Although the intestinal tract is a major site of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, the mechanisms by which antioxidant defense in gut T cells contribute to intestinal homeostasis are currently unknown. Here we show, using T cell-specific ablation of the catalytic subunit of glutamate cysteine ligase (Gclc), that the ensuing loss of glutathione (GSH) impairs the production of gut-protective IL-22 by Th17 cells within the lamina propria. Although Gclc ablation does not affect T cell cytokine secretion in the gut of mice at steady-state, infection with C. rodentium increases ROS, inhibits mitochondrial gene expression and mitochondrial function in Gclc-deficient Th17 cells. These mitochondrial deficits affect the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, leading to reduced phosphorylation of the translation repressor 4E-BP1. As a consequence, the initiation of translation is restricted, resulting in decreased protein synthesis of IL-22. Loss of IL-22 results in poor bacterial clearance, enhanced intestinal damage, and high mortality. ROS-scavenging, reconstitution of IL-22 expression or IL-22 supplementation in vivo prevent the appearance of these pathologies. Our results demonstrate the existence of a previously unappreciated role for Th17 cell-intrinsic GSH coupling to promote mitochondrial function, IL-22 translation and signaling. These data reveal an axis that is essential for maintaining the integrity of the intestinal barrier and protecting it from damage caused by gastrointestinal infection.