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  1. #1
    Registered User Canadian_AF's Avatar
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    Why glutamine is a waste of money.

    Howdy all, was just browsing around the net in a few different forums, and found a very interesting article regarding glutamine, which you can find here.

    http://www.discussfitness.com/showth...6601#post26601

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but all these studies seem to refer to glutamine as a "strength enhancer?", however, isn't glutamine primarily used, to prevent muscle canabolization (sp?), ? Therefore the studies shown in this article have no basis?

    Pe@ce
    Last edited by Canadian_AF; 09-27-2003 at 05:16 AM.
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    There have been no oral studies shown that show the efficacy of taking glutamine. All of the studies were done on burn victums and AIDS victums, whose levels of glutamine were already low. The glutamine in these studies was administered via IV.


    Glutamine has shown some benefits for people on a hypocaloric diet. It increases recovery time, improves immune system function and reduces catabolism. Ideal dosages are usually between 20-30g, which is not very cost-effective IMO.

    You can get glutamine in the form of glutamine peptides from your protein shakes and from other sources.

    Does it help in bulking? In high enough dosages, sure. Does it assist in cutting? Again, in high enough dosages it can. To me, it boils down to affordability and value. The average cost for a month's supply of glutamine (600g) is a minimum of 25.00.
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    Glutamine effect isn't based on real science. Though it can offer some benefit, you can get lots of great cutting edge at same price level. In other words, Glutamine is a good product, but not a priority.
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    I think this subject has been debated to death on this board before.

    The bottom line is, many bb's take glutamine and swear by it - and many others say its worthless. You cant preach to the converted.

    Personally, I think that a good quality whey shake with a good diet gives you all the glutamine you need, but thats just me.
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    Village Imbecile derekmac's Avatar
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    Originally posted by vortex72
    I think this subject has been debated to death on this board before.
    Bump. Run a search for it and see what I mean.
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    Registered User Canadian_AF's Avatar
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    Originally posted by derekmac
    There have been no oral studies shown that show the efficacy of taking glutamine. All of the studies were done on burn victums and AIDS victums, whose levels of glutamine were already low. The glutamine in these studies was administered via IV.
    ?? Most if not all of the studies posted in the link I gave at the beginning of this thread involves Glutamine taken orally, not by IV, and the tests were not done on burn or AIDS victims, the test subjects were required to be "healthy". These tests were done at a number of universities across north america, Sports Med/Kinesiology/Biology depts. Again, I'm not saying that taking Glutamine is useless because I've taken it, and still take it myself because it does reduce catabolism like you said, (for which I've noticed greater muscle preservation even taken in lower quantities) however, it's a misconception that taking glutamine will help you "bulk", it WILL help you bulk in a sense, that less muscle will be catabolized, however, it will not help you bulk in the sense you will notice new muscle growth from consuming glutamine.

    I thought I'd post this as I've been browsing glutamine threads, most people think glutamine is adding them in building muscle, which is definetly is not.

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    what i find hilarious is the ones that post studies about muscle performance and glycogen resynthesis and say glutamine is worthless.

    duhhh.

    i agree, use it if you find it useful. dont use it if you dont find it useful.

    next topic, please.
    Last edited by massive member; 09-27-2003 at 08:37 AM.
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    Clarification.....

    Originally posted by Canadian_AF
    ?? Most if not all of the studies posted in the link I gave at the beginning of this thread involves Glutamine taken orally, not by IV, and the tests were not done on burn or AIDS victims, the test subjects were required to be "healthy". These tests were done at a number of universities across north america, Sports Med/Kinesiology/Biology depts. Again, I'm not saying that taking Glutamine is useless because I've taken it, and still take it myself because it does reduce catabolism like you said, (for which I've noticed greater muscle preservation even taken in lower quantities) however, it's a misconception that taking glutamine will help you "bulk", it WILL help you bulk in a sense, that less muscle will be catabolized, however, it will not help you bulk in the sense you will notice new muscle growth from consuming glutamine.

    I thought I'd post this as I've been browsing glutamine threads, most people think glutamine is adding them in building muscle, which is definetly is not.

    Pe@ce
    Exactly my point. The studies you referenced have shown that glutamine is dubious at best for improving protein synthesis and glycogen resynthesis. Bring that these tests were adminstered orally, it proves that by supping with a non-essential amino acid (at least orally) does not improve protein synthesis or glycogen resynthesis.

    The tests administered via IV have shown glutamine to be beneficial when given to a person with a low amount of glutamine already (burn victums, AIDS patients, people with suppresed immune systems).
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    glutamine has such a bad reputation because it is not readily absorbed orally. but won't most people fail to realize that glutamine peptides fix this.
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    High amounts (20-30g) would need to be take for maximum absorption and results. The GI tract loves glutamine and will use it for fuel and repair.
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    I have never used glutamine and don't plan on ever using it. IMO it's a waste of money. At 30 bucks a month for a product which "may" work. BCAA's are a much better investment and a proven performance enhancer. Just stick with quality protein and glutamine will not matter.
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    I think there's a of truth in what everyone is saying. I don't view glutamine supplementation as a total necessity just more of a luxury. IMO it can't hurt to have some glutamine lying around. I think its true that you get plenty of glutamine from your protein shakes but sometimes you may want to add more especially if you've over done it at the gym. It certainly can't hurt to take extra glutamine if you're sore as hell after a heavy lifting/HIT cycle.
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    Originally posted by p1kajoe
    glutamine has such a bad reputation because it is not readily absorbed orally. but won't most people fail to realize that glutamine peptides fix this.
    L-Glutamine is absorbed readily orally, only IF, taken on an empty stomach, the molecule structure in glutamine peptides are substantially larger, that's why you can still take with your whey and still have absorbtion, however, IMO, L-Glutamine, like mac was saying taken in larger doses on an EMPTY stomach, is much more effective then what you are getting from your whey.

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    not everyone reacts the same to everything

    next topic, please.
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  15. #15
    Registered User Canadian_AF's Avatar
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    Originally posted by massive member
    not everyone reacts the same to everything

    next topic, please.
    No, your right but it's always good to have articles and studies to backup the products we are investing billions in each year, I'm not trying to be disrespectful bro.. but not all of us are active in these forums all the time, so I think anytime a topic can be brought up for newer members to discuss as well it should be, if you do not want to discuss it, then skip the thread simple as that.

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    Milos Sarcev on Glutamine

    This information comes from Milos Sarcev's message boards.
    The question posted on the boards went like this:

    I have noticed that most of professional bodybuilders claim that they regularly use glutamine. What is so special about this nonessential amino acid? After all body can synthesize glutamine (if there is a need) from other amino acids.

    As we all know, Milos is a bodybuilding genius. There's nothing that he doesn't know about nutrition, supplements, or exercising.

    Anyway, here's HIS answer to the question:

    "Glutamine is unambiguously one of the most popular supplements among the
    bodybuilders and competitive athletes. Just to name a few benefits -glutamine has
    anabolic activity (increase synthesis of muscle protein), anticatabolic activity (decrease muscle protein breakdown), lipolytic activity (as it increases secretion of "fat burning" growth hormone), increases synthesis of glycogen and ATP, decreases buildup of fatigue substances -lactate and ammonia, boost immune system and free testosterone levels.

    Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in our body and our muscle tissue. High
    intensity weight training and any other highly stressful condition depletes Glutamine
    stores and increases the need for the Glutamine production. Unfortunately even though our body can synthesize this amino acid from the other amino acids (glutamic acid, isoleucin and valine) it appears that body's ability to produce Glutamine doesn't
    replenishes what was lost during intense training or stress.

    Many athletes have used it and most commonly they have noticed increased ability to recover from their workouts. Bodybuilders especially can attest for many of glutamine's powerful muscle building and cell volumazing effects. I would suggest you to give Glutamine honest try. Don't use it sporadically but make a
    habit to take 5grams a day immediately after the workout. After the first week start
    increasing the dosage by 2-3grams until you reach at least 20 grams per day (I have
    athletes that take up to 40 grams a day with great results).

    Some bodybuilders on their low carbohydrate diets also take excess amount of Glutamine preferring to get glucose from non-carbohydrate source (Glutamine can be converted into glucose by glyconeogenesis process). This is a common practice among the competitive bodybuilders and even though it make some sense I believe that Glutamine is to valuable (and expensive) to be wasted and converted into highly available (and extremely inexpensive) simple sugar -glucose. Finally -don't confuse unessential with unimportant. Essential amino acids got that name as our body's can not produce them and we have to intake them through food or supplements. " -Milos Sarcev
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    Dr. Eric Serrano on Glutamine

    In the old days, whenever a doctor said something—anything—it was pretty much taken as gospel. After all, they're all incredibly bright, they all pull down some serious cash, and, well, they're doctors.

    Of course, those of us in our little field of kamikaze, theoretical, self-experimental bodybuilding have a different take on most physicians. How so? Well, most of us run away screaming when someone flashes his or her MD credentials. You can't blame us, though. Traditional medical education has taught doctors that steroids are a poison on par with strychnine; that any amount of protein greater than the RDA will practically cause your kidneys to fall out; and that creatine needs further research (even though there are hundreds, if not thousands, of studies supporting its use).

    Happily, there are always exceptions. Nowadays, there are doctors who are elbow-deep in the area of bodybuilding and physique augmentation. And man, when you find someone like that, you've really got something.

    Dr. Eric Serrano is one of these enlightened physicians. In fact, Serrano is so hip on supplements that more often than not, he prescribes over-the-counter supplements to his patients in lieu of drugs. He also conducts private studies on just about any new supplement that comes down the pike. Of course, he also has a deep-rooted personal interest in new supplements because he's a competitive power lifter who most recently set a record in a Midwest tri-state meet for total weight.

    Serrano currently runs a private clinic in Columbus, Ohio, along with teaching classes at Ohio State's medical school. Although we did this interview over the phone, we just know he's sitting there in an extra-large, white lab coat with the sleeves torn off, in an office that has as many bench presses as it has EKG monitors..

    Dr. Eric Serrano on Glutamine:

    Glutamine has made a big difference in my patients, especially their immune systems, and glutamine gets rid of colds; it helps your joints; and it can increase your strength in one day. People will ask me where I'm getting this information from, but I've been playing with 11 patients with different dosages. Here's what I've come up with: you need .35 grams per kilogram of body weight. And you take it in one dose an hour before a workout. Tell me what happens during your workout. I don't care what type of workout it is.

    I know that we chemistry people say it does this or it does that, but something else is going on. I think there are two mechanisms. For one thing, I think it's an excellent source of energy because the body can break it down to glutamic acid, which is kind of a sugar [although he wouldn't come right out and say it, Dr. Serrano intimated that the glutamic acid may serve as a powerful energy substrate, thereby increasing work capacity]. Number two, I have found out, and this is very important, glutamine is a marker of overtraining. If I take people, and I have them write down their workouts, and if their glutamic acid/glutamine ratio is over 10 to one, that person was invariably getting sick or developing soreness, or their performance was going down. I will tell you, papers are going to come out on it, because it's very interesting how this works. If the ratio is less than 10 to 1, you're overtraining. If I give you oral glutamine, you'll prevent overtraining. I have some theories about how it works, but I don't want to talk about them yet…if it works that way, great, but I don't want to give people the wrong idea.

    Because the cost is so high, I wouldn't take it every day. I might take a baseline dosage of 2 to 5 grams a day to keep my levels high, but if I'm going through an intensity phase or accumulation phase, like Charles Poliquin calls them, I will take a larger dosage—.35 grams (times body weight in kilograms) and divide it into two dosages; in the morning, an hour before the workout, and the other half before bedtime to preserve muscle while I'm sleeping.
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    Charles Poliquin on Glutamine

    Question of Strength
    The real Master Blaster reveals
    the science behind building muscle
    by Charles Poliquin

    _
    Q: What type of diet would you recommend while using your 1-6-1 training program? In general, what would you suggest for anyone whose primary goal is to build strength?

    A: In a nutshell, when interested in increasing your level of maximal strength (regardless of whether you're doing the 1-6-1 program or some other routine geared toward increasing strength), I find that supplements actually play a bigger part than diet. This, of course, is assuming that you're eating a diet that's more well-balanced than that eaten by the average guest on the Jerry Springer show.

    Additionally, diets are very individual specific, and trying to prescribe a universal strength-building diet is risky. The key thing to keep in mind, however, in eating for maximal strength gains is focus, and anything that dulls your focus should immediately be kicked out of your diet with the deftness of an Irish barkeeper throwing out an unruly drunk. Personally, I have to abstain from carbs until the workout is over, even the low glycemic index ones. Contrast that with pro bodybuilder Milos Sarcev, however, who can ingest enough pasta to save a small African nation from starvation and still have a great workout. Compounds that I have found to help increase strength:

    • Acetyl-l-carnitine, 3-7 grams per day
    Glutamine, 30-70 grams per day
    • Branched-chain aminos/glutamine, taken while training, like Beverly International's Muscularity (800-781-3475)
    • Ribose/creatine combo, four servings per day
    • Sufficient protein, two grams per pound of bodyweight (most individuals will need to use liquid meals to achieve this target)
    • Plenty of smart fats like CLA and fish oils
    • Certain forms of tocotrienols in high dosages (they also dramatically reduce cholesterol)
    • Various herbal preparations (this goes beyond the scope of this column, I enlist the help of a naturopath trained in herbology)

    I'm not suggesting that you take all of the previous compounds at once. But I do recommend that you experiment with some of them, either alone or in combination, and find what works best for you.
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    Re: Why glutamine is a waste of money.

    Originally posted by Canadian_AF
    Howdy all, was just browsing around the net in a few different forums, and found a very interesting article regarding glutamine, which you can find here.

    http://www.discussfitness.com/showth...6601#post26601

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but all these studies seem to refer to glutamine as a "strength enhancer?", however, isn't glutamine primarily used, to prevent muscle canabolization (sp?), ? Therefore the studies shown in this article have no basis?

    Pe@ce
    All that anti-glutamine crap was by posted by my old "buddy" YellowJacket, an absolute moron and a board troll who at 5'9" weighs 160 lbs at about 18% bf. He has been I.P. banned from many sites including this one and likes to cut and paste every article he can find to make up for zero first-hand knowledge. He used to follow me around like a puppy, but I caught him in just too many lies.

    Originally posted by YellowJacket
    John Benz- J. Benz is a smart motha f*cka. One of the smartest men on here in my opinion and can talk sh*t with the best of'em.
    The following quote is from doggcrap's famous "cycles for pennies" thread. Many on this board are believers in his training routines, including Bobo, Wardog, and Lakevillethor.

    "The Load is infinite and heavier and heavier weights used (I DONT GIVE A **** WHAT SOME BUCK 58 POUND GURU SAYS) will make the biggest bodybuilder. (add high protein, glutamine and drugs to the mix and you have one large person)"
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    Re: Charles Poliquin on Glutamine

    Originally posted by John Benz
    Glutamine, 30-70 grams per day
    It would only make sense that glutamine needs to be taken in such high amounts.

    About Milos Sarcev, I have to wonder sometimes. He said in Flex a few months ago that maltodextrin was a complex carb, so it wasn't any good for eliciting an insulin response.

    It all boils down to value for me.
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    Hey Jon Benz, great to see you posting around again, what you post is really good stuff , sorry if we have had our go arounds in the past.
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    Originally posted by DYnomyte001
    Hey Jon Benz, great to see you posting around again, what you post is really good stuff , sorry if we have had our go arounds in the past.
    DYnomyte001, that's all in the past. Thanks for the kind words.
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    like its already been said , although people swear by it , i'd just invest in a quality protein supplement , and if i have spare cash , buy bcaa .
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    LOL!!!!!!!!

    the studies concerning glycogen resynthesis and muscle performance serve no purpose.

    the one concerning short term ingestion, that doesnt prove anything.

    the IV one, sure thats practical.

    controlled conditions in a research study dont really prove much. something is happening. i cant explain it and its very apparent no one else can either.

    wait, wait lets throw the placebo effect in. LOL!!!!!!
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    Take 30g of simple carbs before your workout and you'll likely get the same results as taking 30g of glutamine.
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    Not exactly....Glutamine improves the immune system and speeds recovery. Ingestion of simple carbs pre-workout would maintain glycogen stores.

    One is a macronutrient, the other is a non-essential (or conditionally essential, depending on what side you're on ) amino acid.
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    What the Glutamine Salespeople Don't Want You To Know:


    Glutamine and Protein Synthesis — The other side of the coin

    We've seen the theory that glutamine levels in the blood and muscle may decrease during or following exercise, and that this decrease correlates with reduced levels of protein synthesis. Several studies have addressed whether this relationship between glutamine and protein synthesis was a coincidental or a causal (meaning that one caused the other) relationship.

    The first study compared the abilities of glutamine and the amino acid alanine to stimulate protein synthesis in rats with artificially reduced blood and muscle glutamine levels.(23) As expected, glutamine infusion increased intramuscular glutamine levels, while alanine didn't. Surprisingly, even depleting muscle glutamine levels by 60% had no effect on protein synthesis. What may also surprise you is that restoring blood and muscle glutamine levels to normal had no effect on protein synthesis compared to rats receiving no glutamine treatment! Additionally, even though whole body protein turnover didn't change, alanine stimulated protein synthesis!

    In support of this contention, researchers studied the effect of glutamine supplementation on septic rats. Sepsis is a severely catabolic condition, during which glutamine levels (and protein synthesis) fall. Again, this study showed that despite increasing muscle glutamine levels to even higher than normal, it had no effect on protein synthesis or the catabolic state of the rats.(11)

    Cumulatively, these studies show that decreased or increased levels of glutamine in the muscle has no effect on protein synthesis.

    Another study, performed on people, examined the effect of adding glutamine to an amino acid mixture on muscle protein synthesis .(30) Ultimately, infusion of the original amino acid mixture increased protein synthesis by nearly 50%, but adding glutamine to this mix had no additional effect. This study is particularly relevant because most consumers of glutamine do so following a workout, along with other amino acids (or a whole protein).

    Finally, Wusteman et al., used a drug to reduce muscle protein synthesis, along with muscle glutamine levels, in rats.(29) Much like the Olde Damink et al. study, restoring muscle glutamine levels to normal had no effect on protein synthesis. This study further supports the concept that blood and muscle glutamine levels have no bearing on protein synthesis and protein turnover.

    Another One Bites the Dust

    You may recall that the theory of exercise induced immunosuppression is often cited, based on the fact that glutamine levels decrease after exercise, as does our immunity.(10)

    What we must now address is whether the relationship between the body’s glutamine stores and the effects of exercise on the immune system exhibit a causal or coincidental relationship (just as we did for protein synthesis). A recent review article in "The Journal of Applied Physiology" examined this connection between plasma glutamine and exercise-induced immunosuppression.(15)

    The study admitted that there are conflicting reports about plasma glutamine levels following long duration exercise, repeated high intensity bouts, as well as short single high intensity bouts. This indicates that plasma glutamine concentrations may be affected differently depending on the intensity and duration of exercise.

    Even data on blood glutamine concentrations following eccentric exercise is mixed, which can relate directly to bodybuilders and their use of heavy loads. Based on the relatively small reductions in plasma glutamine that might occur following exercise, supplementation with glutamine wouldn’t likely affect the immune cells.

    More importantly, there are several studies showing that glutamine supplementation doesn't alter exercise-induced suppression of the immune system! The bottom line is that blood glutamine levels, whether they drop or not following exercise, don’t seem to affect immunity to any great extent, which precludes the use of glutamine for this reason.

    Another recent review looked at over 75 research papers pertaining to the effect of glutamine on immunity and muscle growth, and came to the following conclusion: "Overall, although glutamine obviously plays important metabolic roles within the body, supplementation does not appear to provide consistent beneficial or therapeutic effects, except during certain catabolic situations. Glutamine availability, therefore, does not seem to be a limitation in many challenge situations."(19)
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    What the Glutamine Salespeople Don't Want You To Know:

    continued....

    What about the glycogen?

    Yep, we have one final theory to validate spending God-awful amounts of money on glutamine; that of enhanced glycogen resynthesis following our workouts. In addition to the aforementioned studies showing better glycogen storage, there is also a study showing no effect of oral glutamine on glycogen regeneration following high intensity interval training.(26)

    This issue was actually addressed by the authors of the Candow study, who found no strength or mass changes in trained individuals using glutamine (versus a placebo).(7) They suggested that the studies done showing enhanced glycogen recovery used exercise bouts which depleted intramuscular glycogen by 90%(!), while resistance exercise only depletes muscular glycogen by ~36%.

    The bottom line is that the jury is still out on glutamine enhancing glycogen resynthesis following resistance exercise, but it seems unlikely that it would have any effect. Toss in the huge amounts of high glycemic carbs that most of us use following our workouts, and it’s almost a sure bet that glutamine won’t do anything for additional glycogen storage under normal dietary situations.

    Things That Mom Never Told You About Glutamine Supplementation

    It’s important to examine the method used for getting glutamine into the body in the human studies presented. Unfortunately, getting glutamine into our blood and to our muscles is a lot harder than one may expect. It was mentioned earlier that many cells of the body use glutamine for fuel. Well one area of cells that just loves glutamine is the gastrointestinal tract. In fact, it can account for up to 40% of glutamine utilization in the body! Now figure out the first area to come into contact with our "wonder supplement," and you can see that you have to take a whole crap-load of the stuff all at once, just so our gut doesn’t use it all!

    Now, dumping 20g of one amino acid into our bodies at once may sound fun to some, but then again we can safely call these people masochists. For the rest of us, this huge glutamine dump may lead to some GI distress, which we all know is NOT fun.

    Fortunately, the two studies performed with bodybuilders using relatively high dosages of glutamine (0.3g/kg/d and 0.9g/kg lean mass/d) reported no side effects of any kind.(2, 7) What is unfortunate is that the authors of these studies also showed no positive effect of any kind!

    Glutamine and Resistance Trained Athletes: The Studies

    One recent study examined the effect of acute glutamine ingestion on weightlifting performance.(2) This study examined the potential buffering effect of glutamine on lactic acid production during resistance exercise (to the point of momentary muscular failure).

    One hour following glutamine ingestion (0.3g/kg), glycine ingestion (0.3g/kg), or placebo drink ingestion, the trained subjects performed 2 sets each of leg press (@ 200% body weight) and bench press (@ 100% body weight). This would equate to an average of ~23g of either amino acid ingested all at once, but there were no reports of GI discomfort.

    Each subject consumed one of the three supplements before three separate testing sessions separated by a week. There was no effect of glutamine on number of reps performed compared to glycine or placebo ingestion. These results indicate that a high dose of glutamine ingested before exercise has no positive or negative effects on weightlifting performance in trained subjects.

    If you’re interested in glutamine for its effect on muscle mass and strength, you’re in luck because a study was done on that, too! This next study is undoubtedly one of the best kept secrets in bodybuilding! In this study, the trained subjects consumed either 0.9g/kg lean body mass/day (average of 45g/day!), or a placebo, in 2 divided doses.(7)

    It's noteworthy that using this amount of glutamine would run over 1200$USD per year for a 200lb guy!

    By the end of the 6-week period, there were no differences in terms of 1Rep Max on squat or bench between the groups. There were also no differences between groups when it came to the gains in lean body mass (i.e. the amount of muscle they put on) during the trial period. This study was well designed and used the highest amount of glutamine ever studied for these purposes.
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    What the Glutamine Salespeople Don't Want You To Know:

    continued....
    Glutamine Ain't All That Bad

    After kicking the crap out of glutamine for most bodybuilding purposes, it is important to realize that there are certain situations where glutamine can be useful.

    A recent study from the journal "Metabolism" shows that glutamine injections following glucocorticoid (ie catabolic steroid -such as cortisol) treatment can increase protein synthesis in the gastrointestinal system of dogs.(16) Unfortunately, nonoxidative leucine disposal, a measure of whole-body protein synthesis, remained unchanged in the glutamine treated group.

    There are a dozen ways you could interpret these findings, but at least we can say that glutamine supplementation may improve protein synthesis in some tissues following gluccocorticoid treatment. In fact, glucocorticoid treatment is one area where glutamine supplementation may really help!

    Another study with rats supports this contention, again using corticosteroid administration.(14) Although glutamine infusion had no effect on muscle protein synthesis in the rats not receiving cortisol, there was a beneficial effect in the glucocorticoid treated rats. In fact, glutamine infusion actually attenuated more than 70% of the muscle wasting caused by the cortisol injections!

    Along these lines, certain catabolic conditions (such as sepsis) may be another useful situation in which glutamine could help out. One literature review clearly concluded that "The increased intake of glutamine has resulted in lower septic morbidity in certain critically ill patient populations."(3) This means that people with certain catabolic medical conditions may live longer when taking glutamine. Keeping this in mind, we also know that AIDS can be associated with muscle wasting. Recent evidence has arisen to demonstrate that glutamine supplementation may attenuate AIDS-induced muscle wasting.(25)

    Overall, these studies show that glutamine could be very helpful for muscle mass during corticosteroid treatment and certain wasting conditions. For those of you who think that your everyday training may be intense enough to simulate a catabolic condition, keep in mind that these people are dying because of their catabolism, so you're really no where near that level.

    The only time a bodybuilder even remotely approaches these kind of catabolic conditions is when improperly coming off a cycle of anabolic steroids. In this situation the user has minimal anabolic stimulus from Testosterone and a large amount of cortisol just waiting to eat that muscle (again, this is only when done improperly). In this situation, glutamine supplementation might help, but it's not a situation you should be in anyway.

    The other time that glutamine supplementation may be beneficial to bodybuilders is when on a low carbohydrate diet. Glutamine can not only be converted to glucose, but may also have an anapleurotic effect.(5) In other words, it may replenish metabolic intermediates, in this case, ATP (especially important when you're lacking carbs). This is another article unto itself, so I'll leave it at that for now.

    You may be asking why you’ve never heard of most of these studies, and why everything you’ve heard about glutamine was always so amazing. I can indirectly answer that by reminding you of one simple fact: no one makes money by showing that supplements don’t work. I’ll leave the rest of the thinking on this matter to you.

    Despite this, you may still be skeptical regarding the points mentioned, based on the original dogmatic theories associated with glutamine use (and how long you’ve been hit over the head with them). But then again, that’s why they’re just theories. To paraphrase Homer Simpson: "Sure it may work in theory, but then again even communism works...in theory."

    It's the mark of a great person who can devise a theory, drawing from many different ideas, and stick to it. Without this, science would be meaningless. But it's the mark of an even greater person when they can admit, without shame, that their idea is wrong.
    Last edited by pu12en12g; 02-03-2005 at 11:19 AM.
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    What the Glutamine Salespeople Don't Want You To Know:

    continued....

    Sometimes theories pan out and sometimes they don’t, but we have to be able to let go of them once they're shown to be incorrect. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t believe new theories when they first come out; it just means that we have to be conscious about the fact that they aren’t dogma and may be wrong.

    Case in point: The theory behind glutamine was so great that I refused to believe the authors of the Candow et al. (2001) study when they told me the results in person. I was an educated bodybuilder and I wasn’t going to let some egghead scientist (who was actually more muscular than I was, and therefore far from being just an "egghead") tell me that I was wrong. Of course, I wanted to believe that glutamine was useful (even though I got nothing from it) and when someone wants to believe something you can’t convince them otherwise.

    Since then I’ve had a while to let the results sink in. I know that most believers in glutamine will also have a hard time accepting the reality of the situation, which is why I didn’t just try to convincingly show that glutamine wasn’t as great as everyone thought; I tried to overwhelmingly demonstrate it.

    Bottom Line

    Glutamine is good for hospital patients and rich people with money to waste. If you’re involved in resistance training and already have proper post workout nutrition, along with a moderate carb intake, then glutamine probably won’t do anything for you. In fact, none of the proposed theories dealing with glutamine supplementation have worked out in the athletic world. It’s also one of the most expensive supplements around (simply based on dosage recommendations), so it’s way too costly to use for personal experimentation — especially when the updated scientific literature doesn’t support the theories.

    References:

    1. Antonio J, Street C.

    Glutamine: a potentially useful supplement for athletes. Can J Appl Physiol 1999 Feb;24(1):1-14

    2. Antonio J, Sanders MS, Kalman D, Woodgate D, Street C.

    The effects of high-dose glutamine ingestion on weightlifting performance. J Strength Cond Res 2002 Feb;16(1):157-60

    3. Boelens PG, Nijveldt RJ, Houdijk AP, Meijer S, van Leeuwen PA.

    Glutamine alimentation in catabolic state. J Nutr 2001 Sep;131(9 Suppl):2569S-77S; discussion 2590S

    4. Bowtell JL, Gelly K, Jackman ML, Patel A, Simeoni M, Rennie MJ.

    Effect of oral glutamine on whole body carbohydrate storage during recovery from exhaustive exercise. J Appl Physiol 1999 Jun;86(6):1770-7

    5. Bruce M, Constantin-Teodosiu D, Greenhaff PL, Boobis LH, Williams C, Bowtell JL.

    Glutamine supplementation promotes anaplerosis but not oxidative energy delivery in human skeletal muscle. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2001 Apr;280(4):E669-75

    6. Bush JA, Dohi K, Mastro AM, Volek J, Lynch JM, Triplett-McBride, Putukian M, Sebastianelli WJ, Newton RU, Hakkinen K, Kraemer WJ. Exercise and recovery responses of lymphokines to heavy resistance exercise J Str Cond Res 2000 14(3) 344-349

    7. 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 Dec;86(2):142-9

    8. Castell LM, Poortmans JR, Newsholme EA.

    Does glutamine have a role in reducing infections in athletes? Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 1996;73(5):488-90

    9. Castell LM, Newsholme EA.

    The effects of oral glutamine supplementation on athletes after prolonged, exhaustive exercise. Nutrition 1997 Jul-Aug;13(7-8):738-42

    10. Castell LM.

    Can glutamine modify the apparent immunodepression observed after prolonged, exhaustive exercise? Nutrition 2002 May;18(5):371-5

    11. Fang CH, James JH, Fischer JE, Hasselgren PO.

    Is muscle protein turnover regulated by intracellular glutamine during sepsis? JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr 1995 Jul-Aug;19(4):279-85

    12. Hammarqvist F, Wernerman J, von der Decken A, Vinnars E.

    Alanyl-glutamine counteracts the depletion of free glutamine and the postoperative decline in protein synthesis in skeletal muscle. Ann Surg 1990 Nov;212(5):637-44

    13. Hankard RG, Haymond MW, Darmaun D.

    Effect of glutamine on leucine metabolism in humans. Am J Physiol 1996 Oct;271(4 Pt 1):E748-54

    14. Hickson RC, Czerwinski SM, Wegrzyn LE.

    Glutamine prevents downregulation of myosin heavy chain synthesis and muscle atrophy from glucocorticoids. Am J Physiol 1995 Apr;268(4 Pt 1):E730-4

    15. Hiscock N, Pedersen BK.

    Exercise-induced immunodepression- plasma glutamine is not the link. J Appl Physiol 2002 Sep;93(3):813-22

    16. Humbert B, Nguyen P, Dumon H, Deschamps JY, Darmaun D.

    Does enteral glutamine modulate whole-body leucine kinetics in hypercatabolic dogs in a fed state? Metabolism 2002 May;51(5):628-35

    17. Jepson MM, Bates PC, Broadbent P, Pell JM, Millward DJ.

    Relationship between glutamine concentration and protein synthesis in rat skeletal muscle. Am J Physiol 1988 Aug;255(2 Pt 1):E166-72

    18. Lacey JM, Wilmore DW.

    Is glutamine a conditionally essential amino acid? Nutr Rev 1990 Aug;48(8):297-309

    19. Lobley GE, Hoskin SO, McNeil CJ.

    Glutamine in animal science and production. J Nutr 2001 Sep;131(9 Suppl):2525S-31S; discussion 2532S-4S

    20. Low SY, Taylor PM, Rennie MJ.

    Responses of glutamine transport in cultured rat skeletal muscle to osmotically induced changes in cell volume. J Physiol 1996 May 1;492 ( Pt 3):877-85

    21. MacLennan PA, Brown RA, Rennie MJ.

    A positive relationship between protein synthetic rate and intracellular glutamine concentration in perfused rat skeletal muscle. FEBS Lett 1987 May 4;215(1):187-91

    22. MacLennan PA, Smith K, Weryk B, Watt PW, Rennie MJ.

    Inhibition of protein breakdown by glutamine in perfused rat skeletal muscle. FEBS Lett 1988 Sep 12;237(1-2):133-6

    23. Olde Damink SW, de Blaauw I, Deutz NE, Soeters PB.

    Effects in vivo of decreased plasma and intracellular muscle glutamine concentration on whole-body and hindquarter protein kinetics in rats. Clin Sci (Lond) 1999 Jun;96(6):639-46

    24. Petersson B, von der Decken A, Vinnars E, Wernerman J.

    Long-term effects of postoperative total parenteral nutrition supplemented with glycylglutamine on subjective fatigue and muscle protein synthesis. Br J Surg 1994 Oct;81(10):1520-3

    25. Shabert JK, Winslow C, Lacey JM, Wilmore DW.

    Glutamine-antioxidant supplementation increases body cell mass in AIDS patients with weight loss: a randomized, double-blind controlled trial. Nutrition 1999 Nov-Dec;15(11-12):860-4

    26. van Hall G, Saris WH, van de Schoor PA, Wagenmakers AJ.

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