L-Glutamine From Food

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L-Glutamine From Food

High in glutamine' is probably not a phrase you've ever heard on food packaging. However, glutamine is an essential amino acid that plays a role in everything from immunity to how your body recovers after an accident, so you should know where to look for it.

We'll go over what glutamine is and what its main roles are in this article. We'll also look at how much glutamine you need each day, where you may get it, and whether you need glutamine supplements.

What exactly is glutamine?

Glutamine is an amino acid that is also known as l-glutamine. It is the most prevalent amino acid in the human body, produced in the muscles and carried by the blood throughout the body. 

Protein is made up of 20 amino acids, one of which is glutamine. Twelve of these amino acids are non-essential amino acids, meaning they can be produced by the body, whereas the other eight are essential amino acids, meaning they must be obtained through the food.

These 20 amino acids work together to help create and maintain your muscles, skin, organs, and other body tissues.

Because glutamine is a non-essential amino acid, the body can create some of it on its own. We can receive glutamine from a variety of meals, and a glutamine supplement can be used to assist top up levels in some circumstances.

Glutamine also aids in the production of other amino acids, such as nitrogen, as well as glucose in the body.

Here are a few of glutamine's most important functions:

It promotes the healing of wounds.

Glutamine aids in the repair of injured tissues, as well as the stimulation of collagen formation and the development of new cells. In fact, glutamine is the primary fuel source for quickly reproducing healthy cells.

It's been hypothesized that ingesting more glutamine can help wounds heal more quickly and reduce the chance of infection. 7 Supplementing with glutamine aided wound healing in burn victims, according to one study. 


It reduces the amount of time it takes for muscles to recuperate.

Glutamine has a positive reputation among fitness enthusiasts who utilize it to aid in muscle repair, growth, and recovery after exercise.

This is also supported by science.

The effects of glutamine supplementation on muscle strength and soreness after exercise were investigated in one study. Those that took glutamine recovered their previous muscle force more quickly and had less muscle soreness after exercise.

Unlike protein or creatine supplementation, glutamine does not directly aid grow muscle mass.

Glutamate may allow for less rest between workouts while recovering from sore muscles and tiredness, allowing for more time in the gym.

It helps to keep your intestines healthy.

The amino acid glutamine is essential for gut health.

Because glutamine is the primary nutrient and source of energy for the cells that lining the digestive track, sufficient glutamine is required to keep digestion running smoothly.

Supplementing with glutamine may help those with inflammatory bowel diseases like gastritis and celiac disease.

Furthermore, having enough glutamine in your body helps to maintain the gut's'mucosal integrity,' which means it has a strong defense against irritants like alcohol or medications like aspirin.

It's necessary for a strong immune system.

Glutamine is essential for the correct functioning of the immune system.

Glutamine is the body's primary source of energy for immune cells, and it must be present in sufficient levels for immune cells (the majority of which are found in the gastrointestinal tract) to function correctly.

In fact, glutamine is referred to be "immune system fuel."

Supplementing with glutamine is suggested to help athletes avoid exercise-induced immune damage as well as protect them from infection.

How much glutamine do we require on a daily basis?

Glutamate is depleted in your body on a regular basis and must be supplied by the foods you eat.

We all require it, but those who engage in severe exercise or are recovering from injury surgery require extra glutamine.

Glutamate is found in 5 to 10 grams per day in the normal diet. This is sufficient to suit the needs of our bodies in healthy persons. According to one study, the average glutamine intake was 6.84 grams per day.

However, if the body is under a lot of stress, our metabolic requirement for glutamine may be larger than our muscles' ability to create it. Muscle wasting can occur as a result of this stress in extreme circumstances.

If someone has a significant health condition like sepsis, cirrhosis, hepatitis B, cancer, or is recovering from surgery, their glutamine requirements will be increased. Following high-intensity physical exercise, glutamine is also required in increased proportions.

This qualifies as a temporary increase in metabolic demand, and glutamine levels may be depleted if the activity was sufficiently tiring (for example, marathon or endurance event training).


glutamine-rich foods

These glutamine-rich meals will help you meet your daily glutamine requirements.

Seafood and fish

Fish and crustaceans are among of the greatest glutamine sources available. Fish in the wild have a lot of glutamine in their bodies, and farmed fish are occasionally fed glutamine in their feed to boost their glutamine levels.

Glutamate levels in saltwater fish are higher than in freshwater fish. Sardines, mackerel, crab, lobster, shrimp, and prawns are all good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Glutamate content in 50g of mackerel is little about 2000mg, or about 1.9g.

Cabbage (red)

Red cabbage is high in vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, and vitamin B6.21, making it one of the healthiest foods available.

It also has the highest glutamine concentration of any vegetable. 22 This is why red cabbage has been used as an anti-inflammatory and gut-healing treatment for centuries.

Red cabbage should be finely shredded and added to salads and slaws because the benefits of eating it raw are greater. You can also use it in smoothies; when combined with orange juice, ginger, and honey, it's surprisingly difficult to detect any cabbage flavor.

The glutamine content of 100g red cabbage is roughly 300mg, or 0.3g.

L-Glutamine From Food

Milk, cheese, and yoghurt are examples of dairy products.

Because glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in milk protein, eating dairy products containing milk will help you never run out of it.

Casein and whey, two milk proteins found in cow's milk, have the highest glutamic acid amounts of any animal milk. 

If you don't like dairy, a protein supplement manufactured from casein or whey, which are naturally high in glutamine, can be a good option.


Eggs are high in glutamine, as well as protein, selenium, vitamin K, vitamin D, and B vitamins, making them an excellent diet for exercise or injury recovery.

1 big egg provides 0.8g of glutamine, thus 2 eggs per day will meet around a fifth of your glutamine requirements.


Seeds and nuts

Nuts and seeds are another important meal for exercise and recovery because they provide energy, protein, and glutamine, which aids in tissue repair and recovery. Before exercising, a handful of almonds, cashews, walnuts, or pistachios, together with a piece of fruit, is ideal sustenance.

Stock up on pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and linseeds, which are great for sprinkling over oats and adding to smoothies. A large 50g handful of cashew nuts has roughly 2.2g glutamine  so eating nuts on a daily basis will help you increase your glutamine levels while also providing vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.

Just don't eat too many – nuts are calorie-dense as well as nutrient-dense.


Because soybean meal contains over 19 percent (29), you should include it in your diet if you want to obtain more glutamine. It's available in dry form in various supermarkets and health food stores.

Don't worry if you don't know what to do with soya.

Tofu, tempeh, and soy milk are just a few of the vegetarian and vegan goods made from soy beans. Roasted soya beans are also available, which are great for snacking.

Leafy greens with a dark color

Spinach, kale, and parsley are dark, leafy green vegetables that contain a surprising quantity of glutamine.

Per 50g of parsley, there are 1.8g of glutamine. Because you only use a sprig or two at a time, you might assume it'd be tough to obtain enough glutamine from parsley.

In that case, consider tabbouleh, a Middle Eastern salad that contains roughly 100g parsley and, when combined with its other major component, bulghur wheat, is a terrific way to enhance glutamine levels. To balance out the bitter flavor, add spinach and kale to a side salad with supper, or blend them together in a smoothie with your favorite fruit.

Beans with red kidneys

Red kidney beans contain roughly 0.6g glutamine per 100g and are a good source of (incomplete) protein, fiber, and iron.

These are good options for vegetarians and vegans who are unable to obtain glutamine from more animal-based sources.


Amino acids can be found in abundance in seaweeds and algal proteins, and glutamine is no exception. The glutamine content of 50g dry spirulina is roughly 4000mg – or 4g. Combine spirulina with your favorite fruit in a smoothie. The smoothie will turn a vibrant green, and the fruit will hide the spirulina's slightly earthy flavor.

Meat Meat is one of the highest sources of glutamine.

For example, a 128g serving of roast chicken has about 5.5g of glutamine.

Who could benefit from glutamine supplements?

If you're having trouble with your digestion, a glutamine supplement could assist protect the integrity of your intestinal wall. As the body's natural production of this amino acid declines with age, older persons may choose to supplement with glutamine to protect their muscles and gut.

Also, if you work out hard at the gym, you might want to include a glutamine supplement to your diet to help with muscle repair and avoid muscle pain. Keep in mind that if you eat a high-energy, high-protein diet, you're likely to consume more glutamine than the average person due to the abundance of glutamine-containing foods (see above).

What is the maximum amount of glutamine I can take per day?

Taking roughly 30g glutamine per day in adults has been demonstrated to be well tolerated and has no negative side effects.

Children can usually take up to 15 or 20 grams of glutamine, but it's best to check with your child's doctor first to see whether it's essential.

When should glutamine supplements be taken?

Glutamine supplements come in capsule form as well as a loose powder that can be used into post-workout smoothies. Glutamine tablets typically include 500mg of glutamine each tablet. One glutamine pill per day is recommended, and glutamine tablets should be taken on an empty stomach, either an hour before or two hours after eating.

Once or twice a day, mix a heaping teaspoon (4.5g) of glutamine powder into a cup of water or your favorite drink. One dose should be taken an hour before working out. We advocate putting glutamine powder into a smoothie or flavoured protein drink because it has a neutral flavor but can have a bitter or salty edge.

It's critical not to exceed the required amount and to drink plenty of water throughout the day — at least six glasses.

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