Introducing Chris Masterjohn Lite

GABA and glycine supplements should both have a calming effect, helping to reduce anxiety and make you sleep better.

But some people have asked me, what if they do the opposite? What if they cause anxiety and wake you up at night? Tune in for my answer.

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Here are links to things mentioned in the episode:

Testing Nutritional Status, The Ultimate Cheat Sheet is at (use the code LITE5 to get $5 off)

The specific comment addressed in this episode:

For *many* resources on glycine:

On GABA, 5 Ways to Help With Glutamate Sensitivity and Glutamate Dominance:

3 Ways to Get Enough Potassium:

The Best Way to Supplement With Potassium:

How to Manage Your Magnesium Status:

How to Manage Your Thiamin (Vitamin B1) Status:

How to Manage Your Vitamin B6 Status:  

Why You Should Be Careful With Niacin and Nicotinamide Riboside:

DON’T Use Niacin to Buffer Excess Methyl Groups:

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  1. Chris I really need your advice no one seems to be able to help me. I’ve been to all of the nutritionists neurologists and bariatric doctors. I had a roux en y bypass in 2003 I developed nesidioblastosis of the islet cells of my pancreas. I had a surgery to connect my remnant stomach to my small intestine. It has a small opening so liquids like nutritional drinks can go through it though regular food doesn’t. It goes to my other stomach. I am always forcing myself to exercise. I took GABA for sleep and had to fast walk and slow jog for a mile and a half and I only took about have of a dropper of it. I was wide awake for the past 4 night couldn’t sleep. What nutritional support would you recommend. I feel like your my savior by listening to this video. My system is compromised but all the drs tell me to take vitamins and I can barely get up in the morning I’m exhausted. Please help!!
    Thank You,
    Joy Rice

  2. I think you greatly simplify the function and role of NMDA receptors of which there are numerous subgroups.
    Glycine supplementation could potentially increase extracellular glycine levels leading to an amplification of the transduction of some NMDA subgroups.
    NMDA receptors even have peripheral functions – mediating the vasodilation caused by alcohol.

  3. Thanks for that video answer, Chris!

    It begins to form a picture of why so many substances work the opposite way for me as they do for most people. Also why stimulants like coffee are sometimes energizing and sometimes make me sleep really super well.

    I am interested to try a small experiment with afternoon glycine in my coffee and see what happens. Sometimes coffee in the afternoon produces super excellent naps that feel as restful as a full night of sleep. I am curious if it is the combo of niacin from my coffee plus the little boost of metabolic energy from caffeine that creates excellent rest for me, and how an inhibitory substance will interact in the mix.

    And then onto figuring out if there are take-aways I can use to improve night time sleep, which is already pretty good. Inositol has been transformative for improving everything including sleep, but has to be taken early in the day. I have tried lower protein and it also wakes me up.

  4. Thank you for your amazing videos, appreciate it!
    I started using Glycine for improving sleep one week ago and it worked for about 3 nights, although it caused slight brain fog and gave me a bit of a weird feeling. When I took 4g on Monday evening it caused me to have a severe anxiety attack, which lasted for about 24 hours (I have never had problems with severe anxiety before). It was worst before falling asleep 5 hours later in the morning, but I still felt very nervous and tense the next day.
    One day later I felt fine again, but did the mistake of using it again in the evening (2g), as I could not believe the Glycine to be the culprit, as it is found in almost every kind of food. Again, it immediately gave me severe anxiety lasting for more than 24 hours. This was two days ago and today I feel much better than yesterday, but feel unusually anxious, slightly dissociated and don’t have any appetite. Also I feel like this worsens whenever I eat. I feel very worried about my (neurological) health right now, as I could not find any explanation for this horror on the internet except for two or three people reporting increased anxiety after using it for a few days. Do you think that low chloride could be the problem? I’m usually eating healthy and take B vitamins once in a while. Also, I was sweating a lot for a few days (maybe due to an infection) BEFORE starting the Glycine. Could it be that this caused my chloride to drop? Also, what can I do to increase chloride and improve my condition?
    Thank you in advance!

    1. I am having a similar reaction to Glycine. I am glad to find someone validate my experience.
      I was glad I was able to get a such a deep sleep and able to function at superhuman level. But Now it is deteriorating my daily life.
      Will stop doing it ASAP.

  5. Very interesting! I’ve often found that 5g of glycine at night keeps me up similar to having an evening coffee.

    What are you thoughts about glycine stimulating the NMDA receptor similar to glutamate? Could this be a reason for its potential excitatory properties? I may be misunderstanding this. From Wikipedia:
    “Glycine is a required co-agonist along with glutamate for NMDA receptors. In contrast to the inhibitory role of glycine in the spinal cord, this behaviour is facilitated at the (NMDA) glutamatergic receptors which are excitatory.”


    1. This paragraph isn’t very accurate.

      First, glycine does not act as a neurotransmitter in this fashion. This is due to ambient glycine, meaning the constant steady supply of extracellular glycine, rather than acute glycine release at a synapse.

      Second, NMDA receptors are excitatory, but they are not the primary excitatory receptors. They are used mainly for “coincidence detection” to reinforce pathways that are judged to be important, connect pathways that go together (i.e. in memory formation) or degrade pathways that are unimportant.

      Third, glycine is not the main co-agonist, D-serine is. D-serine is the coagonist for strengthening pathways and glycine is the coagonist for degrading pathways that are not as important.

      Finally, these are absolutely not going to antagonize the inhibitory effects of glycine because they are in very unrelated pathways. Glycine is inhibitory in key homeostatic centers that regulate basic things like breathing rate and body temperature. If you feel amped up it’s going to be by affecting those, not by helping you degrade useless memories in your hippocampus.

  6. I tend to react badly to glycine and collagen (rage, anxiety, depression, brain fog), but don’t think I have issues with energy metabolism.

    Since glycine is also known to increase glutamatergic neurotransmission and has potential in treating NMDA receptor hypofunction (1), I thought I was just reacting badly to this excitatory aspect of glycine. But it’s beyond my comprehension really.

    (1) Plasma glycine and serine levels in schizophrenia compared to normal controls and major depression: relation to negative symptoms (DOI: 10.1017/S1461145703003900)

  7. Interesting. On my last 2 labs I was slightly below range for chloride. Would low chloride by itself cause my numerous night awakenings? If I fall back to sleep in a few minutes, the waking up doesn’t effect my energy the next day.

        1. It’s not the first thing I’d look for, but yes, iron overload causes oxidative stress and oxidative stress impairs energy metabolism.

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