L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that is often used as a nootropic supplement ingredient because it’s a precursor to noradrenaline, epinephrine and dopamine.
L-Tyrosine also has stress-reducing capabilities and this affords it with double value as far as noradrenaline is concerned because stress robs the body of this important neurotransmitter.
So, apart from its value in other areas, L-Tyrosine would appear to have the ability to boost noradrenaline production rates and then ensure the amount of noradrenaline available to the brain is not depleted by feelings of stress.
All three of the aforementioned neurotransmitters (noradrenaline, epinephrine and dopamine) belong to a class of hormones called catecholamines.
They are produced by the adrenal glands and are known to have a profound effect on the mood, motivation and energy levels, and cognitive function.
L-Tyrosine is incapable of stimulating the adrenal gland, it’s value when consumed in supplement form comes from the fact that it’s one of the raw materials the gland uses to manufacture catecholamines.
Although this has no bearing on the ingredient’s value as a nootropic.
It’s also worth noting L-Tyrosine is very similar to the thyroid hormones that are responsible for governing the metabolism and, for this reason, it’s an amino acid that is sometimes added to diet pills as well.
A number of studies show supplementing with L-Tyrosine can provide very good cognitive benefits, and may be particularly valuable for people who often find themselves in stressful situations or feel overly tired.
In middle aged men for instance, reducing levels of dopamine can contribute to the feelings of depression, fatigue, brain fog, along with a disinterest in sex.
This can have a direct effect on testosterone production in these men.
Any reduction in levels of testosterone can compound the problems that they face on a daily basis.
In simple terms, both hormones actually regulate each other, Testosterone regulates dopamine and dopamine regulates testosterone.
Dopamine is crucial in the production and release of GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone) which is a key precursor to testosterone production in the testes, and testosterone then regulates the release of dopamine into the medial preoptic area.
This means that its absolutely crucial to ensure that production of both is kept at the optimum.
L-Tyrosine Benefits at a Glance
- Boosts neurotransmitter levels
- Reduces stress
- Essential for testosterone production
- Improves the mood
- Provides better focus and concentration
- Provides extra motivation
- Increases mental energy
- Improves memory
- Improves cognitive abilities
- Increases cognitive flexibility
- Reduces the symptoms of ADHD
Proof That L-Tyrosine Works
The nootropic abilities of L-Tyrosine have been thoroughly studied by scientists around the world.
Its value has been proven time and time again, but certain studies stand out as being more interesting than others.
For instance, when researchers at the Vrije University in Amsterdam set out to explore L-Tyrosine’s ability to improve cognitive task performance while under stress, the subsequent data also revealed supplementation with L-Tyrosine had helped lower the blood pressure of the subjects involved.
The study involved a group of 21 military cadets, and it was conducted during a demanding combat training course, so there was a lot of potential for high stress.
Ten of the cadets were given five protein drinks per day that provided L-Tyrosine.
The rest of the cadets were given an L-Tyrosine-free shake that was rich in carbohydrate and provided the same amount of calories as the protein shakes used for the L-Tyrosine group.
All the cadets were assessed before the course commenced and then again on the sixth day.
The resulting data showed the cadets that had received the shakes laced with the amino acid performed better during a “memory and a tracking task” than the other cadets did.
The L-Tyrosine group also showed a decrease in systolic blood pressure.
The results of this study show supplementing with L-Tyrosine can be a good way to reduce the effects stress and fatigue have on cognitive task performance.
For the purposes of another study, conducted at Leiden University, the researchers set out to explore the ingredient’s ability to improve facets of cognitive control in situations where the demands on cognitive resources were high.
Twenty-two healthy adults took part and the researchers logged the effects of L-Tyrosine on proactive v reactive control during task-switching operations that were set up in a way that made them especially mentally demanding.
The results of the study revealed the participants who received L-Tyrosine showed greater cognitive flexibility than the placebo group.
Research that was carried out at the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory in Pensacola, Florida is also particularly interesting because it shows L-Tyrosine can even have a positive effect on cognitive function when the body is exhausted and the mind is unusually tired.
The study was conducted during a period of continuous night-time work that also included a night without sleep.
The participants had to perform “nine iterations of a battery of performance tasks and mood scales” for 13 hours and, by the time they finished, the volunteers had been awake for more than 24 hours.
Six hours into the study, some of the participants were given L-Tyrosine.
The rest got a placebo and, although the cognitive performance of the placebo group was shown to decrease, the group that was given the amino acid showed an improvement in cognitive ability and it lasted for around three hours.
The reputation L-Tyrosine has attained as a nootropic is not built on hearsay, the abilities of this powerful and versatile amino acid have been put to the test time and time again and there is no shortage of evidence to show that it works.
L-Tyrosine has also been shown to offer particular value to people who are placed under an unusual amount of stress, have been starved from sleep, or just feel remarkably tired.
Stress and tiredness are feelings most people can relate to well, be it due to over-demanding work situations or study requirements, family problems, or just a hectic lifestyle in general.
So the nootropic abilities of L-Tyrosine have the potential to improve the lives of a lot of people, from many different walks of life.
Paul Gardner is an ex competitive swimmer, a keen tennis player, cyclist and a regular visitor to the gym. A self confessed supplement geek, he writes for www.testojunction.com – An independent research and resource website dedicated to testosterone and its effects on the body. He has had many of his articles published on the subject of Testosterone in connection with bodybuilding and also Low Testosterone in older men (AKA – the andropause.)