What is Glycine & How Can It Help You?

Athletes and bodybuilders take glycine as a dietary supplement to support their bodies, but what is glycine, and how does it work? How can it help your body? 

First, it’s a nonessential amino acid responsible for the body’s ability to develop collagen. The amino acid is present in bones, cartilage, ligaments, skin, and muscles. Glycine produces 35% of the collagen found in your body, which means it plays an essential role in retaining its structure and performing everyday functions. Before starting a glycine supplement or any new supplement, talk to your physician about it first. 

History of Glycine

Researchers have studied glycine and its effects on the body for decades. French chemist H. Braconnot discovered the nonessential amino acid in 1820 by isolating glycine from acid hydrolysates of protein — superior protein quality. Glycine tastes sweet like glucose, so the name derives from the Greek word “glyks” because of its sweet characteristic. (x) In 2009, NASA found glycine inside a comet, suggesting that the fundamental elements of life as we know it here on Earth are also prevalent in space. (x)

Apart from its role in helping support the body’s bones and ligaments, glycine is also essential for cognitive development and muscular functions and helps transport nutrients that the body converts into energy (x). Like some amino acids, glycine is nonessential, meaning the body can create it naturally. You can get the amino acid by consuming foods that contain high levels of protein. (x)

What Are Amino Acids?

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and help the body receive the nutrients and essential reactions it needs to continue everyday life (x). Proteins work as building blocks for the structure, function, and regulation of the tissues and organs in your body. (x) In their digested state, proteins turn into amino acids. The amino acid’s order determines the protein’s makeup and, ultimately, its function. (x) Both proteins and amino acids are the building blocks of life. 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 is Glycine?

Medically deemed necessary, glycine is a vital nonessential amino acid found in humans, animals and mammals. (x) Research states that glycine may help treat or ease symptoms for various conditions and diseases in its supplemental form. Studies suggest that as a dietary supplement with proper dosage, glycine may benefit patients suffering from heart disease, inflammatory diseases, obesity, types of cancer and diabetes(x) As a protein component, glycine carries many of the same benefits that protein has on the body.

Where is Glycine Found?

Found in the central nervous system and stored in the spinal cord, brain stem and retina (layer back of the eyeball), glycine works as a neurotransmitter, acting as a catalyst in many of your body’s daily functions dealing with nerves and muscles of the central nervous system. Medically deemed the simplest amino acid that works with hydrogen as a side chain. (x)

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:

What is Glycine Used for?

Why should you take glycine powder? There are many benefits. According to some studies, the protein-rich amino acid may help protect muscle, promote liver health, and potentially work as an excellent sleep aid. The best thing about it? Glycine powder promotes healthy bodily functions naturally. If you’re struggling with muscle-related issues or suffering from insomnia or liver complications, glycine might be the right supplement for you.

However, before taking glycine, consult a physician to make sure the supplement fits into your everyday diet. Side effects for glycine vary per person, so it’s essential to pay attention to supplement doses and instructions.

Benefits of Taking Glycine?

As mentioned, glycine 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. Some benefits include: 

  1. Enhance Your Sense of Well-Being 

Studies show that many people use glycine for mental health, sleep and anxiety(x) In a study testing glycine effects on daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and insomnia, glycine appeared to improve the subjects’ sleep quality. (x) Glycine may also fight oxidative stress, which can cause an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body. (x) Although these studies suggest, it may help with sleep and anxiety, always consult with your physician before adding this supplement and any other to your daily routine.

  1. Antioxidant Properties

Glycine works as an antioxidant to help the body produce glutathione, which helps protect the body’s cells against free radicals that cause oxidative damage (x). Free radicals are molecules with one or more unpaired electrons, meaning they are unstable. Because they are volatile, they can readily bond with other molecules, which may cause damage and disease.

However, even though they can have adverse side effects, free radicals are a natural part of the body. Things like radiation, toxins and tobacco smoke increase free radicals, but your body also makes them naturally in the process that converts fat into energy. (x)

  1. Increases Muscle Protection

Research also suggests that glycine may help reduce muscle wasting, which occurs when large scales of muscle mass and body strength decrease. Glycine may successfully boost muscle growth and stop muscle breakdown. It works with leucine, which is an amino acid required to treat muscle waste. However, studies show that glycine may stimulate muscle growth where leucine cannot. For example, this is often the case in severe diseases such as cancer (x).

What is glycine?

What Does Glycine Do in the Body? 

Glycine is the starting point for several metabolites — necessary for metabolism — occurring in the body, including glutathione and creatine. (x) Glycine works as a neurotransmitter and additionally works as an anti-inflammatory agent, antioxidant and modulator of the immune system in the peripheral and nervous tissues. 


Neurotransmitters stimulate and inhibit brain cells. (x) They handle cognition, mood, appetite, digestion, immune function, pain perception and sleep. Glycine works as a neurotransmitter, which affects your body to improve its overall daily function.

Glutathione Production 

Glycine restores glutathione and helps protect against oxidative stress. One study that tested the diet of sucrose-fed rats suggested that glycine rectifies vascular reactivity by increasing the biosynthesis of glutathione. Glutathione also protects vascular tissue against oxidative stress, which ultimately helps maintain overall health. (x)

What is Glutathione?

Glutathione is a tripeptide (x) that contains cysteine, glycine and glutamic acid (x) and enhances citrulline. It is an antioxidant that helps promote a healthy metabolism in your body by working with neurotransmitters, storing cysteine, and enhancing citrulline. (x)

Component of Creatine

Glutathione is a creatine component and works as an antioxidant in plants, animals, fungi and some bacteria. Glutathione is an amino acid composed of cysteine, glutamic acid and glycine. Together, the amino acids create a detoxifying agent. (x)

A scientific study showed the potential therapeutic results of treating liver disease through oral administration of glutathione. Twenty-nine out of 34 patients completed the study. Those that completed underwent four months of glutathione with positive results. (x)

What is Creatine?

Creatine is a chemical in the body found mostly in the muscles, but it is also present in the brain (x). Research suggests that creatine may help improve exercise performance and increase muscle mass. It plays a natural role in energy storage and as a supplement, it may benefit deficiencies relating to the brain, aging or bone density. It may also aid in reducing inflammation and promoting healthy brain function. 

Research proves the more creatine absorbed in your body, the more significant improvement in sports or physical exercise, focusing mainly on reducing fatigue. The supplement helps conserve the ability of the muscle to perform the required speed and power. (x)

Collagen Production

Collagen is a structural protein made up of several amino acids. It provides structural support to the connective tissues that exist outside the cells in the body. In a study that tested collagen peptide supplementation in resistance training, researchers found that collagen may create high amounts of arginine and glycine, essential in creatine production in the body. (x)

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.

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. They include: (x)

  • Stomach upset
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

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.

The Bottom Line

Glycine is a nonessential amino acid that helps promote essential immune functions in the body. It handles the body’s ability to develop collagen, present in bones, cartilage, ligaments, skin and muscles. The medical field considers glycine a vital nonessential amino acid found in humans, animals and mammals. 

Studies show that you can use glycine for your well-being, sleep, and anxiety. (x) Glycine works as a natural neurotransmitter and additionally works as an anti-inflammatory agent, antioxidant, and modulator of the immune system in the peripheral and nervous tissues. This function aims to help the body fight inflammation and break down potentially harmful substances in the body.

Natural glycine in the body restores glutathione and helps protect against oxidative stress, which may help ease stress-related disorders. According to studies, the protein-rich amino acid can also help protect muscle, promote liver health, and function as a potentially successful sleep aid.

Remember to take the glycine supplement with care and as instructed by a physician, especially if you are currently experiencing any medical conditions or taking any other medications or supplements. 

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should refrain from taking glycine, as there is not enough evidence to conclude the supplement would or would not harm the infant or the mother and the developing child. 

Before adding any supplementation to your diet, consult a doctor to ensure the supplement is right for you. Glycine is safe in recommended doses, but it can cause side effects.

If you need a supplement to aid in reducing inflammation, muscle wear or suffering from collagen production, glycine may be the right supplement for you.

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