Glutamine is one of the most abundant amino acids found in skeletal muscle and the circulation. It is naturally occurring in the human body but is also found in foods such as, beef, chicken, milk products, eggs, spinach, cabbage, and beets. Glutamine is considered a conditionally essential amino acid, as the body’s supply may not meet the demand under conditions of heavy metabolic stress— like that experienced with bodybuilding style training and dieting.
In the world of glutamine supplementation there seems to be two camps— the naysayers and the supporters. It is absurd that there are naysayers, as there are many science-backed reasons to use this amino acid to your advantage. Research published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism provides the latest “case-in-point” supporting glutamine as an erogogenic aid for those who weight train.
Using a double blinded and placebo controlled crossover design, researchers from Dalhousie University (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) investigated the impact of L-glutamine supplementation on quadriceps muscle strength recovery and soreness ratings following eccentric exercise. Subjects (males and females) took glutamine or a placebo once per day for 3-days and completed a bout of eccentric leg extension exercise at 125% of their predetermined max. They reported that short-term glutamine supplementation increased leg strength recovery by about 5% (measured as peak torque) in all participants immediately after and 72 hours post eccentric leg training. Also, they found that the relative increases in leg strength recovery were greatest in men who took glutamine. For all subjects, glutamine supplementation resulted in a decrease in muscle soreness over the course of 3 days by 18-40% in all subjects.
ACTION POINT: This study shows that the benefits of glutamine supplementation on muscle recovery can be seen within a few days after adding it to your supplement regimen. As always, we recommend taking 5-10 grams of glutamine 3 to 4 times daily. Always remember to include taking a dose 30-60 minutes pre- and post-workout.
Legault Z1, Bagnall N, Kimmerly DS. The Influence of Oral L-Glutamine Supplementation on Muscle Strength Recovery and Soreness Following Unilateral Knee Extension Eccentric Exercise. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2015 Mar 26. [Epub ahead of print].