Are glutamine supplements dangerous? | Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

Are glutamine supplements dangerous?

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Aug 25, 2020

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Get the Basics...
  • When used correctly, glutamine supplements are safe.
  • Glutamine is an amino acid that exists naturally in your body.
  • Your lungs are the chief creators of glutamine.
  • During times when your body is under extreme duress, such as being sick or hurt, it uses more than the normal amount of glutamine.

If you look at health stories these days, it seems like everything is bad for you! As you contemplate your diet and nutrition plan, you may be wondering if glutamine supplements are dangerous as well.

The simple answer is that when used correctly, glutamine supplements are safe.

Everyone wants to achieve maximum results from their workout!  The best way to do this is to give your muscles the tools and nutrients they need to perform at their optimal level. Including glutamine supplements in your regimen may be the key for you.

Of course, supplementation is only part of a healthy lifestyle. You need to move your body, too. To get the most out of your workouts, go PRO today for access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, goal trackers, and more!

What Is Glutamine?

Glutamine is an amino acid that exists naturally in your body. Your body contains more glutamine than any other amino acid. As the makers of protein, all amino acids are beneficial for your bodily processes.

All amino acids are grouped as either essential or non-essential. Those that are considered to be non-essential are the ones your body makes on its own, without any outside assistance or stimulation.

Each of your internal organs plays a vital role in producing the substances your body needs to function. Your lungs are the chief creators of glutamine. Most of the glutamine they generate can be found in your muscle tissue.

Often seen on supplement packaging as L-glutamine, this amino acid is useful for helping your body get rid of certain wastes. As such, glutamine is critical for your immune system, since removing these substances help to keep you from developing illnesses.

Studies have shown that without glutamine, your major organs like the brain cannot carry out their required tasks.

How Does Glutamine Affect Your Body and Health?

During times when your body is under extreme duress, such as being sick or hurt, it uses more than the normal amount of glutamine. As your body’s immune system kicks in to help you combat this damage, glutamine is one of the components needed for the healing process.

Researchers have discovered that glutamine is crucial in fighting off and fixing many kinds of ailments such as recovering from a medical operation or a virus.

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Are Glutamine Supplements Dangerous?

More and more people have determined that many of their health problems are the result of their body’s reaction to gluten, a natural protein found in most bread and wheat items. There is a misconception that those with Celiac disease, which are people intolerant or susceptible to the properties of gluten, should also stay away from glutamine, but this is untrue.

Some people are of the mistaken belief that glutamine has the same dangers as MSG which gets added to a wide assortment of packaged or restaurant food and has been known to cause adverse effects in a number of people. Although the substances are related, unless you have an allergy to MSG, a glutamine supplement should be safe.

Since glutamine is a naturally produced amino acid, taking supplements containing it is safe. You will most often find it as a feature of protein powders and ready-to-drink shakes. It can also be obtained alone in pill form, which is easier to get online or at specialized nutrition stores.

Using too much glutamine can have severe consequences. As stated above, because glutamine affects the performance of your brain, misuse can cause mental and emotional problems. Some less serious problems include stomach and sinus pains.

As with any supplement, it is important to follow the dosing information that is listed on the label. For example, you will probably read on the packaging that you should never combine glutamine or any protein supplement with heated meals or drinks because this will diminish their effectiveness.

There have been documented cases of people who have had an allergic response to glutamine, so if this occurs, you should stop taking the supplements. Anyone with serious health issues should always consult their physician before taking any supplement.

How Does Glutamine Benefit Bodybuilders?

When you engage in strenuous exercise, some nutrients and vitamins are used up faster so it may be a good idea to replenish them through supplements. There is waste produced during workouts so it is necessary to have enough of the substances, like glutamine, that decrease the levels of these unwanted byproducts.

What Foods Contain the Most Glutamine?

Glutamine is an amino acid and therefore foods containing protein are some of the best sources for it. Many dairy products like egg yolks and yogurt provide high quantities of glutamine as well as meat and uncooked leafy greens. Visit websites such as the USDA’s Choose My Plate website for even more advice on eating healthy.

Pair your supplement regimen with a regular exercise routine by going PRO today for access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, and more.

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