BCAAs With Glutamine—Benefits For Muscle Building & Recovery

an image of yellow dumbbell with a spoon filled with white starch

Amino acids play an important role in the human body, supporting organ function and promoting an overall healthy lifestyle. 

Three specific essential amino acids (EAAs), called branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), are especially important in processes of muscle protein synthesis.

Glutamine, a nonessential amino acid, is another amino acid that supports these processes, helping to reduce muscle soreness and support muscle recovery.

With the help of glutamine and BCAA supplements, active individuals can promote recovery and muscle growth for better progress. 

For more information on how these amino acids can benefit muscle building and recovery, keep reading! 

BCAAs and Glutamine: What’s the Difference? 

Glutamine and BCAAs are widely popular supplements in the fitness world because of their impact on exercise performance and recovery. 

These amino acids play important roles in muscle growth and decreasing muscle soreness which can impact performance and progress along with other desirable health benefits. Find out more about BCAAs, glutamine, and their differences below! 

Branched Chain Amino Acids 

BCAAs are three of the nine EAAs. They include leucine, isoleucine, and valine. 

As the body cannot make EAAs, it is crucial for these nutrients to be consumed through dietary means to support muscle tissue and the healthy function of the human body. 

Glutamine

The main purpose of glutamine supplementation is to provide additional fuel for the immune system and other bodily functions

Unlike BCAAs, glutamine is not an EAA. It is a nonessential amino acid that becomes a conditionally essential amino acid under specific circumstances such as sickness or pregnancy. 

Glutamine is responsible for:

  • Removing excess ammonia from the body
  • Aiding immune and digestive system function 
  • Helping brain function and its processes 

The Benefits of BCAAs & Glutamine

an image of a woman holding bottle of water and flexing her biceps

BCAAs and glutamine promote protein synthesis which aids in reducing muscle soreness and enhancing gains in muscle mass. Many fitness enthusiasts use the help of BCAAs and glutamine supplementation to enhance progress and speed up recovery. Continue reading to learn about the benefits of these powerful amino acids! 

Reduces Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Exercise induced muscle soreness can be a great hindrance that affects the frequency and consistency of your workout routine. And one of the most popular ways to reduce muscle soreness is through BCAA supplementation and glutamine supplementation. 

BCAAs have been widely proven to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and speed up muscle recovery. Glutamine has also been discovered to diminish muscle soreness and promote faster muscle recovery

Prevents Muscle Breakdown

To maintain lean muscle mass while working out or performing as an athlete, it is crucial to prevent muscle protein breakdown. As amino acids are the building blocks of protein, it’s no wonder that they are so crucial for preventing muscle breakdown and promoting protein synthesis.

Glutamine supplementation can be effective in reducing skeletal muscle breakdown that is caused by exhaustive exercise., For example, in one trial that studied individuals with sarcopenia, BCAA supplementation prevented muscle breakdown.

Crucial for Muscle Protein Synthesis

Glutamine plays an important role in muscle protein synthesis in skeletal muscle. During this process, when the metabolism of skeletal muscle occurs in glutamine synthesis, glutamine detoxifies ammonia in the human body. 

Although supplementation of BCAAs has become a multi-million dollar industry, one study concluded that BCAA supplements alone cannot stimulate protein synthesis in muscle tissue. There is a limited extent to which supplementation can increase the rate of muscle growth. 

The health benefits of BCAAs are still incredibly crucial in many processes, including protein synthesis. There is an extent to how effective a BCAA supplement is for muscle protein synthesis as it does not promote excessive muscle growth. 

Supplementation of BCAAs is beneficial for individuals who have a low intake of complete proteins containing BCAAss. Minimal consumption of BCAAs can result in a lowered rate of protein synthesis and a reduction in muscle growth and recovery. 

Improves Muscle Growth

person flexing a muscle

Glutamine encourages muscle growth by stimulating gains in muscle mass. L-glutamine has been linked to muscle cell volume, which correlates with enhanced protein synthesis and muscle size. The consumption of glutamine supplements can be a productive way to encourage muscle growth, whether it be for bodybuilding or other fitness-related goals. 

Though many BCAA supplements and articles boast that BCAAs aid in improving muscle growth, as we previously discussed, it’s been shown that they aren’t as effective as previously believed. One study revealed that BCAAs were more effective in promoting muscle building when combined with all nine EAAs rather than solely the three BCAAs. 

Reduces Muscle Fatigue

It was discovered that oral intake of BCAAs had a positive result on reducing fatigue and improving energy expenditure. The study assessed the correlation between muscle damage and prolonged exercise, and with the help of BCAAs, muscle damage-induced muscular fatigue can be decreased. 

Other studies have revealed that glutamine can be productive in delaying fatigue. The nonessential amino acid acts as an anti-fatigue amino acid in sports nutrition for its effectiveness in reducing muscular damage. It is the stimulator of glycogen synthesis and acts as the main non-toxic ammonia carrier. 

Improves Exercise Performance

an image of a woman doing exercise

Glutamine supplementation can be beneficial for improving athletic performance because it reduces muscle damage and mental fatigue. These qualities can be desirable for athletes looking to avoid these concerns to better focus on their respective sports without having to suffer from muscle soreness or low energy. 

BCAAs have been shown to be effective in improving exercise performance by reducing the rate of perceived exhaustion. This makes it more effective for individuals to sustain greater workloads. 

Speeds Up Muscle Recovery

BCAAs and glutamine are both great for exercise recovery, helping to speed up the muscle recovery process. 

Studies show that BCAAs are productive in reducing exercise-induced muscle damage while also stimulating muscle protein synthesis. Through muscle damage, delayed onset muscle soreness is instigated. With the help of BCAA supplementation, it was shown to be useful for aiding in immune regulation and muscle recovery.

Glutamine is an amino acid that is also beneficial for muscle recovery. The conditionally essential amino acid decreases circulating muscle damage markers which helps reduce inflammation and stress from exercise. These qualities promote a speedier muscle recovery process by reducing muscle damage and inflammation.  

Boosts Brain Function

There are many health benefits of amino acids including supporting the brain and its functions.

BCAAs influence the production of neurotransmitters and have been studied as possible treatments for neurological diseases like mania and motor malfunction. One study revealed that BCAA supplementation can be productive in future therapeutic approaches for aiding cognitive function against brain dysfunction. 

Though more research needs to be done to verify these hypotheses, it is believed that glutamine supports normal brain function. More evidence is needed to better support this, but supplementing with glutamine can provide other cognitive benefits, like providing relief from the harmful effects of chronic stress

Top Picks for Glutamine & BCAA Supplements

Transparents Labs BCAA Glutamine

a picture of Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine

Overview

Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine is the perfect supplement containing BCAAs and glutamine to power muscle recovery and building. Dedicating its brand to complete transparency, Transparent Labs continues to create the best of the best in supplements powered by ingredients free from artificial colors, dyes, or preservatives. 

This product incorporates vegan-fermented BCAAs and intertwines it with glutamine and coconut water extract to replenish, repair, and feed the muscles. 

person mixing Transparent Labs glutamine powder into liquid

Highlights

  • This supplement boasts no artificial:
    • Coloring
    • Sweeteners
    • Preservatives
  • Gluten-free and Non-GMO
  • Offers four delicious flavor including:
    • Sour green apple
    • Strawberry lemonade 
    • Tropical punch 
    • Blue raspberry
  • Transparents Labs boasts that this product is backed by clinical research using effective dosages supported by published scientific research 
  • Contains zero colored dyes or harmful additives 
  • Uses premium fermented vegan BCAAs

Pricing

PRODUCTAMOUNTPRICING
Transparents Labs BCAA Glutamine1.3lb/588g $39.99

Bottom Line

For a quality choice in BCAAs and glutamine supplement, this product is the top choice. It offers quality ingredients to promote the best results for improving progress in and out of the gym. 

Sascha Fitness BCAA’s + Glutamine

a picture of sascha fitness BCAA’s + glutamine

Overview

Sascha Fitness BCAA’s + Glutamine is another great product that combines BCAAs and glutamine in one powerful supplement. And that’s not all! This supplement also contains other ingredients including L-carnitine, HICA, and HMB, which also boast great health benefits to support muscle health, recovery, and growth. 

Highlights

  • This BCAA glutamine product is:
    • Vegan-friendly
    • Caffeine-free
  • It incorporates natural flavor and color and is sweetened with stevia
  • Benefits of this glutamine BCAA supplement include:
    • Improvements in muscle mass
    • Enhanced athletic performance 
    • boosted recovery 
  • Incorporates powerful ingredients including:
    • BCAAs
    • Glutamine
    • L-carnitine
    • Alpha-Hydroxy-isocaproic acid (HICA)
    • Hydroxymethylbutyrate (HMB)
  • Considered as five supplements in one, this product’s ingredients provide benefits such as:
    • Fat loss support
    • Improved energy levels
    • Cortisol support
    • Accelerates recovery
    • Works as a pre-,  during, and post-workout supplement

Pricing

PRODUCTAMOUNTPRICING
Sascha Fitness BCAA’s + Glutamine12.8oz/362.5g $38.99

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a little bit of everything, then the Sascha Fitness BCAA’s + Glutamine is the best choice. It combines numerous nutrients including glutamine and BCAAs to enhance results in muscular health, recovery, and growth. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does Glutamine Build Muscle?

An increase in intramuscular glutamine levels has been shown to influence muscle cell volume. This aids in protein synthesis which results in improvements for building muscle mass. Therefore, supplementing with glutamine can be beneficial for individuals looking to improve muscle growth in their health and fitness journey. 

Are BCAAs and Glutamine Necessary?

Both glutamine and BCAAs are important for healthy bodily function. They are especially important for athletes as they aid in muscle recovery and repair. The three amino acids are also important for their abilities to reduce muscle fatigue, improve athletic performance, and aid in building muscle. The timing for consumption of BCAA and glutamine supplements is also important to produce the best results. 

What are BCAAs Good For?S

BCAAs are beneficial for overall health. They are the building blocks of protein and are required for protein synthesis, which is necessary for muscle growth and recovery. 

These aspects are important for athletes and gym-goers looking to deter muscle soreness and promote muscle growth. Of course, there are health risks to be aware of before beginning BCAA supplementation, and consulting with your doctor beforehand is always advised. 

Kaelyn Buzzo | ISSA CPT & Nutrition Coach

Kaelyn Buzzo | ISSA CPT & Nutrition Coach

I am an ISSA-certified CPT and Nutrition Coach with a BA in Creative Writing and a Minor in Nutrition.

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