Acute glutamine supplementation does not improve 20-km self-paced cycling performance in the heat
The premise of this study was to investigate the effect of acute glutamine supplementation on 20 km time trial cycling performance in the heat, neuromuscular function, inflammation and endotoxemia.
Twelve cyclists completed two, 20-km time trials (20TT) in 35 °C (50% relative humidity). Participants ingested either glutamine (GLUT; 0.9 g kg−1 fat-free mass) or a placebo (CON) 60 min before each 20TT. Physiological and perceptual measures were recorded during each 20TT, and neuromuscular function assessed pre- and post-exercise. Venous blood was analysed for endotoxins, markers of gut damage (inflammatory fatty acid binding protein; I-FABP) and inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-6, IL-6; tumour necrosis factor-alpha, TNF-α). Data were analysed using linear mixed models in a Bayesian framework.
20TT in the heat increased I-FABP and elevated inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α) compared to pre-exercise values but did not result in endotoxemia. Completion time was not statistically different between conditions (mean difference [95% credible interval] = 11 s [− 23, 44]). Relative to CON, GLUT did not alter any physiological or perceptual measures during the 20TT.
Glutamine supplementation does not improve 20TT performance in the heat or preserve neuromuscular function when compared to a placebo. These findings suggest that glutamine is not an ergogenic aid or prophylactic intervention for heat-induced gut damage during short-duration self-paced exercise in hot environments.
KeywordsGlutamine Exercise Endotoxemia Hyperthermia Inflammation
- ½ RT
Half relaxation time
20 km time trial
Central nervous system
Coefficient of variation
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
Intestinal fatty acid binding protein
Markov chain Monte Carlo
Maximum voluntary contraction
Profile of mood states
Rating of perceived exertion
Rate of relaxation
Rate of torque development
Smallest effect size of interest
Core (rectal) temperature
Tumour necrosis factor alpha
Time to peak torque
Mean skin temperature
Urine specific gravity
- VO2 max
maximal aerobic capacity
The authors sincerely thank Mr Logan Trim (Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia) for his technical assistance with the immunoassay analysis.
Study conception and design: JOO, IBS, GMM. Data collection: JOO. Data analysis: JOO, IBS, DNB, GMM. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: IBS, KWB, GMM. Manuscript development: JOO, IBS, KWB, DNB, GMM.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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