Today, Examine.com presents a page on L-alanyl-L-glutamine, a dipeptide molecule similar to alanine and glutamine, also known by its brand name, Sustamine.
Dipeptides are made up of two amino acids. They are sometimes referred to as nature’s prodrug. A prodrug is a compound that becomes active when it is metabolized by the body. In a way, L-alanyl-L-glutamine is a prodrug for glutamine.
Glutamine is an amino acid that plays a critical role in muscle function and development. However, it’s not a very useful supplement. After supplementation, glutamine ends up predominantly in the intestines and liver, which provide the body with glutamine on an as-needed basis. This prevents glutamine from having any performance-enhancing or muscle-building effects. It may, however, be a useful supplement for intestinal health and muscular endurance.
L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine is claimed to allow glutamine to get past the liver and intestines, since its dipeptide structure is thought to act like a prodrug. Unfortunately, current evidence is not promising, suggesting that supplementing L-alanyl-L-glutamine does not provide more benefits than glutamine itself.
L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine is very water-soluble, which means it may play a promising role in IV nutrition. Plus, it’s way easier to dissolve in a drink, so it may be gentler on the digestive system, which is important for endurance athletes.
L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine is a more water-soluble glutamine. If you’re thinking of supplementing glutamine for intestinal health or endurance exercise, L-alanyl-L-glutamine may be a better option, since the increased water solubility poses a lower risk for intestinal distress.