“Energy and Persistence Conquer All Things.”
— Benjamin Franklin
What Is L-Tyrosine?
“Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”
— Napoleon Hill
L-tyrosine is one of the several amino acids that make up protein. Tyrosine is synthesized naturally in the body from another amino acid called phenylalanine. Still, it is also present in a variety of foods, including dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, and oats.
Tyrosine is a required amino acid necessary for synthesizing catecholamine neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. In terms of performance impact between N-acetyl L-tyrosine vs L-tyrosine, what precisely distinguishes them? Is one superior to the other?
L-tyrosine is also available as a supplement, most frequently in formulations aimed at enhancing cognitive performance.
While tyrosine can be taken as L-tyrosine, it is frequently suggested to take it as N-acetyl L-tyrosine.
What Is N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.”
— Maya Angelou
N-acetyl L-tyrosine (NAT) is an organic amino acid that occurs naturally in the body.
N-acetyl L-tyrosine (NALT) is L-tyrosine but with an acetyl group attached. N-acetyl L-tyrosine (NALT) is more bioavailable than L-tyrosine alone, and as such lower doses are needed to achieve the same result . NALT is contained in its purest form in Maximum Mind.
N-acetyl L-tyrosine is also available as a dietary supplement, and there is some evidence that it may be helpful for conditions like ADHD and stress.
NALT (as well as L-tyrosine) is used as a nootropic because it acts as a precursor for the critical brain neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine has a significant role in brain activities linked to reward, motivation, and pleasure and plays a crucial part in modulating focus, motivation, cognitive flexibility, and emotional resilience.
In addition to these creative-productive capacities and states, dopamine is one of the primary regulators of motor control and coordination of body movements, so it is also essential for exercise and muscle performance.
Benefits of Tyrosine
“If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.”
— Michele Ruiz
Tyrosine offers many benefits with regard to your brain health, cognitive performance, memory, and focus. Yet, tyrosine also has benefits that go over its pure cognitive enhancing properties.
Despite the reliance of nootropics enthusiasts on new synthetic research chemicals, often the most profound cognitive enhancing drugs are none other than amino acids and nutrients.
Below are some of the more interesting benefits of tyrosine.
Boosts Working Memory
Several studies in Metabolism indicate that supplementing with L-tyrosine may increase mental function, particularly under stressful conditions and particularly when it comes to working memory. 
Supplying NALT (or other sources of L-tyrosine) for cognitive support may be especially useful when participating in more demanding or stressful tasks . Oral NALT has increased brain levels of L-tyrosine .
Tyrosine was found to enhance mental performance with greater benefits recorded as tasks progressed from easier (1-BACK) to more complex (2-BACK), as published in Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience . This was imparted to tyrosine levels depleting rapidly as tasks became more and more difficult.
Further, in one study in 22 women, tyrosine significantly improved working memory during a mentally demanding task compared to a placebo. Working memory plays an important role in concentration and following instructions .
Improves Mental Flexibility
Tyrosine has a little-known benefit of increasing mental flexibility.
In one study, 22 participants were given either tyrosine or a placebo prior to completing a cognitive flexibility test. Tyrosine was demonstrated to increase cognitive flexibility compared to a placebo .
The capacity to switch between tasks or thoughts is referred to as cognitive flexibility. The stronger a person’s cognitive flexibility, the faster they can switch tasks.
Improve Focus And Concentration
L-tyrosine is one of the finest nootropics for attention since it is a precursor amino acid involved directly in the catecholamine conversion pathway. It is crucial for the maintenance of mood, motivation, and focus.
Under conditions of heightened stress and activity, the brain “burns” its natural L-tyrosine reserves to synthesize catecholamine neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine – i.e., brain chemicals associated with focus.
Catecholamine depletion caused by stress can result in brain weariness, significantly decreasing mental performance and focus. L-tyrosine supplementation may be highly beneficial.
Multiple tasks, external distractions, and insufficient sleep are just a few of the factors that might affect attention and brain function. However, data suggests the following benefits of supplementing with L-tyrosine:
A study published in Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior discovered that L-tyrosine enhances performance on high-demand multitasking cognition-related tasks . Another journal, Brain Research Bulletin, reports that L-tyrosine improves decreased mental function caused by exposure to loud “distracting” noise . Additionally, research in Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance demonstrates that L-tyrosine ameliorates the effect of sleep deprivation on cognition and emotion .
As highlighted in the L-tyrosine Deep Dive on Marco’s Grounds, the effects of L-tyrosine on the brain become more noticeable and evident during cognitively demanding tasks as opposed to calm, simple jobs.
This makes L-tyrosine – or, more precisely, N-acetyl L-tyrosine (NALT) – an ideal supplement for improving clutch performance in terms of concentration. It is a superb nootropic for stimulating high-pressure brain activity, which competitive persons with tough daily schedules prefer.
Tyrosine is a key amino acid that plays an important role in mood. It is one of the building blocks of dopamine. Low levels of dopamine can lead to depression and other mood disorders.
Tyrosine can help increase dopamine levels, improve your mood, and make you feel happier. It can also help to improve cognitive function and memory. So if you are feeling down, tyrosine may be just what you need to boost your mood.
Improve Athletic Performance
Another great benefit of tyrosine is that it can improve your athletic performance.
Tyrosine helps produce adrenaline, a hormone that helps increase energy and strength. If you’re looking to get in shape or compete in an event, tyrosine may help you reach your goals.
NALT also assists in compensating for the effects of low cortisol levels caused by severe exercise. It aids in the brain’s defense against stress chemicals. Additionally, it aids in replenishing depleted neurotransmitter levels caused by prolonged stress.
When your mind begins to feel fatigued, NALT will assist in reviving it — this component has a reputation for enhancing mental performance and alertness, both of which may benefit you at the gym.
In other words, if you’re a hard-training athlete, NALT can help you perform better cognitively during your workouts. Indeed, several researchers in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise suggest that it aids in improving exercise tolerance and the prevention of weariness .
Reduces the Effect of Sleep Deprivation
Additionally, it has been demonstrated that supplementing with tyrosine benefits persons who are sleep deprived. A single dose enabled those who had lost a night’s sleep to remain attentive for three hours longer than they would have done otherwise .
Ideal Dosage of L-Tyrosine
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”
— Walt Disney
Tyrosine is found in dairy, meats, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, oats, and wheat. In supplements, tyrosine has most often been used by adults in doses of 100-300 mg/kg by mouth daily. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what dose might be best for a specific condition.
N-acetyl-l-tyrosine (NALT) seems to be experienced somewhat differently (and often at lower doses) than L-tyrosine. NALT is interesting because the real-world experience of people taking it in the community of users does not match up with the bioavailability data.
Marco’s Grounds believes it’s essential to consider bioavailability data but not place too much weight on it. Especially with ingredients like NALT, where almost all of the bioavailability studies have been either in animals, non-oral dosing (i.v, i.p., etc.), and usually both
During our formulation and testing process, the NALT form has been additive in the context of an overall formula at doses that are typically much lower than would be expected based on bioavailability data and research on L-tyrosine.
We also believe that the supplementation of tyrosine, no matter which form is used, is subject to threshold responses (see Marco’s Grounds Dosing Principles). This is due to the tyrosine-induced increase in dopamine synthesis being regulated by end-product inhibition, i.e., once the optimal level is reached, higher levels of tyrosine will no longer increase dopamine synthesis) .
Who Benefits From Tyrosine
“Only the paranoid survive.”
— Andy Grove
People who work in stressful situations and want to keep a calm and optimistic mood for periods of heavier work activity will benefit the most from tyrosine.
Tyrosine works well for people with stressful jobs, demanding deadlines, and those who want to perform still even though they are sleep-deprived. Of course, this is not a carte blanche for sleeping less. But if you have to, then tyrosine can support you.
Tyrosine also offers benefits for people who want to juggle work-life balance and want to perform at work and in sports due to the benefits of tyrosine associated with performance and cognition.
To name a few examples of occupations that would benefit from incorporating tyrosine in their supplementation strategy:
- Entrepreneurs: as creativity is linked with working memory
- Lawyers who want to focus for longer periods
- Surgeons who need to perform with high stakes and high demanding physical and mental output
- Poker players who want to manage their emotions
- Students who want to stay composed under stress
The list is broad, and these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to people who can benefit from tyrosine.
Ideally, you’d start a tyrosine regiment about 3 to 4 weeks before the event you want to be on your A-game for, as it takes some time for tyrosine to load in your system. Tyrosine can also be taken all year as an “insurance policy.”
“If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.”
— Michele Ruiz
Tyrosine is an important amino acid also contained in Maximum Mind responsible for various processes in the body, notably the production of neurotransmitters. We covered the vast and substantial benefits of tyrosine, ranging from working memory to cognitive support and athletic performance.
Tyrosine can be an important ace up the sleeve of people with demanding jobs who need to push themselves constantly as it attenuates the effects of sleep deprivation and elevates performance under stress for complex tasks, as we discussed above. All of these properties together make tyrosine a great supplement to incorporate into anyone’s regimen for good health and performance.
Why not experience the benefits of tyrosine in their purest form along with other clinically studied compounds for increasing brain performance and health with Maximum Mind?
Read more about tyrosine on the Marco’s Grounds Deep Dive.
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- Thomas JR et al.Tyrosine improves working memory in a multitasking environment. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1999 Nov;64(3):495-500.
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- Neri DF, et al.The effects of tyrosine on cognitive performance during extended wakefulness. Aviat Space Environ Med. 1995 Apr;66(4):313-9.
- Avraham, Y. et al. Tyrosine Improves Appetite, Cognition, and Exercise Tolerance in Activity Anorexia. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001 Dec; 33(12) 104-110.
- Neri, D. F., Wiegmann, D., Stanny, R. R., Shappell, S. A., McCardie, A., & McKay, D. L. (1995). The effects of tyrosine on cognitive performance during extended wakefulness. Aviation, space, and environmental medicine, 66(4), 313–319.