Glutamine is an essential amino acid produced in our bodies and is known to have several benefits.
It helps in the synthesis of protein and helps build the immune system as well. Studies have also found that the amino acid plays a role in regulating our intestinal health (1, 2, 3).
In addition to being produced by our bodies, glutamine is also present in many food products.
However, many people take glutamine supplements to obtain other benefits from it as well.
High-glutamine diets and supplements are usually recommended after major injuries or burns, and can also reduce the hospitalization post a surgery or medical procedure (4, 5).
There are kinds of glutamine amino acids; namely, L-glutamine and D-glutamine. L-glutamine is the one found in foods and produced in our bodies, whereas D-glutamine doesn’t seem to have many functions (6, 7).
Let us take a look at the best glutamine supplements, how to take them, understand their side effects, and try to answer some of the most common questions about them.
Our Best Picks:
1. Best Glutamine BCAA Supplement – Transparent Labs CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine
2. Best Glutamine Powder – Bulk Supplements L-Glutamine
3. Best Vegan Glutamine – Naked Nutrition Naked Glutamine Powder
4. Best Glutamine Capsule – Optimum Nutrition L-Glutamine Muscle Recovery Capsules
5. Best Budget Glutamine – MP Essential Glutamine
6. Best Glutamine for Women – IdealFit IdealLean – L-Glutamine
Let’s dive deeper and understand why these supplements are the best in their categories.
1. Best Glutamine BCAA Supplement: Transparent Labs CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine
In addition to glutamine, other amino acids (like BCAAs) also increase muscle mass and reduce fatigue after training (8, 9).
Thus, a combination of glutamine and BCAA can give your workout an edge over others like never before.
About Transparent Labs CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine
Transparent Labs has been one of the most well-known and trustworthy names in the health and fitness supplement industry. They manufacture a wide variety of supplements for nutrition and bodybuilding purposes.
CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine is one of the best “repair and recover” supplements available in the market.
Striving for 100% transparency, the company has made the formula public, and all the active ingredients used to manufacture the supplement are used following clinical research.
Transparent Labs says that their supplements do not have any artificial colored dyes, fillers, or harmful additives of any kind.
What it Contains:
Each serving size (1 scoop of 19.65 grams) of Core BCAA supplement contains the following five active ingredients:
- Leucine – 4000 mg
- Isoleucine – 2000 mg
- Valine – 2000 mg
- Glutamine – 5000 mg
- Coconut Water Powder – 1000 mg
In addition to having BCAAs in the optimum ratio of 2:1:1, the supplement also contains Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid).
One container of the supplement weighs around 590 grams, which should easily constitute 30 servings. Transparent Labs usually offers a significant discount on purchasing their supplement in bulk quantities.
The BCAA powder is available in the flavors of Green Apple, Sour Grape, Strawberry Lemonade, Tropical Punch, Blue Raspberry, and Orange.
The recommended serving size is one scoop, and it can be mixed with cold water or any drink of your choice.
The manufacturer recommends taking the supplement before, during, or after a workout and taking at least two servings every day, not more than four servings per day. They also recommended staying well hydrated during the workout and training session.
- Research-backed ingredients
- Zero colored dyes, harmful fillers, or additives
- Gluten-free and non-GMO
- Made using fermented vegan BCAA
Summary: This vegan-friendly BCAA powder by Transparent Labs is one of the most popular workout supplements for people looking to increase their post-workout muscle growth. With the added benefit of BCAA and precise ingredient dosages backed by research, Transparent Labs CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine supplement powder is one of the best in the market.
2. Best Glutamine Powder: BulkSupplements L-Glutamine
Most people prefer taking glutamine supplements while working out to make the most of its benefits. Usually, glutamine powder is mixed with water or other workout drinks and taken before, during, and after the workout.
About BulkSupplements L-Glutamine
Bulksupplement.com is a Nevada-based manufacturer of significant reputation, producing over 400 different types of non-flavored health supplements.
The company’s L-Glutamine powder is a “clean and pure” supplement for those concerned about the depleting levels of glutamine in their body. The supplement is commonly consumed by bodybuilders to help recover from their muscle tears and gain endurance.
The L-Glutamine powder is free from additives, sugar, soy, dairy items and is also gluten-free. Manufacturers follow the cGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practice) and get the supplement tested by third parties to ensure quality.
What it Contains:
- Pure L-glutamine in powder form
The supplement can be taken thrice in a day, each serving varying between 500mg and 1000 mg, to be taken preferably before a workout.
BulkSupplement L-Glutamine powder comes in variants of 100 gm, 250 gm, 500 gm, 1 kg, 5 kg, and 25 kg. The company offers a discount on signing up for recurring delivery. The supplement also comes in a capsule form, which is available in variants of 100 and 300 capsules per unit.
- 100% pure L-glutamine powder
- Lab-verified and tested by third-party
- Manufactured as per cGMP regulations
- Free of sugar, dairy items, soy, gluten and all forms of additives
Summary: L-Glutamine is a premium product of BulkSupplements which offers 100% pure unflavored glutamine powder without any additives. The supplement adheres to best-industry standards for quality maintenance. It is third party tested and is made available in the market only after subjecting to several tests done in labs, including FTIR purity test and heavy metal test.
3. Best Vegan Glutamine: Naked Nutrition Naked Glutamine
Many people are switching to plant-based diets and lifestyles to live healthier lifestyles. Thus, the popularity and demand of vegan-friendly supplements are at an all-time high.
About Naked Nutrition Naked Glutamine
Naked Nutrition is a US-based health company established in 2015 that produces supplements with “purest ingredients” procured from small farms in the country.
Naked Glutamine is the “highest grade” L-glutamine supplement available in powder form. The company says that it is the “fastest-dissolving” among such supplements available in the market and is also quick to be absorbed in the body.
What it Contains:
- Naturally-fermented L-Glutamine from plant sources
Naked Nutrition proudly says that their supplement has only one ingredient, and it is free from all types of sweeteners, artificial flavors, and colors. What’s more, it is also devoid of soy and gluten and is also tested by a third-party lab for heavy metals.
One unit of Naked Glutamine contains 1 kg powder, which can easily constitute 200 servings of 5g each. As far as the dosage is concerned, the company recommends adding one scoop of about 5 grams to 8 ounces of any beverage of your choice.
Naked Nutrition offers a discount on subscriptions of two months and also has a loyalty program that can help you get discounts in the future.
- Certified vegan and gluten-free
- 100% plant-based glutamine with no additives, flavors, or colors
- Made in the USA
- Third-party tested for heavy metals
Summary: Naked Glutamine is made in the USA, which in addition to being 100% pure glutamine, is also certified vegan and gluten-free. The supplement contains no harmful additives or flavors and is made entirely of plant-based fermented L-glutamine, making it the best choice for vegans.
4. Best Glutamine Capsule: Optimum Nutrition L-Glutamine Muscle Recovery Capsules
While many people prefer taking glutamine supplements around their workout schedule, it can be a hassle to carry the powder or drink to your gym every day. A convenient alternative is small capsules that can be taken instantly with water without measuring and mixing powders.
About Optimum Nutrition L-Glutamine Muscle Recovery Capsules
Optimum Nutrition is one of the older names in the business of manufacturing bodybuilding supplements. The company has been in business since 1986 and boasts of manufacturing one of the highest-selling whey proteins in the world.
Optimum Nutrition L-Glutamine Muscle Recovery Capsules capsules are made with pure L-Glutamine. These capsules contain a “highly concentrated” extraction of glutamine for providing the body with the most potent form of the amino acid.
What it Contains:
- 1000 mg of L-Glutamine (per serving size of 2 capsules)
The capsules contain gelatin and magnesium stearate as the casement.
A single container of Optimum Nutrition’s L-Glutamine Muscle Recovery Capsule contains 240 capsules or 120 servings of 2 capsules.
The capsules are meant to be taken twice in the day, once before the workout, and after the workout. One can take either one of two capsules each time, depending on the need.
The supplement is available in the form of 1kg powder as well.
- Contains concentrated 100% pure glutamine
- Easy-to-consume capsules
- Pocket-friendly price
- Made in the USA
Summary: Optimum Nutrition is a famous brand serving customers with health supplements for over 30 years. Their L-Glutamine capsules contain concentrated glutamine in pure form with no additives. The capsules are made in the company’s own facilities, which give them more control of quality.
5. Best Budget Glutamine: MP Essentials Pure L-Glutamine Powder
The high dosage requirement of glutamine supplements means that they might burn a hole in your pocket. It is important to compare different supplements and choose the one that gives the most bang for your buck.
About MP Essentials Pure L-Glutamine Powder
MusclePharm (or MP) is a leading supplement manufacturer in the budget category and has a dedicated user base all over the country.
MP Essentials Pure L-Glutamine Powder is one of the most budget-friendly supplements in the market. The fact that it contains pure glutamine and no additives is impressive considering its lower price.
The supplement is also certified by ‘Informed Choice’ – a mark that tells you that the product has been vetted by sports athletes for the presence of banned substances.
What it Contains:
- Pure L-Glutamine Powder
Each container of MP Essentials Pure L-Glutamine Powder contains 600 grams (or 120 servings of 5 grams each).
The supplement has no taste and can be mixed with water or any other beverage of your choice. For best results, MP Essentials recommends taking it before and after a workout.
- Budget-friendly price
- 30-days full money-back guarantee
- Pure L-Glutamine with no additives
- Tested for banned substances
Summary: MP Pure Glutamine Powder is one of the most economical glutamine supplements in the market. The supplement comes with a complete money-back guarantee and is safe to use while training for competitive sports.
6. Best Glutamine for Women: IdealLean L-Glutamine
Women often require specialized health products and supplements that are better suited to their biology. While glutamine has the same effects on both men and women, some women’s health brands also offer glutamine supplements.
About IdealLean L-Glutamine
IdealFit is a product chain of The Hut Group or THG based in England. The global company offers health supplements and related products in several countries.
The IdealLean L-Glutamine supplement is meant for women who require extra glutamine, which they may not be getting from their body or food sources.
The supplement contains no added sugars; hence there is no need to worry about consuming extra calories. The firm also follows anti-slavery ethics in all manufacturing all its products and ensures that no human trafficking or slavery is done across its manufacturing or supply chain.
What it Contains:
- 100% pure L-Glutamine
The IdealLean L-Glutamine supplement comes in a 300 gm container, which means you get 60 servings of 5 grams each.
The company usually offers a discount when you order from their website and also has attractive loyalty and referral programs.
The powder is easily dissolvable in water or any beverage you may want to take it with.
- Full money-back guarantee up to 1 year
- 100% pure L-Glutamine
- No added sugars or flavors
- Strict compliance with anti-slavery and anti-human trafficking ethics
Summary: IdealFit’s IdealLead L-Glutamine supplement powder is an apt choice for women because it exclusively serves women. IdealFit’s commitment to anti-slavery and anti-human trafficking is also impressive and shows that they care about the world.
Dosage Instructions for Glutamine Supplements
An average diet usually provides the body with 3 to 6 grams of glutamine every day, varying as per the kind and amount of food (10).
The supplement’s dosage, be it in the form of powder or capsules, depends on the chosen product and its serving size.
Most manufacturers recommend taking glutamine supplements before, during, or after a workout for the best results. On non-workout days, you can take the supplement in the morning.
You can either dissolve glutamine powder with water or any other workout drink of your choice or take capsules for precisely calibrated dosages.
However, keep in mind that glutamine supplements’ effectiveness also depends on the type of diet you have. Animal-based foods with high proteins will naturally help the body produce more proteins.
If you are a vegetarian or have a plant-based vegan diet, a lower dosage of supplements may be required.
It is best to start with lower dosages of around 5 grams every day.
Summary: Taking glutamine supplements is easy, be it in the form of powder or capsules. You can time their intake as per your workout, and compliment with a high-protein diet for best results. Beginners should start with lower dosages.
The Side Effects of Glutamine Supplements
As glutamine is a naturally-produced amino acid and is also present in many food items, there shouldn’t be any adverse side effects when it is consumed in regular amounts.
Studies with different doses of glutamine supplements, ranging from as low as 5 grams per day to 45 grams per day, have been undertaken to determine its impact on our bodies (11).
Similar studies have found minimal safety issues with dosages of up to 14 grams a day or found the short-term usage to be mostly safe (12, 13).
Some studies propose safety concerns regarding long-term sustained consumption of glutamine supplements and have called for further analysis of the same (14).
To put it simply, there simply isn’t enough evidence to confidently determine the changes made to the body on consuming glutamine supplements. We know that how our body absorbs, processes, and produces amino acids definitely changes, but are still unaware of the effects of long-term usage (15).
Thus, we need more studies to be undertaken to understand the effects of long-term usage of high doses of glutamine supplements.
Summary: While taking low to high doses of glutamine for a short period might not pose any adverse effects, there is no consensus on how it might affect us in the long term.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which Form of Glutamine Supplement is Better: Powder or Capsules?
Both glutamine powders and capsules are popular forms of glutamine supplements and usually contain high-quality glutamine.
Most people taking the supplement for muscle gain and improving their workout usually consume them by mixing glutamine powder with water or any other workout beverage. These drinks are taken before, during, and after the workout.
However, there is obviously the effort of measuring the right serving size, preparing the drink, and carrying to your gym or place of workout.
On the other hand, glutamine capsules are more convenient as they can be ingested with a glass of water before leaving your place for exercising.
They also consistently provide the exact sample dose of glutamine every day, which is not the case with powders as the serving size may vary marginally.
Thus, the answer depends on your preferred choice of taking the supplement, and whether you want to take them during your workout session.
Why do Some Glutamine Supplements Contain BCAAs?
BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids, are known to aid muscle growth, reduce muscle soreness, and decrease exercise fatigue as well (16, 17, 18).
There are three BCAAs, namely, leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Studies have shown that when leucine plays the vital role of protein synthesis; that’s why most BCAA supplements constitute leucine, isoleucine, and valine in the ratio 2:1:1.
Thus, a mix of glutamine and BCAAs can serve as a potent booster during workout sessions.
How Much Glutamine Supplement Do I Need to Take for Muscle Gain?
Despite the popular notion, there is not enough evidence to definitively claim that taking glutamine supplements increases muscle mass gain or aids exercise in any way.
Studies conducted found no evidence benefit of improving muscle mass (19, 20, 21).
Findings from other studies indicate that glutamine supplements might reduce muscle soreness and support recovery after a workout (22, 23).
However, other studies have found that glutamine supplements do not aid the recovery of carbs in muscles (24).
Herefore, there is no clear evidence to prove the benefit of glutamine supplements for muscle growth or improved strength.
What is the Best Time to take Glutamine Supplements?
Most glutamine supplement manufacturers recommend taking it before, during, or after your workout session.
Depending on whether you are taking it in the powder form or capsule form, you can easily schedule the intake as per your training and workout.
On the days that you don’t train, you may take the supplement in the morning, with water or any other beverage.
Will I Be Able to Gain Muscles Faster if I Take Higher Doses of Glutamine?
No evidence exists to suggest that taking higher doses of glutamine supplements will result in higher muscle gain or faster growth.
Additionally, we do not know about the effects of long-term consumption of glutamine supplements.
So, it is best to stick to the recommended serving size and limit the intake as per the dosage instruction of your supplement. Remember to compliment the supplement with a high-protein diet.
Beginners can start with smaller amounts of glutamine supplement, at about 5 grams a day, and gradually increase the dosage.
What Food Items are Naturally Rich in Glutamine?
Glutamine is a naturally-occurring amino acid present in several food items, especially in animal products that contain high protein.
Eggs, beef, corn, skim milk, white rice, and tofu are some glutamine-rich foods (25).
Meats and other kinds of animal products are usually high in glutamine. However, almost all foods, including plant foods containing protein, will have some glutamine quantity.
The Final Note
Glutamine is a naturally-occurring amino acid that is found in many foods and also synthesized by our bodies.
It has many known benefits for the human body, and in situations when we are not able to produce it in the required quantities, taking glutamine supplements may be helpful.
While many sportsperson and bodybuilders also take glutamine supplements to improvise muscle growth and aid recovery, we simply do not have enough science-based evidence to verify these benefits.
Most commonly available in powder and capsules, there do not seem to be significant side effects of taking glutamine supplements in the short-term. The jury is still out on the impact it has on our bodies if we take it for a long and sustained period.
You can choose among the variety of glutamine supplements available in the market based on your preference and budget. However, be sure to verify the claims and benefits of the product.