Muscle Recovery: The Benefits of Glutamine.

I can read a million studies on a certain supplement or diet or workout plan but I will never really believe it until I try it myself. If it doesn’t work for me, it just doesn’t work, plain and simple. I read a few years ago on Janae’s blog, that she supplemented with glutamine during training season to help muscle recovery, then a few months ago my brother bought some glutamine to supplement his heavy lifting training plan. While I was completely skeptical, I thought I would give glutamine a whirl.

cover gluta

If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that I teach spin 2-3 evenings a week, and I like to run in the morning. Teaching spin at 6pm at night and then heading out for a run less than 12 hours later is TOUGH. It’s something I have struggled with, so I exclusively wanted to see if taking glutamine post-spin would improve my morning run performances.


I have only ever tried it after spin classes and post-long runs because I feel those are times where my muscles are the most broken down. In order to attain the full effects of glutamine supplementation, it is recommended you take it every day, no matter the intensity of the workout, but I didn’t feel it was necessary for me to have it on light to moderate workout days. While there is a 67% chance this is a placebo effect and the glutamine is helping my mind recover more than my muscles, I truly believe using glutamine has helped my muscles recover.


I have been excitedly awaiting the chance to write this post but I really wanted to use it for a few months to see if it was helping. I definitely feel ten times better setting out on my morning run after taking glutamine post-spin than without glutamine. First of all, I get the added hydration from the two cups of water I mix with the scoop of glutamine, and I get the amino acid benefits of glutamine.

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 2.31.31 PM

Initially, I used a different brand than the one shown above, but it was flavourless… and by flavourless, I mean it tasted like chalk water. I had to basically down it to drink it all because it left a weird chalky taste in my mouth, but the new brand (pictured above) is flavoured and it is much easier to drink and quite delicious. If you want to read more about the benefits of glutamine, you can do exactly that HERE.

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 2.32.04 PM

If I were super into body-building or had a million dollars or was an elite runner, I would probably try to use glutamine every day to get the benefits consistently, but I choose to supplement only when I feel my body needs it. As of now, I use it on days where I teach spin at night (and have a workout scheduled the next day) or do a long run. That means only on days that I workout for an intense 90-150 minutes.

I tried doing about 20-30 minutes of foam rolling and stretching instead of taking glutamine to see if all I really needed was to give my muscles a good massage and rest but it definitely didn’t give me the same benefit as glutamine.

… I just proofread this post… I swear, I’m not auditioning for an infomercial…


The gist is, I have found that with all the intense workouts I do, specifically during double workout days, I need a little extra help getting my muscles into recovery mode. Glutamine has significantly helped me and I no longer feel like my muscles are constantly sore!! Hurrah!! Do you own research, read more scientifically valid blogs like mine ;), and if you want… try glutamine!

Do you supplement with anything while training? 

How many, if any, double workout days do you do a week?

Do you ever try “brick workouts” like in triathlon training?


  1. I’ve used Glutamine on/off for the past year. To help muscle recovery but also to help repair my gut (as I’ve had issues for awhile now). I’ve had a small bottle of it and it’s probably lasted me Forever because you don’t need much of it. I’ve only recently started taking it again because I was getting crazy-ridiculously-sore quads and not recovering post-runs. I had a week or two where climbing stairs and squatting for the toilet felt like Torture. I also foam-roll, stretch, etc. and I find that helps somewhat but I have to do it diligently, for a good 10-20 minutes (not the quick 2 mins. I’d prefer…) and still stiff. I’ve been switching between 1/2 a tsp. of G in my water post-run and/or/with Vega Recovery Accelerator (have you tried that?) – I really think that has helped me but it does have natural sugars in it to meet the carb:protein recovery ratio. I try to only take this stuff after a longer/hard workout (i.e my long-run) but I have found myself taking it after speed workouts. I also sometimes do a run in the evening and have another one the following (bright and early) a.m. I do NOT weight-train though so haven’t used it for that (sorry, I know you love it!!) – I’ve “been there, done that” in my younger years, but I prefer bodyweight exercises now, pilates, vinyasa yoga (not the crazy sleepy kind) and circuits on my own time. With that said, squats and deadlifts – great exercises! So are stability/balance exercises. I occasionally do double days but if so, the second workout is usually just an easy run or go on the elliptical/spin-bike (definitely not high/intense like I imagine your spin classes are!) – I’m not sure I could/would do the spin on top of my own training plan because my focus is really geared specifically towards running goals.

    Yikes. Sorry for the novel :0 Interesting topic!

  2. Thank you for posting this! I’ve been debating on trying Glutamine myself. I’m half marathon training and I do bootcamp 3-4 days a week so sometimes I only go 10-12 hours between workouts and I need something to give me a little extra boost.

Comments are closed.