A Guide to Glutamine Supplements: Benefits, Side Effects, and Risks

Key Takeaways

Glutamine Supplements: Essential Insights

  • Supports Immune System: Glutamine fuels white blood cells, bolstering the body's defense against infections, especially after physical trauma.
  • Promotes Intestinal Health: Vital for maintaining a healthy intestinal lining, glutamine supports the gut-immune barrier, protecting against leaky gut syndrome.
  • Optimizes Recovery: Essential for athletes, glutamine aids in muscle recovery and cell growth, making it a go-to supplement for endurance sports.
  • Safe and Effective: Generally considered safe for long-term use, with no significant side effects reported at recommended dosages.

Glutamine is a natural amino acid. As an amino acid, it is one of the crucial chemical components of protein, which is a necessary macronutrient. Given its chemical importance, you can imagine that there are potentially some great glutamine benefits. Even though glutamine is produced by the body, more benefits can be derived from supplementation. Many common nutritional supplements offer additional quantities of nutrients that occur naturally in our bodies. Glutamine is one of these types of supplements, and many people find that there are tremendous benefits that can be gained from these. 

Like all macronutrients, it is possible to derive sufficient levels of glutamine from dietary sources. However, many people have nutritional, health, and fitness needs that can be accentuated by getting its benefits from additional sources.  

What is Glutamine?

Glutamine is an amino acid. Amino acids play many roles in the body, but one of the main roles of amino acids is as the building blocks of proteins. As we know, amino acids can help stimulate muscle protein synthesis in the body. Amino acids also play crucial roles in many other important functions in our bodies. Amino acids and proteins are necessary for the proper functioning of organs. They also help transport chemical substances in the bloodstream that help fight harmful viruses and bacteria.   

Like many amino acids, glutamine exists in more than one form. L-glutamine and D-glutamine are the primary isomers of glutamine. The chemicals are essentially the same, but they have slightly different molecular arrangements, and this will lead them to do different things in the body. L-glutamine is the form that is most essential for our health and wellness. D-glutamine appears to offer few if any benefits. 

L-glutamine can be produced in our own bodies. It is in fact the most abundant amino acid in the blood and in other body fluids. Still, there are instances in which we may need more than our bodies can produce. Since it is necessary for things like the immune system and intestinal health, it becomes important to get the proper amounts. 

Glutamine Benefits

Since so many crucial physiological functions depend on proper levels of glutamine, we can consider it to be an essential amino acid. It is used in many systems of the body, as we continue to highlight below.

Immune System 

One of the most important functions of glutamine in our bodies is its contribution to the proper functioning of the immune system. It provides fuel for immune cells, especially fuel for the white blood cells. 

Glutamine levels in the blood can decrease because of serious injuries, burns, and surgeries. These kinds of trauma can cause the body to use more than it can produce. When this happens, there is a danger that the body will begin to break down things like muscle tissue in order to generate more. At such times, it becomes necessary to increase glutamine levels with the help of a supplement. 

In cases in which someone requires increased glutamine, doctors will frequently recommend a high-protein diet. They will also prescribe supplements. Studies have shown that supplements can improve health and boost the immune system, especially when there is a specific need such as a severe injury or illness. Supplements have also been shown to decrease the chance of infections. 

Immune Defense from NF Sports is a top-of-the-line glutamine supplement that can significantly increase the optimization of your immune system and is designed as a daily immune system booster(t). A healthy immune system is a key to overall health and well-being. More than ever before we are exposed to new viruses and other elements that play a huge role in negatively impacting our health. Immune Defense combines the amino acid L-Lysine with Vitamin C and Zinc along with Vitamins B2 and B6 for optimal immune response.

The amino acid Lysine helps to play a role in immune function by limiting the spread of viruses at the cellular level resulting in lower viral loads(T). This light, refreshing drink mix can be used daily as part of a supplement regimen to maintain overall immune health.

Intestinal Health

Another important benefit of glutamine is to help maintain intestinal health. This function is also part of its role in maintaining the immune system. The intestinal system is considered the largest part of the overall immune system in our bodies, as intestinal cells help with immune functions. There are also trillions of bacteria that live in the intestines that have a major impact on the immune system. Glutamine is a crucial source of energy for the cells that make up the intestines. The cells that line the intestines form a crucial barrier between the intestines and the rest of your body. This is a necessary protection against what is called leaky gut in which harmful bacteria escape the intestine and cause serious illnesses in the body. 

How Does Glutamine Work?

Glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid in the body. It commonly exists in intracellular pools and functions as a precursor for the synthesis of other amino acids, proteins, and nucleotides. It works in the kidneys to help trap and process ammonia as it is generated in the generation of glycogens as a metabolic energy source. Glutamine also functions as oxidative fuel in the rapid process of cell generation. As both an amino acid and as an important component in cell generation, it also helps stimulate the process of muscle protein synthesis primarily for skeletal muscle.   

When to Take Glutamine

Doctors prescribe glutamine for several specific purposes. Glutamine can become necessary for people with sickle cell disease, for example, as it helps sustain healthy cell growth. It is also prescribed for people with burns, or injuries, or those recovering from surgery, and also to help with complications from HIV/AIDS. There is a long list of medical conditions in which it is required. 

To get the maximum benefit from glutamine supplements, it is best to take them before you eat, on an empty stomach. You can take supplements 2-3 times a day. Even if you cannot take it before a meal, it is still better to take the supplement on a full stomach than not take it at all. 

Glutamine Side Effects

There are no known side effects of glutamine. It is widely considered to be safe even for long-term use. However, there have been few studies on high doses of glutamine and the long-term consequences of taking glutamine supplements. 

Is Glutamine Safe?

Given that glutamate is a naturally occurring chemical compound synthesized by our own bodies, and that there are no known side effects of glutamine, doctors conclude that glutamate is safe. 

Should I Take Glutamine?

There are several reasons why you might consider taking a supplement. Some conditions that may require you to take glutamine include:

  • Injuries, Burns, and Surgery: As we mentioned above, glutamine is frequently prescribed for any of these conditions. Physical trauma releases cortisol which can deplete its presence in the body. This can put you at risk for serious infections and other health problems. You may need to take it if you have been seriously injured or had surgery. 
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IB): Glutamine plays such a crucial role in the formation of intestinal cells, it is often prescribed for people who suffer from IBD which can be the result of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. 
  • HIV/AIDS: People living with HIV/AIDS frequently experience severe weight loss and this can often impact muscle mass. Supplements can help fight severe weight loss and help restore lost muscle mass, and help to boost the immune system. 
  • Athletes: Many athletes take supplements to help build muscle mass. As an amino acid, glutamine is essential for muscle protein synthesis, and is especially helpful for athletes who participate in endurance events like marathons.  

Common Misconceptions About Glutamine Supplements

The most common misconception about supplements is that they are necessary for building muscle mass. While these supplements are helpful for athletes who participate in endurance sports, this is primarily because these sports tend to wear down muscle cells over a long span of exertion. You build lean muscle mass primarily through regular exercise, and supplements do not offer any added benefit for bulking up on muscle. 

How Do You Know The Supplement Is Working?

If you are taking glutamine for medical reasons like treatment as part of your recovery from an injury or surgery, you can tell if the supplement is working primarily by your recovery time. If you experience infections or if your recovery time is taking longer than expected, you may need to increase your dose. 

For people on long-term treatment, it can take up to three months to start seeing tangible benefits from a glutamine supplement. It is not a pharmaceutical substance, and it works with the natural systems of your body. Therefore, it takes substantial time for it to fully alter the way your body produces cells and synthesizes proteins. 

Recommended Dosage

Glutamine has most often been used by adults in doses of 15-30 grams by mouth daily for up to 12 months. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what dose might be best for a specific condition. The precise dosage of glutamine will depend on your particular needs. For the best glutamine dosage, NF Sports Glutamine supplement provides exactly the correct amount. 

Glutamine has been shown to help gut function, the immune system, and other essential processes in the body, especially during times of stress. It is also important for providing "fuel" (nitrogen and carbon) to many different cells in the body. Glutamine is needed to make other chemicals in the body such as other amino acids and glucose (sugar).

Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid, and it is extremely important for recovery. Research shows that glutamine is depleted from high-intensity exercise. It needs to be replenished to maximize muscle glycogen and improve immune system function. 

It is also important for all types of exercise including weightlifting, high-intensity, and high-impact workouts. Since exercise can depress the immune system, it is important to supplement so you are not preventing gains in strength and muscle.

Wrapping Things Up

Like many nutritional supplements, glutamine can be taken for general health and fitness reasons, and it can be used for specific medical purposes. Glutamine is frequently prescribed by doctors after a severe injury or burn, or after surgery since it helps repair damaged cells and provides a powerful boost to the immune system. Since injuries and surgery can deplete its presence in the body, leaving you at risk for serious infection, supplements are often one of the best ways to maintain health and speed recovery. 

Supplements are also prescribed for some serious illnesses and conditions. Glutamine supplements play a role in the treatment of sickle cell disease, and people who are living with HIV/AIDS also take it to help ward off excess weight loss and the loss of muscle mass. They are sometimes used during cancer treatments to maintain a healthy immune system. 

Glutamine supplements can also be taken to boost your immune system even when you are healthy. Since glutamine plays such an important role in the immune system, it works as a great supplement to fight infection and illness. Immune defense from NF Sports is one of the best glutamine supplements for all-around health and wellness. 

Finally, some athletes can benefit from taking glutamine supplements. People who compete in endurance sports like marathons can sustain cell and muscle growth during these kinds of endurance events. Supplement helps to stimulate the cell and muscle growth necessary for these kinds of athletes. 

Glutamine supplements from NF Sports are among the best for endurance athletes and for people who need to boost their immune systems. 

Health and Safety Notice for Our Readers

At NF Sports, we're dedicated to supporting your fitness journey with high-quality, natural supplements made in an FDA-registered facility. Our content and product recommendations are for informational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice.

Consult Your Doctor: Before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have health concerns or conditions, consult with a healthcare professional to ensure it's safe and right for you.

FDA Disclaimer: Our products are designed to support your wellness journey but have not been evaluated by the FDA to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


What exactly is glutamine and why is it important?

Glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid in the body, critical for muscle protein synthesis, immune system function, and maintaining intestinal health. It's particularly important during periods of stress or illness when the body's demand for glutamine increases.

How can glutamine supplements benefit me?

Glutamine supplements can support immune function, promote gut health, aid in recovery from injuries or surgery, and enhance performance and recovery for athletes engaged in intense physical activities.

Are there any side effects of taking glutamine supplements?

Glutamine is generally safe with no known significant side effects for most people. However, it's essential to follow recommended dosages and consult a healthcare provider if you have specific health conditions.

How should I take glutamine supplements for the best results?

For optimal absorption, it's recommended to take glutamine supplements on an empty stomach, either before meals or between them. Dosage can vary based on individual needs, so consulting with a healthcare professional is advisable.


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