Will glutamine give you big guns?

You might think so.

In theory, glutamine supplementation appears to make sense. Supplementation increases plasma glutamine in the plasma (1), which is thought to support the immune system (2;3) because the immune system uses glutamine for energy production (4). Plus, because exercise causes muscles to increase use of glutamine, stores are depleted (4). However, according to a 2001 study showed glutamine does not have any “significant effect on muscle performance, body composition or muscle protein degradation” (5).

Reference List
1. Maughan RJ. Nutritional ergogenic aids and exercise performance. Nutr Res Rev 1999;12:255-80.
2. Williams MH. Facts and fallacies of purported ergogenic amino acid supplements. Clin Sports Med 1999;18:633-49.
3. Nieman DC. Exercise and resistance to infection. Can J Physiol Pharmacol 1998;76:573-80.
4. Gropper SS, Smith JL, Groff JL. Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth, 2009.
5. Candow DG, Chilibeck PD, Burke DG, Davison KS, Smith-Palmer T. Effect of glutamine supplementation combined with resistance training in young adults. Eur J Appl Physiol 2001;86:142-9.

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