Glutamine for Sports & Fitness
Why Do Athletes Use It?*
Some athletes say that glutamine helps boost the immune system.
What Do the Advocates Say?*
Glutamine is the most utilized amino acid in the body. Based on its biochemistry, glutamine is a good supplement for athletes. Glutamine is best taken consistently, on a daily basis, rather than just before or after a hard workout, to build up tissue levels.
Although glutamine is inexpensive and non-toxic, realize that you run the risk of upsetting the balance of the body’s amino acids (as is the case with supplementing with only one of any of the amino acids.
Dosage & Side Effects
How Much Is Usually Taken by Athletes?
The amino acid glutamine appears to play a role in several aspects of human physiology that might benefit athletes, including their muscle function and immune system.1 Intense exercise lowers blood levels of glutamine, which can remain persistently low with overtraining.2 Glutamine supplementation raises levels of growth hormone at an intake of 2 grams per day,3 an effect of interest to some athletes because of the role of growth hormone in stimulating muscle growth,4 and glutamine, given intravenously, was found to be more effective than other amino acids at helping replenish muscle glycogen after exercise.5 However, glutamine supplementation (30 mg per 2.2 pounds body weight) has not improved performance of short-term, high-intensity exercise such as weightlifting or sprint cycling by trained athletes,6 , 7 and no studies on endurance performance or muscle growth have been conducted. Although the effects of glutamine supplementation on immune function after exercise have been inconsistent,8 , 9 double-blind trials giving athletes glutamine (5 grams after intense, prolonged exercise, then again two hours later) reported 81% having no subsequent infection compared with 49% in the placebo group.10
Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds
Interactions with Medicines
Certain medicines interact with this supplement.
|Some medicines may increase the need for this supplement.|
|Some medicines interact with this supplement, so they should not be taken together.|
|Some interactions between this supplement and certain medicines require more explanation. Click the link to see details.|
Note: The following list only includes the generic or class name of a medicine. To find a specific brand name, use the Medicines Index.
Where to Find It
Glutamine is found in many foods high in protein, such as fish, meat, beans, and dairy products.
Last Review: 08-17-2011
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2013.
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