Glutamine is an essential amino acid involved in the production of nitrogen. As a result, it is involved in muscle protein synthesis. Studies have found that during exercise, our stores of glutamine are rapidly depleted to meet the energy demands of an intense workout. While a few studies on intravenously administrated glutamine has shown that it may increase HGH or act as a external source of glucose (without spiking insulin) , these studies shouldn’t entirely be trusted as they were done intravenously and with large amounts of glutamine.
By focusing on practical implications of when to take glutamine, we can find the best and most optimal times. We first need to address you and your goals though, what are you taking glutamine for? In my experience, there’s just two reasons why people supplement with glutamine.
Numerous studies have shown that l-glutamine plays a critical role in rebuilding the mucosal lining of your gut. Our gut only have one thing protective lining who’s job is to keep parasites, bacteria and pathogens out. Unfortunately with high stress and poor dietary choices that lining becomes damaged and leads to a host of unhealthy consequences such as leaky gut and other inflammatory conditions.
L-glutamine in doses of 5-15 grams has been shown to help seal and rebuild this gut lining and quite honestly, it looks well. The trick is that glutamine for gut health must be taken alone as other amino acids will compete for absorption and food particles in general will limit the effectiveness of glutamine.
If gut health is your goal then the best time to take glutamine is 30-45 minutes before or after a meal.
If you are attempting to increase your performance and recovery then glutamine may have a place in your supplement protocol. There are numerous studies looking at glutamine on muscle fatigue and recovery but I’m wary since these studies from done with large amounts of glutamine, upwards of 30 grams. It’s just not a practical real world dosage.
Whether glutamine enhances muscle recovery or not, the biggest benefit of supplement with glutamine for muscle gain is its unique relationship with leucine, one of the three BCAAS.
Leucine increase the activation of the important mTOR muscle protein synthesis pathway. One of the key factors is how quickly leucine exits the muscle cell. There is research pointing to the idea that glutamine may help keep leucine in the muscle cell for slightly longer, thus increasing the anabolic potential.
As previously pointed to, glutamine supplementation during training may act as a “anti-fatigue” fuel source.
When is the best time to take glutamine?
For gut health take your glutamine 30-45 minutes before or after a meal, on a empty stomach
For muscle gain and recovery take your glutamine, found in Physique Formula BCAAS, during training or 1-2 hours after meals.