Both glutamine and creatine are amino acids, meaning they both are building blocks of protein. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in protein. Creatine and glutamine are produced by your body, but they are also available as nutritional supplements and used to promote muscle growth and recovery. Before trying either supplement, consult your doctor to be sure it’s right for you.
Creatine supplements are a $14 million a year industry in American alone, according to UMM. These popular supplements are designed to help boost levels of creatine, also called phosphocreatine, in your muscle tissue. The function of creatine is to be used by your muscles for energy once its main source of energy, called ATP, has run out. This makes it an ideal choice for bodybuilders and weightlifters. UMM states that creatine has not been shown to help endurance athletes in any way, but there is some evidence it may help strength-training athletes.
Glutamine has many different roles in the body. It is used to help remove ammonia from your body, maintain a healthy immune system, improve digestion and boost brain function. Under extreme stress, the body may not be able to produce enough glutamine. Situations where this may be the case is during an intense resistance training workout or high-intensity interval training session. Glutamine, whether consumed as a supplement or produced in the body, is stored in the muscles and lungs. It is useful for helping muscles recover after a tough workout.
It’s not only safe to consume creatine and glutamine at the same time, but Daniel Gastelu of Bodybuilding.com recommends it. It’s the ideal post-workout drink that combines the benefits of creatine and glutamine, including muscle recovery and restoring your body’s energy stores. UMM does not list any possible adverse reactions when mixing creatine and glutamine. Consult your doctor, however, before trying either supplement because of possible reactions with other medications.
UMM recommends taking creatine supplements in two phases: loading phase and maintenance phase. The loading phase involves consuming 20 g of creatine per day in 5 g increments for a period of up to one week. The maintenance phase then kicks in, and you begin taking 2 to 5 g of creatine per day for as long as you doctor recommends. There are no studies on the long-term of effects of creatine supplementation, so it’s not recommended to take them longer than six months. Glutamine is safe at doses up to 14 g per day in most cases, according to UMM. You can mix the two supplements in water or any non-acidic, cold beverage.