When to Take Glutamine

Written by Carl Lombard

The benefits of glutamine supplements are known far and wide to bodybuilders and members of the health and fitness community, and knowing when to take glutamine can help you achieve it maximum effects. Glutamine is an amino acid that is key for muscle growth, protein synthesis, boosting metabolism, and maintaining a healthy immune system. While the body naturally produces glutamine, putting stress on the body through exercise can seriously deplete glutamine levels, often to dangerously low levels. Glutamine is naturally occurring in many foods, but many bodybuilders and athletes also take glutamine supplements to make up for depleted glutamine levels caused by exercise.

How Much Glutamine to Take

For people, such as bodybuilders, who are putting their bodies through intensive exercise on a regular basis, daily glutamine intake should be between 10 to 15 grams. This amount of glutamine helps to promote muscle growth and protein synthesis. Maintaining healthy levels of glutamine can also keep up the body’s immune system, so during times of illness, taking glutamine supplements can also be highly beneficial. If taking glutamine as a supplement for reasons of illness or injury, consult with a healthcare professional for advised glutamine intake levels.

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Best Time to Take Glutamine

Glutamine can be taken 2-3 times per day if one is on the bodybuilding plan of 10 to 15 grams per day. This means that each intake serving size is about 5 grams. However, these amounts must also be balanced with any glutamine intake from foods. Many foods have naturally occurring glutamine, including cabbage, spinach, dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt), and animal proteins (beef, chicken/poultry, fish, pork).

The best time to take glutamine is to take it at times that will maximize the benefits. Glutamine can be taken first thing in the morning to help restore the body’s glutamine levels, which have probably depleted somewhat during sleep as the body worked to repair muscles and revitalize the immune system. Taking glutamine in the morning gives your muscles a boost in energy and nutrients.

Taking glutamine after a workout also enhances the benefits of muscle growth and recovery. During strenuous exercise, the body drastically depletes glutamine levels to maintain cell hydration. Even after exercise, the body continues to deplete glutamine. Exercise causes the release of catabolic hormones, which are produced during exercise and which lead to muscle loss. Glutamine counteracts the deleterious effects of catabolic hormones, so taking glutamine after exercise not only replenishes the body’s glutamine levels, but it also prevents muscle loss by inhibiting the catabolic hormones.

Glutamine Before Bed

Many experts agree that glutamine should also be taken right before bed. Studies have shown that taking 5g of glutamine before bed significantly raises the production of Human Growth Hormone (HGH). The HGH in the body enhances metabolism by improving the body’s ability to metabolize fats and processed foods. Taking glutamine before bed helps the body process all the nutrients and fats consumed throughout the day and converts much of that into protein synthesis for muscle growth. HGH also supports the immune system, and since the immune system’s working hours are during your sleeping hours, taking glutamine before bed is akin to giving the immune system a helpful boost.

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About the author

Carl Lombard

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