Guanidinoacetic acid as a performance-enhancing agent

Amino Acids. 2016 Aug;48(8):1867-75. doi: 10.1007/s00726-015-2106-y. Epub 2015 Oct 7.


Guanidinoacetic acid (GAA; also known as glycocyamine or guanidinoacetate) is the natural precursor of creatine, and under investigation as a novel dietary agent. It was first identified as a natural compound in humans ~80 years ago. In the 1950s, GAA's use as a therapeutic agent was explored, showing that supplemental GAA improved patient-reported outcomes and work capacity in clinical populations. Recently, a few studies have examined the safety and efficacy of GAA and suggest potential ergogenic benefits for physically active men and women. The purpose of this review is to examine possible applications of GAA supplementation for exercise performance enhancement, safety, and legislation issues.

Keywords: Creatine; Dietary supplement; Ergogenic; Exercise performance; Guanidinoacetic acid; Side effects.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Glycine / adverse effects
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glycine / pharmacokinetics
  • Glycine / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances / adverse effects
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances / pharmacokinetics*
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances / pharmacology*


  • Performance-Enhancing Substances
  • glycocyamine
  • Glycine