Glycine is an amino acid, which is a substance the body uses to build proteins. While the body is capable of producing glycine, people also consume it in their daily diet. The average person usually consumes around two grams of glycine each day, getting it from foods that are rich in protein, such as meat, fish, legumes, and dairy. Some people also take glycine as a supplement. (1)
Most people likely never give a thought to how much glycine they produce or what it does for their bodies and brains. But when people don’t have enough glycine, it can cause serious problems. Supplementing with additional glycine may also improve athletic performance and other areas of health. (1)
Health Benefits of Glycine
Glycine’s potential health benefits include building important compounds, improving sleep, and promoting detoxification.
Glycine Is an Amino Acid
As an amino acid, glycine is an essential building block for several substances the body needs to function. These substances include creatine, glutathione, and collagen.
Creatine is a compound that helps to increase muscle mass and strength. It also improves exercise performance by quickly providing the muscles with energy for brief, intense activites like sprinting. (2)
Creatine is also an important component of brain health. There is evidence that supplementing with it can improve cognitive functioning, specifically short-term memory, and intelligence/reasoning. It’s possible that creatine supplementation could help patients with neurological conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. However, more research is necessary to confirm this. (3)
Glycine is one of the three amino acids necessary for the body to produce creatine. Like glycine, the body is able to produce creatine on its own, and people can get it from dietary sources. However, if a person is making or consuming too little glycine, it will negatively affect their ability to produce creatine. In this case, taking a glycine supplement could be helpful. (2)
Glycine is one component of glutathione production, a master antioxidant that protects against the effects of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when there are too many free radicals causing damage to cells. It can lead to aging in the body, as well as various health disorders. (4)
Glutathione is one of the most potent antioxidants and plays a key role in combating oxidative stress. However, production levels of glutathione are affected when there is insufficient glycine. Taking a glycine supplement may help protect the body against cell damage. (4)
Collagen is a buzzword in the beauty industry, and there’s a plethora of collagen-infused products promising firm, attractive skin. But collagen has so much more to offer than beauty benefits. In fact, collagen is the main protein in the body. It provides structure and strength to tissues, including muscles, skin, bones, ligaments, and tendons. And glycine is essential for making collagen. (5)
Studies have suggested that taking collagen supplements could help prevent bone loss and improve joint pain. One study concluded that supplementing with glycine could solve the lack of collagen synthesis in osteoarthritis. (5, 6, 7)
Sleep Improvement with Glycine
Poor sleep quality is a common problem, with many people struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep. But taking a glycine supplement before bed may help. (8)
Researchers have found that people with insomnia had improved sleep quality after taking glycine before bed. The amino acid lowers the body’s core temperature, which may help people fall asleep and stay asleep. Keeping the bedroom at a cool temperature is a common piece of advice given for falling asleep, and glycine seems to be a natural way to do that. (8)
In one study, taking three grams of glycine before bed gave subjects improved sleep quality, measured by both subjective and objective factors. Before the study, participants reported recent issues with inadequate sleep. After taking glycine before bed, participants took less time to fall asleep and were able to stay asleep. Their daytime sleepiness decreased, and their daytime cognition improved. (9)
Detoxing with Glycine
Glycine’s role as a building block of glutathione makes it an important component of detoxification because it’s able to combat free radicals, detoxify the body, and directly neutralize other toxic substances. (10)
In order for your body to produce enough glutathione to effectively detoxify, you need sufficient amounts of glycine. People who are concerned that they’re not producing enough glycine on their own may want to take it as a supplement. (4)
How to Use Glycine
It is possible to increase glycine intake through dietary sources, such as meat and fish. But taking a glycine supplement is an easier way to ensure that you’re getting the right amount of this important amino acid.
Glycine supplements are available as both capsules and powders. Those who prefer not to take pills can add glycine powder to beverages and foods where it will dissolve.
ecoNugenics GlyphoCleanse is a pesticide detox and defense formula containing glycine as well as other expert detox ingredients. GlyphoCleanse is designed to safely remove pesticides and other agricultural and environmental toxins and help prevent them from being stored in organs and tissues.
In GlyphoCleanse, glycine works in part to compete with the common pesticide glyphosate to prevent uptake and storage in organs and tissues. Glycine also promotes the body’s production of the antioxidant glutathione, optimizing natural antioxidant and detoxification functions.
As with any new supplement, it’s important to talk to a doctor before beginning to take glycine. This will help you understand how it might interact with any medications or other supplements you’re already taking.
GlyphoCleanse is a daily detox and defense formula designed to address pesticides and other agricultural and environmental toxins, with additional support for healthy digestion.* Targeted ingredients help eliminate these agricultural and environmental toxins and block their absorption and storage throughout the body.*
- Glycine Compound Summary. National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Glycine.
- Kalhan SC, Gruca L, Marczewski S, Bennett C, Kummitha C. Whole body creatine and protein kinetics in healthy men and women: effects of creatine and amino acid supplementation. Amino acids. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4754151/. Published October 19, 2015.
- Avgerinos KI, Spyrou N, Bougioukas KI, Kapogiannis D. Effects of creatine supplementation on cognitive function of healthy individuals: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29704637/. Published April 25, 2018.
- McCarty MF, O'Keefe JH, DiNicolantonio JJ. Dietary Glycine Is Rate-Limiting for Glutathione Synthesis and May Have Broad Potential for Health Protection. PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29559876/. Published 2018.
- de Paz-Lugo P, Lupiáñez JA, Meléndez-Hevia E. High glycine concentration increases collagen synthesis by articular chondrocytes in vitro: acute glycine deficiency could be an important cause of osteoarthritis. NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6153947/. Published July 13, 2018.
- Clark KL, Sebastianelli W, Flechsenhar KR, et al. 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18416885/. Published April 15, 2008.
- Elam ML, Johnson SA, Hooshmand S, et al. A calcium-collagen chelate dietary supplement attenuates bone loss in postmenopausal women with osteopenia: a randomized controlled trial. PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25314004/. Published October 14, 2014.
- Bannai M, Kawai N. New therapeutic strategy for amino acid medicine: glycine improves the quality of sleep. PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22293292/. Published January 27, 2012.
- K. Inagawa TH, K. Inagawa NK, DJ. Buysse CFR, et al. Glycine ingestion improves subjective sleep quality in human volunteers, correlating with polysomnographic changes. Springer Link. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1111/j.1479-8425.2007.00262.x. Published July 28, 2016.
- Pizzorno J. Glutathione! NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4684116/. Published February 2014.