Glycine Powder: Benefits, Dosage, and Supplements

Your body uses glycine to create proteins, which it needs for tissue maintenance and growth and for making important substances such as enzymes and hormones. This amino acid is naturally produced by your body from other amino acids, can be found in foods that are rich in protein, and is also available as a dietary supplement.

Glycine is the smallest of all the amino acids and is tremendously important for the synthesis of amino acids, RNA/DNA, heme, creatine, glutathione. In addition, it helps your body with the absorption of calcium.

In this guide, we’ll provide an overview of Glycine powder as a supplement before going through the best glycine powder supplements that can be found on the market today.

Benefits of Glycine Powder

Glycine is not also useful to the body as a component of protein. Below, we’ll describe some of the other important benefits of glycine:

Improves Quality of Sleep

Issues with sleep are experienced by many people, whether they have problems falling asleep or staying asleep. There are many ways that you can better the quality of your sleep, such as avoiding screens several hours before going to sleep and not drinking beverages that contain caffeine after a certain time. However, glycine can be of tremendous help in this area as well.

Glycine can help you fall asleep due to the fact that it calms your brain and lowers the temperature of your body.[1] 

Studies[2] have shown that people who have sleep issues and take three grams of glycine before going to bed have less trouble falling and staying asleep. This is because glycine improves cognition, lessens daytime sleepiness, enhances sleep quality, and decreases the time it takes to fall asleep.

Another study[3] that was conducted in Japan examined how glycine affected the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that helps maintain the body’s internal balance also known as homeostasis. The study found that glycine increased REM, or rapid eye movement, during deep sleep.

However, the effect depended on the dose, which means that increased glycine dosages improved sleep patterns when taken before going to bed. This is the reason why this amino acid is a great substitute to sleeping pills. It decreases the tiredness you feel throughout the day while also increasing your quality of sleep at night.  

Produces a Powerful Antioxidant

Your body uses three amino acids to provide glutathione, and glycine is one of them. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that helps your cells to protect themselves against free radicals that cause oxidative damage.[4]

Your body produces less glutathione if it doesn’t have enough glycine, which has a negative impact on how oxidative stress is handled by your body over time. In addition, as you age, your glutathione levels naturally decline, so you need to make sure that as you get older you get enough glycine in order to stay in good health.  

Needed For Collagen

High amounts of glycine are contained in the structural protein collagen. To be more specific, glycine is every third to fourth amino acid that makes up collagen. The most abundant protein in your body is collagen, which provides strength to your ligaments, bones, blood, cartilage, skin, and muscles.

Collagen has been shown to be beneficial in preventing bone loss, relieving joint pain, and improving skin health. To support the production of collagen in your body, you need to make sure that you’re consuming enough glycine.

Protects Your Liver from Damage Induced By Alcohol

You can experience damaging effects to your body if you consume too much alcohol, and this can especially be harmful to your liver. 

Damage induced from alcohol comes in three primary types:

  • The first one is alcoholic cirrhosis, the last phase of alcoholic liver disease, which occurs when damage is caused to cells of the liver, replacing them with scar tissue. 
  • The second one is alcoholic hepatitis, which is caused by excessive and long-term drinking that causes inflammation of the liver. 
  • The third one is fatty liver, which increases the size of your liver as a result of a buildup of excess fat.

Studies[5] have concluded that the damaging effects that alcohol has can be reduced by glycine, which prevents inflammation. The study conducted on animals has shown that it prevents the development of alcoholic cirrhosis and fatty liver by reducing the mass of alcohol in the blood thereby enhancing the metabolism of alcohol in the stomach instead of in the liver.

Even though abstaining from alcohol can reverse moderate damage induced by alcohol, glycine can aid the recovery process.

In a study[6] that was conducted on rats that had alcohol-induced liver damage, a group that was fed a diet that contained glycine had their liver cell health return to baseline 30% faster than the group that wasn’t.

However, you need to keep in mind that these studies regarding glycine’s effects on damage induced by alcohol have been conducted on animals, and there hasn’t been enough evidence of this effect on humans.

Creates Creatine

Your body creates creatine by using three amino acids, and glycine is one of them. Creatine gives your muscles energy to perform short and quick bursts of activity, such as sprinting or weightlifting. Supplementing with creatine while doing resistance training has been shown to increase muscle power, strength, and size.

Creatine has also been shown to be beneficial for neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease, brain function, and bone health. Even though creatine can be obtained through your diet and your body also naturally creates creatine, not getting enough glycine can reduce the amount of creatine that you produce.

Prevents Muscle Loss

A condition that happens as we age is muscle wasting. Muscle strength and mass are reduced as a result of muscle wasting, which can complicate other diseases, as well. Muscle wasting can also happen when your body is under stress, which can be due to severe burns or cancer, as well as malnutrition. Glycine might help with this condition.

There have been studies on glycine as a treatment for muscle wasting, since it enhances muscle building and it inhibits muscle breakdown. However, the effectiveness of leucine for helping muscle growth is impaired by several changes in the body that are consequences of muscle wasting. 

Glycine, on the other hand, looks promising when it comes to protecting your muscles from wasting, though more research is needed on the subject.

Might Help People Who Have Type 2 Diabetes

Low levels of glycine can be caused by Type 2 Diabetes. With Type 2 Diabetes, your body doesn’t respond properly to the insulin it makes or it doesn’t make enough insulin, and it’s characterized by impaired insulin action and secretion.

It’s been pointed out that glycine can help people with Type 2 Diabetes by improving the impaired insulin response, since glycine has been known to increase the insulin response in people without diabetes.[7] A reduced risk of type 2 diabetes has been linked to higher levels of glycine.

If you’re someone that has Type 2 Diabetes, you can reduce your resistance to insulin through exercise, diet, and weight loss. Even though the research that’s been conducted isn’t enough to make any recommendations, people with Type 2 Diabetes may experience benefits from supplementation with glycine.

Protects Your Heart

Glycine helps in protecting you against heart disease, and there’s been an increasing amount of evidence that proves this.

Atherosclerosis, or the narrowing and hardening of the arteries, has been linked with the accumulation of high amounts of a compound which is prevented by glycine. Glycine also improves the ability of the body to use nitric oxide, an important molecule that lowers blood pressure and increases blood flow.

In a study[8] that was conducted with over 4,000 individuals that had chest pain, lower risk of heart attacks and heart diseases at a 7.4 year follow-up were associated with higher levels of glycine. The study also noticed that people who had higher glycine levels had a more favorable blood cholesterol profile than the ones that didn’t.

However, more studies on the effects that glycine has on the heart are needed in order for any recommendations to be made.

Dosage

Due to the fact that this amino acid is made in the body, it’s often called a semi-essential nutrient. However, it’s not produced in sufficient quantities to supply various tissues such as skin, muscle, and bone, with what they need. In order to stay healthy, we need quite a bit of glycine in our bodies.

Roughly 3 grams of glycine are produced by the average person, and they consume 1.5 to 3 grams from foods, which makes the daily intake roughly between 4.5 and 6 grams.

Besides the body producing this amino acid, glycine can also be found in foods that are high in proteins, such as legumes, dairy products, fish, and meat. 

Some good sources of glycine include:

  1. Beans
  2. Eggs
  3. Almonds
  4. Hard cheese
  5. Salmon
  6. Red meats
  7. Pork
  8. Chicken and turkey
  9. Seeds

Research[9] has found that the amount of glycine that humans produce isn’t enough to meet the needs of our body, and that it’s appropriate to take a dietary supplement.

Now that you have a better understanding of glycine and its actual and potential benefits, let’s dive into our discussion of some notable products on the market today.

5 of the Best Glycine Powder Supplements

1. BulkSupplements.com Glycine

BulkSupplements.com is one of the largest distributors of pure supplements, cosmetic ingredients, and foods. Their products are made and packed in an FDA-registered food facility in Henderson, Nevada.

Their products are manufactured in accordance with cGMP standards in order to ensure the highest possible quality for holding and labeling operations, packaging, and manufacturing. In order to ensure consistency, standards, and compliance, a third party tests the equipment, performed procedures, and products when necessary.

The supplement can be used in a variety of ways. You can create your own capsules, mix it with almond milk, water, or juice, or you can add it to a smoothie. It’s recommended that you take 1/3 teaspoon or 1,000 milligrams one to three times a day, or as advised by your health practitioner.

Ingredients: Glycine 1 kg

Pros

  • Produced by a well known company
  • Packaged in an FDA-registered facility
  • Made according to the highest standards

Cons

  • Some customers have complained about its sweet taste

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2. NOW Supplements Glycine Pure Powder

This supplement is created by a US-based family business and has been operating since 1968. NOW has been a leader in the natural products industry that aims to provide services and products that empower people to live a healthier lifestyle.

The product doesn’t contain any preservatives, shellfish, egg, milk, soy, corn, gluten, wheat, yeast, starch, salt, or sugar. The only ingredient in this supplement is glycine. The product is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. The recommended dosage for this dietary supplement is ¼ teaspoon mixed in water, taken one to three times a day.

This pure powder promotes peaceful sleep and also provides support to the nervous system.

Ingredients: Glycine 454 g

Pros

  • Pure powder
  • Created by a family-owned business
  • Doesn’t contain preservatives

Cons

  • Some customers complained that the product doesn’t dissolve well

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3. American-Sourced Micro Ingredients L Glycine Powder

This product prevents muscle breakdown and provides energy for intense workouts. It’s non-GMO, and doesn’t contain any preservatives or additives. It also doesn’t contain gluten, tree nuts, or soy. It should be taken daily between, or with, meals by adding it to a smoothie or shake.

L-Glycine increases recovery and promotes muscle growth. As you age, it helps maintain lean muscle mass. It also plays an important role in the creation of collagen, as well as the promotion, function, and growth of ligaments, tendons, and joints. It also protects and repairs cartilage and joints. L-Glycine is vital for many metabolic and cognitive functions.

Micro Ingredients uses the latest technology to convert raw materials into a pure form of powder without using any additives or flavor.

Ingredients: Glycine 1 kg

Pros

  • Non-GMO
  • Doesn’t contain gluten
  • Doesn’t contain additives

Cons

  • Some customers complained that the recommended dosage is too low

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4. Carlson Glycine Powder

This product helps form proteins which are important for RNA and DNA construction, and promotes energy production.

Carlson, the company that manufactures this supplement, began in 1965, when they helped launch the omega-3 market in North America. Today, it offers more than 200 products that are designed with the unique nutritional needs you have in mind. It’s a company founded by women and is a family-owned business.

An FDA-registered laboratory tests the products that this company manufactures for quality and potency. Many products they’ve created have received awards and certifications from third parties.

The only ingredient used in this powder is glycine. The recommended dosage is one level spoonful a day mixed into liquid or food.

Ingredients: Glycine 100 g

Pros

  • Created by a reputable company
  • Doesn’t contain preservatives
  • Doesn’t contain sweeteners

Cons

  • Users complained of nausea as a side effect

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5. 100% Pure Glycine Powder

The pure organic ingredients in this supplement promote muscle development, healthy joints, cognitive health, and restful sleep. The powder is completely pure, with no sugar, flavors, or additives, and the company doesn’t use any fillers. It’s made in the USA by a group of people in Utah, and the product is lab-verified for potency.

If you’re not satisfied with the product you’ve received, that company that produces the product offers a money-back guarantee without any hassle. The only ingredient in this supplement is glycine. The recommended dosage for the glycine powder as a dietary supplement is 1,000 milligrams, or ¼ of a teaspoon, one to three times a day, or as advised by your health provider. 

The powder should be taken with at least 8 ounces of liquid.

Ingredients: Glycine 907 g

Pros

  • Doesn’t contain sugars
  • Lab-verified potency
  • Has a money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Some customers have complained that it has a sugary taste

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Final Thoughts

You can benefit from more glycine in your daily diet. It can help you with digestion, blood sugar control, brain health, and sleep and mood, among many other benefits. Glycine powder can have a substantial impact on your body’s health. 

References:

[1] Makoto Bannai, Nobuhiro Kawai, New therapeutic strategy for amino acid medicine: glycine improves the quality of sleep, 2012

[2] Wataru Yamadera, Kentaro Inagawa, Shintaro Chiba, Makoto Bannai, Michio Takahashi & Kazuhiko Nakayama, Glycine ingestion improves subjective sleep quality in human volunteers, correlating with polysomnographic changes, 2007

[3] Nobuhiro Kawai, Noriaki Sakai, Masashi Okuro, Sachie Karakawa, Yosuke Tsuneyoshi, Noriko Kawasaki, Tomoko Takeda, Makoto Bannai & Seiji Nishino, The Sleep-Promoting and Hypothermic Effects of Glycine are Mediated by NMDA Receptors in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus, 2014

[4] Ilaria Liguori, Gennaro Russo, Francesco Curcio, Giulia Bulli, Luisa Aran, David Della-Morte, Gaetano Gargiulo, Gianluca Testa, Francesco Cacciatore, Domenico Bonaduce, and Pasquale Abete, Oxidative stress, aging, and diseases, 2018

[5] Y Iimuro 1, B U Bradford, D T Forman, R G Thurman, Glycine prevents alcohol-induced liver injury by decreasing alcohol in the rat stomach, 1996

[6] M Yin, K Ikejima, G E Arteel, V Seabra, B U Bradford, H Kono, I Rusyn, R G Thurman, Glycine accelerates recovery from alcohol-induced liver injury, 1998

[7] Mary C Gannon, Jennifer A Nuttall, Frank Q Nuttall, The metabolic response to ingested glycine, 2002

[8] Yunpeng Ding, MSc, Gard F. T. Svingen, MD, PhD, Eva R. Pedersen, MD, PhD, Jesse F. Gregory, PhD, Per M. Ueland, MD, PhD, Grethe S. Tell, MD, PhD, and Ottar K. Nygård, MD, PhD, Plasma Glycine and Risk of Acute Myocardial Infarction in Patients With Suspected Stable Angina Pectoris, 2015

[9] Enrique Meléndez-Hevia, Patricia De Paz-Lugo, Athel Cornish-Bowden, María Luz Cárdenas, A weak link in metabolism: the metabolic capacity for glycine biosynthesis does not satisfy the need for collagen synthesis, 2009

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