We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Difference Between Creatine and Glutamine?

By Shelby Miller
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Creatine and glutamine are organic chemical compounds manufactured by the human body. Transported by blood and stored in muscle, creatine is synthesized from amino acids in the liver and kidneys and used to produce energy. Glutamine is one of 20 amino acids, specifically one of 11 non-essential amino acids that the body can manufacture on its own. It is synthesized mostly by the muscles, and is associated with anabolism, or tissue growth. Both creatine and glutamine are popular as supplements among athletes, particularly as bodybuilding supplements, though they function differently toward this end.

An acid found in skeletal muscle, creatine is a compound that is essential to metabolism, which is the sum of energy taken in through food minus energy expended through processes like movement, the digestion of food, and the maintenance of bodily functions. A non-essential nutrient, it is synthesized by the acids L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas.

Humans obtain some additional creatine from meats consumed in the diet, meat being the skeletal muscle of animals. Though both creatine and glutamine are found in muscle, only creatine is consumed here, as it is metabolized to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the main compound fueling energy consumption in cells. Creatine also is linked to the retention of water in muscle cells, which supports protein synthesis in muscles while minimizing catabolism, or breakdown, of protein.

Glutamine is sometimes referred to as a conditionally essential amino acid, meaning that it may be essential in dietary or supplement form for certain individuals, such as those recovering from surgery, injury, or illness. As an amino acid, it is a substance required for protein synthesis, manufactured largely in muscle tissue and consumed mostly by intestinal cells, kidney cells, and immune cells. In the intestines, it is extracted through the cell walls and sent to the liver, where it may be converted along with glucose for cellular energy. It is metabolized in the kidneys to produce ammonium, which is necessary to maintaining the body’s acid-base balance. Additionally, glutamine is relevant to immune-system function in that it helps the body to recover from injury or illness by donating nitrogen for anabolic or tissue-building purposes.

It is in the latter function that creatine and glutamine are related. Glutamine’s tissue-building properties, as well as its supposed influence on human growth hormone (HGH) levels, make it a popular choice among athletes and bodybuilders as a supplement. It can also be obtained through foods in the diet like meats, fish, dairy, and eggs, as well as plant foods like spinach, beans, and beets.

Creatine has been linked to strength and energy increases, as creatine is converted in the muscles to creatine phosphate, a substance that increases the ATP in cells that muscles use for energy. These increases support creatine’s tissue-building properties in muscle. Both creatine and glutamine can be taken in oral supplement form by those wishing to build muscle, though about 50 percent of creatine in humans is supplied by animal foods, so it is recommended to consume plenty of animal protein as well.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.