Glutamine is a naturally occurring amino acid involved in a wide variety of metabolic processes, including the synthesis of proteins and nucleic acids, and energy production. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in skeletal muscle and plasma and is known to be an important nutrient for cell proliferation, survival, and repair; defending the body against inflammation and infection; and helping the body recover from illness or stress. More glutamine is used during periods of prolonged or heavy exercise, trauma, inflammation, immune system dysfunction, and some illnesses. These states may result in a glutamine deficiency, leading to impaired immune response and increased risk of infection.
While skeletal muscle is able to synthesize glutamine, many other cells and tissues that rely on glutamine to function properly are not. Immune cells and the kidney, liver, and gastrointestinal tract rely on glutamine from skeletal muscle. Skeletal muscle consequently requires a constant supply of glutamine. Supplementation with glutamine helps ensure normal muscle function, aids recovery from physical trauma and illness, and naturally boosts the immune system, helping to protect against infection and disease. Glutamine supplementation is ideal for athletes who want to prevent problems associated with intensive training, and for anyone who would like to recover faster from over-training.