An oral glutamine load was administered to nine healthy subjects to determine the effect on plasma glutamine, bicarbonate, and circulating growth hormone concentrations. Two grams glutamine were dissolved in a cola drink and ingested over a 20-min period 45 min after a light breakfast. Forearm venous blood samples were obtained at zero time and at 30-min intervals for 90 min and compared with time controls obtained 1 wk earlier. Eight of nine subjects responded to the oral glutamine load with an increase in plasma glutamine at 30 and 60 min before returning to the control value at 90 min. Ninety minutes after the glutamine administration load both plasma bicarbonate concentration and circulating plasma growth hormone concentration were elevated. These findings demonstrate that a surprisingly small oral glutamine load is capable of elevating alkaline reserves as well as plasma growth hormone.