Tyrosine is an amino acid that is used to improve focus, attention and alertness by stimulating brain chemicals that help nerve cells to function. It also helps to regulate mood in those suffering from conditions such as depression. It can be found in poultry and dairy products, as well as foods that are high in protein such as soybeans.
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All you need to know about Tyrosine
What is tyrosine?
Tyrosine is produced naturally in the body through intake of another amino acid called phenylalanine. Tyrosine is responsible for creating various important substances in the body, including dopamine (which regulates pleasure and reward centres); adrenaline (used in our fight or flight response); thyroid hormones to regulate metabolism, and production of melanin, which is responsible for the pigmentation in your eyes, skin and hair. Tyrosine can boost performance and memory in situations that place the body under stress.
How much tyrosine should I be taking?
You should take no more than 68mg per pound of body weight. Speak to your doctor about the dosage that you should be taking, and also to check that taking tyrosine is safe for you, as it can create side effects in some people such as headaches, heartburn and nausea, and conflict with certain medications.
Can tyrosine give you energy?
Yes – tyrosine can affect neurotransmitters in the brain that influence mood and well-being, and can also affect your body's response to stress when in 'fight or flight' mode. It helps your body to retain energy, and boosts your adrenaline and norepinephrine levels. Because of this, you should only take it after consultation with your GP.
Which foods are naturally high in tyrosine?
Foods that are naturally high in tyrosine include soy, tofu, red and white meat, fish, eggs, cheese, yogurt, beans, nuts, and whole grain wheat. You should be getting all the tyrosine you need from your diet, but if you do not, a supplement can be a good option on the advice of your GP.