Supplements

L-Tyrosine | Benefits, Uses, Dosage & Side Effects

Your body is made up of billions of building blocks that work in unison to keep you functioning effectively.

One such constituent is the amino acid n-acetyl l-tyrosine, discover the benefits below. To ease your navigation, check out our contents below:

What is L-Tyrosine?

L-Tyrosine plays an important role in your body’s production of neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine. L-Tyrosine is a naturally occurring, nonessential amino acid, meaning that your body naturally gets what it needs it via the synthesis of other ingested amino acids. It is developed by phenylalanine in your body.

The ‘Tyrosine’ part of its name also refers to a pigment imparting agent for your skin. Tyrosine is found in a myriad of dietary sources, including lean proteins such as chicken, eggs, fish and whole grain oats, and dairy products including milk, cheese and yoghurt.

What is the difference between N Acetyl L-Tyrosine and L-Tyrosine?

There is more than one form of the amino acid tyrosine, and the two most commonly found types include L-Tyrosine and N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NALT). Research suggests a somewhat divisive view on which is the better of the two, with many experts suggesting that NALT provides a greater level of bioavailability due to its superior water solubility. Bioavailability refers to the amount of a compound that enters circulation consumed and becomes active. In other words, 100 percent bioavailability would mean that the entirety of an ingredient reaches your circulation.

On the other side of the debate, others reason that NALT’s greater water solubility has been confused with a better level of bioavailability. N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine is the acetylated form of Tyrosine, which means that the amino acid is bound to an acetyl group. This acetyl group needs to be removed in order for NALT to become active and so NALT requires an extra step in the process of being broken down to tyrosine.

Essentially it is NALT’s structure that is the real difference between the two. However, one study has revealed that the body doesn’t readily convert N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine to tyrosine – the majority is expelled via urine.

L-Tyrosine Benefits

L-Tyrosine can help you to manage your stress levels and to function when suffering an intense bout of stress. This is because tyrosine is a precursor to norepinephrine. Stress reduces norepinephrine levels in your brain.

L-Tyrosine supplements can replenish some of the cognitive resources used to increase your working memory. It also helps to increase dopamine levels in your brain, with studies suggesting that supplementation can help to cure winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder, by lowering the intensities of symptoms from the cold and lowered oxygen levels.

Further to this, L-Tyrosine is considered a building block of thyroid hormones, which control the production of energy in your body. There have also been links between tyrosine and improvement for people who struggle with attention deficit disorders. Low levels of L-Tyrosine have been linked to damage to your organs, such as your liver.

L-Tyrosine Uses

L-Tyrosine may be used for improved alertness and focus due to its aforementioned role in your body’s production of neurotransmitters. L-tyrosine has been proven to be effective in this by helping your body to cope with the detrimental effect stress can have on your body. As a result, some studies have suggested that when tyrosine is taken on a regular basis it can help to increase memory and awareness, making it of great use for older people.

One of its main uses is as an anti-depressant and mood balancer, given its impact on helping the body to cope with stress and feelings of fatigue and mental tiredness along with its role in the creation of dopamine.

As a sports performance enhancer, L-Tyrosine is often utilised for increased energy and recovery after a gruelling workout. It is also known as being effective for weight loss. As it is a precursor to substances such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine, L-tyrosine may be effective for shedding pounds and burning calories because it can potentially help to speed up your metabolism, though there is limited research to support this claim.

L-Tyrosine Side Effects and Dosage

As a supplement, daily dosages are recommended at a half to one gram once or twice a day for people without pre-existing medical conditions. Known side effects include reduced energy, with some people developing a constant tiredness, despite taking the supplement to improve energy levels. This, in turn, in a few cases resulted in weight gain. Another common side effect includes stiffness in the neck and shoulders.

Take Home Message

L-Tyrosine is a naturally occurring, nonessential amino acid, which, taken as a supplement alongside a balanced diet for anyone engaged in a long-term physical training plan. It is also a precursor to thyroxine and triiodothyronine and the pigment melanin. It is known as a weight loss supplement, and also an anti-depressant, which can help with symptoms of the seasonal affective disorder and your ability to function when under stress.

Enjoy learning about L-Tyrosine?

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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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Gareth Gray

Gareth Gray

Experienced Sports Nutrition Technologist

Gareth Gray is an experienced sports nutrition new product development technologist. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Health and a Master of Science in Sports and Exercise Nutrition.

Gareth’s scientific research expertise involves the investigation into the effects of recovery drinks upon sports performance and recovery. He has several years’ experience in designing, formulating and developing sports nutrition products using evidence-based research, from laboratory testing to full-scale production and manufacturing. He regularly attends continuing professional development events and sports nutrition conferences to ensure his practise remains at the highest level.

Find out more about Gareth’s experience here.

In his spare time, Gareth enjoys working on his own physique in the gym, as well as cooking nutritious meals – where he believes balance is key and advocates the odd cheat meal now and again.


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