Have you wondered if you should take Tyrosine supplements? You might have heard they can help with exercise performance or weight loss. Some studies seem to show that this amino acid also known as L-Tyrosine might help somewhat in those areas by increasing your metabolism. It also seems to help lower stress, fatigue and depression when doing tough exercising or studying. What in the world are amino acids? They’re the “building blocks” of protein so you’re getting different amino acids when you eat meat, fish, beans, etc. Tyrosine is one of the amino acids that the body produces but sometimes you need more than it makes.
When people start a new supplement one of the big question marks is about the side-effects. Well, let’s start with over-the-counter (OTC) products in general. Since they don’t have the strong chemicals in pharmaceuticals, they have fewer side-effects. You should still follow your doctor’s orders about taking the supplements including when and how much. There’s a chance you still might experience some minor side-effects from Tyrosine. If you’re taking certain meds you could also have some issues. This is another reason why you should talk to your doctor. We’ll be discussing what the amino acid is all about, common side effects, and some benefits the amino acid provides.
What Is Tyrosine?
The human body has a grand total of 20 amino acids and about half are “essential.” Are they more important than the others? That’s not what this means. They’re essential because the body doesn’t produce the amino acids.
Tyrosine/L-tyrosine is one of the “non-essential” amino acids. In other words, the body produces the amino acid. If that’s the case then why in the world would you need supplements? Sometimes your body doesn’t produce enough of it. In other cases, you’ll want to have an extra amount of the amino acid.
Studies show that L-tyrosine seems to provide various benefits. It seems to provide better thinking in high-stress situations. For example, when you’re stressed it can reduce the things called “neurotransmitters” that send signals between the brain and body. This amino acid can help with things like knowledge and memory.
L-tyrosine also could help with a type of genetic condition called PKU. The problem is the condition causes problems related to the gene making a type of enzyme that actually helps to make Tyrosine. So, a supplement can help to boost how much of the amino acid your body has.
How about Tyrosine’s use for weight loss or exercise performance? It can boost metabolism so in theory, this should help you to lose pounds and build muscle mass faster.
However, the verdict is still out about how much the amino acid can help in these areas. It might help with exercising in hot temperatures but there’s no solid evidence that L-tyrosine can help to lose weight.
It’s also unclear how much the amino acid can help with depression. It can definitely help to make more neurotransmitters. In theory, this can help with depression by balancing the signal-senders. Different studies have had mixed results so more research is needed to find out if there’s a link.
Tyrosine Side Effects
You might be wondering if this amino acid has some side-effects. As already noted, any side-effects will be much less serious than ones for pharmaceutical products since the supplement lacks strong chemicals.
In fact, this supplement is considered to be generally safe. This is true whether you take the amino acid orally as a pill, or apply it to the skin. One key is to follow the product’s directions and your doctor’s orders.
Make sure to take the right amount at the right time, for example. If you do that then there’s a much lower chance that you’ll experience any side-effects at all.
Some patients could consider some symptoms. They include headache, fatigue, nausea, and heartburn. These symptoms can cause some pain and discomfort but they’re still generally considered minor side-effects.
If you have a negative reaction to L-tyrosine then make sure to stop taking the amino acid supplement as soon as possible. You should also contact your doctor so he/she can guide you about what steps to take next.
There are also some special situations that could affect taking Tyrosine. Here are some of them:
1. Overactive Thyroid
The body uses tyrosine to make a certain kind of thyroid hormone. The problem is if those levels are too high, which could cause some health issues. It’s better to be on the safe side and avoid L-tyrosine if you have this condition or Graves’ disease.
It’s unknown if the amino acid is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. If you’re in those categories then make sure to consult your doctor first. You should also minimize the amount of the supplement you take.
You could also have some problems if you take these supplements while taking some medications. The problem is the chemical mixing of the OTC and prescription med.
How to Take Tyrosine Supplements
If you’re going to take T-tyrosine supplements then it’s important to know some important issues in order to maximize effectiveness and safety. Here are some of the main ones to consider:
This should be based on various factors. However, one of the main ones is the reason you’ll be taking the amino acid supplement.
How much should you be taking? You should generally take 150-300 mg/kg for mental performance and memory. If you’re suffering from lack of sleep you should take 150 mg/kg to become more alert. Meanwhile, the recommendation for PKU is typically 4-6 grams daily.
These are ballpark figures so make sure to talk to your doctor since they can help guide you about how much of the supplement you should take and when you should take it.
Another issue to keep in mind is tyrosine might affect how much thyroid hormone the body produces. If you’re taking these hormone pills then your body might make too much tyrosine, which is a bad thing. That could also cause various side-effects.
The amino acid might also lower how much Levodopa the body absorbs. This is another type of amino acid that the human body makes and uses. L-tyrosine might also make the other amino acid less effective. That’s certainly something you’ll want to avoid.
Even though L-tyrosine doesn’t require a prescription doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consult your doctor first. In fact, it’s important for you to do that. He/She knows your medical history, which meds you’re taking, etc.
So, they can determine whether or not starting the supplement might cause some health problems. If you’re taking certain prescription meds, for example, you definitely should be taking the amino acid supplement also.
Then after starting the supplements observe for side-effects. The good news is you’ll only experience small tyrosine side effects.