Choosing the Best Glutamine Supplements – Top 10 Brands

Best Glutamine Supplement Brands

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Jump Ahead to the Best Glutamine Supplements

In order to perform at our very best, we need the right amount of nutrients and energy to help our bodies perform at that level. While the human body is an amazing amalgamation of systems and complex processes that we are continuing to unravel and understand, it does not always have all the natural energy and nutrients it needs to function at its optimal level.

In our current time, where food quality can be ambiguous and exercise less and less a part of our daily lives, these needs are magnified even more, thus the necessity for proper supplementation.

One of the key elements we should supplement to make sure we have it in ample quantities is glutamine. Glutamine is an amino acid that helps us to reach our peak operating capacity and perform at our most optimal in many respects, ranging from muscular function and performance to our digestive system and intestines. In this guide we’ll break down exactly what glutamine is, why it is important, and the best products on the market for glutamine supplementation.

What is L-Glutamine and Where Does it Come From?

Glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid that performs a variety of functions or roles, and is found naturally in many foods we tend to eat on a regular basis. It is part of a class of amino acids, 20 in total, that are found in protein. It is conditionally essential, which means that our bodies only depend on it in certain circumstances such as disease, prolonged exertion, or trauma that affects muscular composition, such as burns or lacerations.

It’s ability to improve the body’s ability to heal and recover is important in a variety of aspects. From a health perspective, it has benefits such as helping the intestines heal after disease or illness with glutamine supplementation. The healing benefits of glutamine make it an incredibly useful supplement for healing the body after the damage done from especially difficult training sessions, as it can help muscles and systems recover and thus adapt and grow stronger, which means we see results.

Approximately 90% of all glutamine in the body is produced in the muscle tissues, synthesized by the enzyme glutamine synthetase from glutamate and ammonia, with the remainder typically deriving from the lungs and brain.

Production of Glutamine

Regulated by the liver, glutamine is typically taken up in the gut by the cells of the intestinal wall.

Glutamine can also be taken up and utilized by the kidneys and macrophages, playing a somewhat relevant role in maintenance of pH balance in the body as well as general functioning of the immune system.

What Types of Glutamine are There?

Aside from L-glutamine that only major form of glutamine is isoglutamine which is derived from glutamic acid[2].

Isoglutamine doesn’t play any role as a dietary or sports supplement so we won’t be discussing it here.

What are the Benefits of Glutamine?

Glutamine has a host of health benefits in a variety of ways, and it has been touted to include benefits such as increased strength, quicker recovery, decreased frequency of respiratory infections, and prevention of overtraining. It plays a role in all of these various aspects, but can best be summarized as an amino acid that helps the body recover in a variety of different ways.

While the most popularly assumed benefit is muscular recovery in terms of helping us train longer and with greater frequency, glutamine can help us recover our gut health and issues in our digestive system, and help our bodies recovery from injuries. It is especially crucial for those who are at a protein or energy deficit, while this is often the elderly, it can also apply to those training at extreme levels who exhaust their current protein and energy stores in training or competition, in which case glutamine is critical to refueling properly.

Glutamine can play a number of different roles within the body:

  • Use as a fuel source similarly to glucose[3]
  • Transportation of ammonia throughout the body
  • Maintenance of the positive nitrogen balance essential for muscle hypertrophy[4]
  • Stimulation of protein synthesis

While glutamine does play a role in protein synthesis and muscle hypertrophy in general it is important to note that its role is not nearly as vital as that of the essential amino acid L-leucine.

What’s more, it is not yet concluded whether the utilization of glutamine as a fuel source is actually worthwhile or if it is simply a wasteful consequence of overconsumption of this conditionally essential amino acid.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essential_amino_acid

[2] http://www.drugs.com/dict/isoglutamine.html

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15221859

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12771367

Who Can Benefit from Using Glutamine Supplements and How?

In short, just about everyone who doesn’t get enough glutamine in their regular diet. While as a generality this probably includes most of us, it would specifically apply to those who are especially active and thus require more nutrients, such as athletes or gym enthusiasts, and those who do not get much naturally occurring glutamine in their diet, for example someone who gets very little protein on a daily basis, which may include populations such as vegans and vegetarians.

In addition, due to its healing and recovery properties, glutamine supplementation may be a good choice for those battling illness and injury.

Bodybuilders and athletes are typically those of will tend to use glutamine supplements, and while it hasn’t been conclusively shown to provide any dramatic benefits[1] it is still worth considering.

Anyone engaging in frequent high volume training with a lot of intensity could potentially benefit from using glutamine because of its apparently modest impact on muscle protein synthesis and immune function.

If you have ever felt rundown towards the end of a training cycle and are looking for something to perk you up a little then adding some glutamine to your existing supplements might be worth considering[2][3].

If you are working on a tight budget and are looking to really get the most bang for your supplement buck then you would probably be wise to opt for supplements that are more extensively backed by conclusive research because glutamine does not fall into this category[4].

Common Ingredients in Glutamine Supplements

The primary ingredient of any glutamine supplement is, of course, glutamine. However, every product will have differing levels of glutamine, an important measure to keep track of will be the grams of glutamine per dose as that will inform on the potency of the product in each serving.

Additionally, glutamine is naturally found in high amounts in many whey or casein protein products, so you may want to evaluate if you need one of those products or a purer glutamine-only supplement. It also tends to be combined with other minerals such as calcium or potassium, which may be a factor in which product is best for you.

Which Foods Contain Glutamine?

Examples of foods that contain glutamine include:

  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Beans
  • Beef
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Spinach
  • Cabbage

Animal proteins will tend to contain higher concentrations of glutamine due to their very nature, and if you are consuming a large amount of protein then you may find that you are already consuming more than enough glutamine, thereby negating the need for glutamine supplementation.

Does Glutamine Have any Side Effects?

There are currently no known side effects associated with supplementation of glutamine in otherwise healthy adults; however, if you suffer from sensitivity to monosodium glutamate or MSG then you may experience side effects because glutamine is converted to glutamate within the body[5].

As with any dietary supplement, we recommend that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding consult their doctor or physician prior to use. This also applies to people under the age of 18 and individuals who suffer from pre-existing medical conditions or who are taking any kind of prescription medication.

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18806122

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9263279

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12696982

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11822473

[5] http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-878-glutamine.aspx?activeingredientid=878&activeingredientname=glutamine

Note: We recommend speaking to a doctor before taking any supplements.

How and When Should I Use Glutamine?

As with any supplement or health-related product, it is always advised to consult with a medical professional on if it is the right choice for you, and it is also always advised to follow the recommended dosing strategy by the product.

We recommend that you refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Having said this, using glutamine first thing in the morning with breakfast and as part of your post-workout protocol seems to make the most sense anecdotally.

Once you begin to increase dosage amounts beyond that level, you may begin to see possible side effects such as diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, and an upset stomach. These are essentially your body’s way of telling you you’ve had too much, and it doesn’t need the excess, though over time you may be able to adapt and gradually increase the dosage.

The best time to take a glutamine supplement is generally within 60 minutes of completing your workout to maximize its recovery properties for your body.

If you are unsure what the proper dosage is, consult with your medical professional and check the product packaging for the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) as well. The RDA will vary depending on age, gender and in general your activity level as well.

How Much Glutamine Should I Use?

Doses as high as 15g of per day have been shown to provide no side effects in healthy adults, but we recommend that you refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines on any product you purchase.

The exact amount you use will typically depend on your bodyweight and / or lean body mass (LBM) because this will dictate how much muscle tissue capable of taking up and utilizing glutamine you actually possess.

Is Glutamine Worth Using if the Science is Inconclusive?

None of the purported benefits of glutamine supplementation in healthy adults are backed up by conclusive peer-reviewed studies, so at this point in time it is important to bear this in mind when trying to look beyond the marketing claims of supplement manufacturers.

Context is the most important thing here, so if you are already using a wide range of supplements and can say with a great deal of certainty that they are all providing you with the benefits you seek then there is nothing wrong with running your own experiment and seeing if glutamine works well for you.

Whether or not you do this will depend on your budget, but please don’t think that glutamine is a magical supplement that will somehow fly in the face of the huge body of research that shows it to be ineffective compared to a placebo.

Author’s Note: Speaking somewhat anecdotally from experience, the main benefit of glutamine supplementation in bodybuilders seems to be that of immune support, especially during the winter months when the flu and common cold are running rampant.

Choosing the Right Glutamine Supplement

Choosing a glutamine supplement is not very difficult because it is typically only available in the form of L-glutamine, meaning there are no complicated choices to be made.

Most glutamine products will have little variability in their ingredients, generally it will just be glutamine, therefore you’ll have to identify which version of glutamine is the right choice for you and look for that option. Glutamine comes in capsule forms, powders to mix with drinks, drops and more. It is also often combined with other minerals which is a factor consider.

Be sure when selecting a product to review any additional ingredients aside from glutamine, such as additional supplements, fillers, artificial additives etc. as these may carry their own side effects or dilute the quality of the product.

Finally, as with any good product decision, look for reputable brands that are backed by strong scientific backgrounds, as well as offering a strong value. A good rule of thumb in terms of comparing price and value is to evaluate the price per dose rather than overall dose, as most products will have varying sizes.

With this in mind it seems as if the main distinguishing factor is going to be the quality and reputation of the brand you are purchasing. There is more on this below so be sure to keep reading if you’re looking to get a clearer idea of which brands are more favorable over others.

Top 10 L-Glutamine Products

We have put together a list of our top 10 recommended glutamine supplements. Each one has a short breakdown of its highlights, primary ingredients and usages, as well as a brief profile for the company who makes the product.

Check out all 10 and look for the best option that not only comes highly recommended but fits your individual needs and desires for a glutamine supplement. We hope you enjoy and find the best product for you!


1. Transparent Labs CoreSeries BCAA Glutamine

Transparent Labs Coreseries Bcaa Glutamine

BCAA Glutamine from Transparent Labs CoreSeries is an excellent glutamine product, delivering both glutamine and branched chain amino acids as well. It carries the Transparent Labs brand name well as it contains no artificial fillers or dyes, making it one of the cleanest and purest sources of glutamine and BCAA’s available at a reasonable price.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 5g L-Glutamine per serving
  • 8g BCAA per serving, with a 2:1:1 ratio
  • 1000ng coconut water powder
  • Contains zero artificial flavors, dyes, or fillers.
  • Affordable product with excellent value
  • Comes in two flavors, green apple and blue raz

Company Profile:

Transparent Labs is considered one of the highest regarded companies in the sports nutrition industry due to its emphasis on transparent practices and ingredients. They are well-known for clean and pure products without additional sweeteners and additives that tend to dilute the quality of products. They are a fast-growing company that has a strong scientific background and a well-deserved reputation of high-integrity products.

Why We Recommend It:

This is an excellent glutamine product and one of the best on the market. With a solid serving of both glutamine and BCAA’s it is an excellent recovery option, and it follows the strong Transparent Labs brand with a clean and pure product free of any artificial flavoring or fillers. At an affordable price, it is one of the best glutamine products available.

Buy on TLabs

2. Optimum Nutrition Glutamine Capsules

Optimum Nutrition Glutamine Capsules

These glutamine capsules from industry giant Optimum Nutrition offer convenience and affordability with an easy to use glutamine capsule. At 1g per serving, they are a convenient and efficient to supplement glutamine with a quick delivery and easy to customize dosage, making it an ideal choice if you prefer capsules.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 1g of glutamine per serving
  • Capsule form for quick and easy delivery
  • Very affordable, offering excellent value
  • Strong brand reputation

Company Profile:

Optimum Nutrition, ON as it otherwise known, is one of the leading companies in the nutritional supplement industry and is the producer of many nutritional supplements. They are best known for their Gold Standard line, particularly protein powders, however they are well known and respected for using scientifically proven ingredients and strategies in all of their products, making them a successful and respected brand.

Why We Recommend It:

These are an excellent choice for someone looking for a smaller dose of glutamine supplementation or an easier to customize their dosage. In addition, it offers ultimate convenience with easy to use capsules at an affordable price, making them an excellent option for lower glutamine dosage situations.

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3. BSN Glutamine DNA

Bsn Glutamine Dna

BSN Glutamine DNA is one of the best options for pure glutamine, especially because they use 100% micronized glutamine for superior absorption and bioavailability. At 5g per dose it delivers a full dose for a great product and value.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 5g micronized glutamine
  • Unflavored, making it easier to mix
  • Micronized for superior absorption and bioavailability
  • Very affordable and a good value

Company Profile:

Bio-Engineered Supplements, BSN for short, is a smaller company in the sports nutrition industry but also one of the fastest growing companies on the market. They have built a reputation of quality and effective products and continue to grow by leaps and bounds.

Why We Recommend It:

Glutamine DNA is another fine product from BSN, offering a simple, effective product for glutamine supplementation. It offers excellent absorption and digestion via the fact that it is micronized. At 5g per serving it delivers a potent dose that is easily digested and at an affordable price, making it a great value!

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4. MusclePharm Glutamine

Musclepharm Glutamine

MusclePharm Glutamine is one of the more advanced glutamine supplement options on the market, using 3 different forms of glutamine. This provides a unique blend of ingredients, that at 5g of glutamine per serving, delivers a potent blend of glutamine for improved recovery and performance. Coupled with a strong brand name and affordable price, it is an excellent value.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 5g glutamine blend, with L-Glutamine, glutamine peptides, and Alanyl-L-Glutamine.
  • Offers excellent absorption for easier digestion
  • Unflavored, meaning it can be mixed with a wide variety of drinks
  • Affordable price and a good value
  • Strong and reputable brand name

Company Profile:

MusclePharm, the manufacturer of many fitness products including glutamine, is a multinational nutritional supplement company primarily based in Denver, Colorado. It is a well-known brand in the industry as one of the bigger companies and offers a wide variety of products.

Why We Recommend It:

This glutamine prouct from MusclePharm is an excellent option for those looking for a unique glutamine product.  It uses a unique formula not found in most other glutamine products, by incorporating three different glutamine variables with L-Glutamine, glutamine peptides, and Alanyl-L-Glutamine. This gives it an excellent blend and absorption, making it a great product choice.

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5. Universal Nutrition Glutamine

Universal Nutrition Glutamine Optimum Cellular Recovery

Glutamine Optimum Cellular Recovery, or OCR, from Universal Nutrition delivers 5g of glutamine with no artificial ingredients, fillers, dyes or otherwise. If you are looking for a simple, effective and affordable glutamine supplement with nothing extra, then this is a great option. In addition, it comes from a great company and is one of the most affordable options on the market.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 5g glutamine per serving
  • 100% pure glutamine
  • No artificial fillers, dyes or other ingredients
  • One of the most affordable options available
  • Unflavored for easy mixing

Company Profile:

Universal Nutrition was founded in 1977, making it one of the oldest and well-seasoned companies in the supplement and sport nutrition industry. They offer a variety of products in addition to Glutamine Optimum Cellular Recovery and are considered one of the best brands on the market thanks to a team of highly trained professionals who work to create cutting edge products.

Why We Recommend It:

Glutamine OCR from Universal Nutrition is an excellent product for a simple and effective glutamine product. It delivers an effective 5g of glutamine per serving without any artificial fillers, dyes or otherwise, making it an effective and pure glutamine option, perfect for those looking for affordability and simplicity.

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6. Evlution Nutrition Glutamine 5000

Evlution Nutrition Glutamine 5000

GLU+ from EVL Nutrition is an excellent glutamine product, offering the requisite 5g of glutamine per serving as well as added antioxidants and vitamins for improved support of key systems. Their unique formula offers all of the glutamine needs for an effective product.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 5g of glutamine per serving
  • Has additional vitamins and antioxidants, including vitamin A, C, E, and B6.
  • Comes in Blue Raz flavor
  • A good value, not too expensive

Company Profile:

GLU+ is the latest product from Evlution Nutrition, one of the younger up-and-coming companies in the sport nutrition supplement industry. They were a “Breakout Brand of the Year” in 2013 from Bodybuilding.com and have been a successful company in their early stages thus far.

Why We Recommend It:

GLU+ from Evlution Nutrition is an excellent glutamine product, whose additional vitamins and antioxidants make it one of the most well-rounded and effective products available. It only comes in one flavor, but at a reasonable price it is still an effective product.

Buy on Amazon

7. Dymatize Micronized Glutamine

Dymatize Micronized Glutamine

Dymatize Micronized Glutamine is a strong and easily digestible product that delivers 5g of glutamine per serving and has a micronized formula for superior absorption and bioavailability. It is an option from a reputable company and brand that is effective and efficient.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 5g glutamine per serving
  • Uses a micronized formula for superior absorption and digestion
  • Uses no artificial flavors, dyes or fillers.
  • Unflavored, making it easy to mix
  • Not too expensive, making it a good value.

Company Profile:

Dymatize Nutrition is a mid-sized supplement company originally founded in 1994 and has been in business producing quality products for over 20 years. They are known for a variety of products from protein powders to amino acids and are best known for high quality yet affordable products.

Why We Recommend It:

This product brings a no-frills approach and is an ideal choice for a glutamine supplement that delivers results without any additional ingredients, fillers or other superfluous additions that may compromise its integrity, just 100% pure glutamine for improved results.

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8. Betancourt Nutrition Glutamine Plus

Betancourt Nutrition Glutamine Plus

Glutamine Plus from Betancourt Nutrition is a unique glutamine supplement that combines 3g of glutamine per serving using a combination of 3 different forms of glutamine with L-Alanine for improved hydration and recovery. This potent amino acid duo delivers an excellent blend for recovery in every serving.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 3g proprietary blend, with L-Glutamine, L-Alanine, L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine, and glutamine peptides among others.
  • Uses a unique blend not common in similar glutamine products.
  • Contains L-Alanine, improving hydration
  • Comes in two flavors
  • Uses a proprietary blend, thus individual ingredients portions are not available
  • More expensive than most

Company Profile:

Betancourt Nutrition, created by Jorge Betancourt and based in Florida, is the producer of Glutamine Plus. They are an up and coming company in the sports nutrition and supplement industry and aim to be a one-stop-shop for nutrition and supplementation customers.

Why We Recommend It:

This is a unique and well-rounded product, with a unique blend of three different forms of glutamine and L-Alanine. Unfortunately, it has one of the smaller serving sizes of glutamine at only 3g and is more expensive than some of its competitors. That being said, it is still an effective product and a unique blend.

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9. BPI Sports Best Glutamine

Bpi Sports Best Glutamine

BPI Sports Best Glutamine is one of the more unique glutamine supplements available with a unique blend of glutamine, vitamin C and more. It is one of the most well-rounded options and its advanced formula offers an effective glutamine option with some key additions to its unique blend.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 5g glutamine blend, with L-Glutamine, Glutamine Alpha-Ketoglutarate, Glutamic Acid, N-Acetyl-L-Glutamine and more.
  • Uses a proprietary blend, thus individual ingredient amounts are not listed.
  • Includes vitamin C for immune support
  • Digests and absorbs quickly
  • Comes in several flavors
  • More expensive than most

Company Profile:

Best Glutamine is a newcomer to the glutamine supplement market and is made by BPI Sports, also a newcomer to the supplement and sport nutrition field. They were founded in 2010 and have won several awards and have a loyal following of customers. BPI has an impressive selection of supplements and takes pride in staying on the cutting-edge of the supplement and sport nutrition industry.

Why We Recommend It:

This is an effective glutamine product with one of the most unique blends on the market. It is more expensive than most and is flavored, thus its convenience and affordability are not ideal for some customers. That being said, it is an effective product with 5g of glutamine per serving.

Buy on Amazon

10. AllMax Nutrition Micronized Glutamine

Allmax Nutrition Micronized Glutamine

AllMax Nutrition Micronized Glutamine is the epitome of a simple, and effective glutamine supplement. It offers 5g of pure glutamine at a pharmaceutical grade, and nothing else, offering one of the purest options for glutamine on the market.

Product Highlights and Ingredients:

  • 5g of micronized glutamine per serving
  • Has no artificial ingredients, fillers, dyes or extras?
  • Uses pharmaceutical grade ingredients.
  • More expensive than most competitors

Company Profile:

AllMax Nutrition is a large supplement company that primarily focuses on products for body builders, athletes, and the strength training community. They are known for providing a wide range of products at affordable prices.

Why We Recommend It:

This may be one of, if not the purest glutamine product on the market. While it is more expensive than many comparable products, it’s quality is certainly high if you are looking for glutamine and absolutely nothing else.

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