After bringing together a list of supplements to buy for my next stack, I came across Glycine. A mostly un-talked about amino acid which got me thinking about its role and how I would benefit from it. I think the research speaks for itself, and Glycine will be now first in my ‘basket’ when doing my monthly supplement shop!
Glycine is the simplest amino acid found in the body. It is a non essential amino acid and is found in many dietary foods especially those high in protein such as meat, fish, milk and eggs.
The main function of Glycine is to act as the precursor to proteins. It is the smallest of the protein building aminos and is the building block of many natural products including that of muscle and other tissues within the body.
So if it’s so abundant and non essential through diet why supplement it?
Well it has been shown to increase the absorption of key nutrients.
By combining carbohydrates and glycine there has been shown to be a greater use of glucose for energy before, during and after exercise resulting in improved lean growth and recovery. This is thought to be due to greater glucose uptake due to an increase in insulin sensitivity when combined with Glycine. Not only this but it has also been shown to improve the uptake of creatine in the body resulting in greater gains in strength and size associated with the use of creatine.
Using Glycine around a workout could be of great use.
There’s more as well.
Glycine is essential to the digestive system and is essential in order to keep it healthy and functioning normally. It helps in the synthesis of bile within the digestive system which is used to digest fats.
It is shown to regulate blood sugar levels so is useful to those suffering from low energy and fatigue from day to day. However it is particularly useful for those with hypoglycaemia and anaemia whose symptoms are characterized by low energy and fatigue.
Glycine is also an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and has been shown to help improve sleep quality when taken before bedtime so is useful for those who struggle to get a good quality of sleep throughout the night.
Finally it’s not yet proven and the studies are only in preliminary stages but Glycine is thought to be a potential treatment for cancer by helping to prevent the development of cancerous cells leading to tumours.
So as we can see Glycine, the simplest amino of them all has a few tricks up its sleeve and can be very useful when supplemented.