L – Glycine

If you’ve ever heard of or taken the workout supplement creatine, known for its ability to stimulate muscle growth, then you have probably heard of L-glycine. This non-essential amino acid is actually one of the three amino acids that combine to create creatine. A non-essential amino acid means that the body can produce it naturally. So who should be supplementing L-glycine, and how can you know if you don’t have enough? Let’s start with a few facts.

5 Quick Facts

  1. L-glycine is an amino acid, aka it is the essential building block for proteins
  2. The body can create L-glycine on its own, which means that it is a non-essential amino acid. In addition, it is present in a large range of foods high in protein
  3. In addition to being a building block for protein, this amino acid also assists in carrying signals to and from the brain
  4. Glycine is actually the smallest and simplest amino acid in the body
  5. The effects of having a deficiency in this amino acid are actually quite serious

What is L-Glycine?

Once again, L-glycine is a non-essential amino acid that the body produces using other chemicals. It is implicated in everything from protein synthesis to brain signals and function. If it is already produced naturally then one might wonder why a person would need to increase the amount in their diet.

Just because the body has the ability to produce it, does not mean that it is always producing enough. Different environmental factors can affect the way the body produces glycine. Due to the fact that this amino acid is necessary for so many different functions of the body, a deficiency can lead to severe repercussions.

Joint Movement

What are the benefits?

L-Glycine & Muscle Function

L-Glycine, when working in tandem with two other amino acids, bond to form creatine, which is extremely beneficial for muscle growth and overall muscle function. Glycine is also one of the main components of collagen, which is present in everything from skin to joints. Glycine is essential for healthy bodily functions, especially when it comes to bones and muscle.

L-Glycine & Brain Function

As previously mentioned, L-glycine is necessary for the transmitting of signals to the brain. These signals maintain healthy brain activity and emotions. If your body has an insufficient supply of glycine brain function and mental health can suffer.

L-Glycine & Digestion

Due to its ability to reduce acid in the stomach, L-glycine is great for protecting against stomach ulcers and aiding in digestion.

L-Glycine & Skin Health

Due to glycine being one of the main components of collagen, it can help to improve the elasticity of skin as well as the outward appearance.

L-Glycine benefits

What are the sources?

Regardless if you’re a vegetarian or a meat eater, there are plenty of ways to get more glycine in your diet. Some sources include:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Dairy
  • Banana
  • Pumpkin
  • Kale
  • Spinach

L Glycine Sources

If these foods aren’t regular staples of your diet, or you simply want to make sure you’re getting the right, pre-measured amount, supplements can help.

Easy Recipes

Looking to boost your collagen levels and also keep warm and cozy this winter? Well, then bone broth is definitely the recipe for you. There are many of these all around the internet, but here’s our favorite we’ve found so far.

Bone Broth Recipe

  • 4 pounds beef bones
  • 2 medium unpeeled carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium leek, end trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 garlic head, halved crosswise
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Special equipment:

  • 6-quart (or larger) stockpot or a large slow cooker

Here is the basic list of what you’ll need to create your broth. Note that this recipe does take several hours as the broth has to simmer in the crockpot before it can be consumed. Check out the full details and all of the preparation instructions on Epicurious!

Bone Broth

What is the recommended intake?

The dosage of Glycine varies based on the form of the amino acid that you are taking and the condition that you are taking it for. Consult a physician or do your own research to determine the amount that is right for you. Follow the link to read more on WebMD!

L-Glycine dosage

Symptoms of Deficiency

An insufficient amount of glycine in the body can impede muscle development and lead to worsened mobility. It can also continue to poor mental health as signals to the brain are hindered in delivery.

Concerns / Interactions

There are not a lot of other drugs that interact with glycine, as it is already heavily present in the body. However, if you are being medicated with the drug Clozapine for schizophrenia, you should likely avoid supplementing additional glycine. In addition, those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid the use of glycine supplementation. More information can be found on WebMD!

L-Glycine Warnings


L-glycine is a necessary part of countless bodily functions, and occasionally can be used to improve various conditions. Its ability to benefit mental health as well as physical health are enough to make it at the least, a necessary staple of every diet.

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