With so many glutamine supplements on the market, deciding which one is the best can be difficult. Before I go any further, let’s go through some protein digestion physiology and glutamine. Glutamine is an amino acid, which is part of the peptide chain that makes up proteins. The digestion process involves a number of digestive enzymes that break down (hydrolyze) protein in food into short chain structures known as oligopeptides or amino acids. Dipeptides are two amino acids connected together, oligopeptides are a few amino acids in a peptide chain, and polypeptides are long chains of them. click for more info about us.

You may have been led to believe that proteins can only be processed in their simplest monomer form, i.e. as amino acids, from the intestines. This is not the case, however. Amino acids are ingested in their simple monomer form through an active sodium-dependent transport mechanism that transports them across cell membranes and into the bloodstream. Short chain peptides can also be taken up and then broken down into free amino acids within the intestine’s cells rather than in the lumen. The exact mechanism is unknown, but it is unrelated to the sodium transport system and is thought to be enzyme-related or chemically dependent.

There are two separate mechanisms in place to consume protein, and since they are unrelated, combining both approaches allows for a higher protein absorption. Since digestion processes would automatically optimise both processes if you consume a variety of foods, both processes will be optimised. Peptide supplement formulations will also have a benefit in this regard, since certain peptides will be completely digested to amino acids before absorption, while others will remain peptides and be absorbed as such.

Since whey protein contains shorter chain oligopeptides, it is easily digested and absorbed, which can be beneficial when demand is high (post workout and first thing in the morning, for example).