L-Glutamine: The Healing Amino Acid for Athletic and Weight Lifting Performance

Glutamine is an amino acid, one of 20 amino acids that are required for protein synthesis by the human body. As opposed to many body building and athletic performance supplements, it is relatively easy to talk about L-Glutamine benefits. By that statement we mean that so much has been written about the L-Glutamine supplement, and it is overwhelmingly positive.

L-Glutamine supplement benefits have long included the ability to help the body heal after it has undergone a traumatic event. For example, a 1998 research study[i] entitled: “Total Parenteral Nutrition with Glutamine Dipeptide After Major Abdominal Surgery,” showed that it accelerated the healing process in surgical patients.

This outcome was further expanded in a 2001 summary in the Journal of Nutrition entitled: “Why is L-glutamine metabolism important to cells of the immune system in health, post injury, surgery or infection?”[ii] The 1998 medical research study as to surgical recovery was repeated in 2009 in China and again with positive results.[iii] It does appear that when one group of patients with similar surgeries received the L-Glutamine supplement, as opposed to another group of control patients receiving a placebo that the group receiving the L-Glutamine supplement fared much better.

Weight Lifting

In a fascinating piece of research in Critical Care Medicine conducted in 2006 related to amino acid benefits and patients recovering from infections and trauma, the L-Glutamine benefits reduce the complications of infections in critically ill patients.[iv]

Glutamine and Athletic Performance
Athletes are notorious for pushing themselves to the limit – and sometimes, over the limit. In team contact sports such as football and soccer, injuries are common and often traumatic. In sports such as weightlifting, injuries are usually not as traumatic, but they are constant in terms of what it takes to build muscle. In weight lifting the musculature is constantly stressed, subject to micro-tears, strained and sometimes sprained.

In all sports, Glutamine appears to serve as almost a marker as to how the training is progressing. An excellent insight into this process was offered in a 2010 research finding[v] entitled:  “Effect of physical activity on glutamine metabolism.” The authors of the paper offered the following conclusion to their studies:

“ After exercise, a reduced glutamine availability may be considered as a marker of overtraining. An increased glutamine availability may contribute to decreased inflammation and health benefits associated with optimal training. Thus, glutamine supplementation may enhance immune-competence after strenuous exercise. The potential of glutamine supplementation during physical inactivity needs to be explored.”

The immune system and L-Glutamine appear linked in several studies. But what of the Glutamine amino acid, weight lifting, and enhanced athletic performance? There seems a shown, scientific connection there as well as in a 2010 presentation[vi] by Hoffman entitled: “L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine Supplement Increases Performance in Endurance Exercise and Activity.”

The boundaries of L-Glutamine supplements benefits continue to be explored, but it is a supplement that has shown to be of great value in healing traumatic injuries, helping to reduce infections and improve the immune system and in increasing athletic performance. Add it to your private label sports supplements line when you partner with us!

Though variable in recommendation, the consensus as to L-Glutamine supplement dosage appears to be 500 mg., 1 to 3 times per day.


[i] Morlion, B. J.; Stehle, P.; Wachtler, P.; Siedhoff, H. P.; Köller, M.; König, W.; Fürst, P.; Puchstein, C. (1998). “Total Parenteral Nutrition with Glutamine Dipeptide After Major Abdominal Surgery”. Annals of Surgery 227 (2): 302–308
[ii] Newsholme, P. (2001). “Why is L-glutamine metabolism important to cells of the immune system in health, postinjury, surgery or infection?” The Journal of Nutrition 131 (9 Suppl): 2515S–2522S; discussion 2522S–4S.
[iii] Fan YP, Yu JC, Kang WM, Zhang Q. Effects of glutamine supplementation on patients undergoing abdominal surgery. Chin Med Sci J. 2009 Mar;24(1):55-9
[iv] Déchelotte P, et.al. L-alanyl-L-glutamine dipeptide-supplemented total parenteral nutrition reduces infectious complications and glucose intolerance in critically ill patients: the French controlled, randomized, double-blind, multicenter study. Crit Care Med. 2006 Mar;34(3):598-604.
[v] Agostini F, Giolo G. Effect of physical activity on glutamine metabolism. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2010; 13(1):58-64
[vi] Hoffman,J., L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine Supplement Increases Performance in Endurance Exercise and Activity (Seminar based on scientific research paper) J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010 Feb 3; 7:8.