A nonessential (your body produces enough of them already) amino acid, glutamine, can be found in many foods that you eat daily including beans, fish, eggs, beaf, chicken and others. ((http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glutamine)) Chances are, if you are eating well, you’re getting all of the glutamine that your body needs. So does the added supplementation do anything for you to help you lose weight? Read on to find out.
The claims that glutamine helps in weight loss stem from the belief that glutamine helps to repair muscles faster, helping to promote lean muscle mass. The idea is that this helps to increase your ability to burn calories. Research, however, seems to be undecided as to glutamine’s true capabilities in these regards. It gets difficult (for us at least) to determine whether or not it is effective as glutamine is often joined with creatine (another ingredient known to help with muscle repair) in the studies. Many of those studies, however, also have conflicting results. For your reference, the following are some studies that I found:
- Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 17(3), 425-438; Falk, D.J., Heelan, K.A., Tyfault, J.P., & Koch, A.J. (2003). The effects of eight weeks of creatine monohydrate and glutamine supplementation on body composition and performance measures.
- Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 17(4), 810-816. Effects of effervescent creatine, ribose, and glutamine supplementation on muscular strength, muscular endurance, and body composition.
The jury is still out in regards to glutamine’s effect on weight loss. As it stands right now, it’s possible that glutamine may help those who exercise regularly to promote lean muscle mass (which certainly helps with, but does not cause weight loss). Glutamine gets a pretty neutral review. Research does not support the claims that it alone causes weight loss. If a diet pill is touting glutamine as their secret weapon against fat, run from it.