Glycine. Promote Better Body Function. Improve Your Health Functionality

Updated: 1/4/24

Have you ever wondered what nutrient may be the overlooked star for improving overall body function and health? An amino acid called glycine may just be that undercover champion. While glycine doesn’t get as much attention as other amino acids like leucine for muscle building or glutamine for gut health, many scientists believe this bit player could have some big roles in supporting whole-body wellness. Glycine helps regulate digestive function, brain signaling, metabolism, and more. Keep reading to discover the various ways glycine may be helping you optimize your health behind the scenes—and some simple dietary tips for getting more of this unsung hero amino into your routine.

What is Glycine?

Glycine is a non-essential amino acid that the body naturally produces. It is also found in protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, and dairy products. However, the body may not produce enough glycine to meet its demands, especially during periods of stress, injury, or disease. This deficiency can result in several health problems such as poor sleep, chronic fatigue, and inflammation. By taking glycine as a supplement, you can boost your body’s glycine levels and enjoy the health benefits that come with it.

So, how does glycine work? Glycine is involved in various functions in the body, such as protein synthesis, bile acid production, and DNA synthesis. However, its most well-known function is its role as a neurotransmitter, which is a chemical messenger that sends signals between nerve cells. Glycine acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which means it helps to calm the nervous system, reduce stress, and improve sleep quality.

History of Glycine

Glycine has been in use for centuries in traditional medicine practices such as Chinese, Indian, and Japanese medicine. The Chinese used glycine-rich foods such as seaweed, gelatin, and bone broth to promote longevity and slow down the aging process. The Japanese also use glycine-rich foods, such as seaweed and tofu, to promote good health and reduce inflammation. Today, glycine is widely in use in supplements, powders, and drinks to boost health and wellness.

What Are Amino Acids?

Simply put, amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. There are 20 different amino acids that are used to make up the proteins in our bodies, and each one is slightly different in its chemical structure. When we eat protein-rich foods, our bodies break down these proteins into individual amino acids that can be used to build new proteins as needed.

So why are amino acids so important? One major reason is that they are essential for muscle growth and repair. When we exercise, we create tiny tears in our muscle fibers that need to be repaired in order to grow stronger. Amino acids, particularly a group called branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), are key players in this process. Taking BCAAs before or after a workout can help support muscle recovery and growth.

Essential, Nonessential, and Conditional Amino Acids

Amino acids separate into three categories: essential, nonessential and conditional.

Your body cannot generate essential amino acids and must come from food or supplementation. The nine essential amino acids are leucineisoleucinehistidinelysinephenylalaninemethioninethreoninevaline and tryptophan.

Your body naturally produces nonessential amino acids and doesn’t need to come from food or supplements, although they can help. The nonessential amino acids are glycine, argininealanineasparaginecysteineaspartic acidglutamic acidglutamineprolineserine and tyrosine

Conditional amino acids are essential in times of illness and stress and include cysteine, arginine, glutamine, tyrosine, glycine, ornithine, proline and serine.

What Foods Contain Glycine? 

Are you looking to switch up your everyday diet overall? Before adopting glycine as a supplement into your daily diet, it’s good to know how to get it naturally through food. Most foods containing high glycine content are also rich in protein. Here are a few foods you can find glycine in:

Bone Broth

Bone broth is a good source of glycine. It is made from the bones of beef, chicken, and pork, and it is considered one of the best sources of collagen, which contains glycine. It is also loaded with other nutrients that support gut health, protect the joints, and boost the immune system. Bone broth is easy to make at home, and it can be used in soups, stews, and other dishes.

Collagen Supplements

Collagen supplements contain glycine and other amino acids that promote skin health, improve joint function, and reduce inflammation. They are available in powder, capsule, and liquid forms, making it easy to incorporate them into your daily routine. You can add them to your smoothies, coffee, tea, and yogurt.


Gelatin is another source of glycine that has been shown to improve skin health, reduce joint pain, and enhance bone density. It is used to make jellies, puddings, and gummies, and it can also be added to smoothies, soups, and stews.

Dairy Products

Dairy products like yogurt, cheese, and milk contain glycine as well as other essential amino acids that support muscle growth, repair, and maintenance. They are also rich in calcium, a mineral that is vital for strong bones and teeth.


Seafood like salmon, shrimp, and shellfish contain glycine and omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to improve heart health, reduce inflammation, and protect the brain from age-related decline. They are also rich in protein, selenium, and other nutrients that support optimal health.

Beans and Lentils

If you’re a vegetarian, it can be more challenging to get enough glycine in your diet, but it’s not impossible. A variety of beans and lentils, including soybeans, kidney beans, and lentils, can provide you with the glycine you need. These plant proteins are high in essential amino acids and can be beneficial for your overall health.

Spinach & Watercress

Spinach may not be the most obvious source of glycine, but it is still a great choice. This leafy green vegetable is packed with vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, and magnesium, all of which are essential for overall health. In addition, spinach is also rich in antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from damage. Watercress, given its high fiber and glycine content, can improve digestion significantly. Glycine can aid in repairing and restoring the digestive system lining. It protects our guts from diseases and neutralizes stomach acids, delighted those with gastrointestinal issues.

Benefits of Glycine

As mentioned, it helps treat several irregular functions in the body. It may successfully support the muscles, promote healthy sleep, fortify the liver and strengthen the joints. Glycine works as an antioxidant and may boost an overall healthy mood and sense of well-being.  

May Boost Brain function and Nervous System

It is well known for its ability to improve cognitive function by acting as a neurotransmitter. It helps to balance out brain chemicals and thus can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. What’s more, it can also protect the brain from age-related damage by improving memory formation and recall. Glycine also influences the functioning of the nervous system by acting as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. This leads to better sleep quality and less jittery-feelings.

May Increase Muscle Development and Strength

It makes up a significant portion of the protein components in muscle fibers (about 1/3rd) and hence is vital for the structure and development of muscles. It also plays a significant role in facilitating muscle repair and regeneration. Supplementing with glycine along with resistance training can result in increased muscle strength and endurance.

Promotes Digestive Health

It can help repair and maintain the integrity of the gut lining. It does so by improving the mucus lining of the your intestinal tract. This can help block pathogenic bacteria and prevent them from sticking to the intestinal walls. It may also help beneficial bacteria to expand in the gut, making for a healthier microbiome. Combining glycine supplements with collagen may help in improving your gut health.

Supports Heart Health

It can improve heart health by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. A study conducted on rats showed that glycine can protect against damage to the heart muscle caused by ischemia-reperfusion. It also reduces the risk of heart disease by improving blood lipids and reducing blood pressure.

Supports Joint Health

As we age, our joints can become weaker and more prone to injury. However, it may help support joint health by promoting the growth and production of collagen, which is essential for healthy cartilage and joint tissue. This may help reduce the risk of developing joint pain and stiffness and improve overall mobility.

Supports Liver Health

It is an important building block for glutathione, a potent antioxidant that plays a critical role in liver health. Glutathione helps to neutralize toxins and free radicals, protecting the liver from damage and supporting its detoxification processes. In fact, research shows that glycine supplementation can increase levels of glutathione and reduce liver damage caused by alcohol consumption and other toxins.

May Lower Stroke Risk

It has neuroprotective qualities that help to reduce the risk of stroke. Recent studies show that glycine activates NMDA receptors in the brain, reducing calcium influx, which plays a role in stroke prevention. Furthermore, glycine helps to reduce systemic inflammation, which is a significant contributor to stroke risk.

May Improve Glutathione Synthesis

It is a powerful antioxidant that plays a crucial role in the body’s natural defense mechanisms. One of its primary functions is to protect cells from oxidative stress. Glycine is a key component in the synthesis of glutathione. Therefore, consuming glycine-rich foods such as bone broth, seafood, and meats, helps to increase glutathione synthesis in the body.

May Reduce Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that affects a person’s ability to think, feel, and behave correctly. Studies have shown that it helps to reduce the symptoms associated with schizophrenia. Glycine acts as an inhibitor of NMDA receptors in the brain, which helps to counteract the effects of excess glutamate release. Excess glutamate release is one of the main contributors to the development and progression of schizophrenia.

Promotes Weight Loss

If you are struggling to lose weight, then glycine can be your savior! It can boost metabolism, reduce inflammation, and improve insulin sensitivity. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, participants who took 15 grams of glycine for three months experienced significant weight loss and decreased inflammation.

Boosts Immune System

It plays a vital role in the immune system by promoting the growth and production of white blood cells, which are essential for fighting off infections and diseases. As a result, taking glycine supplements may help strengthen your immune system and boost overall health.

Promotes Skin Health

It can do wonders for your skin. It is a crucial component of collagen, which is responsible for healthy, smooth, and youthful-looking skin. Consuming glycine-rich foods or taking a glycine supplement can help promote skin health, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, and improve skin elasticity.

May Improve Sleep Quality

It is a ‘sleep-inducing’ amino acid that shows to promote a deeper, more restorative sleep. It acts by lowering core body temperature, relaxing the mind, and improving the production of the neurotransmitter GABA. Research shows that taking 3g of glycine before bed time can significantly improve subjective measures of sleep quality.

What is glycine?

Side Effects of Glycine 

Glycine is a safe supplement to take orally in amounts, and most people do not experience adverse effects. However, like any supplement, it can cause side effects.

Gastrointestinal Discomfort

While some studies suggest that glycine can help improve digestion, it can also cause gastrointestinal discomfort in some people. Symptoms include diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain. If you experience these symptoms after taking glycine, you may want to lower your dosage or consider an alternate supplement.


It can cause a decrease in blood sugar levels, which can lead to hypoglycemia. This can cause symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, and weakness. If you have diabetes or are taking medication to lower your blood sugar levels, it is important to monitor your blood glucose levels closely when taking glycine.

Increased Risk of Bleeding 

It interferes with blood clotting, which can increase the risk of bleeding. This can be especially problematic for people who are already taking blood-thinning medication. If you are taking medication for blood thinning or have a bleeding disorder, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking glycine.

Renal Failure

It is broken down in the kidneys and excessive use can lead to kidney damage. In rare cases, this can lead to renal failure, which can be life-threatening. If you have kidney disease or are at risk of developing kidney problems, it is important to monitor your glycine intake carefully.

Drug Interactions 

It can interact with certain medications, including antipsychotics, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medication. It can also interact with alcohol and caffeine. If you are taking any medication or have a history of substance abuse, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking glycine.

Potential Risk for Allergic Reactions

Although allergic reactions are rare, they can occur. Some people may experience hives, itching, or swelling in their throat or face after taking glycine supplements. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop using the supplements immediately and talk to your doctor.

Avoid taking this supplement while pregnant or breastfeeding, as there is not enough information on glycine’s side effects on pregnant women. Also, please consult a doctor for approval before adding it to your everyday diet. It may help you avoid or manage potential side effects.

Glycine Dosage

Take glycine with care and as instructed by a physician, especially if you are currently experiencing any medical conditions or taking any other supplements or medications. The recommended dosage for glycine powder is 1,000 mg one to three times per day, depending on individual needs, or as directed by a physician.

Where to Buy Glycine

You can purchase glycine in both powder and capsule form at The company is an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor for pure dietary supplements. is not just a consumer brand. It also supplies pure ingredients to other food and supplement brands to make their products. All products at are manufactured and tested according to current and proper manufacturing practices.

Are you interested in trying glycine as a dietary supplement for mental health, muscle protection, or potential antioxidant properties? Contact to place an order today.



The Bottom Line

Glycine is an incredibly versatile and beneficial nutrient that can support liver health, muscle strength and endurance, cognitive function, sleep, and skin health. Whether you’re an athlete, looking to improve your cognitive performance, or simply looking to support your overall health, adding IT to your diet or supplement routine may be worth considering. As always, talk to your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet or supplement routine.

In conclusion, while glycine is an essential amino acid with many health benefits, it is crucial to be aware of its potential negative side effects. Kidney damage, digestive problems, blood sugar disruption, interference with blood thinners, and allergic reactions are all possible adverse effects. You should always consult your doctor before starting any supplements, and if you experience any negative effects, stop using them immediately. With these precautions in mind, you can enjoy the many benefits of glycine while keeping your health and safety in mind.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Author: BulkSupplements Staff