Glutamine and Glutamine Supplementation
Glutamine and Glutamine Supplementation is one of the most contradictory stories in sport supplementation and nutrition. Supplement companies are trying to convince potential buyers that glutamin supplementation in general has numeral benefits, but many studies are showing something else ...
First thing first - scientific studies are one thing, real life is another thing. How come?! Well, scientific studies must be done as 'double blind' test on enough large number of people that are going to be disciplined in their daily activities during the study. Double blind test means that test subject (person taking glutamin or placebo) nor tester know who is taking glutamin and who is taking placebo. And how large number of test subjects are going to be disciplined for longer period of time, while some supplement company is financing few scientists and their studies? And how many scientists are going to say to the companies that are financing them that their supplement is worthless?
There are many studies showing great effects of glutamine, both on rats and humans. Again, problem is that to achieve dosages given to rats, you need small fortune for glutamine - great for supplement companies, bad for your budget. Studies showing good effects of glutamine supplementation on human recovery and immune system used intravenously applied glutamine or large glutamine dosages. Also, there are numerous real life examples showing that intravenously applied glutamine helped greatly for healing badly burned people.
Also, many studies showed that consumed glutamine is used by digestive system and almost no glutamine travels into blood system to be used by the rest of the body.
In the end, we used it and some of us are still using whenever some sponsor gives us glutamine for free. A kilo (~2.2 pounds) of glutamine can last up to a month if taken around 30g per day (~one ounce per day). Even at those dosages, for relatively long period of time (30 or so days) we have never noticed any good (nor bad) benefit of glutamine supplementation. On the other hand, we are all taking more or less regularly whey protein, good multi pills, omega-3 and EFA supplements, plenty of veggies, fruits, fish etc, but not even 30g of glutamine can make no difference.
If you want to personally read those studies, there is THE site where everything can be found - almighty Google :o)
Want to try it? OK, your money is on the line - we used glutamine in PWMs and shakes before bed with casein proteine powders or low fat and cottage cheese - at least 30g per day for ~100 kg (~220 pounds) trainees.
To help glutamine end up in blood stream, instead in cells of digestive system, try to combine glutamine in PWM shakes with 'really fast' carbs (for example Labrada Power Carb), powdered BCAA, creatine monohydrate (or CEE or even CEE HCL in powder) and whey proteins (whey protein isolates, hydrolyzed whey protein isolates, whey protein hydrolysates or even whey peptides). Speed of ingredients should 'push' glutamine in blood, before it is consumed by 'local' cells. Of course, to measure real effect of this PWM, one should have his/her blood checked in some good laboratory for blood levels of sugars, glutamine and other amino acids. That testing in laboratory is not something for 'average Joe'. But if you want to test this PWM recipe on yourself, give it a try - all PWM ingredients are top of their classes, muscle regeneration and muscle building all the way, even if no glutamine end up in blood stream.
There are also some supplements that combine glutamine with some other compound to help it pass into the blood stream. They are generally even more expensive and even less tested ...
Glutamine and Glutamine Supplementation - NOT highly recommended unless you are going to try 'ultra fast PWMs' or you are going to take it intravenously in hospital under supervision and application of professional hospital personel. And if you decide to go regularly to hospital because of intravenously glutamine application, check other departments too, like psychiatry. NHF :o)
Here is the list of most popular glutamine supplements: