January 14, 2021

Tyrosine is a nootropic supplement. Also called L-tyrosine, it is an amino acid. Tyrosine is considered to be an essential building block for proteins. It has some benefits for the brain, mood, stress, and more. It enhances working memory, executive functions and lessens symptoms of ADHD. The amino acid is commonly found in food. But to get the nootropic benefits, you need purified tyrosine in a supplemental form.

Tyrosine supplies the body with what it needs to create three essential neurotransmitters. They include dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline. Hence, getting enough tyrosine makes a significant difference in brain function.

Read on to learn more about Tyrosine as a supplement.

History of Tyrosine

The word “tyrosine” has a Greek origin. “Tryos” means cheese. Tyrosine was discovered in 1846 by German chemist Justus von Liebig. It was obtained as a product of degradation of cheese protein, casein. The non-essential amino acid with a polar side group was called Tyrosyl. Back then, it was referred to as a functional group or side chain. Later in 1883, nootropic tyrosine was synthesized in the laboratory. As a result, the structure of the synthetic supplement was determined.

It’s generally classified as a hydrophobic amino acid. Tyrosine is less of a phenylalanine and more hydrophilic. The compound is encoded by the codons UAU and UAC in messenger RNA.

How does it work?

It is a precursor to the essential neurotransmitters in the brain, without which the body can’t function properly. Tyrosine is vital when you are under stress and need to focus. With low levels, you might start to experience a mental wall.  

Production of dopamine

In the brain, Tyrosine is converted to L-DOPA to produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter. The hormone regulates reward and pleasure functions. It also enhances memory and motor skills, thus an important brain chemical. 

The unused dopamine is further converted into norepinephrine, another essential brain chemical. Dopamine also plays a role in the production of adrenaline.

Boost Adrenaline and noradrenaline

Together with dopamine, the three neurotransmitters make catecholamines. The hormones regulate several brain functions. The body uses tyrosine to make this chemical messenger useful for mental alertness. The hormones are responsible for the fight-or-flight response to stressful situations. Without them, the body won’t be prepared to fight or flee from a perceived threat, attack, or harm.

Precursor to hormones

Tyrosine is a precursor to thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland produces the hormone. Its primary role in the body is to regulate metabolism. Hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) occur in the colloid of the thyroid. They are derived from Tyrosine.

Precursor to pigments

Melanin gives color to the skin, hair, and eyes. Tyrosine is a precursor to the pigment melanin. It gives dark-skinned people the characterized color.

Production of alkaloids

Through the latex of opium, poppy tyrosine is converted into alkaloid morphine. These have tons of functions in the body, such as :

  • anti-inflammatory
  • pain relief
  • antimicrobial
  • antifungal


Function of Tyrosine

Boost focus

Tyrosine is a nootropic that helps the brain deal with stress. The supplement keeps the brain performing at its best. More so, during stress and improves focus. As a result, the brain can tackle challenges without getting burned out.  

Cognitive performance

Acute stress caused by short-term stressors affects cognition. Tyrosine, however, prevents cognitive impairment during exercise. A dose of Tyrosine restores mental vigilance and reaction time when administered.

Improves mood

Tyrosine turns into dopamine, which controls stress and motivation. Dopamine also boosts the level of serotonin. The two play a critical role in regulating mood. Whenever you feel blue, you could increase your dopamine levels using tyrosine supplementation.

Treat depression

Tyrosine is used to treat depression. By improving your mood, the supplement can improve the symptoms of depression. Besides, it restores the body’s stress response-ability. This is done by maintaining normal levels of noradrenaline (norepinephrine) in the brain. As a result, it reduces the effect of stress-induced depression symptoms.

Improves mental performance

Everything you do generates some stressful experiences. The adverse effects of stress are manifested by decreasing neurotransmitters. This affects brain function, reasoning, memory, attention, and knowledge—the absence of a stressor due to tyrosine improved mental performance. As a result, the supplement increases brainpower.

Boost memory

Tyrosine supplements boost neurotransmitters production, which restores memory. It improves working memory during a mentally demanding task. Working memory is essential in concentration and following instructions.

How do you take Tyrosine?

The supplement can be taken by mouth or applied to the skin. You can buy the supplement on its own or in combination with another brain-boosting nootropic. 

Tyrosine can be taken thrice in a day, once in the morning and whenever you need a mental boost. The recommended dosage for cognitive benefit is 500 mg – 2000 grams each day. Take it an hour before exercise. A dose-ranging from 45-68 mg per pound of bodyweight works best for sleep deprivation.  

You can also take them in three daily doses. Taking it with vitamins B6, B9 (folate), and copper have shown high biodiversity. They boost the conversion of Tyrosine to brain chemicals.

However, higher doses result in gastrointestinal upset—thus the need to split the amount into 2 or 3, taken an hour before the stressful event.

Side effects

Tyrosine is safe when taken in doses up to 150 mg/kg each day. It should be taken for three months.

However, some people experience side effects, such as:

  • nausea
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • Heartburn


It is safe when applied to the skin.

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