Sustamine® is a patented, high-absorption form of glutamine clinically proven to enhance performance during endurance exercise.
Sustamine is a patented formulation of two bound amino acids – glutamine and alanine. It is utilized as a workout supplement ingredient that improves recovery and performance. This Sustamine review details its advantages over plan glutamine supplements:
- Clinically researched. Sustamine’s exercise performance benefits are backed by multiple human studies.
- Superior absorption. Sustamine’s high bioavailability results in 224% higher blood glutamine levels than generic glutamine.
- Patented. Sustamine is made through a patented fermentation process.
Sustamine is a patented combination of the amino acids L-glutamine and L-alanine made by Japanese biotech company Kyowa Hakko. Glutamine is most commonly used in workout supplements to promote exercise recovery and performance, and to improve gastrointestinal issues such as GERD and IBS.
Sustamine stands out from generic glutamine in several ways:
- It has superior absorption, and results in 224% higher glutamine blood levels than basic glutamine
- It has been shown to enhance physical and cognitive performance during endurance exercise in clinical trials
- It provides extra benefits from alanine, an amino acid involved in energy production
Clinical research suggests that Sustamine is best used to keep the body hydrated during intense endurance activity such as running or playing basketball, helping sustain optimal physical and mental performance.
The glutamine in Sustamine is made through a patented fermentation process (U.S. Patent 3414478) and then bound together with alanine in a dipeptide molecule which is much smaller than complete protein, allowing to be quickly absorbed.
Sustamine Nutritional Supplement Uses
Sustamine is typically added to workout supplements, sports and energy drinks, meal replacements, and nutritional bars and yogurts. It is most commonly found in:
As an amino acid with a role in stimulating muscle protein synthesis, glutamine is frequently included in workout formulas designed for bodybuilders and other athletes. In addition, it has a role in healthy immune system function, and because glutamine can become depleted due to prolonged endurance exercise such as marathon running, some endurance athletes use it to prevent illness.
Alanine, on the other hand, is an amino acid needed to help rebuild stores of glycogen – the body’s main energy source during endurance exercise. As such, the combination of these two amino acids in Sustamine helps sustain energy and improve performance during exercise, as well as recovery afterwards. So far, clinical studies of Sustamine have reported improvements in performance during endurance exercise.
Read more: Glutamine as a post-workout
Digestive Health Supplements
Glutamine is also used by people by gastrointestinal issues such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Although there isn’t much research evidence backing these popular uses, anecdotally, many people report improvements.
Sustamine stands out from generic glutamine supplements in several ways:
- Greater absorption: Sustamine’s unique dipeptide structure ensures rapid & effective absorption, raising blood glutamine to much higher levels (224%) than plain L-glutamine.
- Clinical research: Sustamine’s endurance exercise performance benefits are backed by multiple human studies.
- Superior formula: Unlike generic L-glutamine, Sustamine also provides your body with alanine, an amino acid that may further support workout performance and recovery by helping produce energy.
- Safety: Sustamine is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the FDA and has been demonstrated to be safe in multiple clinical trials.
Human studies of Sustamine (L-alanyl-L-glutamine) report that it improves time until exhaustion, reaction time, and other markers of physical and cognitive performance when used to rehydrate during endurance exercise.
This study examined the effects of L-alanyl-L-glutamine (AG; Sustamine) on performance and recovery for intense endurance exercise. Ten active men performed cycle ergometer exercise tests with normal hydration levels, and during dehydration (-2.5% of body mass). For three of these dehydration tests, they were given water or two doses (0.05 g or 0.2 g per kg of body weight) of AG before the exercise. Both AG doses significantly improved time until exhaustion.
- The researchers concluded that “…AG supplementation provided a significant ergogenic benefit by increasing time to exhaustion during a mild hydration stress.” 1
This randomized, double-blind, crossover study evaluated the benefits of L-alanyl-L-glutamine (AG) on basketball performance. Ten professional female basketball players played four separate 40-min basketball games with time-outs for rehydration. For trial 1 they didn’t drink anything, water for trial 2, and two doses of Sustamine (1 g per 500 mg or 2 g per 500 ml) for trials 3 and 4. The Sustamine tests had better shooting performance than both dehydration (+12.5%) and water (+11.1%) tests, and better visual reaction time than the dehydration test. Finally, the high-dose Sustamine test also saw a reduction of fatigue compared to the dehydration test.
- The researchers concluded that “Rehydration with AG appears to maintain basketball skill performance and visual reaction time to a greater extent than water only.” 2
This study looked at the effects of Sustamine (AG) on brain function and reaction time (RT) after endurance exercise. Twelve male endurance athletes ran on a treadmill for 1 hour at 70% of maximal oxygen capacity, and then at 90% until exhaustion, with no hydration, a sports drink, or sports drink with AG (300 mg per 500 ml or 1 g per 500 ml). Both AG doses improved reaction time compared to the no hydration group, whereas the sports drink only group saw no improvement.
- The researchers concluded that ” …rehydrating with AG during submaximal exercise may maintain or enhance subsequent RT in upper and lower body activities compared to DHY.” 3
This study looked at the effects of Sustamine (AG) on performance during prolonged endurance exercise. Twelve male endurance athletes ran on a treadmill for 1 hour at 75% of maximal capacity, and then at 90% until exhaustion, with no hydration, a sports drink, or sports drink with AG (300 mg per 500 ml or 1 g per 500 ml). Both Sustamine groups had longer time to exhaustion compared to the no hydration group.
- The researchers concluded that “…ingestion of the alanine-glutamine dipeptide at either the low or high dose significantly improved time to exhaustion during high-intensity exercise compared to a no-hydration trial.” 4
This study compared the absorption and bioavailability of glutamine in its generic form versus Sustamine. Eight men were given drinks containing water, or L-glutamine or L-alanylglutamine (Sustamine) with equal amounts of glutamine. Sustamine resulted in 224% higher blood glutamine levels than generic L-glutamine.
- The researchers concluded that “The results suggest a greater transfer from the gut to plasma of L-Gln when supplied as AlaGln…” 5
- Successful clinical studies typically mix 300-2000 mg dosages of Sustamine in water or sports drinks
- Sustamine is usually found in dosages of 200 mg, mixed with other ingredients in workout supplements
Supplements in Review Recommendation
- Sustamine® as part of a multi-ingredient supplement.
Sustamine has superior absorption and is backed by research. Compared to basic glutamine, Sustamine is backed by clinical studies demonstrating superior absorption and improved performance during endurance training.
Follow supplement dosages. There isn’t enough research to suggest a dose, especially considering that Sustamine is rarely sold by itself. As such, it’s best to follow supplement-recommended dosages.
- Hoffman JR et al. Examination of the efficacy of acute L-alanyl-L-glutamine ingestion during hydration stress in endurance exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010 Feb 3;7:8. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-7-8. ↩
- Jay R Hoffman et al. L-alanyl-L-glutamine ingestion maintains performance during a competitive basketball game. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012; 9: 4. ↩
- Pruna GJ et al. Effect of acute L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine and electrolyte ingestion on cognitive function and reaction time following endurance exercise. Eur J Sport Sci. 2016;16(1):72-9. ↩
- McCormack WP et al. Effects of l-Alanyl-l-Glutamine Ingestion on One-Hour Run Performance. J Am Coll Nutr. 2015;34(6):488-96. ↩
- Harris RC et al. L-glutamine absorption is enhanced after ingestion of L-alanylglutamine compared with the free amino acid or wheat protein. Nutr Res. 2012 Apr;32(4):272-7. ↩