Tyrosine – formally known as L-Tyrosine – is an amino acid used to build lean muscle. Like other amino acids, it’s considered a “building block” of protein. In some cases, L-Tyrosine is also used to treat depression, anxiety, ADHD, cognitive disorders, or even narcolepsy.
What makes this supplement such a powerful and wide-ranging treatment?
Find out today in our Tyrosine review.
What is Tyrosine?
Tyrosine is an amino acid. Our bodies produce Tyrosine from another amino acid called phenylalanine.
We can also intake Tyrosine directly from milk, eggs, fish, nuts, beans, wheat, oats, and most dairy products.
You can find Tyrosine in many protein supplements. In most people, Tyrosine is simply used to promote lean muscle growth. In some, however, Tyrosine supplementation is used to treat a genetic disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU). This disorder prevents the body from properly processing phenylalanine, which means the body cannot create Tyrosine or build lean muscle.
Benefits of Tyrosine
Tyrosine has been linked with a number of different benefits. It’s taken for a wide range of uses and purposes. Sometimes, it’s even prescribed by doctors:
— Tyrosine is a building block of protein. It’s used by the body to build lean muscle, which is why many people take Tyrosine as a bodybuilding supplement.
— Tyrosine can be used to treat the genetic disorder phenylketonuria, or PKU, which inhibits lean muscle growth.
— Tyrosine is also used to treat certain cognitive conditions and mental illnesses, including depression, attention deficit disorder, and narcolepsy.
— Tyrosine can also be taken as an overall mood enhancing supplement, and it’s often used to treat stress, relieve the symptoms of PMS, or boost energy and treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
— Tyrosine can also be used to treat Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other degenerative neural conditions, where it’s been observed to slow the rate of cognitive decline
— Tyrosine can be used as a virility-enhancing supplement, curing erectile dysfunction and boosting sex drive.
— Some people will also apply Tyrosine directly to the skin as a topical cream in an effort to reduce age-related wrinkles.
How Does Tyrosine Work?
Tyrosine provides all of the above benefits because it plays a key role in almost every part of the body. Specifically, the body uses Tyrosine to make chemical messengers that are involved in conditions involving the brain – like mental alertness.
This improved mental alertness leads to better overall mood, better sex drive, and a feeling of better energy.
Specifically, Tyrosine creates chemical messengers like catecholamine. Catecholamine is actually thought to be responsible for most of Tyrosine’s benefits. Tyrosine has been identified as a precursor to Catecholamine.
There is also some evidence that shows L-Tyrosine can increase noradrenaline (also known as norepinephrine) levels in the hippocampus. In one study, this was shown to protect the brains of rats from stress and decrease the degeneration of brain cells.
Using Tyrosine to Lower Blood Pressure
To date, there have only been two studies on L-Tyrosine’s effects on blood pressure. One study showed that taking 150 mg per kg of L-Tyrosine did not influence blood pressure prior to a cognitive test.
Another study on military cadets showed that men who consumed 42 grams of protein combined with 2 grams of Tyrosine exhibited a 10.4% decrease in systolic blood pressure from baseline.
Using Tyrosine as a Nootropic Supplement
Nootropics are used to enhance cognition in various ways. Many people take Tyrosine as a nootropic supplement – often in a stack with caffeine.
To date, there have been three studies examining the link between Tyrosine and cognition. All three of those studies confirmed the cognitive-enhancing benefits of Tyrosine. However, the studies did explain that the effects were observed to be relatively minor.
One study concluded that Tyrosine “was associated with significant improvements in mood, cognitive function, and side-effects associated with acute stressors.” Tyrosine supplementation “significantly decreased symptoms, adverse moods, and performance impairments.”
Using Tyrosine as a Skin Cream
Tyrosine can be found in various cosmetic products, where it’s formulated as part of an anti-aging cream. Cosmetic manufacturers claim that applying Tyrosine to the skin “promotes collagen synthesis” and “produces melanin.”
Unfortunately, Tyrosine has not yet exhibited these skin care benefits in any type of scientific or clinical testing performed to date, which makes it difficult to recommend Tyrosine as a topical skin care solution.
How to Use Tyrosine
Using Tyrosine is relatively straightforward. You can buy Tyrosine supplements online from Amazon and other retailers, or you can even find supplements in local health food stores and pharmacies.
If you’re taking Tyrosine to improve alertness after being without sleep for a long time, then the recommended dose is 150 mg per kilogram of body weight per day. If you’re 200 pounds, your dosage should be between 9 to 13.5 grams. If you’re 150 pounds, your dosage should be between 7 and 10 grams.
If you’re taking Tyrosine to treat PKU, it’s recommended that you add 6 grams of Tyrosine to your diet for every 100 grams of protein. However, it’s important to check to see if your protein powder already includes Tyrosine: taking too much Tyrosine could lead to unwanted side effects.
If you’re taking Tyrosine prior to a workout, you should take it 60 minutes before starting your workout.
Taking too much Tyrosine could cause digestive problems.
Conclusion: Who Should Take Tyrosine?
Tyrosine is one of those chemical compounds that has a wide range of roles throughout the body. That’s why taking an L-Tyrosine supplement can have wide-ranging benefits across the entire body.
Studies have not yet reinforced the depression-curing benefits of Tyrosine, nor have they suggested that Tyrosine can be used as a nootropic. However, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence among those who have taken Tyrosine to treat depression.
So far, medical science only recommends the use of Tyrosine for those who are treating PKU or for those who are improving alertness after “being without sleep for a long period of time.”