glutamine is manufactured: capsule, tablet, and powder. So what’s the difference and what’s better to choose?
First of all, each athlete has his own goals and plans. Therefore, the use of supplements is also an individual aspect.
For example, one athlete wants glutamine to be absorbed more slowly or to influence the absorption of other supplements.
Another athlete may focus only on the cost of a particular form of release, because the packaging for the manufacturer is, after all, a cost, and it affects the final cost of the product.
The advantage of tablets is that today, it is the most affordable budget form. They can be produced in different dosages while maintaining activity longer. They have a longer shelf life. It is convenient to carry tablets with you whatever you have to go.
Yes, it is possible that tablets are slower in assimilation compared to liquid form, but for someone, an additional 20-30 minutes does not make a big deal. It is advisable to choose a different form of L-Glutamine for people that encounter problems with swallowing.
Capsules have an excellent ability to break down in the gastric juice while retaining most of the nutrients.
They also make it possible to use its contents outside the capsule. For example, if we are talking about children or, again, people who cannot swallow.
The powder is a universal form of glutamine. It can be added to food or mixed with other cocktails. It is convenient to use the powder because you can regulate the dosage of the amino acid.
Also, the powder form is more convenient in terms of price as you get more product for your buck buying in powder.
The liquid form of glutamine is absorbed faster than others. As with powder, the dosage can be adjusted to your liking. But in this form, there are more disadvantages than in tablets or powder.
The liquid is not that convenient in terms of transportation, often requires cooling, and sometimes there is an inaccurate distribution of ingredients in the composition.
Another important aspect is that glutamine, after dilution in water or when opening the liquid form packaging, must be drunk immediately.
Best L-Glutamine Supplements Reviewed
1. Now Sports L-Glutamine Powder
This is a great product manufactured by an American family-owned company that operates in the market since 1968.
It has a powder form that made it easy to add to my favorite cocktails and protein shakes. The product has been through testes for banned substances by LGC, which is a globally recognized assurance program for anti-doping in sports nutrition products.
The tests were run by Informed-Choice.org and the results can be found at their official website.
Besides that, the product is produced in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) so that you can rest assured that it is safe to use because every aspect of the manufacturing process has been thoroughly examined.
Each pack of this Now Sports L-Glutamine powder contains 1 pound (454g) of pure L-Glutamine.
The bottle comes with a serving scoop that equals 5 g. I am taking this supplement 3 times per day so each bottle lasts for me a whole month!
Using Now Sports L-Glutamine has helped me a lot to recover faster from my tough weight lifting workouts. It’s the best $35 I ever spent on Amazon. Nowadays, it is even sold on half of the price.
2. Now Foods L-Glutamine 500 mg
Although I prefer the powder form of L-Glutamine more, sometimes when I run out of time, I go for the capsule form.
This L-Glutamine supplement is manufactured by the same family-owned American company as the previous product.
Each capsule contains 500 mg of pure L-Glutamine additive (that equals with 0,5 g). This is the only inconvenience of this product as in order to get the daily need, I take 10 capsules 3 times per day which may seem like a lot 🙂
They manufacture this capsule form L-Glutamine supplement in packages by 120 capsules, 240 capsules, and 300 capsules.
Because there is a considerably large amount of capsules to be taken per day to meet the daily needs, I prefer to choose 300 counts that usually last approximately 10 days for me.
That is totally fine and the product has an affordable price. Nowadays, it is being sold with a 53% discount so it is even more affordable.
3. Now Sports L-Glutamine 1000 mg
It is completely the same product as the previous L-Glutamine supplement made by the same company.
Because sometimes I get sick and tired taking 10 capsules at a time, I go for this product that is more concentrated, containing 1000mg of L-Glutamine in each capsule.
So instead of taking 10 capsules of the previous L-Glutamine supplement, with this product, I can reduce twice the number of capsules that I have to take to meet the daily requirements.
Each pack of this Now Sports L-Glutamine supplement contains 240 capsules that last approximately 3 weeks for me.
The only downside of this L-Glutamine supplement, if to compare with the previous, is the higher price.
But if taking into consideration that it is more concentrated and there is a need of taking less capsules, it makes it worth the price.
The Final Verdict
Any kind of exercise clearly reduces glutamine levels in the blood.
For quite a long period of time, L-Glutamine has been recognized as the most popular and sought-after supplement among people actively practicing bodybuilding.
It has an instant effect on the body and helps to strengthen the immune system.
L-Glutamine provides instant recovery after power loads and helps the body return to shape as quickly as possible.
This supplement is called a good helper and friend for tired muscle tissue. Thanks to it, muscles are able to relax faster and return back to tone sooner than ever.
I personally use L-Glutamine periodically and I observe that I catch colds more rarely, I recover from weight lifting workouts faster and feel better overall.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and now, you know better what is the best L-Glutamine supplement.
If you have any questions or thoughts about the above aspects, or you have something to add or share your story, please leave them in the comments section below and I will get back to you asap.
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All the best,