Glutamine is one of the most adaptable of all amino acids, and among the top aminos used by elite athletes. Among its many responsibilities, glutamine detoxifies ammonia, regulates protein synthesis and protein degradation, acts as a nitrogen precursor and transfer, promotes cellular hydration, stimulates growth hormone production, maintains acid balance, boosts the immune system, is an energy precursor and increases glycogen production in the liver.
Basically, glutamine is both anabolic and anti-catabolic. Glutamine makes up about 60% of the body’s total intramuscular free amino-acid pool and 20% of the total circulating amino acids. Unlike almost all other aminos, glutamine has two nitrogen atoms. Because of this extra nitrogen atom, glutamine is called a nitrogen “shuttle.” Glutamine transfers nitrogen where the body needs it most. Glutamine is available in both powder and capsule forms.