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Glutamine: The Science Behind It and The Performance Benefit for Athletes

You are walking in your local nutrition store, and you float on down the protein supplement aisle. You may pass up some different Whey proteins, you will most definitely walk by a Branched Chain Amino Acid supplement or two, and then you come across a few bottles with the title Glutamine on it.

Or maybe not.

In case you are not familiar with Glutamine, here are a few things you should know.

The What:

Glutamine is one of the most abundant amino acids found in the body. It is considered a semi-essential amino acid as the body can synthesize adequate amounts on its own to support the physiological demands put on it.

Glutamine is predominantly synthesized and stored in the muscles and participates in a number of key reactions important to an athlete’s health and recovery. However, even though for the average person, most glutamine needs can be met through diet, athletes require more to offset the excessive stress put on the body from competition and heavy physical training.

The Process:

Prolonged periods of training and or competition under normal circumstances are associated with significant drops in blood plasma glutamine levels. These lower drops in glutamine levels are tied to exercise-induced immune impairment (suppressed immune systems) and vulnerability to upper respiratory infection.

Supplementation with glutamine helps offset these losses providing athletes with better immune support, while also promoting protein synthesis and help protect against muscle breakdown.

Extensive training and prolonged competition periods increase the catabolic state within the body, breaking the muscles down. Being intentional in taking measures to offset muscle breakdown through proper supplementation can help with recovery and slow down strength and power losses mostly experienced by athletes in season.

Additional Benefits:

Athletes can benefit from improved immune responses and recovery times during heavy training cycles and competition. Glutamine supplementation has also been shown to enhance recovery times from sport related trauma or injury.

Some research has even shown that glutamine supplementation can increase endurance for advanced endurance athletes.

Because glutamine is an important intermediate metabolite in the Krebs cycle, it helps spare the phosphocreatine and glycogen in muscle fibers, specifically Type 1 muscles fibers, the predominant muscles used in endurance sports.


Glutamine is typically available in powder, capsule, or liquid form and is often added into recovery focused sport drinks or gels.

Research supported doses for athletes during intense training cycles range from 1.5g-4.5g split into doses taken pre, during, and post workout, or between meals.

In conclusion:

For the athlete that trains intensely, or has a heavy in season or competition period, Glutamine supplementation can prove extremely beneficial.

Keep in mind that Glutamine is a supplement and should do exactly that, supplement a well-balanced nutritional diet that supports the physical training demands.

At Willis Performance Labs, we have created a product infused with glutamine that can speed your body into hyper recovery, and set you up to perform and feeling at your best. ALPHA RESTORE P.M.

Formulated with all 3 essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine, WPLAbs has also fused in glutamine to boost recovery and prevent muscle breakdown overnight. You can check out the Willis Performance Labs store and get your ALPHA RESTORE P.M. here.