Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body and plays an important role in muscle protein development.

During prolonged periods of intense exercise, glutamine levels can be depleted which may limit protein synthesis. Glutamine Powder is a simple way to supplement your diet with this amino acid. Just one teaspoon of Glutamine Powder provides more glutamine than 4 jumbo eggs, 4 oz of lean beef, 3/4 cup of soybeans, or a 4 oz chicken breast.

Because it’s unflavoured and instantised for easy mixing, you can add the powder into fruit juice, protein shakes or your favourite weight gain formula.

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body, comprising more than 60% of the free amino acid pool in skeletal muscle and greater than 20% of total circulating amino acids.

Supplemental L-Glutamine may help reduce muscle soreness and rebuild muscle tissue.


If you’ve been looking into athletics or body building, you may have heard that L-Glutamine benefits enhance performance. You also may have heard of it if you have been diagnosed with any sort of gastrointestinal problems. What are the benefits of this supplement? Some herald it as a cure all, end all, be all supplement for all people everywhere. Others claim it has no benefits, and it may have adverse side effects. So what is the truth? Lets find out. I’ve personally used L-Glutamine quite heavily in the past and had much success while doing it. However, one factor does not determine success in health and fitness, so I wanted to really dive in and find out more about this amino acid and what it can do for the human body.

What is L-Glutamine?

L-Glutamine is an amino acid produced in your body. It is in fact the most common amino acid in your muscles, making up 61% of your skeletal tissue. It is also one of the 20 amino acids encoded by the standard genetic code. It isn’t considered one the “essential” amino acids, but it can become situationally essential in times of intense athletic training or gastrointestinal disease.

Assisting Muscle Growth

The most common use of this supplement is for muscle growth by athletes and bodybuilders.  This is due to such a large component of our amino acid make-up being l-glutamine.  Supplementing our diet when working out can greatly assist with protein synthesis.  It is not a steroid and is naturally occurring within our bodies. When the body is depleted of this amino acid during intense workouts, muscle wasting can occur.   This can cause tiredness and slower recovery periods.  Supplementation with l-glutamine allows the recovery period to be reduced enhancing the athlete’s strength program by helping to repair the muscles quicker and increase consistency. L-Glutamine is not a miracle cure for laziness or a quick fix, but as a supplement, it enhances results of our workout effort by allowing the body the much needed amino acids for lean muscle growth and healthy maintenance.

Cell Hydration

By assisting cell hydration, cell volume is enhanced thereby reducing recovery time from sporting activity, injury and wounds.  Muscle damage caused by intense workout or injury is repaired more effectively where the cell volume and hydration levels are aided by this very important amino acid.

Metabolism and Growth

Supplementing our intake with l-glutamine can massively increase levels of naturally occurring Human Growth Hormone (HGH). Metabolism is accelerated due to increased levels of HGH which allows the more efficient processing of foods and enhancing the efficient metabolism of fats.  This leads to an improvement in fat reduction and the building of lean muscle.

Gastrointestinal Health

A common ailment of over 40’s is a condition called Diverticulitis.  L-Glutamine has been effective in reducing the severity and incidence of this very painful and debilitating ailment which can thereby reduce the potential risk of colon cancer.  Ulcers and other intestinal issues respond well and its effect on the digestive system boosts the overall immune system. Way back as far as 1987 a study found that 2 million US residents suffered from Diverticulitis with another 25,000 diagnosed each year.  3,000 sufferers die from this painful condition each year. My wife suffers from this, so we know personally how bad it can be.  Remember, to please consult your physician if you feel extreme abdominal pain.  My wife suffered for many years before being correctly diagnosed and her diet is now modified along with l-glutamine to reduce the symptoms of Diverticulitis.  Surgery is sometimes indicated in extreme cases to reduce the effects, yet lifelong maintenance of this ailment is still necessary to avoid future flare-ups.

Brain Function

During my time as a student, I found the use of l-glutamine to improve concentration and help with stress and anxiety of intense study periods.  It has the ability to calm moods, improve low mental and physical energy levels, increase alertness and helps maintain interest in the subject at hand. L-Glutamine presence within the brain and spinal fluid is 10 to 15 times more concentrated than in the blood, assisting with focus, alertness, memory and intellectual performance.

Reduced Cravings for Alcohol and Sugar

By taking L-Glutamine as a supplement, it can help suppress or curb the sometimes uncontrollable cravings for alcohol or sugary foods.  It does this by helping the body to suppress insulin and thereby stabilising blood sugar levels.  This reduces the body’s draw upon muscle mass to maintain blood sugar levels in times of low calorie intake or strenuous exercise. In a similar way, alcohol cravings can be reduced and in extreme cases has led to the cure of alcoholism. As a result of the reduced cravings of sugary foods or alcohol, weight loss can occur as a fringe benefit.  Similarly, with reduced fat and improved lean muscle mass, caloric metabolism is improved.  This is due to muscle being a higher burner of calories than fat.

Side Effects

The likeliness of l-glutamine side effects is quite low due to the large component of this amino acid which is naturally produced by our own bodies on a continuous basis.  Despite our body’s large l-glutamine make-up, taking it gradually would always be the best advice.  Start with lower doses and build them up over a week or two, such that you know of any adverse side effects, should that occur. Due to the use of l-glutamine for gastrointestinal remedies, having any kind of reaction should be extremely low.

In Summary

L-Glutamine is a gentle yet effective supplement known to benefit many ailments and deficiencies.  It is not a steroid, with associated risks and side effects, but a supplement to enhance our body’s natural l-glutamine production.  During times of stress or sporting intensity, these supplements may give you the edge to perform at your peak and to recover more effectively.

L-Glutamine: Seven Do’s and Don’ts for People with Leaky Gut & Autoimmunity


And when it comes to supplements, L-Glutamine is one of the most talked about for digestive health. At this point, the research is pretty clear on L-Glutamine being a very valuable supplement for anyone dealing with chronic health issues.

Whether it works to help fix your gut wall, helps you sleep better, helps you recover from exercise or helps reduce cravings, it’s a very safe, cheap and readily available supplement to think about trying.

I’ve used it on and off for over 15 years for various purposes, have watched it work in consulting clients and also seen it NOT work. I think there’s actually an art to using it and I’ve got some very simple do’s and don’ts that everyone should be aware of.


Four L-Glutamine “Do’s” You Need to Know About

Researchers are finding that L-Glutamine plays a critical role in healthy digestion and brain function. Glutamine has been shown in studies to protect against mucosal breakdown in the gut. There are even studies looking into how glutamine can aid in reducing side-effects of chemotherapy treatments.

And I’ll show you in a just a minute that not having enough of it around can and does cause big problems for the lining of the gut wall. Basically the more sick and broken you are, the more likely this is a supplement you should try using.

1) Test It

The short story is if you have autoimmune or gut health issues, L-Glutamine should be something you test adding to your supplementation routine. We’ve seen it be especially helpful for those suffering from multiple food allergies.

Your gut is made of a delicate tissue called epithelial tissue. Like anything in the body, this tissue requires maintenance. When this tissue breaks down you get leaky gut, which leads to increased inflammation and is tied to all kinds of chronic health conditions. Researchers are looking into how glutamine can support gut maintenance, claiming that when you are deficient in glutamine, your intestinal tissue suffers and can actually atrophy. Supplementing with glutamine could be a way to avoid this tissue breakdown.

One study puts it this way: “Glutamine has protective effects on intestinal mucosa by decreasing bacteremia and epithelial cell apoptosis, enhancing gut barrier function, and influencing gut immune response.” It’s saying that glutamine can fight against bad gut flora, keep the epithelial cells from dying, and support the immune system’s ability to kick butt.

As you can see, it’s a pretty amazing molecule. And having more of it in the body can help with gut health, brain health and muscle repair. However, everything is a test, meaning that all the research in the world won’t tell you whether you should be using it. In the end, you need to just test it and do so at different dosages.

So, let’s explore how to use it…

2) Ramp Up Slowly

Too much, too soon of any supplement can cause issues and L-Glutamine is no different. The best way to use this supplement is to slowly ramp the dosage up over a few weeks. This allows the body to grow comfortable and reduces the chances of overwhelm.

Based on the research and real-world application, the dosage you are trying to build up to is 10g to 40g a day. I’ve even done protocols, and seen others do them, of up to 100g a day.

But the sweet spot for really solid results seems to be around 20g to 40g a day.

And the way to do this is to slowly work your way up to these ranges – always pausing or stopping if you notice any negative reactions.

Here’s an example of how to do this:

  • Day 1 – 2.5g AM and PM with food
  • Day 2 – 2.5g AM and PM with food
  • Day 3 – 5g AM and PM with food
  • Day 4 – 5g AM and PM with food
  • Day 5 – 7.5g AM and PM with food
  • Day 6 – 7.5g AM and PM with food
  • Day 7 – 10g AM and PM with food
  • Day 8 – 10g AM and PM with food
  • Day 9 – 12.5g AM and PM with food
  • Day 10 – 12.5g AM and PM with food
  • Day 11 – 15g AM and PM with food
  • Day 12 – 15g AM and PM with food
  • Day 13 – 20g AM and PM with food
  • Day 14 – 20g AM and PM with food

By the end of week 2, you’ll be at 40g per day (which is where the studies and most people report really good results). It’s best to always take this with food, typically at the end of a meal.  The thinking here is that this is an amino acid and that it will be better absorbed with other amino acids. When you take it, try to consume as little water as possible so as to not dilute the stomach acid needed to digest your food.

Last reminder, if you experience any negative reactions, stop the supplement or reduce your dosage right away. More on why this happens below, but for now take a few days at a lower dosage, or off, and then try again. If you still react, then it’s probably not right for you at this time.

3) Use a Powder… Not Pills

As I mentioned above, the amount of L-Glutamine you’ll be taking is much higher than a typical supplement. And so picking the right brand and type of L-Glutamine supplement is very important.

If you do some looking around, you’ll see that there are two main ways to take L-Glutamine: in pill or powder form. Do not buy this supplement in pill form. The main reason is that you’ll be using such a high amount, which means you would need to take 10-20+ pills with each meal.

That’s just annoying and unnecessary, especially since you can easily obtain this supplement in powder form, unflavored and without additives.

4) Use It For Cravings

When I switched to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I used to get massive cravings for sweets and foods that I didn’t even like before. For instance, one time I remember having a dream about cakes flying around me and I was trying to grab and eat fistfuls of them.

I don’t even like cake – never have. I used to ask my mom to make me pies for my birthday.

The reason I mention this is when we switch to a real food diet like SCD, Paleo, etc., cravings can become a daily battle. And the cool thing about L-Glutamine is that it can be a life saver when these cravings begin to attack.

Here’s how we think it works… it’s thought that L-Glutamine can, on an empty stomach, quickly make it’s way to the brain and become an energy source.

The honest truth is no one understands why this works. It could be that L-Glutamine is easily converted to glucose, but that doesn’t really explain why it works so effectively. Because if you give someone who’s craving sugar straight glucose, they typically just want more. And of course there’s the small percentage of people who get brain problems when they supplement with this  (which I’ll tell you more about later).

In the end, does it really matter when the cravings come? I don’t think so, because the supplemental fix is good for your gut and cravings.

Here’s what I do – take 5g of L-Glutamine the minute the cravings come. Test it out and let me know in the comments below how it helps or doesn’t.


Three L-Glutamine “Don’ts” You Need to Know

There are some important things to be aware of regarding L-Glutamine supplementation, including that there is a small percentage of people who do NOT do well supplementing with this amino acid.

Now, in general, always know that some supplements just might not be right for you right now (meaning that they could still be helpful later on), so don’t just write them off as bad for you forever.

1) If You React, Don’t Keep Using It the Same

If you react negatively to L-Glutamine, then it’s time to change what you are doing. Don’t get all macho and try to press on through the issues.

Note: There are some supplements that you do need to adopt that mindset for but this isn’t one.

I’ve had all kinds of complications reported to me about L-Glutamine, including worsening of constipation, diarrhea, anxiety, heart racing, brain fog, headaches and almost anything else.

What does this tell us? Nothing specific other than each person’s genetics, epigenetics, gut flora and current hormone levels are different. The conclusion to be drawn if you try L-glutamine and it does make your symptoms worse is that it’s not the best supplement to be using right now.

And this would be especially true if you get brain-related symptoms. There appears to be 5% or less of the population who report brain-related issues right away on the first dose (totally made up based on our interactions with people). Science is still unclear on why this happens, but, as mentioned in the cravings section, it seems to have to do with how glutamine is used in the brain.

There are all kinds of theories and conjecture but no one really understands it yet. The take home point is that if you experience brain issues, reduce your dosage or stop altogether. If you experience GI related distress, then you most likely just need to lower the dosage.

2) Don’t Use a Blended ‘Do-It-All Supplement’

There are a lot of gut-healing powders on the market. And many of them, rightfully so, include L-Glutamine. This makes it attractive to think that you can just grab one gut-healing powder and solve all your issues.

And while this can be true in some cases, most gut-healing powders have 2 HUGE problems.

The first is that they include a long list of ingredients, some of which are known to aggravate certain gut-related issues. For instance, things like slippery elm can and do help some people but can cause big time flare ups for others.

The other big issue is that we know L-Glutamine is better at dosages above 5g a day. And most powders don’t nearly contain that amount. Instead, it appears to be added to the formula as a filler supplement not really giving you the bang for the buck you want.

So, in general, I like to encourage you to use L-Glutamine only powder. It’ll likely be cheaper and you’ll understand better whether it’s right or wrong for you.

3) Don’t Expect It to Fix Everything

Are you attaching unrealistic expectations to your supplements? Because I used to do this, I’m extra sensitive to this when I talk with others about their health.

The reality is that supplements are both very powerful tools to use and far from being miracle workers that will fix everything.

There’s just too many aspects of gut health, immune health and full body health for a supplement like L-Glutamine to fix the totality of leaky gut and autoimmune issues.

Another way to say this is: it has it’s role. And it’s an important role, but just like any great player on a team (for a team sport) it can’t do it all and win the championship. As mentioned earlier, when it comes to these complex problems in the body, we need a team effort (pleiotropic) approach to really get amazing health back.

This includes the right diet, supplement program, lifestyle changes and typically some testing…

Which is why I want to encourage you, if you are struggling with leaky gut or autoimmune issues, to attend this free presentation we did all about how to use this approach. It’s called “How to Turn Off Your Autoimmunity — and Restore a Healthy Immune System.”

On this presentation, we talk about specific action steps, diet ideas and many more that, together with L-Glutamine supplementation, can really transform your health in just a few short months – even if you’ve been struggling for years.

by Steven Wright

Jarrow Formulas pharmaceutical grade L-glutamine powder is available in New Zealand


This L-Glutamine is manufactured by microbiological fermentation. This product is 100% L-Glutamine and comtains NO other substance.

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body and is involved in many metabolic processes, including the synthesis and protection of muscle tissue, the production of glycogen, as well as immune support during periods of immune and muscular stress. During prolonged periods of intense exercise, glutamine levels can be depleted which may limit protein synthesis. L-Glutamine is also a major source of fuel for enterocytes (intestinal cells) and hence supports the integrity of the intestinal lining. Our Glutamine Powder is a simple way to supplement your diet with this amino acid. Just one teaspoon of Glutamine Powder provides more glutamine than 4 jumbo eggs, 4 oz of lean beef, 3/4 cup of soybeans, or a 4 oz chicken breast.

Because it’s unflavoured and instantised for easy mixing, you can add the powder into fruit juice, protein shakes or your favourite weight gain formula.

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body, comprising more than 60% of the free amino acid pool in skeletal muscle and greater than 20% of total circulating amino acids.

Supplemental L-Glutamine helps reduce muscle soreness and rebuild muscle tissue.

Suitable for Vegetarians/Vegans.

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