Tyrosine

(Known as L-Tyrosine, Tyrosine)

tickPart of the Amino Acid group
tickControls appetite
tickMood enhancer
tickBoosts energy
tickStimulant
How does it work?
Tyrosine (pronounced tie-ro-zeen) is a nonessential amino acid. It acts as a "building block" for several important brain chemicals, all of which work to regulate mood. Tyrosine is also involved in the synthesis of enkephalins (pronounced en-keff-a-lins), substances that have pain-relieving effects.
Who is it used for?
Tyrosine is suitable for anyone needing a boost in physical and mental energy. It's especially useful during intense periods of physical and mental stress, such as sleep deprivation.
How does it work?
Tyrosine is a nonessential amino acid that is made in the body from phenylalanine. As a building block for several important brain chemicals, tyrosine is needed to make epinephrine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine, all of which work to regulate mood [2]. Deficiencies in tyrosine are linked with depression.

Human and animal research shows that tyrosine helps your body adapt to and cope with the effects of physical or psychological stress (such as intense regular exercise) [1, 3]. This is mainly because tyrosine is a building block for norepinephine and epinephrine, the body's two main stress-related hormones. The benefit is that tyrosine can leave you feeling more alert and energetic [4].

Tyrosine is used by many of the world's elite Special Forces in "stressful situations such as military sustained operations." Soldiers engaged in combat operations often rely on tyrosine to keep them alert and vigilant. One study, carried out at the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, shows that tyrosine combats the effects of sleep deprivation [5].

Tyrosine appears to prevent the decline in various aspects of performance and mood associated with many kinds of acute stress, and may prove useful in improving performance in situations where performance is compromised by stress [6, 7]. As well as giving you a physical and mental boost, tyrosine can also make your workouts seem easier. Tyrosine is involved in the synthesis of enkephalins (pronounced en-keff-a-lins), substances that have pain-relieving effects. Because tyrosine binds unstable molecules (called free radicals) that can potentially cause damage to the cells and tissues, it is considered a mild antioxidant.
How do I use it?
The standard dose of tyrosine is 1000 milligrams whenever a physical or mental boost is needed.
What results can I expect?
Tyrosine users notice an increase in clarity of thought, mental focus and physical energy.
What can it be combined with?
Although tyrosine is effective when used alone, some nutritionists and coaches like to combine it with caffeine and carbohydrate for superior results.

1. Deijen, J.B., & Orlebeke, J.F. (1994). Effect of tyrosine on cognitive function and blood pressure under stress. Brain Research Bulletin, 33, 319-323
2. Fernstrom, J.D. (2000). Can nutrient supplements modify brain function? American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 71, 1669S-1675S
3. Kelly, G.S. (1999). Nutritional and botanical interventions to assist with the adaptation to stress. Alternative Medicine Reviews, 4940, 249-265
4. Wagenmakers, A.J. (1999). Amino acid supplements to improve athletic performance. Current Opinions in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 2, 539-544
5. Neri DF, Wiegmann D, Stanny RR, Shappell SA, McCardie A, McKay DL. (1995). The effects of tyrosine on cognitive performance during extended wakefulness. Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine, 66, 313-319
6. Thomas JR, Lockwood PA, Singh A, Deuster PA. (1999). Tyrosine improves working memory in a multitasking environment. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 64, 495-500
7. Lieberman HR. (2003). Nutrition, brain function and cognitive performance. Appetite, 40, 245-254

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