Glutamine: The Essential Non-Essential Amino


Here’s a question I get all the time from bodybuilders: “If my body manufactures its own glutamine, why do I have to take more?”

This gets back to the whole notion of essential versus non-essential aminos. Glutamine is a “non-essential” amino because your body makes it. The “essentials”—leucine, isoleucine, and valine—have to be taken in from outside sources. Namely, diet and supplementation. (Whoever that guy was who labeled the majority of aminos “non-essential” needs help with his vocabulary.)

Anyway, here’s my answer to the bodybuilder with the question: “Just because your body makes it doesn’t mean you have enough of it.”

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body. We all know that. The body synthesizes its own glutamine and stores most of it in the muscle to be used when and where the body may need it. Now, pay attention to “when and where.” We’ll get back to that.

Does your body make ENOUGH glutamine to stave off catabolism and support muscle maintenance?
Sure, if you’re Couch Potato Joe or Soccer Mom Sally. But you’re not, are you?

“But, hey, Ronbo, I get extra glutamine from all the protein shakes, pre- & post-workout supplements I use, right?” says my suspicious bodybuilder friend. “Well,” I say, “do the math. You need 30 to 40 grams day. If you train with extreme intensity and expect big gains, you need to supplement at least 40 grams of pure L-Glutamine a day.
Call me out on it if you want, but before you do, try this first. Take 10 to 12 grams of pure L-Glutamine 3 times a day on an empty stomach. First thing in the morning, mid afternoon, and before bed. Give it 6 to 8 weeks. See what a difference it makes.

So let’s move on to “when and where.”
Right, I didn’t forget. When body stress levels are elevated due to intense workouts, sickness or a recovering injury, the body can’t make it fast enough to supply all its needs. Now, the “where.” Without an extra glutamine supply, the body will release it from muscle for its needs in other tissue membranes and cells, as the immune system responds to stress to recover and heal. This release of glutamine in the muscle causes muscle dehydration to begin and leads to protein catabolism and  possible muscle loss.

That’s the A-to-Z of it. Cause and effect. Glutamine is  important for muscle cell hydration, which is the cornerstone of a better environment  for protein synthesis for faster growth and recovery. That’s why I believe the more the better. Get some extra “glut” and give my little 40-extra-gram deal a try.

Just Sayin’


See related products:

Glutamine Powder

Mega Glutamine

Ultra Glutamine

Glutamine Powder

Glutamine Powder

Glutamine Fuel

Click to see all Glutamine products

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One Response to “Glutamine: The Essential Non-Essential Amino”

  1. NutritionDoc Says:

    Hey Rondo, what data exists to show your body needs more glutamine in response to stress, like exercise? Sure the body uses it as a fuel, etc, etc, but what says there isn’t enough?

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