Summary: L-Tyrosine Review
If you’re overdoing it with work, juggling too many tasks, stressing all day and not getting enough rest at night, Tyrosine can help restore the brain chemicals that are depleted by your hectic lifestyle. By counteracting cognitive (neurochemical) stress, L-tyrosine can help with multitasking, memory, mood and general cognitive performance. I typically take 800mg L-tyrosine every morning with my coffee, along with L-theanine, Rhodiola, B-vitamins, and several other natural nootropics, as this (tyrosine) is a fantastic fast-acting cognitive enhancer for mood and productivity — especially after a sleepless night.
Have you ever noticed that when you get stressed out, you lose focus? In this review, we talk about one of the best nootropics for keeping your brainpower sharp during times of stress: tyrosine.
Tyrosine is nootropic precursor used to make the catecholamine neurotransmitters, which are critical for mental performance but notably depleted by stress. Supplemental tyrosine seems to counter the cognitive consequences of stress, restoring peak neurotransmitters and enhancing “cognitive activation.” It has also been tied to mind-body performance, and is used for ADD/ADHD.
Let’s review Tyrosine in more detail.
How Tyrosine is supposed to work
Tyrosine (or call it L-Tyrosine, same thing) is an amino acid that acts as a “master precursor” to several of the most important neurotransmitters — called catecholamines — for memory, focus, attention, and mood.
Catecholamine imbalances have been linked to some attention disorders, like ADD and ADHD. Our levels of these brain chemicals also decline as we grow older, complicating matters further.
The Stress-Brain Chemical-Tyrosine Connection
Oh wait… it’s about to get even more complicated (and crappy) for our catecholamines.
Stress increases demand for catecholamine neurotransmitters, which can lead to depletion of these brain chemicals. Low catecholamine levels actually weaken our stress resistance, making us more susceptible to stress-induced catecholamines…. you get the idea.
When it comes to brain health and mental performance, stress starts a vicious cycle. If you’re badly stressed out, then your brain chemical balance may get all out of whack, leaving you with those lousy feelings of stress-related “brain burnout.”
- Tyrosine is most important as a nootropic because it helps replenish the catecholamine neurotransmitters that are depleted by stress.
This positions Tyrosine as the most important nootropic for stress, in my opinion. It offers additional brain support beyond that too, which is a bonus… but let’s check out that big Tyrosine nootropic bio-activity first and foremost:
Researchers have suggested that L tyrosine as a supplement can affect the 3 main catecholamine neurotransmitters that are diminished by stress:
- Epinephrine: “Adrenaline Rush” brain chemical unleashed during fight-or-flight; energizes mind and body for action
- Norepinephrine: Made from tyrosine plus L-DOPA, affects the brain’s attention center for vigilant and focused mind state
- Dopamine: Mind-body brain chemical linked to alertness and motivation; ADD and ADHD drugs work by boosting dopamine
Stress hormone blocker
Here’s tyrosine’s bonus benefit for stress. When we are stressed, our brains “burn” through more norepinephrine, leading to familiar symptoms of stress related mental burnout. One animal study found that supplementing with tyrosine before stress exposure seemed to stop norepinephrine levels from tanking during stress exposure. Researchers suggested that “supplemental tyrosine can protect against several adverse consequences of such stress.”
Related: Best Nootropics for Stress
Tyrosine Review: Nootropic Benefits
Supplement makers say that L tyrosine is good for mental alertness, mood, and helps with stress responses. Other claims linked to Tyrosine are that it improves focus after sleep deprivation, and may help with memory and inattentiveness.
If you ask me, those supplement makers are being conservative. I believe that tyrosine does even more. The links between tyrosine and stress are so strong, and there is a decent selection of human research studies showing cognitive benefits with tyrosine supplementation. For people who are stressed out and try to do too much, this is the nootropic that will help replenish the brain chemicals you are depleting with this lifestyle – and just might unleash greater mental performance in doing so.
Let’s see what the researchers have to say.
Researchers have suggested L-Tyrosine might:
Improve memory in stressful multitasking situations
In this study (of questionable quality), tyrosine supplementation was found to enhance accuracy and improve retrieval on working memory tasks. It failed to affect cognition related to mass, visual tasks, or auditory tasks. Researchers said that tyrosine might be good for maintaining mental performance and scenarios when it is compromised, including multitasking.
Maintain mental sharpness during sleep deprivation
In this study, researchers administered tyrosine to subject during an episode of what we all know as an “all nighter.” Subjects had to stay awake overnight, a total of over 24 hours without sleeping, performing mental tests and mood tests throughout. Six hours into the experiment, half the subjects received tyrosine, the other, placebo. Researchers reported tyrosine seemed to maintain brainpower against the usual dolling effects associated with overworking and not getting enough sleep.
Support the brain during combat training
In this small study, military cadet undergoing combat training took five daily serving of a protein drink fortified with tyrosine, or placebo. Researchers tested the subjects before supplementation and six days after, when the study concluded. They reported that tyrosine was linked to better performance on memory tests and tracking tests versus placebo, and that it seemed to reduce the effects of stress and fatigue on mental performance.
Promote cognitive performance under cold stress
This study investigated how tyrosine supplements might influence mental, physical, and psycho motor performance in subjects who had been dunked in cold water that reduce their core temperature. Researchers reported that the tyrosine group seems to maintain function on match to sample cognitive tests and marksmanship tests; placebo group performance decreased 18% and 14% in those tests, respectively.
Related: Best Nootropics for Memory
How to Take Tyrosine
- Studies use a dosage range of 100 – 300 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight daily.
- Retail Tyrosine supplements are around 500 to 1500 mg daily, in tablets and capsules.
- N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NALT) is the more bioavailable form; however, L-tyrosine still seems to outperform N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine in terms of sheer potency.
L-Tyrosine vs. N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine
Which is better?
NALT has an extra acetyl group, a slight chemical change that theoretically makes it more bioavailable, making it dissolve more readily in water. Based on this, many may presume (as I previously have) that N-acetyl L-tyrosine is the preferred nootropic form of this stress-defeating amino. However, it seems that freeform L-tyrosine is still the superior option, as research is actually fairly limited on NALT’s benefits — and what research there is available hints that the body might struggle to convert NALT to bioactive tyrosine.
At the least, L-tyrosine supplementation is research-backed, with demonstrated fast-acting results. (I can personally attest to this.) N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, on the other hand, despite its theoretical advantages, doesn’t seem as effective as L-tyrosine, as a nootropic supplement.
My Experience With L-Tyrosine
I take L-tyrosine every morning with my coffee. Or rather in my coffee.
With only some occasional variations (and depending on which supplements I’m taking, especially if I’m taking a heavy stack for one of these supplement reviews), my morning coffee stack looks like this:
- Cup(s) of coffee
- 400mg L-theanine
- 800mg L-tyrosine
- 500mg Rhodiola rosea extract
- B-vitamin complex
- Tablespoon of MCT oil
And maybe I’ll toss in a little Lion’s Mane, maybe a little phenylpiracetam. So on and so on.
But what’s important here, as far as this review goes, is the L-tyrosine. I love L-tyrosine, and of the nootropics I add to my coffee, it’s one of the main ingredients I notice significantly improving my cognition — especially my mood.
Especially after a late night of working — or of poor sleep — my morning L-tyrosine works wonders at helping me get over that morning grog and brain fog, so I can get going on my day much earlier than I otherwise would.
Now, what’s important to note is that if you’re already feeling good, L-tyrosine won’t do much. You might achieve some kind of positive placebo effect, if you’re familiar with L-tyrosine powder’s taste, along with its cognitive effects. However, this is one of those “as needed” nootropics.
All the same, I typically just take it as part of my daily routine. Usually this means sticking to the ~800mg, give or take 100mg, but occasionally I’ll lower this down to 400mg, if I’m already feeling alright.
Is L-Tyrosine A Good Nootropic?
I say YES. In fact, I am going to go one step beyond and say L-Tyrosine is one of the best nootropics, and a smart one to include your brain health regimen. This is especially true if you are performance-driven, like to multitask, and extend yourself too much mentally. That stress is not doing your brain chemistry any favors, but Tyrosine can help.
Overall Nootropic Power Rating
Best Nootropic Supplements with Tyrosine
I extend myself too much mentally. And in ways that often don’t exactly amount to extended productivity. Which is why I prefer my tyrosine stacked with other nootropics that synergize with tyrosine for better, enhanced catecholaminergic results. Not all tyrosine-containing supplements are equal, so here are a couple of the best nootropic supplements with tyrosine here that work great as daily foundational brain booster stacks.
Mind Lab Pro
Mind Lab Pro supplies tyrosine along with vitamins B6, B9, and B12 (as NutriGenesis®), which may assist with tyrosine’s conversion to catecholamine neurotransmitters. (And also because B vitamins are simply awesome.)
In its entirety, Mind Lab Pro stacks 11 nootropic ingredients, all of which are presented in premium, potent forms at sufficient (transparent!) dosages, contained in clean, green Nutricaps® capsules. Even so, with such nootropic bio-diversity, the brain benefit that’s most immediately apparently is L-Tyrosine’s mood boosts — perhaps in “most immediately” competition with L-theanine‘s alpha brainwave promotion.
On the big picture scale, Mind Lab Pro stands out with its longevity enhancing neuroprotectors and neuroregenerators — however, with fast-acting nootropics such as L-tyrosine, Mind Lab Pro also delivers brain boosts that are felt quickly and reliably.
Want some? Get the best deal on Mind Lab Pro here.
Performance Lab Mind
Performance Lab Mind, as part of the same supplement series as Performance Lab Energy and Performance Lab Sleep, is essentially a simplified version of Mind Lab Pro, sharing four of MLP’s ingredients at the exact same quality:
- Citicoline (as Cognizin®)
- Phosphatidylserine (as Sharp-PS®)
- L-Tyrosine (as Ajipure®)
- Maritime Pine Bark Extract (std. extract)
On an ingredient-per-ingredient basis, Performance Lab Mind’s four ingredients share the same dosages with the same of Mind Lab Pro …with exception to Ajipure® L-Tyrosine, a unique, premium, patented form of L-tyrosine. Compared to standard L-tyrosine, Ajipure® is purer and easier to absorb.
And the simpler formula design of Performance Lab Mind makes it easier to stack this stackable stack with other stackable stacks!