- Glutamine is a “conditionally essential amino acid” – your body can’t produce enough of it in times of stress or illness (1)
- L-Glutamine is the useful form for our bodies, which is the form found in foods and made by our bodies
- The best food sources of glutamine are mainly animal products like eggs, beef, and milk, although some plant sources like tofu are also good (2)
- Research suggests that short-term glutamine supplementation when sick, or for those with intestinal issues (e.g. leaky gut) can help (3, 4, 5)
Glutamine supplementation isn’t appropriate for everyone, but I’m going to assume you’ve already done your research on whether or not it might be good for you.
The good news is that while most of the best l-glutamine food sources are animal products, most glutamine supplements (in powder form) are synthetic and vegan.
They are made using fermentation on an industrial scale, which is virtually always vegan. (6)
That being said, there are some glutamine supplements that aren’t vegan. Usually it’s because they have other non-vegan ingredients added (often flavoring) or come in a non-vegan capsule.
I’m going to quickly go over a few of the top rated l-glutamine supplements that the manufacturer has clearly said are vegan.
The 4 Best Vegan L-Glutamine Supplements
What makes one glutamine supplement better than another?
There are a few main factors:
- Quality – Glutamine can be manufactured through fermentation of many sources. Corn is the cheapest, but causes issues for some people
- Taste (not a huge deal since you’re only consuming a few grams)
One supplement could have no effect for you, while another could have a significant effect.
Sticking with well known brands, like the ones below, gives you the highest chance of finding an effective glutamine supplement.
|Essential Stacks Gut L-Glutamine||$$$||
|Kaged Muscle Glutamine||$||
|Jarrow Formulas L-Glutamine||$$||
I’ll go into a bit more detail on each product if you need more than what’s provided in the table.
I’m a fan of how Naked manufactures and markets their products. They make a wide variety of supplements focusing on minimalism (no weird flavor ingredients) and quality.
I wasn’t a fan of the taste of their vegan protein powder, but taste isn’t a big issue for supplements like glutamine that are taken in small doses.
Beyond being certified vegan, Naked’s glutamine is made in the USA and non-GMO.
The reason those last 2 things matter is that glutamine made from corn, which is typically considered lower quality, is usually sourced from GMO corn and/or from China.
Finally, some people are concerned about heavy metals in supplements. That’s usually a concern in products sourced from China, but either way, Naked is tested for heavy metals by a third-party laboratory (the gold standard).
In terms of quality, this is a top-notch supplement.
However, it’s quite expensive, and Naked glutamine is just as high quality at a lower price tag.
It’s made in the USA, and certified free of just about everything (soy, gluten, dairy). Even though it’s not certified vegan, the company states elsewhere that it is.
The third-party testing checks to confirm that it truly is free of those things, so it’s a good choice if you have allergies.
I honestly hate their packaging. It’s filled with buzzwords and has a similar design to pre-workout supplements. It’s clearly marketed towards bodybuilders and other gym-goers.
That being said, it’s a highly rated product, and the only ingredient is glutamine – just like the other products on this page.
The company clearly states on the product page that Kaged Muscle glutamine is vegan, although it’s not certified vegan.
They do seem to be reluctant to say where it’s manufactured, so it’s like sourced from China and from corn. That’s typically lower quality, but comes with a relatively cheap price tag as a result and that might be what you’re looking for.
Finally, Jarrow Formulas is a long-standing supplement brand.
They’re known for good products at a reasonable price.
On the plus side here, their glutamine is certified vegan, and the only ingredient is L-glutamine – very simple.
The downside is that they don’t provide much detail on anything else. Even after digging around, I couldn’t find where this glutamine is made, or if any third-party testing occurs.
So while it’s an okay option for vegans, I’d recommend trying any of the above three first if possible.