Supplements can help you improve and optimize your training performance. Although both glutamine and creatine provide numerous health and performance benefits, creatine and glutamine serve very different functions. Studies show that creatine can greatly enhance strength and power output, while glutamine has been shown to improve recovery time and optimize workout recovery.
What Is Glutamine And What Does It Do?
Glutamine is what’s known as a conditionally essential amino acid. Conditional meaning that in certain conditions, it becomes essential to supplement or obtain from dietary sources. Your body naturally produces glutamine, yet in times of severe physical stress or trauma, such as prolonged workout durations, and high-intensity training, glutamine stores may become depleted, making it necessary to replenish and restore through supplementation and glutamine rich foods.
Of the twenty amino acids, glutamine constructs nearly 60% of the amino acid pool in your muscle tissue. Like other essential amino acids, yet unlike non-essential amino acids naturally produced by the body, l-glutamine can cross the blood-brain barrier, giving it the ability to freely enter the brain, making it vital in the process of nitrogen transport, acid-base regulation, gluconeogenesis, while also working as a precursor of nucleotide bases and the antioxidant glutathione.
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In terms of performance and training, glutamine can inhibit muscle mass breakdown and improve exercise induced muscle soreness. During high intensity or prolonged training periods, your body will utilize and deplete your glutamine stores, which will inhibit its function, decreasing strength, stamina, and prolonging the recovery process. Supplementing with Glutamine post workout will ensure that you properly restore glutamine levels to help better rebuild and repair muscle tissue and improve your recovery times.
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L-Glutamine also assists in rebuilding and repairing the intestinal tract and lining of your gut by maintaining your body’s nitrogen balance. Glutamine decides when and where to place nitrogen atoms to be most efficient and effective in repairing your body. This can be extremely beneficial for those that have gastrointestinal issues such as leaky gut, and inflammatory bowel diseases such as Chron’s, Ulcerative Colitis and IBS since these conditions are characterized by a high prevalence of intestinal hyperpermeability [R].
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Benefits of L-Glutamine
- Reduces Muscle Mass Breakdown
- Initiates Muscle Protein Synthesis
- Improves Recovery Times
- Decreases Muscle Soreness
- Improves Immune Health
- Improves Digestive Health
- Improves Symptoms Of IBD
What Is Creatine And What Does It Do?
Creatine is one of the most popular ergogenic aids, used to enhance power, strength, and performance.
Creatine is a combination of three different amino acids – methionine, arginine, and glycine. Naturally synthesized in your body by the liver and kidneys, the majority of creatine is stored in your muscle tissue. Creatine forms adenosine triphosphate (ATP) your body’s natural energy source. When your muscles contract during short bouts of exercise, or explosive movements, creatine is your muscles primary fuel source. With additional creatine stored in your muscle tissue, your body can create more ATP to fuel performance and high intensity training. Studies have shown that creatine can improve athletic performance, leading to greater gains in strength, speed, and muscle growth.
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There are several different types of creatine, which are sold and marketed other than traditional creatine monohydrate such as, creatine HCL, creatine ethyl ester, creatine nitrate, and Kre-Alkalyn. Studies have shown however that there are no real performance differences amongst other versions of creatine when it comes to muscle growth and performance, besides Kre-Alkalyn.
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Kre-Alkalyn is a ph correct form of creatine monohydrate and was created to address the negative side effects seen in creatine monohydrate namely the toxic conversion to creatinine, which can cause bloating, cramping, and water retention. One of the problems with creatine monohydrate is that it requires what’s called a loading phase. Studies show that in order for creatine to be effective, it requires loading at least 10-15g per day, for up to 10 days, due to the poor absorption rate. That means you’ll need at least 100-150g of creatine before it even starts working. Kre-alkalyn is ph corrected and does not require a loading phase, due to better bioavailability.
Research suggests that Kre-Alklayn is the only alternative to creatine monohydrate that demonstrates superior performance outcomes and benefits in bioavailability, endurance, and strength as compared to creatine monohydrate [R].
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In a head-to-head study twenty-four elite athletes from the Bulgarian National Weightlifting Team were selected to participate in a double-blind clinical study comparing Kre Alkalyn to standard creatine monohydrate.
After 60 days, the Kre-Alkalyn group experienced an overall average strength increase of 28.25% above those in the Kre-Alkalyn creatine group, all without exhibiting any adverse effects such as bloating, cramping, or water retention [R,R,R]. Studies also show that unlike creatine monohydrate, Kre-Alklayn helps improve VO2 Max and muscular endurance.
Benefits Of Creatine
- Increases Muscle Mass And Strength
- Enhances Recovery
- Improves Speed And Sprint Performance
- Enhances Brain Function
- Improves Endurance
- Improves Athletic Performance
What’s The Difference Between Glutamine Vs Creatine?
How They Work
Creatine works to directly provide more energy by providing an increase in adenosine-triphosphate, which is directly used as muscle fuel and energy, which supplies shorts bouts of power and strength. Glutamine’s major role is with nitrogen transport, which has a direct impact on muscle mass breakdown, muscle soreness, immune system health, and rebuilding your gut lining. L-Glutamine helps direct the body where and when to place nitrogen atoms in order to rebuild and repair muscle tissue. In order to build muscle mass and strength, you need to maintain a positive nitrogen balance and help your body recover. Therefore, glutamine is vital for exercise recovery as well as rebuilding your gut lining to protect from bacteria and invading pathogens.
Both glutamine and creatine are composed of amino acids. Glutamine is a single conditionally essential amino acid, while creatine is composed of three different amino acids, two which are conditionally essential amino acids arginine, and glycine and one essential amino acid methionine.
When it comes to performance, glutamine is typically used for muscle recovery and reducing muscle mass soreness and DOMS. Glutamine also assists in muscle protein synthesis, or the muscle building process, by inhibiting muscle mass breakdown. Creatine supply’s your muscles with more stores of phosphocreatine, which is used for energy and muscle fuel. Creatine’s main performance benefits, are seen in shorts bouts of anaerobic endurance training and explosive movements, improving power and strength.
A study conducted at The University Of Auburn, in Alabama examined the effects of 8 weeks of creatine and glutamine supplementation on body composition and performance outcomes. Twenty-nine collegiate track and field athletes were randomized into three groups, creatine, creatine with glutamine, and placebo groups. All three treatment groups participated in an identical periodized strength and conditioning program during preseason training. These results found that and creatine and glutamine stacked together significantly increased lean body mass, and peak power production during multiple cycle ergometer bouts [R].
Both Are Abundant In Animal Proteins
Both glutamine and creatine are composed of amino acids, and amino acids are primarily abundant in animal proteins. Glutamine is rich in foods such as beef, chicken and fish, while Creatine is rich in foods, such as herring, pork, bison, beef, and tuna. While creatine and glutamine can be found in animal proteins, dietary sources are not enough to influence performance benefits.
What’s The Recommended Dose Of Glutamine And Creatine?
To elicit performance benefits, studies suggest a dose of 5 g of glutamine, to help with exercise recovery and training. For digestive and gut health, research suggests 15-20 g per day.
Creatine requires a dose of 10-15 g per day for at least 10 days. Creatine supplementation will increase muscle creatine and phosphocreatine levels approximately 15-40% within skeletal muscle tissue will enhance anaerobic training capacity and improves performance outcomes. Kre-Alkalyn creatine however only requires 3 g and does not require a loading phase, due to the optimal absorption rate and bioavailability.
Glutamine Vs Creatine: Takeaway
When it comes to training optimization, both creatine and glutamine can provide a tremendous number of benefits for strength, power, and recovery. Creatine can provide the extra muscle fuel you need, to power your performance during high intensity training, or explosive movements, with heavy loads and increased workout volume. Muscle soreness can disrupt training sessions, which can profoundly impact on performance outcomes and gains. Better recovery, translates to more training sessions, and better workouts.
Ready To Improve Your Workout Recovery And Add Glutamine To Your Supplement Regimen?
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