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Glutamine Is The Bodybuilder's Secret Weapon For Recovery


A CONDITIONALLY ESSENTIAL AMINO EMERGES AS A KEY FACTOR IN MAINTAINING PEAK PERFORMANCE AND MUSCLE RECOVERY AFTER HIGH-INTENSITY EXERCISE. In a study in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, Canadian researchers reported on new evidence that glutamine can help recover strength and reduce soreness.

In this study, sixteen healthy men and women completed a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover study where they completed the same testing conditions after taking either a placebo or glutamine. On the morning of testing, participants arrived well-rested and took their first of four doses of glutamine or placebo. Then prior to testing on each of the next three days, the remaining doses of glutamine or placebo were consumed. Glutamine was provided at a dosage of 0.3 grams/kg body mass/day and to ensure the same amount of calories was ingested in both the glutamine and placebo groups, a maltodextrin carbohydrate was also provided.

Under both conditions, maximal torque production was measured along with muscle soreness before, immediately after as well as 24, 48 and 72 hours after completing an exercise damage bout that consisted of 8 sets of 10 repetitions using the knee extension exercise at an intensity of 125% of their maximal strength (Legault, Bagnall, and Kimmerly 2015).

When glutamine was provided, significantly greater amounts of torque were produced immediately after completion of the exercise as well as 72 hours after the exercise bout, while similar torque values were found between glutamine and placebo 24 and 48 hours after the exercise bout. Impressively, providing glutamine resulted in significantly lower levels of soreness 24, 48 and 72 hours after completing the damaging exercise bout.

In summarizing the results of their study, the authors stated that glutamine supplementation resulted in faster recovery of peak torque while also reducing soreness levels after damaging, eccentric exercise.

Scientific Reference:

Legault, Z., N. Bagnall, and D. S. Kimmerly. 2015. "The Influence of Oral L-Glutamine Supplementation on Muscle Strength Recovery and Soreness Following Unilateral Knee Extension Eccentric Exercise."  Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2014-0209.