Being one of the 22 muscle building amino acids, l-tyrosine is perhaps more recognizable as part of bodybuilding and performance enhancing supplements, than as a cognitive enhancer. More than just a muscle builder however, l-tyrosine is a very versatile amino acid that it is used for a wide range of supplemental and medical applications.
L-tyrosine is prescribed for a number of medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, heart disease, erectile dysfunction, and narcolepsy. Some people take l-tyrosine to alleviate the discomfort that comes with PMS and the withdrawal symptoms from substance abuse. L-tyrosine is even so versatile that it is also used in topical suntan preparations, as an appetite suppressant, and as a fat burner.
This versatility of l-tyrosine as a form of treatment extends to what may be considered as psychological conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia, decreased sex drive, and depression. L-tyrosine has been proven to have anxiolytic properties and this mood improving ability is often thought to be the amino acid’s main function as a cognitive enhancer.
As a non-essential amino acid, supplementation with l-tyrosine was first thought to be unimportant as the body has the ability to create this amino acid. The body can source l-tyrosine from rich food sources of this amino acid such as eggs, dairy products, meat, fish, nuts, and wheat. However, the l-tyrosine stores in the body can still run out and if this happens (as it often does due to poor diet and unhealthy lifestyles) it can impair some of the important processes in the brain and body.
L-tyrosine is essential in the synthesis of dopamine and noradrenaline. Dopamine is very well-known as the “feel good” plasma neurotransmitter in the brain. Noradrenaline on the other hand, is known to be an anti-stress neurotransmitter that works best whenever an extremely aggressive stressor is present. Although the nootropic effects of l-tyrosine may not be immediately apparent, it is believed that cognitive enhancement is achieved due to the absence of stress.
The body defends itself against the damage brought on by stress by releasing noradrenaline (norepinephrine). This plasma neurotransmitter stimulates the brain, enabling it to focus better and think more clearly. The catch is that the body’s supply of noradrenaline can get depleted and it takes a while to restore it to normal levels. Feelings of lethargy and sluggishness are sometimes attributed to low noradrenaline levels. Supplementing with tyrosine speeds up the synthesis of dopamine and noradrenaline, which in turn makes you more mentally focused and more resistant to stress.
While there are a lot of users who attest to the effectiveness of l-tyrosine, there are also a good number of experienced users of nootropics who say that the amino acid has no contribution to cognitive enhancement whatsoever. This claim may have some truth in it as studies also show that the without aggressive outside stressor, the cognitive enhancement properties of l-tyrosine is not activated.
- Widely available amino acid.
- It makes you more resistant to stress.
- It can promote weight loss.
- It has a number of side benefits.
- It can complement existing nootropic stacks
- It doesn’t work for everyone.
- Its nootropic effects are hardly noticeable.
- It needs a potent outside stressor for the nootropic properties to be activated.
The ideal dosage when taking l-tyrosine is set at 500 to 2,000mg divided into two doses taken at different times of the day for general health supplementation. L-tyrosine is often included in commercially available nootropic stacks and you can also add it to your own stack.