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Supplements

What is L-Tyrosine?

L-Tyrosine is a naturally occurring amino acid.  This non-essential amino acid is important for the production of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine.  It is formed by phenylalanine in the body.  Tyrosine is also a pigment imparting agent for your skin.  You may find traces of tyrosine in dietary sources such as dairy products; like yogurt, milk and cheese, lean proteins; such as poultry, whole grain oats, eggs, and fish.

Tyrosine can be effective in promoting strong muscles.  Not only that, it can reduce mood disorders, depression, Parkinson’s disease, and even Alzheimer’s in some cases.

L-Tyrosine Benefits

Your body uses l-tyrosine in order to create the chemical messengers that are important for proper alertness and focus.  When your mind and focus is sharp, you’re able to have better control over your emotions (and actions).  Some studies have even found that tyrosine, when taken regularly, may increase memory and awareness.

If your l-tyrosine levels fall too low, it can lead to damage to your some organs, specifically to your liver.  L-tyrosine is mostly beneficial for depression and mood disorders, as mentioned above.  Some have mentioned a slight sedative effect when supplementing with l-tyrosine.  Improvements in mood have been reported when taking l-tyrosine during high, stressful situations such as due to prolonged work, loss of a loved one, family death, etc.  It can be useful during stress from feeling fatigued or mentally drained. Aside from the mental benefits, l-tyrosine may also be beneficial for weight loss and sports performance as well.  Below are some of the effects and benefits from this amino acid:

☐ Relief from depression, mental fatigue, anxiety

☐ Improvement in intensity during workouts and training

☐ Improves focus

☐ Relieving stressed caused from lifestyle situations

☐ Helps prevent overtraining

☐ May help with weight loss goals

☐ Improves memory

what is tyrosine

L-Tyrosine & Antidepressants

Antidepressants are divided into SSRI and SNRI, however, they both deal with the neurotransmitters.  Depression occurs when the chemicals in your brain (neurotransmitters) become unbalanced.  The purpose of an antidepressant is to help realign and balance these neurotransmitters to relieve the symptoms of depression.  Both, an SSRI and an SNRI both affect the absorption of serotonin, but the difference is that an SNRI also affects the norepinephrine levels in your brain.  L-tyrosine may help to restore these neurotransmitters back to healthy levels.

If you choose to supplement with L-Tyrosine, your brain will be increasing the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine, as mentioned above.  This may help with withdrawal from antidepressants, and although maybe what your brain needs, it’s still advised to supplement with caution.  Amino acids can be used for enhancing effects of an already diagnosed antidepressant, or to help you prevent withdrawals if you’re getting off of an antidepressant. If you have a history of anxiety, you should be more cautious.

Taking too much of a dose at once may make you feel more agitated, fidgety, or “hyped up.”  If you’re already taking an antidepressant that has been properly prescribed to you, and you wish to take an amino acid alongside with it, it is advised that you take one 4-6 hours before the other so that they each have their chance to work individually.  It’s also preferred that you take your amino acid on an empty stomach, or just about, otherwise it’ll be in a competition with the other natural occurring amino acids you get daily through your dietary protein.

what is l tyrosine

Take Home Message

L-Tyrosine may be suitable for anyone who engages in long-term physical training and exercising.  In order to perform and recover correctly, your body needs the proper nutrients.  As a supplementation, it is recommended to take between .5-1 gram once or twice a day.  Try the smallest dose possible, to prevent any negative side effects before increasing the dosage.  Of course, always consult with your doctor and/or nutritionist prior to any supplementations.  It’s most important to go slow and use the smallest dosage.  Getting off of an antidepressant can be difficult, but amino acids and good nutrition can most certainly help in the most beneficial ways.

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

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Casey Walker

Casey Walker

Experienced Sports Nutrition Technologist

Casey Walker is an experienced sports nutrition new product development technologist. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Sports and Exercise Science and a Master of Science in Sports Sciences and Physiology. Casey’s scientific research area of expertise lies in the effects of dietary nitrates on sprint performance and exercise-induced muscle damage. He has also worked as a sports scientist for a medal-winning Paralympic track cyclist, with a goal of qualifying for the Rio 2016 Paralympics. Find out more about Casey’s experience here: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/casey-walker-9882088b. In his spare time, Casey is a keen middle-distance runner with an interest in triathlon. He’s always looking out for the latest blends and supplements to improve his half-marathon time and recovery.


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