L-Tyrosine is a popular supplement among the self-optimizing crowd looking to boost their physical and mental performance.
But what does L-Tyrosine actually do? What’s the difference between L-Tyrosine and N-acetyl L-Tyrosine?
We tell you everything you need to know about this amino acid.
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What is L-Tyrosine?
L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that your body produces naturally in order to make important hormones and neurotransmitters such as:
- Dopamine: The feel-good hormone which regulates the pleasure and reward centres of the brain
- Noradrenaline and adrenaline: The fight-or-flight hormones which prepare the body to fight against stressful situations
- Thyroid hormones: The body combines L-Tyrosine and iodine to make thyroid hormones which help to regulate metabolism
What is the best food source of L-Tyrosine?
Your body naturally produces L-Tyrosine from another amino acid called phenylalanine. You can also obtain it from your diet by eating a variety of L-Tyrosine-rich foods such as:
What is N-acetyl L-Tyrosine?
N-acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NALT) is a form of L-Tyrosine believed to have better absorption and higher efficacy.
Much of the research conducted on N-acetyl-L-Tyrosine has been done using an intravenous form. Studies on the metabolism and bioavailability of supplemental N-acetyl-L-Tyrosine is still ongoing.
What are the health benefits of L-Tyrosine?
L-Tyrosine has been used to boost cognition, mood, and support stress levels — especially during stressful events.
As a precursor to some very important neurotransmitters such as dopamine, noradrenaline, and adrenaline, L-Tyrosine plays a central role in mental health, brain function, behavior and stress response.
L-Tyrosine improves cognitive function under stress
L-Tyrosine is often regarded as a nootropic — a class of compounds that enhance cognition.
Supplemental L-Tyrosine is thought to improve cognitive function by offsetting dopamine and norepinephrine depletion during physically or mentally demanding events.
Studies suggest that L-Tyrosine supplementation is beneficial for enhancing memory, attention, reaction time, and mood under stressful conditions.
Here’s some clinical research linking L-Tyrosine with superior mental function in stressful situations:
L-Tyrosine supports cognitive performance during extended wakefulness
One double-blind placebo-controlled study where half of the subjects received 150 mg L-Tyrosine, concluded that L-Tyrosine supplementation was responsible for a significant improvement of the usual performance decline associated with sleep deprivation.
L-Tyrosine reverses cold-induced cognitive impairment
Acute exposure to cold stress has been shown to impair short-term memory, also known as working memory. Studies have shown that L-Tyrosine supplementation benefits cognitive and psychomotor performance in cold temperatures. In another study, administration of L-Tyrosine significantly improved cold-induced working memory deficit in participants.
L-Tyrosine reduces effects of stress during harsh military training
L-Tyrosine has also been studied as an aid to counteracting stress-related performance deterioration during military and combat training. In another study, L-Tyrosine supplementation was shown to improve cognitive performance and reduce blood pressure in cadets after one week of demanding military combat training.
L-Tyrosine promotes cognitive flexibility
In one double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, supplementation with L-Tyrosine was shown to facilitate cognitive flexibility among participants, when compared to a neutral placebo. In another study, L-Tyrosine improved working memory in a multitasking environment — concluding that L-Tyrosine is useful in improving cognitive performance in situations that might otherwise be compromised by stress.
More research is needed to determine the correlation between L-Tyrosine with superior mental function in general.
Will L-Tyrosine help me lose weight?
As a precursor to neurotransmitters that control metabolism, it is possible that L-Tyrosine supports weight loss, although more clinical research is required. L-Tyrosine is often taken combined with other ingredients in protein and pre-workout supplements that claim to help you lose weight.
In one trial, a supplement containing L-Tyrosine, green tea extract, and caffeine was administered to obese adults over 8 weeks. The study concluded that the supplement achieved superior results than the placebo in decreasing overall body fat mass. However, it is also possible that the other active ingredients within the supplement were responsible for the weight loss.
Taking L-Tyrosine for weight loss? Our Nutrition Experts encourage you to stick to a regular exercise routine when taking L-Tyrosine for optimal weight loss results. If you are looking to burn fat, our Nutrition Experts suggest eating a varied diet with good fats such as avocados and nuts, whole carbohydrates, lean proteins and plenty of fruits and vegetables to help you feel fuller longer.
How much L-Tyrosine should I take?
Studies recommend taking L-Tyrosine in 3 month cycles, in daily doses of 500-2000mg. Our capsules contain 500mg of L-Tyrosine per pill which is both a safe and functional dose.
What is the best time of day to take L-Tyrosine?
Not sure when to take L-Tyrosine? You are not alone. Currently, there are no conclusive scientific studies that determine the best time to take L-Tyrosine.
Our Nutrition Experts recommend taking L-Tyrosine in the morning with breakfast. If you are taking L-Tyrosine for mental performance, research suggests that taking it right before a stressful task may be helpful.
Where can I buy L-Tyrosine?
L-Tyrosine is widely available in health stores or online. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t monitor the supplement industry, so you need to be vigilant about finding a high-quality supplier. Adding impure ingredients like heavy metals to vitamins is (unfortunately) far more common than you may think.
At hundred, we keep it transparent by performing quality control checks throughout the supply chain, and we screen all our vitamins such as CLA and Astaxanthin for toxins and heavy metals to ensure purity and safety.
What are the side effects associated with L-Tyrosine?
L-Tyrosine is generally safe and side effects are rare. Some people may experience headache, nausea, fatigue, or heartburn. L-Tyrosine is not recommended for people on medication for Parkinson’s disease or thyroid disease since it may interfere with the effectiveness of these drugs. Our 5-minute quiz pre-screens all your medications for you. If you have any concerns, consult your doctor before taking L-Tyrosine.
The bottom line
Interested in giving L-Tyrosine a try? We use the most bioavailable N-acetyl form of L-Tyrosine, so you get the most out of every capsule. Our formula is 100% vegan, GMO-free and made in Germany according to strict European quality standards.
Take our 5-minute quiz to discover if L-Tyrosine is right for you, and we’ll pair you with your very own Nutrition Expert for free.