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2 Key Amino Acids For Anti-Aging & Optimal Health

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Taurine Glycine Longevity Aminos Ftd
Taurine Glycine Longevity Aminos Ftd
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Are glycine and taurine the two most powerful yet neglected amino acids, vital to optimal human health?

Unless you’re a fellow fringe biohacker constantly studying the latest health optimization molecules, you’ve probably only heard of these amino acids as components within collagen, and a key ingredient in energy drinks, respectively.

Although I’m a huge proponent of supplementing the nine essential amino acids, taurine and glycine have some unique benefits that have earned them spots in my daily supplement stack for the last five years.

In this article, I’ll share what you should know about two of the most powerful health-promoting and anti-aging amino acids.

The Two Top “Non-Essential” Amino Acids

Every day for years, I’ve consumed two lesser-known and non-essential amino acids. I also use an essential amino acid supplement, but these two have other unique broad-spectrum benefits.

I’m a huge fan of glycine and taurine because they’re:

  • Safe
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to get
  • Naturally produced in the body

Before moving on from the foundational biohacking supplements to the more fringe designer molecules, I recommend giving those two a shot.

Plus, glycine powder tastes sweet like sugar.

Glycine

Three jars of bone broth which is a top source for glycine
Bone broth is a top source for glycine along with canned fish, collagen, gelatin, & more

Glycine is a lesser-known, conditionally essential amino acid involved in vital biochemical processes throughout your body. If you’ve heard of collagen peptides, nearly 1/3 of it is made up of glycine.

Although your body will produce some glycine automatically, it won’t create enough for you to thrive Share on X

On top of that, today most of us don’t consume foods or drinks rich in glycine.

Supplementation has two-pronged effects:

  • Unique benefits to this molecule
  • Activating the benefits associated with increased collagen synthesis

So, what can it do for you?

Some of the many benefits of glycine include:

  1. Combats inflammaging and promotes a better inflammatory response [R]
  2. Helps remove glucose from the blood
  3. Helps cognitive function (memory, attention)
  4. Inhibitory neuromodulator that contributes to better and more restful sleep and induces feelings of calmness
  5. Dampens glutamate
  6. Athletes use it to improve muscle function, joint health, recovery. Protects muscles against stress (anti-catabolic)
  7. Improves skin health and reduces appearance of wrinkles because it’s an important part of collagen
  8. Enhances glutathione production and detoxification (by affecting conjugate formation)
  9. Improves cytokine response and reduces HbA1c [R]
  10. Improves triglycerides, insulin-like growth factor 1, insulin, and fasting glucose in rats [R]
  11. Reduces food intake
  12. Decreases liver glucose production
  13. Decreases oxidative stress
  14. Decreases cortisol, adrenaline, and other stress hormones
  15. Increases DHT levels
  16. Induces autophagy [R]
  17. Increases synthesis of glutathione, heme, creatine, and bile salts
  18. Extends lifespan in worms, mice, rats as much as 24% [R, R, R]
  19. Neuroprotective and cardioprotective effects.
  20. Helps attenuate age related disease
  21. Mimics methionine restriction (activates AMPK and paradoxically activates mTOR) [R]
  22. Helps reduce homocystine, supports healthy methylation and metabolization of methionine

If we put these into categories…

Exploring the benefits of glycine

Anti-aging. Glycine has a vast array of benefits here. By indirectly improving general health and normalizing key biomarkers, as well as through many of the above bullet points. Plus, it also works on the core hallmarks of aging. Animal studies show that it directly increases lifespan and healthspan.

Glycine improves inflammaging and induces autophagy (acts as a chaperone to protect proteins from damage).

Glycine also acts as the bottleneck for the production of collagen and anti-aging molecules like glutathione [R, R].

Cardiovascular health. It prevents the accumulation of a compound that, in high amounts, scientists have linked to atherosclerosis, the hardening and narrowing of the arteries [R, R, RR]. This amino acid may also improve your body’s ability to use nitric oxide, an important molecule that increases blood flow and lowers blood pressure [R].

In an observational study in over 4,100 people with chest pains, higher levels of glycine were associated with a lower risk of heart disease and heart attacks at a 7.4-year follow-up [R].

Blood building. Interestingly, studies have found that glycine increases insulin response in people without diabetes, suggesting that glycine supplements may improve impaired insulin response in people with type 2 diabetes [RRR].

Glycine helps clear fatty acids from the blood and may increase fat oxidation. It enhances cytokine response and reduces HbA1c [R]. It also improves triglycerides, insulin-like growth factor 1, insulin, and fasting glucose in rats [R].

Athletic performance. Glycine has anti-catabolic (muscle-preserving) properties. In mice with cancer, glycine stimulated muscle growth while other amino acids did not [R, R]. Your body requires glycine to synthesize creatine from dietary sources, an important muscle and strength-building substance [R]. It also slightly drops core body temperature, which is highly associated with increased performance.

Plus, if you use a sodium-containing pre-workout drink, adding 1.5-3 grams of glycine for every gram of sodium will reduce your G.I. distress. Used before exercise, glycine also increases collagen synthesis in joints.

Connective Tissue. Glycine is the main amino acid in collagen, the crucial scaffolding used for joints, tendons, and ligaments. It helps create flexible cartilage, heal injured joints, and prevent loss of mobility and functionality—especially in older people.

Sleep. This amino acid has a calming effect on your brain and could help you fall and stay asleep by lowering your core body temperature [R, R]. Some research suggests it can also enhance sleep quality, reduce daytime fatigue, and indirectly benefit your cognition [R, R]. I use this one nightly and notice that my deep sleep and REM improve. Making it a decent, safe, and non-addictive nootropic sleep aid.

Mood. Glycine is an inhibitory neuromodulator (brain chemical). It dampens brain-stimulating glutamate. You have special glycine receptors in your brains that’re similar to GABA receptors. Overall, this helps calm you down and produce serotonin.

Social confidence. One of my favorite gentle, healthy alcohol alternatives with a nice GABA buzz is a mix of glycine with taurine. These create a similar (albeit weaker) disinhibitive effect, making a great social-life-enhancing stack.

Beauty. This substance enhances natural cellular detoxification and is a backbone of collagen production (heavily involved in beauty and aging). Hair, skin, and nails all stand to benefit from glycine.

Optimal glycine supplementation

Just to match collagen turnover, you need 12 grams per day. Your body naturally produces about 3 grams daily, but that’s diverted to power essential functions like the production of glutathione, heme, and creatine. So you’ll want to consume at least 15 grams.

If you’re getting glycine from food sources, know that 15 grams of gelatin contain about 5 grams of glycine.

How: Top sources include collagen, bone broth, gelatin, canned fish, animal skin and bones and connective tissue, glycine powder.

When: Evening because it blunts stress hormones, promotes sleep, and lowers core temperature.

Dose: 15-36 grams per day, more if you eat non-organic foods because glyphosate depletes. Up to 90g per day has been shown safe in studies [R]

Who: Everyone, especially high low-carb/meat-eaters since those disrupt the methionine/glycine balance.

Best Glycine Powder

Taurine

Beef heart getting cooked in a barbeque
Beef heart, chicken heart, ruminant meat, & shellfish are your taurine-rich food sources

Discovered in 1827 as a component within ox bile, taurine is an amino acid prevalent in important electrically excitable tissue (heart, brain, muscle, eyes). It’s also prevalent in breast milk. Interest didn’t begin to grow until the 1950s, and if you’ve heard of taurine, that’s likely because most energy drink formulas today use it.

Make no mistake, taurine is not stimulating and actually smooths out the high caffeine content within commercial energy drinks Share on X

Taurine’s conditionally essential, meaning that your body automatically generates it. Like glycine, however, you probably don’t get enough taurine. But unlike glycine, taurine contains the important nutrient sulfur.

A lot of the research has used animal models. In fact, domesticated cats eating cat food used to go blind because of taurine deficiency.

What most of it shows is taurine makes animals healthier and live longer.

Most of the human research is epidemiological, yet it’s still striking. Taurine deficiency in humans leads to increased:

  • Fat mass and obesity
  • Higher BMI
  • Greater waist to hip ratio
  • High blood sugar
  • Type II diabetes (T2D)
  • Inflammation
  • Liver damage
  • Cardiovascular disease

Based on the bodily distribution, taurine especially benefits mitochondria-rich tissues. It also increases in response to stressors, highlighting its important role as a bodily protection compound.

Taurine is the mitochondrial amino acid

Some of the top benefits I see recurring throughout the scientific literature include:

  • Bodily organ protection
  • Longevity
  • Relaxation
  • Metabolic enhancement
  • Athletic performance

It’s involved in other bodily functions like maintaining cell hydration, improving fat absorption, and aiding nerve function.

Taurine supplementation benefits

Let’s dig into some of the understood benefits of taurine currently.

As one study concluded [R]…

Taurine may help stabilize biomembranes, scavenge reactive oxygen species, and reduce lipid peroxidation Share on X

Making it useful in many contexts.

Athletic performance. Taurine’s often used in pre-workout drinks because it delays muscular fatigue and improves muscular contraction. It also leads to increased muscle growth, increased energy expenditure, and decreased fat mass. Mice supplemented with taurine burn more energy from same caloric intake.

This review of 19 studies showed that taurine improved VO2 max (aerobic capacity), time to exhaustion, power, strength, metabolic markers, and muscle damage [R]. Other research confirms its usefulness for fitness [R].

Anti-aging. Taurine has become a darling of the anti-aging world. A 2023 paper found that it increases the healthspan and/or lifespan of mice and monkeys. Taurine works on most of the hallmarks of aging.

To counteract aging, it blocks senescence, works on intracellular communication, protects against telomere shortening, and plays a role in nutrient sensing. It also attenuates inflammaging, epigenetic changes, decreases genomic instability, improves loss of proteostasis, improves mitochondrial dysfunction, and fixes stem cell exhaustion [R, R].

It even improves bone mineral density, electrolyte balance, and controls oxidative stress in humans [R].

Cardiovascular health. Taurine helps the heart muscle contract more effectively. Low levels are associated with cardiovascular disease. Supplementation helps cardiovascular performance, stroke volume, and output.

Taurine can improve cardiovascular biomarkers like reducing blood pressure, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.

It even works effectively to prevent/treat congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease [R, R, R].

Blood sugar & diabetes management. There’s enough evidence of its great glucose disposing properties that this deserves its own section. Taurine sensitizes the tissues to insulin and helps control blood sugar.

One study of diabetics showed it improved glucagon activity and glycemic stability, controlled hyperglycemia via advanced glycation end-product (AGE) regulation, enhanced insulin secretion and addressed insulin resistance. Taurine helped protect against conditions associated with diabetes [R]. Overall, it looks like a great metabolic tool [R].

Energy production. Taurine helps improve complex 1 of the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC). By protecting the energy generators of the body, taurine therapy improves mitochondrial function, reduces oxidative stress, and protects against diseases like MELAS, diabetes, and arthritis [R].

Vision & eye health. The retina is your nerve tissue that enables vision. In fact, the retina contains the highest taurine levels of any bodily tissue. Taurine supplementation may slow down the progression of retinal diseases like glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and diabetic retinopathy (DR) by reducing oxidative stress and apoptosis [R, R].

Balances stimulation. Like theanine, taurine plays a well-known role in smoothing out the effects of stimulants (mental, emotional, physical, or chemical). It lessens the cardiovascular, nervous system, and tunnel-vision side effects of stimulants. That’s why energy drink manufacturers often add it.

Repair & regeneration. Although usually thought of as simply the body’s defense against pathogens, your immune system is really the system tasked with repair, regeneration, and rejuvenation. Taurine helps your immune system work better as it promotes healthy inflammation [R]. Aged mice supplementing taurine also show immune cell improvements [R].

Other research suggests it benefits metabolic and inflammatory diseases in humans [R]. Taurine also may improve mesenchymal stem cells in bone and neural stem cell proliferation and differentiation [R, R].

Body composition. Consuming taurine is linked to a lower body mass index (BMI) [R]. Old mice supplementing taurine show improved body weight, fat percentage, and bone strength [R].

Interestingly, it can reduce adipogenesis (the creation of new fat) in white fat tissue [R]. Mice consuming a set number of calories appears to burn more when supplementing taurine too.

Gut health. Taurine helps with bile synthesis, which is great for the gut because bile helps neutralize biofilm (and parasites can hide there). Indeed, one paper explains how “taurine increases long-term resistance to subsequent infection” [R]. Animal models show that this amino can also help reverse “leaky gut” (intestinal permeability) [R].

Brain health. This amino has many effects on the brain. First, it acts as a precursor to dopamine. It’s neuroprotective and blocks the negative effects of some toxins like fluoride, ammonia, pesticides, and herbicides. In mice, it protects against negative drug-induced changes to dopamine and serotonin. Also, taurine decreased pro-inflammatory cytokine concentrations in the brain [R].

This supplement shows promise in neurodegenerative conditions too. A mouse model showed it recovered cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease and protected dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson’s disease [R].

On the performance side, it improves memory and anxiety levels in aged mice [R].

Liver health. Taurine both protects the liver and supports the detoxification of dangerous substances. A rat model showed it does this via increased free radical-scavenging, anti-inflammatory, anti-fibrotic, and hepatoprotective actions [R].

Humans supplementing taurine often notice that liver markers on their blood tests improve Share on X

Mood. Like glycine, taurine puts the brakes on stress. Increased levels of the neuromodulator GABA often lift mood. Plus, taurine alters the mRNA expression of GABAA receptors and promotes a beneficial GABA tone.

Relaxation & anti-stress. Since taurine blocks the HPA axis so it acts as a natural relaxer (anxiolytic). Similar to glycine, taurine reduces social anxiety and nervousness.

Sleep. Taurine helps calm the nervous system, shifts your brain state, and lessens stress. Since taurine raises GABA levels, it can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. As well as aid against insomnia. On days I have too much coffee, a little extra glycine and taurine help me sleep easier.

Male hormones. Stress is a major killer of testosterone and optimal hormone balance. Taurine blunts the HPA axis, lessening that burden. It also helps with testicular health (accumulates in the testes and works as a potent antioxidant) by reducing damage caused by arsenic, nicotine, and cadmium [R, R, R].

A rat study suggested that taurine may increase testosterone up to 180% [R]. A follow up study confirmed that hormones like luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) also increase testosterone [R].

Perhaps most interestingly, however, is…

Substance biosynergy. Taurine works with other things to reduce tolerance, amplify effects, and lower the dose. This study showed that the combo of morphine and taurine did exactly those [R].

Several studies have found that taurine safely and effectively attenuates ketamine-induced schizophrenia-like behavior [R, R].

Taurine also synergizes nicely with caffeine. Increasing your use of fat for fuel and sparing carbohydrates for later.

Optimal Taurine Supplementation

People vary dramatically in their ability to generate taurine. Worse, capacity declines with age too.

The greater your stress levels (allostatic load), likely the higher your need too.

How: Taurine-rich foods include chicken heart, beef heart, other animal heart, tissue/shellfish/ruminant meat, monogastric meat, milk (especially), and dairy. However, the more you cook the food, the lower the levels of taurine.

When: Best used in the evening or pre-workout because it blunts stress hormones and promotes relaxation.

Dose: 3,000 – 6,000mg, ideally once per day (according to animal research, single dosing is more effective than continuous).

Who: Everyone, but especially carnivores, vegans, and vegetarians.

Best Taurine Powder

Outliyr Anti-Aging Amino Acids Protocol

My top picks: Bulk Supplements Taurine Powder and Micro Ingredients Pure Glycine Powder
Choosing glycine and supplement powders allow you to experiment with dosage

So, how do you go about integrating these two aminos into your routine?

While the exact protocol depends on your goals and lifestyle, here are a few of my recommendations.

If you’re not already using a complete essential amino acid supplement, start there. That’s far more impactful for most people.

Those that already consume adequate essential aminos may want to buy glycine and taurine powder in bulk. This brings the cost way down, they last long, and choosing powder over capsules lets you experiment to find your ideal dosage.

I don’t enjoy using either amino in the morning, as they blunt the normal healthy circadian (cortisol) rhythm.

These are the two times I’d consider using them.

Pre-workout (afternoon or evening only). I’ll mix these powders into my homemade pre-workout drink and consume it 45-60 minutes before training.

  • Taurine: 3,000mg
  • Glycine: 12,000mg

Or…

Before bed. Again, I usually add these into an alcohol-free sleep aid concoction I whip up, and drink about 60 minutes before bedtime.

  • Taurine: 4,500mg
  • Glycine: 15,000mg

Based on the research, I either take taurine as a pre-workout or before bed. Usually, I choose to take it before bed instead.

Glycine, on the other hand, I take twice. If I plan to take it as a pre-workout, I’ll half my dosage down to 6,000mg and reduce my pre-sleep dosage down to 10,000.

When I’m taking a collagen peptides supplement, I’ll reduce it even further based on my collagen dosage.

Once again, here are the glycine and taurine powder products I recommend:

Best Glycine Powder
Best Taurine Powder

Longevity Amino Acids Questions & Answers

What are the most relaxing amino acids?

The most relaxing, anxiolytic, and calming amino acids are taurine, glycine, theanine, and beta-alanine. This is because they work on the brain’s inhibitory GABA neurotransmitters, while dampening the activity of stimulating glutamate brain chemicals. The first three especially are a great and healthy way to unwind at the end of a long day.

What is the best amino acid for the elderly?

Leucine is the most important amino acid for older adults because it helps prevent sarcopenia. Although they should consume a mix of all nine essential amino acids, as this works far better than taking leucine by itself. Glycine and taurine are great additions after adequate consumption of those essentials.

Do amino acids make you look younger?

Yes, both directly and indirectly. Certain amino acids like glycine, drive collagen synthesis, improving skin complexion, hydration, tone, radiance, and youthfulness. Glycine also strengthens the skin’s protective barrier. Glycine and taurine also address many of the core hallmarks of biological aging.

Should I supplement collagen or glycine?

If you must decide between using glycine or collagen peptides, I would choose collagen. Since about 1/3 of collagen consists of glycine, you can get a similar dose of glycine by tripling your dosage or glycine. Plus, you get other useful amino acids like proline and hydroxyproline. The major downside is that collagen peptides are far more expensive.

Can either of these amino acids fuel the growth of cancer?

Yes. Just like eating too much protein, carbs, or total calories, excess amino acids can accelerate the growth of certain cancers. So can inadequate sleep, inadequate movement, exposure to environmental chemicals, and many other inevitables of modern living.

Level Up Your Longevity with Glycine & Taurine

Your body primarily consists of water, minerals, and amino acids.

When you’re getting enough EAAs, you’ll probably want to look at your intake of glycine and taurine.

Although you likely haven’t heard of them, scientists actually discovered taurine back in 1827. The research on both aminos grows at an increasingly fast rate.

These two “anti-aging amino acids” play integral roles in the way you look, feel, and perform—at all ages. They also protect the body against the assaults of modern living.

Best of all, they’re cheap, effective, well-researched, naturally produced in the body, and easy to find.

Before you rush off to buy expensive designer molecules, consider these two as foundational.

I’ve used them daily for years, and they’ve become an integral part of my stack. Plus, glycine even tastes like sugar.

Give them a shot and let me know your experience in the comments below!

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Post Tags: Biohacking, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Supplements

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