Whilst glycine is the simplest amino acid found in our body, it is also one of the most crucial because it synthesises proteins. To put it simply, we are unable to live without it. Although it is found in many of the foods we eat, more often than not, we still do not get as much as we need. In this blog, Human Performance Hub explores whether glycine is good for building muscle and why athletes use glycine as a supplement.
So, is glycine good for building muscle? Yes. Glycine is fantastic for building muscle because it synthesises proteins and plays a vital role in the creation of creatine and collagen. Both of these lead to an increase in growth hormone release which ultimately builds muscle.
Keep reading to find out more about how glycine builds muscle and why athletes use glycine to improve physical performance.
Does Glycine Build Muscle?
Yes. Glycine is a huge contributor to muscle growth because it plays a vital part in the creation of creatine and collagen, both of which provide strength for your muscles. Studies show that a high dose of glycine intake can cause an increase in growth hormone release. This post-workout boost can help stimulate protein synthesis, build muscle and promote faster recovery.
As a non-essential amino acid produced by the body, glycine synthesises proteins and plays a crucial role in the creation of:
Glycine is one of three amino acids that your body uses to make a compound called creatine. Creatine provides your muscles with energy to perform quick, short bursts of activity, such as weightlifting and sprinting. On top of this, when creatine is combined with resistance training, studies show that it increases muscle size, strength and power. Bodybuilders use creatine supplementation to gain both muscle strength and mass.
Collagen is a structural protein containing high amounts of glycine. In fact, every third to fourth amino acid in collagen is glycine. As the most abundant protein found in your body, collagen provides strength for your muscles, skin, cartilage, blood, bones and ligaments.
Supplementing with collagen has even been shown to benefit skin health, relieve joint pain and prevent bone loss. As a result, it is crucial that you get enough glycine to support your body’s production of collagen.
Why Do Athletes Use Glycine?
Athletes can gain a competitive edge by supplementing with glycine in the following ways:
Glycine has been proven to help with muscle gain. Experiments show that taking a single bolus with a high dose (22.5 grams) of glycine causes a 60% surge in growth hormone release from the pituitary gland in under five minutes. This rapid growth hormone boost post-workout helps build muscle and promote recovery whilst stimulating protein synthesis. Even smaller doses of four, eight and twelve grams will increase serum levels of growth hormones.
When it comes to anaerobic performance, glycine has not been studied much. However, a supplemental form of glycine known as glycine-propionyl-L-carnitine has been shown to enhance peak power production and reduce lactate build during repeated, high-intensity sprints when taken 90 minutes pre-workout.
Glycine and green tea have been proven to be effective in recovery after injury. The combination may even get you back on the track or field sooner than you had planned. Interestingly, a study was conducted using mice with achilles tendinitis. The mice who were given a glycine and green tea cocktail had greater tissue recovery, more collagen synthesis and lower inflammation.
Therefore, it is clear that the combination of these two supplements produce a faster and more salient remodelling process after injury.
More Benefits Of Glycine
Here is a list of some of the many other benefits of taking glycine supplements:
- Improves sleep
- Boosts metabolism
- Improves heart health
- Brain food
- Lowers inflammation
To read more about these benefits, take a look at our blog on The Top 7 Benefits Of Glycine Powder.
How Much Glycine Should I Take To Build Muscle?
While technically “non-essential,” the amounts of glycine we synthesise, plus dietary glycine, may fall short of the amount we need for optimal metabolic function. For all of the necessary metabolic functions to occur, we need 15 grams of glycine, however we only produce around 2.5 grams per day. This leaves another 12 grams of glycine intake needed to function at our best. Studies indicate that other sources, like dietary glycine do not meet this need.
This is where our glycine powder at Human Performance Hub comes in. We recommend that you consume 3 grams (approximately 1/2 teaspoon) with water or any other beverage per day or as directed by your health care practitioner.
How Do I Take Glycine?
Glycine is readily available as a dietary supplement in capsule or powder form. If you do not like taking pills, the powder form dissolves easily in water and has a sweet taste.
Fun fact – the name glycine is derived from the Greek word for ‘sweet’ (glykys) because of its sweet taste.
Since glycine is so sweet tasting, it is easy to incorporate into your diet by adding it to:
- Coffee and tea
- Protein shakes
Is It Safe To Take Glycine?
As with any supplements, glycine is safe to consume in appropriate amounts. Studies have used up to 90 grams of glycine per day over several weeks without serious side effects. For comparison, the standard dose used in studies is about 3-5 grams per day.
How Much Glycine Should You Take Per Day?
Start with 1 scoop of glycine powder mixed with water and taken after your evening meal. This dosage can then be increased to a maximum of 30g if you do not see any benefit from a single scoop, remember to monitor the effects and response you get from taking the supplement.
Always talk to a qualified practitioner if you need further specific advice for your health.
Glycine Powder at Human Performance Hub
Whether you’re looking to improve your physical performance by building and strengthening your muscles or you’re simply looking to improve your sleep, we have something for everyone’s needs.
Take a look at our range online today, or get in touch with us for tailored advice.