The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of oral glutamine supplementation combined with resistance training in young adults. A group of 31 subjects, aged 18-24 years, were randomly allocated to groups (double blind) to receive either glutamine (0.9 g x kg lean tissue mass(-1) x day(-1); n = 17) or a placebo (0.9 g maltodextrin x kg lean tissue mass(-1) x day(-1); n = 14 during 6 weeks of total body resistance training. Exercises were performed for four to five sets of 6-12 repetitions at intensities ranging from 60% to 90% 1 repetition maximum (1 RM). Before and after training, measurements were taken of 1 RM squat and bench press strength, peak knee extension torque (using an isokinetic dynamometer), lean tissue mass (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) and muscle protein degradation (urinary 3-methylhistidine by high performance liquid chromatography). Repeated measures ANOVA showed that strength, torque, lean tissue mass and 3-methylhistidine increased with training (P < 0.05), with no significant difference between groups. Both groups increased their 1 RM squat by approximately 30% and 1 RM bench press by approximately 14%. The glutamine group showed increases of 6% for knee extension torque, 2% for lean tissue mass and 41% for urinary levels of 3-methylhistidine. The placebo group increased knee extension torque by 5%, lean tissue mass by 1.7% and 3-methylhistidine by 56%. We conclude that glutamine supplementation during resistance training has no significant effect on muscle performance, body composition or muscle protein degradation in young healthy adults.