Tyrosine Review & Information: Boost Focus & Reduce Stress
What the heck is a review of l-tyrosine doing on a Web site dedicated to diets, weight loss supplements, and fat burners? That’s a darn good question. Here’s why…
If look closely at the label of your favorite fat burner, you just might see l-tyrosine on the label (or perhaps the more accessible form of l-tyrosine, acetyl l-tyrosine). That’s because l-tyrosine can play an important role for dieters (and for just about everyone else too, but I’ll discuss that in a moment)…
L-tyrosine is an amino acid (amino acids are described as the “building blocks” of protein), and happens to be the precursor of several important neurotransmitters — l-dopa, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine — which are important contributors to mood, cognitive performance, as well as combating stress. In “Dr. Atkins’ Vita-Nutrient Solution”, Dr Atkins describesl-tyrosine as an effective antidepressant…
“The amino acid works better than the majority of antidepressant drugs, costs less, and helps all of us think better when we’re under stress.”
There does seem to be some evidence that this is the case (see Aviat Space Environ Med 1995;66:313-9 Brain Res Bull. 1994;33(3):319-23, Brain Res Bull. 1999 Jan 15;48(2):203-9, Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1999 Nov;64(3):495-500).
Because l-tyrosine is also a precursor to the thyroid hormone thyroxine (also known as T4) supplementation may have a positive effect on thyroid hormone levels which may contribute to an increased metabolic rate.
Many supplement retailers use the fact that tyrosine is a T4 precursor to make claims about its fat burning prowess.
Unfortunately, clinical data validating l-tyrosine’s thyroid-and-metabolism boosting characteristics is in darn short supply.
Nonetheless, considering its effect on mood and mental acuity, it’s not too surprising to find l-tyrosine included in many popular fat burners, and strength enhancement products targeted to body builders.
Unfortunately, most products simply do not contain enough l-tyrosine to have much effect — for the most part its simply label dressing (for example, several of the above referenced studies used a dosage of 150 mg/kg of l-tyrosine. That means a 180 lbs (approx 81 kg) guy would need to take about 12,000 mg, or 12 grams to acheive a similar effect.
Personally, I find doses between 1,500 – 4,500 mg to be most effective for mild depression resulting from overtraining (Dr. Atkins cites studies that show benefits with 600-2,000 mg of tyrosine per day), as well as helping mental acuity.
In the “old days,” I also found that stacking my favorite ephedra-based fat burner with 2 or 3 grams of l-tyrosine really helped eliminate the energy crash so typical to ephedra-based fat burners.
These days, for a decent pre-workout energy boost, try stacking 3-4 grams of l-tyrosine with a 200 mg tab of caffeine!
Either way, l-tyrosine is pretty cheap, and well worth giving a try (you can find it at BodyBuilding.com for less than $10 for 120 cap (500 mg) bottle).
If you can find the more soluble acetyl-l-tyrosine, choose it over l-tyrosine.