Of the approximately 20 proteinogenic amino acids found within the body, L-Tyrosine or simply Tyrosine, is nonessential because your body already produces it from another amino acid, called phenylalanine. The primary benefits of tyrosine that have been reported are mostly attributed to preventing a decline in cognitive function in response to physical stress. Tyrosine is the precursor of catecholamines (stress hormones produced by the adrenaline gland), therefore alterations in the availability of tyrosine to the brain can impact the synthesis of dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine (neurotransmitters which influence mood) in experimental animals, thus are presumed to work well in humans.
Tyrosine is used in protein supplements to treat a genetic disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU). People who have this problem can’t process phenylalanine properly, so as a result they can’t make tyrosine. To meet this requirement, supplemental tyrosine is given. Tyrosine can also be found naturally in foods like: cottage cheese, turkey, fish, pork, eggs, nuts, beans, oats, avocados, seaweed, mustard leaves, and wheat. (Source: Tyrosine, University of Maryland Medical; 2009).
Both mental and physical stress are an inevitable part of the human life cycle and in extreme forms can cause or aggravate psychiatric conditions including: depression, schizophrenia and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, (PTSD). Many people may feel that they’d like to enhance the quality of their lives a bit due to work or family related stress – so this may account for the large number of herbal and “natural” compounds sold over the counter in supermarkets, drug stores, and online to help control this dilemma.
In addition to participating in some function of almost every protein in the body, tyrosine also helps produce melanin, the pigment responsible for hair and skin color. It also assist in the role of organs responsible for making and regulating hormones, including the adrenal, thyroid, and pituitary glands.
The recommended dosage varies from person to person, so it’s best to begin with (after you consult with your Doctor) a lower dose of 500 mgs, which is most advisable for beginner’s dosage – then gauge your tolerance; amp it up if need be to a daily max of 2,000 mgs. This is best when taken prior to exercise on empty stomach. I’ve personally tried tyrosine prior to my workout and have noticed a spike in my workouts in terms of rapid energy (when recovering from sleep), and an improved balance in my cognitive abilities (general brain function). Tyrosine could be used to help enhance one’s mood, bouts with depression, or even anxiety. Check out Fitness Rx for Men’s supplement section to see which products that contain tyrosine could assist you in your personal or workout endeavors.