If you’ve been asking the question “what does glutamine do”, then this article is a must-read for you.

Before you dive in and start using any bodybuilding supplement, it’s important to see if the concrete research backs up its claims.

Glutamine accounts for up to 2/3’s of the total amino acid content in the body and does play a very important role in building muscle and helping you recover in between workouts.

The question is: is supplemental glutamine necessary? Does it provide any additional benefits on top of the glutamine you consume through your diet?

Let’s go over the question of “what does glutamine do” by examining the claims you’ll commonly hear…

Claim #1: Glutamine Increases Protein Synthesis

First, it’s said that glutamine will increase your rate of protein synthesis, which is the process where the body joins individual amino acids to build new muscle tissue.

While this is actually true, it’s only in those who are recovering from some type of clinical stress such as a burn or other trauma. In otherwise healthy individuals, supplemental glutamine does not have this effect.

For those who have just finished a workout, glutamine isn’t going to boost protein synthesis any faster than taking in a good quality source of lean protein would.

Claim #2 – Glutamine Boosts Your Immune System

Secondly, you’ll often hear that glutamine will enhance your immune system strength. Once again, this isn’t entirely accurate.

While glutamine does play a key role in the immune system by providing energy to cells such as lymphocytes and macrophages, it’s not going to boost your immune system strength after a workout like many people think it will.

Exercise will stress your immune system, but supplemental glutamine has never been shown in research to provide any benefits beyond basic rest and nutrition. If you are looking to support immune function then you should be looking at something like liposomal vitamin c..

Claim #3 – Glutamine Increases Growth Hormone Release

The next claim that’s often made is that glutamine will improve growth hormone release.

Yes, glutamine will boost your GH concentration levels in the body, however, it won’t do so to a high enough degree to favorably impact muscle growth or overall body composition.

In order for that to happen, GH would have to be increased by several hundred to 1000+ percent, and glutamine cannot produce increases this large.

Claim #4 – Glutamine Replenishes Muscle Glycogen Levels Post-Workout

Finally, the last claim that you’ll hear is that glutamine assists with replenishing muscle glycogen levels after an intense workout session.

Even if this claim were true, it doesn’t really matter because weight lifting workouts aren’t all that glycogen depleting anyway. A hard weight training workout will only lower glycogen levels by about 30-40%, and your typical diet will replenish those levels all on its own within a couple of meals anyway.

What Does Glutamine Do: The Bottom Line

So as you can see, the claims made about glutamine supplements really aren’t backed by up any sound logic or concrete research.

Supplemental glutamine does not increase protein synthesis, does not enhance the immune system, does not raise GH levels high enough to improve muscle growth, and whether or not it helps to replenish glycogen levels is irrelevant.

You’ll be far better off saving your money and sticking to proven, research-backed bodybuilding supplements that truly produce measurable results.

– Sean

Here’s what to do next…

If you found this article helpful, make sure to sign up for your FREE custom fitness plan below...

custom fitness plan