Glutamine helps replenish muscle glycogen after exercise. Glycogen is a major carbohydrate polysaccharide that is stored in animal cells. Glycogen is formed from glucose and stored in the liver and to a lesser extent muscle cells. Glycogen is depolymerized to glucose and released into circulation as needed by the body. Excess exercise can deplete glycogen from muscle cells. Glutamine may actually help restore the normal levels of glycogen, thus relieving the soreness.
Synthesis of Glutamine from Glutamate is the basic pathway for detoxifying ammonia. Excess of ammonia can generate nitrines (ammonia based free radicals) and are believed to be responsible for neuro-degenerative diseases. In other words Glutamine synthesis in our body may be responsible for protecting our brain as well. Glutamine also helps maintain proper glucose levels and the correct pH range. It also controls the volume of water in individual cells as well.
Glutamine plays an important role in cell division in intestinal lining and certain immune cells, including macrophages, lymphocytes and thymocytes. Glutamine supplementation is often used in patients undergoing bone marrow transplant. Glutamine supplements serves as muscle food, especially for those who exercise a lot because it helps replenishes glycogen. Glutamine is a primary source of energy for the various cells of the immune system. Glutamine may be very useful for the heart as well. Glutamine, after the conversion to glutamate enters the Krebs cycle to produce ATP. That is another reason why glutamine supplementation is so important during exercise. Glutamine maintains the structural integrity of the intestinal lining. It essentially serves as intestinal fuel and also produces glutathione, nitric oxide, polyamines, nucleotides, alanine, and proline. Frequent users of NSAID (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as, ibuprofen, indomethacin may also benefit from glutamine supplementation. Glutamine may help maintain healthy intestinal health.