L-tyrosine is an amino acid that is commonly referred to simply as tyrosine. When you encounter the word tyrosine by itself, assume it refers to L-tyrosine unless it is stated otherwise. Amongst other functions, tyrosine serves as a dopamine precursor.
In the body:
--- Phenylalanine is converted to Tyrosine.
--- Tyrosine is converted to L-dopa.
--- L-dopa is converted to Dopamine.
--- Dopamine is converted to Norepinephrine.
--- Norepinephrine is converted to Epinephrine.
Increasing tyrosine intake can lead to increased levels of L-dopa and dopamine. For people who experience reduced dopamine levels, increasing them may also help the body increase production of norepinephrine and epinephrine.
Most of those who take tyrosine and obtain positive results find it increases energy and alertness. It can reduce anxiety and improve the mood. Also, the thinking process is usually improved and pain can be reduced.
In addition to the stimulation most people experience after taking tyrosine, it can increase the potency of other stimulants when they are taken together. If you try this, start with a low doses to see how you respond, increase the dose size gradually.
Tyrosine may be effective as a treatment for:
--- Social anxiety.
--- Other mood disorders.
--- Other anxiety disorders.
For those who experience low levels of tyrosine, increasing consumption of substances that contain tyrosine or L-phenylalanine may help increase tyrosine levels. L-phenylalanine is converted to tyrosine in the body, so intake can increase tyrosine levels.
Foods that have relatively high levels of tyrosine include:
Since tyrosine is a precursor to dopamine, increasing tyrosine levels can result in increased levels of dopamine. Dopamine is a precursor to norepinephrine and epinephrine, so ingesting tyrosine can also result in increased levels of these chemicals.
If you take large doses of tyrosine, or take it on a daily basis, there is a relationship between dopamine precursors, serotonin precursors, sulfur amino acids that you should be aware of. See this for more information.
--- Tyrosine may reduce serotonin levels.
--- Tyrosine may reduce 5-HTP levels.
--- Tyrosine may reduce sulfur amino acid levels.
A majority of people find a dose somewhere in the range of 150-2000 milligrams, 1-3 times daily, produces satisfactory results. The first time you try, a starting dose of about 100-500 mg is recommended just to see how you respond to it.
Tyrosine is not addictive, when taken on an empty stomach (some prefer with a small amount of carbohydrates) tyrosine starts to work in 15-30 minutes and reaches full potency in 60-120 minutes, or longer. Effects last about 4-8 hours.
Some people report better absorption and potency when it is taken on an empty stomach, others when it is taken with a small amount of carbohydrates. This is something you might want to experiment with.
Tyrosine is semi-soluble in water. If you try to mix powder directly into water, or other liquids, it will not fully dissolve. It would probably be best to put in capsules or take in the form of a pill.
Including a multivitamin with minerals may help the body utilize tyrosine more efficiently. Depending on your body chemistry it might work best taken everyday or alternated with days off in between.
Because most people find tyrosine stimulating, it would be best to first take it in the early part of the day to see how you respond to it. If taken later in the day, the extra energy might keep you awake and prevent sleep.
Some of those who engage in strenuous physical activity take large doses about an hour before starting. Doses can get up to 10,000 milligrams (10 grams) or more for these purposes.
If you plan on trying large doses to weight train, or for some other strenuous physical activity, start with smaller doses and work your way up gradually.
Stomach problems are more common with large doses. They can be reduced by splitting the dose into 2 equally sized portions and taking them 30-60 minutes apart.
Although the recommended daily intake of tyrosine varies from about 1000 milligrams to 5000 milligrams or more (depending on the source), long term daily ingestion of large doses of tyrosine may have unknown negative health consequences.
If tyrosine itself produces positive results but you find it too strong, you can try taking phenylalanine or NALT instead. Both are converted to tyrosine in the body and may produce similar results, but are very mild in comparison.
Phenylketonuria is a hereditary medical condition that causes decreased levels of tyrosine. Those with phenylketonuria cannot process phenylalanine, which the body converts to tyrosine. Tyrosine supplements are given to people with phenylketonuria.
Prior to utilizing tyrosine, to be safe discuss it with your physician. On your first attempt it might be the best thing to try working with a small quantity, somewhere in the neighborhood of 100-500 milligrams or less.
A small dose size will give you an indication of the possible results as well as alerting you to any negative reactions. At small dose sizes, the effects are subtle and some people might not notice anything.
Side effects of tyrosine supplements are usually mild and become more common as the dose level is increased. If you experience any of the side effects listed, try reducing the dose size.
The most common side effects associated with tyrosine include:
--- Stomach problems.
Tyrosine can raise blood pressure. When tyrosine is combined with MAOI's it could possibly result in a severe blood pressure increase that might lead to a stroke. The condition is referred to as a hypertensive crisis.
Talk to your physician before taking tyrosine if you:
--- Have kidney disease or liver disease.
--- Have hypertension or hypotension.
--- Are allergic to cheese, eggs, fish, or soy.
--- Experience migraine headaches.
--- Have phenylketonuria.
--- Have melanoma.
For people with hypothyroidism, there is a possibility that tyrosine will raise triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) thyroid hormone levels, which is a good thing.
For people with hyperthyroidism, the potential of tyrosine raising triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) thyroid hormone levels even higher must be taken into consideration. It can result in a worsening of the symptoms.