8 Best Glutamine Powders (Natural and Free of Additives)

The best glutamine depicting a healthy digestive tract and a scoop of pure glutamine powder by The Healthy RD

You may be wondering about how to choose the best glutamine supplement if you are reading this post.   L-glutamine may help many aspects of health, and for healthy people, it is very safe to take.  But, with hundreds of brands on the market today, it can be confusing how to find a good one. In this post, learn about the functions, when you should take it, and the best L-glutamine brands. 

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What is Glutamine? 

Glutamine is considered a nonessential or conditionally essential amino acid that plays a big role in gut health.  Not only important for gut health, but glutamine is also the most common type of amino acid in our plasma. Our bodies make it, but under stressful conditions or imbalances in our diet, our bodies use more than we can make. 

Don’t confuse glutamine with branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) because BCAAs are essential amino acids.  The body can make glutamine from BCAAs, though, as follows: 

BCAAs, such as leucine, combine (transaminate) with α-ketoglutarate to form glutamate,  and then combine with ammonia to form glutamine with the help of an enzyme.  See? You can make glutamine but it’s not an easy process for the body.

L-glutamine is the primary form in the body, so for the purposes of this post, this form is considered.

When does your body need more?

Immune cells rely on glutamine for energy, especially when the body is under stress.

Stressful conditions include:

  • Infections
  • Surgery
  • Burns
  • High-intensity exercise
  • Malnutrition
  • Inflammatory conditions such as leaky gut

As you can see, it can be easy to deplete your body’s pools under stressful situations. 

A high protein diet will typically provide up to 3 grams of glutamine per day from dietary sources such as meats, chicken, bone broth, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, and legumes. In contrast, the body’s glutamine pools are about a gram per kilogram.  A person weighing 70 kg would then have about 70 grams of glutamine stored in the body. 

Which form should I take?

By far the best form of glutamine is the powder form. The reasons are many, but the primary one is that you don’t need extra additives that come in capsule forms.

Plus, if you take glutamine capsules, you will have to take a lot of them to achieve the desired health benefits. 

Best L-glutamine supplements 

When buying supplements, quality should be a big factor in your decision.  Your supplements should be pure and should be: 

  • Good manufacturing practices (GMP) certified (third-party tested in a rigorous way)
  • Free of synthetic additives
  • No protein powder in them
  • Organic when possible

Some brands I don’t include in this post are still pretty good but do not have GMP certification, such as Optimum Nutrition, Kaged Muscle, Body Fortress 100%, Muscletech Platinum, and Optimum Nutrition.  

Glutamine with protein powder or protein shakes is not ideal because certain amino acids compete with glutamine for absorption, so I suggest avoiding those.  

Which forms are best for leaky gut?

For good gut health, glutamine powders can contain other gut healing compounds, such as zinc, n-acetylglucosamine, slippery elm, or licorice.  These are great for a short-term gut healing protocol. I include recommendations for these below.  All the glutamine products listed are available on Amazon and are included in the links too. 

Supplements for leaky gut aren’t the only thing to focus on, however; you should also follow the best gut-healing diet too.

Why is it important to take glutamine supplements?

Glutamine uses are numerous from a functional medicine standpoint because it is such a predominant amino acid in the body, and has very important roles in the gastrointestinal tract. Here are some reasons that it may benefit your health: 

  • Glutamine deficiency: glutamine deficiency can be congenital or due to stressful conditions. Deficiency can also be the root cause of IBS symptoms according to Medical News Today. 
  • Reduces leaky gut: Leaky gut allows unwanted and undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream, which wreaks havoc on the health of the body and mind according to the renowned researcher, Dr. Fasano as published in the Annals of New York Academy of Science.  L-glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the gut and lack of it may cause a leaky gut. Intestinal permeability is reduced by supplemental glutamine when given to people who have had intestinal infections.  Glutamine restores tight junction proteins in the gut so it makes sense that it may heal leaky gut symptoms
  • Improves gut health by reducing inflammatory compounds in the gut, glutamine also supports a healthy intestinal lining. It is also the primary energy source for your intestinal cells as well. When you take glutamine for gut health, remember that you may benefit from also taking a combined gut-healing supplement as listed above.
  • Muscle recovery: Glutamine for athletes is a popular supplement because it may help with both muscle recovery and reducing GI symptoms during endurance exercises. Glutamine recovery from exercise is backed by research, but it is important to note that research does not support use for muscle gain.  Anecdotal evidence suggests it may help older people gain muscle mass, however. 
  • Reduces muscle fatigue: Research is conflicting about whether it helps with muscle growth, but it does help with reducing fatigue in muscle tissue.
  • May reduce small intestine bacterial overgrowth: Glutamine reduces harmful bacteria growth in the intestines according to early research work published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.
  • Skin health: a combination of branch chain amino acids and glutamine improved skin texture over a period of 4 weeks compared to placebo, l-glutamine benefits skin by increasing collagen protein synthesis when combined with BCAAs. 
  • IBS: Irritable bowel symptoms after intestinal infection are alleviated by supplemental glutamine.  These symptoms include a reduction in diarrhea and a leaky gut.  Using it for IBS is safe and the benefits are pretty clear according to numerous research studies. However, research about glutamine in inflammatory bowel diseases is conflicting; the studies are small so far. 
  • Weight loss: some clinical research shows that glutamine benefits include weight loss by supporting glucose metabolism and may even reduce inches on the waist   Glutamine weight loss trials are small, so keep the expectations in perspective with this supplement. 
  • Healthy immunity: glutamine is a preferred fuel source for immune system cells like lymphocytes and also helps increase the production of immune cells.  For a healthy immune system, it is important to have enough glutamine in the body. 
  • Sugar cravings:  Glutamine increases muscle glucose use and may reduce elevated insulin levels as well. Experts are not sure whether l glutamine for sugar cravings actually works, but from a mechanistic standpoint, it should.  This is because eating protein generally does reduce the intake of sugar, it stands to reason that it might reduce sugar cravings too. 
  • May reduce alcohol cravings and reduce alcohol intake: early research suggests that glutamine may reduce alcohol intake. 
  • May help diabetes: increasing the body’s use of glucose and lowering serum insulin, may help people control their diabetes, although larger-scale research trials are needed. 

Intestinal repair powders:

Amy Myers Leaky Gut Revive Powder by The Healthy RD

Amy Myers Leaky Gut Revive Powder is a great blend of L-glutamine with slippery elm, Larch arabinogalactan, Marshmallow root powder, Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice powder, and Aloe leaf powder.  Other ingredients include natural flavor, citric acid, sea salt, and stevia.  This also comes in an unflavored variety as well. Reviews for this glutamine blend are highly positive and people rave about how their gas, bloating, heartburn, indigestion, gut pain, and many other symptoms improve when taking this supplement. This product contains 30 servings per container.

Vital Nutrients GI Repair powder for the best L-glutamine supplements post by The Healthy RD

Vital Nutrients GI Repair Powder is a blend of L-glutamine, zinc carnosine, slippery elm, n-acetylglucosamine, MSM, and rutin.  This company goes above and beyond for quality and purity testing by analyzing each batch to be free of chemicals and effective.  Considered pharmaceutical grade for this reason and healthcare practitioners use this brand. Of note, the compounds in this supplement, including zinc carnosine, are specifically used because they are good for gut healing for leaky gut. Contains 40 servings and this supplement should be taken 2 to 3 times a day for best results. You can find it both on Amazon and Fullscript, but it is significantly a better value on Fullscript at the time of this post.

Designs for Health GI Revive powder by The Healthy RD

GI Revive Powder from Designs for Health is a blend of L-Glutamine,  n-acetyl glucosamine, pectin, deglycyrrhizinated licorice, aloe, slippery elm, mucin, marshmallow root, chamomile, okra, MSM, quercetin, and zinc carnosine. The GI Revive company is GMP-certified and used by healthcare practitioners. Contains less zinc carnosine and glutamine than the Vital Nutrients brand, but contains a larger array of healing plant compounds. The dose on the bottle says 1 tablespoon once a day, but many people feel better if they spread out this dose to 1 teaspoon three times a day.

Liver Medic Leaky Gut Repair powder jar by The Healthy RD

Leaky Gut Repair Powder by Liver Medic contains 3 grams glutamine, 1.5 grams N-acetylglucosamine, 250 mg marshmallow root, slippery elm, DGL, Aloe, MSM, quercetin, ginger, zinc, and a small amount of magnesium.  Liver Medic is GMP certified. Contains stevia and a natural chocolate mint flavor or you can get plain unflavored too.  This product is also NSF Certified, Gluten, Soy, and GMO-Free.

Pure glutamine powders certified free of allergens: 

Klaire Labs L-Glutamine powder bottle by The Healthy RD

Klaire Labs L Glutamine Powder contains 5 grams (5000 mg) of L-glutamine per serving and is free of major allergens including milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, gluten, soybeans, corn, and yeast.  Pure glutamine with no additives and the company is GMP certified. This powdered glutamine supplement contains 60 servings per container too. It is available through the professional dispensary called Fullscript and it is substantially cheaper than Amazon through this website.

Best affordable glutamine powders:

Jarrow formulas L-glutamine powder by The Healthy RD

Jarrow L-Glutamine powder is ideal on a budget for free-form L-glutamine and is in bulk amounts with 500 servings per container.  The dose suggested on the label is 2 grams per serving, so if you are taking it several times a day, this will still last you several months.  Jarrow is a cGMP company and is also NSF certified.

Carlson Laboratories L-Glutamine Powder bottle by The HealthyRD

Carlson – L-Glutamine Powder is a great glutamine powder if you are new to trying glutamine.   Carlson is a good L glutamine for beginners.  This is because it is a small amount and you don’t have to break the bank to try glutamine.  Contains a small amount at an affordable price.  Each serving contains a free-form amino acid of glutamine 3 grams with 33 servings per container.  Allergen-free and also GMP and NSF certified.

Organic L-glutamine

Natural Factors L-Glutamine Powder bottle by The Healthy RD

Natural Factors, Micronized L-Glutamine is pure glutamine with 5000 mg per serving and is the only organic glutamine brand I could find on the market today. Natural Factors is also GMP-certified, pharmaceutical grade, and free of contaminants. GMO-free and allergen-free too. Contains 90 servings per container. Bonus: its only ingredient is glutamine.

BCAA’s and Glutamine

Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine supplement by The Healthy RD

Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine combines both branched-chain amino acids, which are essential amino acids, and glutamine. This powder also contains vitamin C. Transparent Labs takes third-party testing to another level and makes each batch of content available to the public on their website. Contains natural stevia as a sweetener.

When to take glutamine

It is ideal to take glutamine between meals for the best effectiveness.  You can also sip on glutamine before bed for a good effect.  If you take it with meals, the amino acids in your food will compete with the glutamine, making it less effective.

That said, if you find that you feel nauseated, try starting it with a small amount of food, such as rice.

Try sipping on glutamine powder that is mixed in a bit of lemon juice.  If you sip on it throughout the day, it has a better chance of having a continual healing effect on the tight junctions of the intestine {personal experience, not research}.

Related post: Helpful Supplements for Sugar Cravings


There is no known toxicity of glutamine, so there is no upper limit on the dosage.  People tend to feel better if they start out with a lower dose, such as 2 grams a day, and increase the dose as tolerated.  The dosage for leaky gut tends to be around 10 to 15 grams per day for a short period and maintenance doses are usually around 1 to 2 grams per day. 

Side effects

Healthy people can take glutamine powder without any risk of side effects.  However, if you have kidney disease, avoid glutamine supplements as some studies show that it may worsen kidney failure unless under the supervision of your doctor. 


L-glutamine can be an important part of a healthy intestinal barrier, skin, and immune system, and is important for muscle recovery post-workout.  Keep in mind, that it is important for people to continue to get good nutrition from the diet, consider digestive enzymes, and find holistic ways to support their gut healing for best health.

This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.  Always reach out to your healthcare provider before making any changes to your health routine.

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