Piattolly, T., & Welsch, M. A. (2004). L-glutamine supplementation: Effects on recovery from exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36(5), Supplement abstract 853.

"Clinical evidence supports the use for exogenous glutamine in the maintenance of muscle mass and immune system function in critically ill patients. Relatively little research has examined the potential benefits of glutamine for athletes engaged in heavy exercise training, despite a possible link between overtraining and glutamine" (p. S127).

The influence of Glutamine on time to exhaustion and power before and after a prolonged bout of exercise was investigated. Men (N = 12; 19-30 yr) in cycle training programs performed a Symptom-Limited Graded Exercise Test (SL-GXT) using the Astrand Cycle protocol. On a subsequent visit, Ss performed two Wingate tests on a cycle ergometer to assess peak power, mean power, and fatigue index. The tests were separated by an exhaustive bout of exercise at 70% of VO2R. Another Wingate test was performed 24 hours later. Immediately after performing the last Wingate test, Ss were assigned to one of two groups; an L-glutamine plus carbohydrate drink (0.3 gm/kg) for six days, or a placebo (Carbohydrate drink). After six days the Wingate and exhaustive bout of exercise were repeated

Before supplementation, both groups showed a significant drop in peak power and increase in recovery time after the exhaustive exercise bout. Incomplete recovery was noted in those two variables after 24 hours. Following supplementation, time to exhaustion significantly improved in the L-glutamine group compared to no change in the placebo group. The L-glutamine group had similar peak power before each exhaustive bout of exercise, while peak power in the placebo group was still significantly lower after six days.

Implication. L-glutamine supplementation over six days increased the ability to recover better and maintain power performance.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.