Summary

Glutamine has established important physiological functions under both normal and hypercatabolic states. Glutamine has a central role to play in maintaining a healthy immune system and the energy levels of key cells. Adequate dietary protein intake can ensure that these functions of glutamine are fulfilled in the normal healthy individual, with hypercatabolic states requiring additional supplemental sources of glutamine. The immune-enhancing effects and the antiproteolytic effects of glutamine have implications for athletes involved in intense training activities.

However, the ergogenic benefits and the immune-enhancing effects of glutamine supplementation for the active individual are yet to be realized. Long-term studies examining the effect of glutamine supplementation on protein synthesis, body composition, prevention of infections, and increase in muscle glycogen stores are necessary before glutamine supplements can be advocated for athletes.

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