Glutamine after surgery

Undergoing any type of surgery is no easy feat – but optimizing your protein intake can speed up wound healing and the entire recovery process. Taking glutamine after surgery, a key amino acid (protein-building block) may promote recovery and support surgical wound healing.

Let’s discuss what glutamine is and how taking glutamine for recovery after surgery may support healing. 

What is Glutamine?

Glutamine, otherwise known as L-glutamine, is an amino acid found throughout our body essential for many functions involved in immunity, digestive health, inflammation, and muscle growth and repair. 

It plays a key role in surgical repair and recovery when your body needs it the most.

Normally your body makes glutamine on its own and is thus considered a “non-essential” amino acid. However when under stress such as with an infection, after surgery, or very intense exercise, glutamine becomes “conditionally essential.” 

When this happens, the body is not always able to produce enough glutamine to keep up, so we may need to get it through food and supplements.

Effects of Glutamine After Surgery

Clinical studies have shown taking L-glutamine after surgery may support healing. L-glutamine benefits after surgery may include reduced infection rates, immune system strengthening, shortened recovery time, and decreased hospital length of stay.* 

One study in colon cancer surgery patients showed those taking glutamine had reduced post-op complications and infections, which can support faster surgical recovery. 

Another systematic review found those taking glutamine had a reduced hospital length of stay.

Additionally, a meta-analysis of over 13 randomized trials found those with glutamine in their nutrition support plan had a more accelerated recovery process, decreased hospital length of stay, and reduced infection rates after surgery.

How to Take Glutamine After Surgery

Taking glutamine for surgery recovery can facilitate healing and repair. You can get glutamine from food or in supplement form.

Food Sources of Glutamine

Glutamine is mainly found in high-protein foods, with animal proteins being naturally richer sources:

  • Beef
  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Tofu
  • Milk
  • White Rice
  • Corn

While many of these foods are good sources of glutamine, the exact glutamine content of these foods is difficult to determine. 

Glutamine Supplements

Glutamine supplements are also readily available in specified doses, with many healthcare organizations using them for their surgery patients. 

A typical glutamine dose is 2-5 grams twice daily, but amounts of up to 20-30 grams per day have been tested and were seen to be well tolerated in current studies.

Traditional L-Glutamine vs. Covalent Bonded Glutamine

Most glutamine supplements are in L-glutamine form, but unfortunately, this form is not as readily absorbed and does not remain stable with pH or temperature changes. 

It is ideal to thus choose a glutamine supplement made of covalent bond glutamine, which has been shown to withstand high process temperatures and various pH ranges. 

Therefore, covalent bond glutamine is said to be more stable and absorbed faster and more effectively than L-glutamine.

Bottom Line

If you or a loved one are undergoing surgery, a quality glutamine supplement can help you meet your needs for proper recovery. 

Well Wisdom’s Glut Immune™300g is made of covalent bond glutamine, a highly stable and absorbable form of glutamine you can mix into your favorite beverage or food to optimize recovery.

Always speak to your doctor before starting glutamine to see what dose and plan are best for you.


  1. Does glutamine work immediately? There is no exact timeline for how quickly glutamine works, as everybody is different. For many, it may take up to 5 days or more for it to build in your system and take effect.
  2. Does glutamine reduce inflammation? Studies have shown glutamine may help regulate nitric oxide production in the body, which can reduce inflammation, particularly in the gut.
  3. How much glutamine should I take after surgery? Glutamine doses typically start at 2-5 grams 2-3 times per day, depending on your doctor’s orders.


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


Kade Brittain