Glutamine Vs Creatine – The Differences And Benefits In 2023

Glutamine and creatine are two supplements that both make claims about helping to build muscle, but there are also stark differences between the two.

It’s important to understand what each does and which is best for you, so here’s an in-depth look at the benefits, pros, and cons of glutamine vs creatine! 

What Is Glutamine?

If you’re not into bodybuilding, chances are you haven’t heard of glutamine. But even if you have, there’s a good chance that you don’t know exactly what it is—and why it could be useful to your body.

So before we dig into whether or not glutamine is safe for non-bodybuilders, let’s talk about what glutamine is.

Put simply, glutamine is an amino acid (it’s often referred to as a non-essential amino acid) that plays an important role in our bodies.

It serves as a fuel source during times of stress—whether physical or mental stress—and helps build muscle tissue.

Essentially, it helps keep us healthy when times get tough…which can make it very valuable during intense exercise sessions!

Finally, glutamine has been shown to help combat fatigue and improve recovery after exercise.

That’s just one reason so many athletes use it alongside creatine!

Is Glutamine Safe?

While some people take extra glutamine supplements on their own accord, others need them to treat specific medical conditions.

For example, patients with gastrointestinal disorders like Crohn’s disease may benefit from taking extra glutamine due to its ability to reduce inflammation in the stomach lining.

In fact, research shows that patients who take 1 gram of L-glutamine per kilogram of body weight experienced significant improvements in symptoms over time!

However… not everyone uses extra glutamine safely.

As you may already know, too much of any supplement can lead to problems—including serious side effects.

In order to avoid becoming one of these statistics, work closely with your doctor to determine if using supplemental glutamine will be safe for you specifically.

Remember: You shouldn’t self-diagnose or self-medicate; instead speak with a healthcare professional about what will work best for you personally!

What Is Creatine?

If you’re familiar with bodybuilding or weightlifting, you’ve most likely heard of creatine.

It’s a type of supplement that athletes take to improve performance and increase muscle mass.

In fact, there is glutamine vs creatine debate when it comes to which supplement is better for strength training.

What exactly is creatine? And what does it do?

Let’s break down how it works so you can decide if it’s something you should be taking.

First, we need to get scientific: think muscles + energy + electricity = adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

ATP provides our bodies with fuel we use for physical activity—like lifting weights at the gym or running in an obstacle course race like Spartan Race.

Our bodies can make ATP on their own as long as we eat enough carbohydrates and fats throughout the day.

But some people want to see even faster results than their natural calorie consumption will allow.

Those people turn to supplements like creatine—an element that acts as a direct energy source for cells in your body.

Think of it as a battery charged by using carbs and fat.

This may seem pretty basic stuff, but don’t worry—we haven’t forgotten about all that extra muscle mass.

That last piece of information leads us to a common question:

How can creatine help me build more lean muscle tissue? And what types are available?

To understand that part, you have to look at amino acids.

Amino acids are small units present in protein-containing foods such as meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products.

Your body uses these molecules to build larger molecules called proteins.

One key amino acid is known as arginine.

When arginine combines with nitrogen, it forms nitric oxide inside your body.

Nitric oxide can boost blood flow, improve circulation (which helps deliver oxygenated blood to working muscles), and reduce pain associated with soreness after a workout.

The problem is that arginine isn’t stored in large amounts in muscle tissues; rather, it passes quickly through them because it’s water-soluble—it dissolves into the water!

That’s where creatine steps in.

By providing an alternative means of moving nutrients into cells via phosphate groups, supplemented creatine allows intramuscular levels of arginine to build up…and voila!

You’ve increased your ability to resist fatigue during exercise and boosted workout intensity!

Glutamine Vs Creatine Differences

Which One is Right for You?

Like many supplements, both creatine and glutamine are commonly used by athletes in an attempt to boost energy levels and muscle mass.

Both are relatively inexpensive but offer different benefits.

While both can be purchased online or at your local gym, glutamine seems to be more readily available in a non-pharmaceutical setting as it’s typically derived from animal sources.

So how do you know which one is right for you?

Let’s break down some of their differences below. What are they?:

Essentially, these two compounds have similar mechanisms of action (creatine provides ATP – a source of fuel for all cell function – while glutamine aids muscle growth) but with subtle yet distinct differences that make them suited to different individuals in terms of application and dosing regimen.

For example, athletes using high-volume training programs may find better results using creatine while other groups may experience more results when supplementing with glutamine.

In addition, most creatine products on the market today include a micronizing process in order to aid absorption but there’s no need for a micronizing process when delivering l-glutamine since it has been shown to easily pass through intestinal walls without requiring digestion first.

For those who want quick results through concentrated supplementation, getting maximum doses of either product during or immediately after workouts may improve performance over time.

But does supplement with either compound result in added muscle size and strength gains? How do they compare?

No studies show that creatine alone will build extra muscle mass; however, combining creatine with exercise leads to greater gains in lean body mass.

The combination is thought to work because

1) exercise breaks down damaged tissues into protein via catabolism and

2) amino acids then enter into the bloodstream where they become incorporated into new tissue — if we ingest adequate amounts of amino acids post-workout, especially branched-chain amino acids like leucine, anabolic processes within muscles increase resulting in increases in lean body mass.

If a person supplements only with glutamine without concurrent weightlifting exercise then he/she probably won’t see an increase in muscle volume over time compared to what he/she would have seen had he/she done nothing at all.

When Should You Take Glutamine?

One of the most common questions asked is whether people should take glutamine before or after a workout.

The answer? It depends.

Most people will notice the better performance when taking glutamine either before or after their workout, but for different reasons.

Taking glutamine pre-workout can help improve performance by replenishing muscle glycogen—but only if it’s taken at least 30 minutes before exercise begins!

In addition to fueling muscles, glutamine also helps improve recovery from workouts by reducing DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

And since there’s less inflammation post-workout when you supplement with glutamine, supplementing with about 6 grams of L-glutamine before bedtime can speed up recovery even more.

When Should You Take Creatine?

One of creatine’s biggest selling points is that it’s safe for just about anyone to take.

Whether you’re an athlete, a hard-working professional, or a stay-at-home parent, there are a few reasons not to give creatine a try.

But when exactly should you take it?

If your only goal is bigger muscles, you can benefit from creatine anytime: in fact, for people who lift weights regularly (or play sports), every workout could be considered creatine time. 

The supplement has been shown to increase strength and muscle gains during workouts and may even help improve recovery between them.

If you don’t work out often, though, starting at different times might affect how well it works for you—and research supports some other strategies over others.

For example, taking 5 grams of creatine after exercise may be more effective than taking 3 grams before, according to one study (although 5 grams pre-workout was better than either amount taken post).

On top of that, some research suggests taking a break from taking creatine can help prevent long-term problems—like kidney disease or dehydration—so if you notice any side effects while supplementing with creatine, they might subside if you stop taking it temporarily.

Benefits Of Glutamine

Glutamine is one of two proteinogenic amino acids (the other being alanine).

It’s mainly found in muscle, but it can also be found in small amounts in your brain, immune system, lungs, kidneys, and heart.

Although glutamine is commonly associated with recovery or growth—and therefore considered to be an essential amino acid—it isn’t actually classified as such by scientists.

This is due to several conditions which result in decreased levels of glutamine not causing health problems.

For example, glutamine concentrations are reduced when a person experiences stress or a shortage of calories.

The result?

No noticeable health issues occur in these cases. Instead, researchers have deemed glutamine conditionally non-essential for adult humans, meaning that some people need more than others.

But how much you need depends on how much muscle mass you have.

That said, research has shown that supplementing with glutamine could help support overall growth, increase immunity, and prevent infection.

So if you want all those things—and who doesn’t?—glutamine may be beneficial for you!

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Top 5 Benefits Of Glutamine

  1. Powerful Anti-Catabolic Agent: According to a report published in the Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation, glutamine is essential for preventing muscle breakdown during periods of stress like illness, injury, or exercise training.
  2. Strengthening Immune System: It has been suggested that supplementing with glutamine could be beneficial to people suffering from infections like HIV/AIDS or cancer as it may help strengthen their immune systems.
  3. Helps With Bodybuilding And Weight Loss: Some people use a combination of glutamine and arginine (another amino acid) before working out in order to enhance workout performance and recovery time, according to an article published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition.
  4. Improves Blood Sugar Levels In Type II Diabetics: Studies suggest that taking oral glutamine supplements alongside conventional diabetes treatments like insulin can improve blood sugar levels in type II diabetics.
  5. Reduces Food Cravings: There are some studies showing supplementing with L-glutamine can lower appetite by suppressing certain hunger hormones while increasing levels of others – namely GLP-1, which is associated with feeling satiated after eating.

Benefits Of Creatine

The Benefits of creatine are numerous. Here are a few:

  1. Creatine helps build muscle by acting as an energy reservoir in your muscles.
  2. Creatine helps transport high-energy phosphate groups to places where they’re needed, which is important for short, intense activities (like sprinting or weightlifting).
  3. Cell volumization may cause muscle cells to store more water, helping you look fuller with less fat. However, these effects on muscle growth only occur if you have a reasonable diet that isn’t deficient in calories or protein.

If you do take creatine, consume at least 0.1g per kg body weight daily for 5 days running so your body has time to acclimate.

Even better, try it out alongside some resistance training – it could be exactly what you need to put on lean mass!

For those who prefer not to use supplements, good sources of naturally occurring creatine include meat and fish.

As long as those foods aren’t cooked at extreme temperatures (or overcooked), then their creatine content will be left intact.

In fact, studies show that eating them can enhance your uptake of naturally occurring creatine in meat and fish by anywhere from 20%-25%.

Bottom line: Creatine has many health benefits.

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Top 5 Benefits Of Creatine

  1. Increases muscle protein synthesis.
  2. Improves performance during high-intensity, short-duration exercise like weightlifting or sprinting.
  3. Increases strength without causing a significant increase in body mass; a 150-pound bodybuilder taking creatine could add 10 pounds of lean muscle without adding any fat to his frame, assuming he trains hard.
  4. Prevents age-related decline in muscle size and strength.
  5. Helps you recover faster after a hard workout by increasing your energy stores of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). You’ll get more work done at the gym without feeling fatigued and sore for long afterward.

Simply put: You can lift heavier weights for longer workouts before getting exhausted—and that translates into stronger muscles over time.

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