Glutamine Studies Inconclusive

Glutamine supplements have been used by bodybuilders and other athletes for at least a decade. And a number of studies have been conducted on their use over the years. However, most of those studies were focused on very specific glutamine applications. So determining the supplement's real value to strength athletes can be difficult to quantify.

A recent review of research was said to produce little consistent evidence that glutamine supplementation enhances athletic performance. Although this same review acknowledged a decline in glutamine levels after exercise and noted the effect of long-term training to boost glutamine levels in athletes at rest. On the other hand, an August 2000 article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that "a strong theoretical basis exists for expecting a beneficial effect (from) a protein supplement in active people." However, it cautioned that no consensus position exists regarding the benefits of protein or amino acid supplements in training.

The Bigger Picture: Though the scientific community is not in agreement on glutamine's workout-related benefits, many strength training athletes have already made up their mind about this amino acid. Glutamine has a strong track record of safety and it costs just a few cents per serving. If you're training extremely hard, don't regularly consume enough high-quality protein and/or have a history of common colds, daily glutamine supplementation might be a good investment.
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