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L-Tyrosine: All You Need To Know

Let’s be honest. We could all need a boost for our brain function. Between families, children, jobs, and everyday stresses, our brains take a toll. Boosting brain function with natural means like L-tyrosine supplements is a viable way to enhance neurotransmitters and increase mental performance.

We’ll help you understand what L-tyrosine is, how it improves mental performance, and its comparison to Adderall, the drug known for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD.

What is L-Tyrosine?

L-Tyrosine is a nonessential amino acid made from another amino acid called phenylalanine. L-tyrosine helps produce neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. These neurotransmitters provide pleasure, satisfaction, adrenaline, and energy.

L-tyrosine helps produce thyroid hormones which regulate our metabolism. It also helps produce melanin, the pigment in our hair, eyes, and skin.

L-Tyrosine supplementation is famous for increasing mental performance by boosting these neurotransmitters. There are beliefs that L-tyrosine supplementation benefits people under stress from difficult situations. It helps people who suffer from sleep deprivation and those who are overworked. It also benefits people with altitude sickness or who suffer from extreme cold.

Some studies show that L-tyrosine injections reduce blood pressure. It’s worth asking your doctor about L-tyrosine supplementation if you suffer from hypertension.

How L-Tyrosine Works

L-tyrosine is produced naturally in the body from the amino acid phenylalanine and in some foods. Chicken, fish, turkey, avocado, bananas, and some dairy products contain L-tyrosine, and dietary tyrosine benefits cognitive function too.

The liver metabolizes L-tyrosine into L-DOPA (levodopa), a neurotransmitter precursor. It uses an enzyme called tyrosine hydroxylase for this process. Once L-DOPA is created, the body converts it into the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters help cognitive performance by increasing our fight-or-flight response to stress and motivation. These feelings lead to better moods and sharper memories.

Once tyrosine is converted into L-DOPA and neurotransmitters, it is excreted through urine. In some instances, excess tyrosine is detrimental, depending on the individual. Before taking any tyrosine supplements, check with a physician to ensure it’s the best option.

Taking L-Tyrosine Supplements

If your doctor recommends you take L-tyrosine supplements, they come in capsules, tablets, or powders. L-tyrosine supplementation may give you the amino acids you need for better mental health.

Recommended dosages for L-tyrosine supplements vary depending on the person. Some physicians recommend anywhere from 500-1000mg daily to improve mood, cognitive performance, and memory. A 1500-2000mg dosage daily benefits cognitive function and memory when dealing with stressful situations.

Always take L-tyrosine supplements thirty minutes before a meal on an empty stomach. It absorbs into the body faster this way.

Side Effects

We mentioned that it was essential to consult your doctor before taking L-tyrosine supplements, and there’s a reason. People with health conditions like hyperthyroidism should avoid using L-tyrosine supplements. Since L-tyrosine affects the thyroid hormones, it could negatively impact hyperthyroidism and cause issues with other medications.

If you have melanoma, you should steer clear of L-tyrosine since it works to produce melatonin in the skin. Again, it could cause issues with the disease and counteract other types of medications.

Certain medications like levodopa (commonly used for Parkinson’s disease) and thyroid hormone replacement therapy should not be taken with L-tyrosine. Another important one to avoid mixing L-tyrosine supplements with is MAO (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), used for depression and anxiety. The combination could lead to more severe symptoms of the mental health disorder.

If you do not take other medications, typical side effects from L-tyrosine supplementation include nausea and headaches. Some stomach discomfort is also common.


What does L-tyrosine do for your body?

L-tyrosine is one of the nonessential amino acids made from phenylalanine. It supports the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters help your mental focus, handle stress, and elevate your mood.

Who should not take L-tyrosine?

People who have conditions like melanoma or hyperthyroidism should avoid taking L-tyrosine supplements.

What medications should not be mixed with L-tyrosine?

Medicines like MAO inhibitors, thyroid hormone replacement therapy, and levodopa should avoid taking L-tyrosine as it may cause negative interactions.

Should you take L-tyrosine daily?

Consult a physician on the proper dosage for your body weight and health conditions. Dosages for this dietary supplement range based on what L-tyrosine supplementation is needed for and other health factors.

Final Thoughts

We’ve discussed the importance of supplements like CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) and potassium. Those have benefits for cognitive and physical performance. However, if you have ADHD and want an Adderall alternative, L-tyrosine supplementation might be for you. It’s natural to increase cognitive function by taking an amino acid rather than a prescription drug is astounding. Consult your doctor about this dietary supplement and get your mental focus back. 

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Kristen holds a bachelors in English from Louisianna university. With a longstanding passion for fitness, she owns and operate her own gym and is a certified jazzercise instructor.

Robert James
Researcher and Fact Checker at The Fitness Tribe | + posts

Robert is a senior researcher and fact-checker at The Fitness Tribe. He holds a Bachelor of Science (BS), Food Science and Technology from the university of Santo Tomas. He's our expert in all things nutrition and fitness.

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