Once you are done deciding between whey protein and casein protein for your protein shakes, it’s the time to add more ingredients to the mix. But is it the glutamine supplement or creatine powder that is worth a spot in your shake? Let’s find out who comes out to be victorious in this encounter of two popular supplements – Glutamine vs Creatine.
What is Glutamine?
Glutamine or scientifically known as L-Glutamine is one of those twenty amino acids that your body relies upon for its optimal functioning. With a little over half of the total amino acids present in your body, Glutamine is the most plentiful amino acids present in human blood. Apart from this, L-glutamine is classified under ‘conditionally essential’ amino acids which mean your body may suffer from the temporary shutdown of glutamine production in case of illness or stress. Besides being found in dietary supplements, L-glutamine is present in high concentrations in meat, eggs and protein powders like whey and casein.
Why should you take it?
There are several reasons why one should supplement with glutamine on a regular basis. One of the most important benefits of taking glutamine supplement is the prompt recovery from a strenuous training session. Besides this, studies have shown glutamine to aid athletes in their performance and fat-loss goals. Moreover, glutamine has also been backed by science for its ability to enhance body’s immunity.
What is Creatine?
According to science, creatine is a nitrogen based acid formed in the liver which supplies energy to various cells in the body. Upon consuming high amounts of creatine, the PCr (phosphocreatine) stores of the body increases which allows creatine to combine with phosphate molecules and form ATP molecules. The ATP molecules are the energy currency of your body. Out of all the forms of creatine supplements, the one that is proven to be most effective for athletes and bodybuilders is creatine monohydrate powder. Apart from supplements, creatine is found in poultry products, especially lean meat.
Why should you take it?
Undoubtedly, creatine is the most researched supplement out there in the market these days. It is beneficial for an athlete in several ways. Firstly, it helps your body produce additional energy molecules which can be very crucial during intense workouts. Secondly, creatine is popularly known for its cell volumization effect through which it retains water in the muscles and ultimately generates an anabolic response in the body. Apart from this some of the major benefits of creatine supplementation include quick post-workout recovery and lean muscle growth. If you want to read benefits of creatine, you can read it here.
Creatine supplements are available in a variety of forms but not all of them are effective. The one that has been backed by research is Creatine Monohydrate Powder. Go for a creatine monohydrate supplement that has ultra-small size particles just like MFF Creatine Monohydrate which is a 200 Mesh Grade creatine powder for quick absorption.
Comparing Glutamine and Creatine on the basis of Fitness Goals
Now here’s the main part of the article where we will see the major differences between creatine and glutamine and how different fitness goals define their usage.
Bodybuilding is, I believe, one of the most popular fitness goals of every youngster out here. Well, if you are looking forward to increasing mass then you may want to skip glutamine and just ingest creatine. The reason is that there aren’t enough scientific evidence to support glutamine as a muscle builder supplement. On the other hand, years of studies have established creatine as one of the most profound mass building supplements.
Goal: Lean Physique
Building a lean physique is not a child’s play. From high-intensity training to a calorie-restricted diet, a lot has to be done in order to lose fat and build lean muscle. Well, the good news is that both glutamine and creatine are known for their ability to reduce fat and aid lean muscle growth. Studies have shown that glutamine increases HGH (Human Growth Hormones) by enormous 400 percent.
You should know that alleviated HGH levels are responsible for the increase in metabolism which ultimately leads to fat loss.
Quite similarly, creatine supplies additional energy to the cells in the body which can be utilized to increase the workload capacity. This, in turn, can potentially increase the number of calories burnt and hence lead to a reduction in unwanted fat mass.
Goal: Performance and Recovery
Apart from contributing equally in carving out a lean physique, another area in which both glutamine and creatine are worth is recovery and performance. A glutamine supplement reduces the accumulation of blood ammonia during the training and hence enhances the performance.
Apart from this, ingestion of glutamine has shown to boost glycogen synthesis in the muscles during recovery from an arduous workout. Similarly, high levels of creatine in the cells help in diminishing the blood lactate accumulation and thus lead to better performance.
Moreover, there is evidence that ingesting creatine increases the capacity of an athlete to use more oxygen and thereby delay exhaustion time.
Goal: Weight Gain/Bulk
Unfortunately, glutamine doesn’t find its application here. As I mentioned previously, creatine is well-known for its cell volumization effect. Through cell volumization effect, creatine creates water retention in the cells, and since water has its own weight, you will see at least 2-5 pounds of weight gain within just a few days of daily creatine ingestion.
Moreover, by the time you are done saturating your muscle creatine stores (within 3 weeks), you will gain as much as 5-10 pounds of weight. One thing worth mentioning here is that the weight gain caused by taking creatine is fat-free muscle mass.
Goal: Optimum Health
When it’s about maintaining good health, glutamine overpowers creatine in multiple ways. Glutamine is primarily known for its ability to enhance immune function of the body. As a matter of fact, glutamine has been established a crucial fuel needed for optimal immune functions of the body. Moreover, several recent studies have discovered glutamine to play a vital role in improving the exercise based immunity of the body.
Another aspect that is worth comparing is the prices of these two supplements. While 0.67 lbs of MFF Creatine Monohydrate costs about Rs. 479(approx.), the prices for MFF Pure Glutamine shoots up to Rs. 999(approx). So, if you are on a tight budget, you will find it convenient to skip Glutamine Supplement. Needless to say, as long as you are eating nutritious food especially meat products and high-quality whey and casein protein, sacrificing a glutamine supplement won’t matter as such.
Related Article: Why and How to use creatine?
Take Home Message
Although glutamine benefits an athlete in numerous ways, creatine is an exceptional all-rounder supplement. Sure, you can take glutamine and creatine both but if you are on a tight budget and all that matters to you is just muscles then you may want to only purchase creatine supplement. There are numerous kinds of creatine supplement available in the stores these days, but I strongly recommend you to buy a creatine monohydrate powder.
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