Top 5 L-Tyrosine Supplements and Benefits

Benefits of L-Tyrosine supplementsTyrosine is an amino acid that the body uses to create structural proteins, neurotransmitters, and hormones.

[Jump to the 5 best L-Tyrosine supplements here]

As a non-essential amino acid, the body can produce tyrosine all on its own – provided it has enough building blocks. These building blocks are the amino acid phenylalanine, and nutrient cofactors like vitamin C and vitamin B6. The body requires tyrosine in high amounts during stress, and our natural reserves become depleted as we age.

Tyrosine is naturally found in many common foods – particularly in cheese, where its name came from (“tyros” means “cheese” in Greek). Soy products like tofu, tempeh and soy milk are particularly high in tyrosine, and nuts, seeds and eggs are good sources too. Chicken, beef and seafood also contain decent amounts.

But here’s the kick – eating all these foods doesn’t mean your body will necessarily absorb enough tyrosine to meet your metabolic requirements. There are a few reasons why you may not be getting enough from your diet:

  • Increased Requirements – You may need more tyrosine if you’re experiencing stress, sickness, or if you’re boosting your workout regime, or studying. Anything that requires more protein, dopamine, or hormones to deal with stress will require more tyrosine.
  • Impaired Digestion – If you suffer from low stomach acid, your body may be unable to break down protein into absorbable amino acids (like tyrosine!). Low stomach acid can cause symptoms of reflux or heartburn, but it can also go completely unnoticed. You’re at particular risk of poor digestion if you’re over the age of 45 — believe it or not, stomach acid decreases around age 30 and keeps declining into old age.
  • Amino acid competition – Amino acids compete with each other for absorption in the small intestine. When we eat a food that is high in tyrosine, like cheese, it also contains other amino acids that all fight for absorption. Branch-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine) are the most readily absorbed – unfortunately, tyrosine doesn’t rate high on the absorption list.

Bottom line – even if you’re eating foods that are high in tyrosine, you won’t necessarily get the amount of tyrosine your body needs. Taking an L-tyrosine supplement can give a direct boost to blood levels of tyrosine and may meet increased requirements, negate digestive issues, and bypass absorption competition.

Why would you want to boost your tyrosine levels in the first place?

Here’s why:

Tyrosine’s Nootropic Effects for Brain Health

L-tyrosine nootropic
Tyrosine has a nootropic effect – it has the ability to boost cognitive function, memory, creativity and motivation. This effect is mostly due to its role as a precursor for dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is both excitatory (it helps us to focus) and inhibitory (it balances mood).

  • A systematic review in 2015 concluded that research of fifteen studies supported the efficacy of tyrosine supplements to boost cognitive abilities in times of sudden stress [1].
  • Dopamine is essential for working memory, and taking a tyrosine supplement may boost cognition in the short-term, particularly during demanding activities [2], multitasking, and switching between different types of thinking [3].

Tyrosine Supplements for Energy & Well Being

L-tyrosine energy supplement
As well as dopamine, tyrosine is a key precursor to the other catecholamines (norepinephrine and epinephrine) – well-known hormones that are critical in times of stress.

They are also key controllers of the body’s energy production and feeling of “get-up-and-go”.

By supporting the conversion to catecholamines, a tyrosine supplement can boost physiological processes that produce feelings of energy – heart rate, increasing blood flow to the muscles, and releasing energy stores.

Tyrosine Supplements for Mood

L-Tyrosine supplements
Dopamine boosts motivation, and it also gives us feelings of pleasure and reward. Your dopamine stores may be low if you’re slogging away at your career and kicking goals but feel unsatisfied and flat.

The first step to boosting dopamine levels is to top up your tyrosine stores. This can take up to a month of consistently taking an L-tyrosine supplement, though you will likely feel some improvement within a week.

Moderate doses between 500mg and 1,000mg per day is considered a therapeutic dose. No need to take huge doses – the body keeps tight control on the amount of dopamine pumping through the system, so taking large amounts of tyrosine at one time won’t cause a huge surge of feel-good chemicals.

  • A fascinating social experimental study from 2017 has shown tyrosine levels in the blood may influence social behavior – high levels of tyrosine was associated with study participants choosing to exhibit more compassionate behavior, while low levels of tyrosine correlated with participants choosing to punish others [4].

Tyrosine Supplements for Liver Support

Tyrosine benefits
Amino acids are required for the health and function of the liver. Tyrosine and its precursor, phenylalanine, are known as aromatic amino acids.

An imbalance between aromatic and other amino acids has been seen in liver failure. No studies on supplementing have been done, but it is possible that taking L-tyrosine could help to relieve cognitive symptoms of liver disease [5].

For further ways to promote liver health and overall well-being, consider tudca supplements or even natural curcumin and turmeric.

How To Take Tyrosine Supplements

The adult dosage range is 500mg – 1,000mg per day. This can be divided into two or three smaller doses across the day.

Be sure to take L-tyrosine 30 minutes before meals – remember, it competes for absorption with other amino acids!

Higher doses (we’re talking 10g or more) can be toxic.

CAUTION: Do NOT take tyrosine supplements if you take any of these medications:

  • Antidepressants of any kind
  • CNS stimulants
  • Levodopa (L-Dopa)
  • Thyroid medication – though this may be safe if under supervision.

Do not take tyrosine supplements if you have:

  • Graves disease

Possible side effects from taking a tyrosine supplement:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Increased heart rate
  3. Headaches
  4. Appetite changes
  5. Blood pressure changes
  6. Diarrhoea
  7. Stomach aches

Keep doses within 500mg – 2,000mg per day to reduce chances of side effects, split the dose into two or three smaller doses across the day, and do not take tyrosine for longer than 90 days at a time. Stop taking tyrosine supplements if you experience these side effects, and speak to your physician before beginning again.

Tyrosine supplements

The 5 Best Tyrosine Supplements

5. Twinlab L-Tyrosine Plus (250mg 100 capsules)

L-TyrosineThis tyrosine supplement by Twinlab contains an absorbable form of tyrosine as well as therapeutic doses of vitamin C and vitamin B6 – key cofactors for the conversion of tyrosine to dopamine and norepinephrine.

This is an ideal tyrosine supplement to take if you are stressed out or extra busy. Unfortunately, it’s not appropriate for vegetarians as the capsules are made of gelatine.

Each capsule contains 250mg of L-tyrosine, so take two per day for a moderate dose.

4. NOW L-Tyrosine Extra Strength (750mg 90 capsules)

NOW L-TyrosineNOW have manufactured a tyrosine supplement with 750mg of the amino acid per capsule – an easy and affordable way to get a good dose in one capsule.

With pharmaceutical grade tyrosine suspended in low-allergen rice flour, this product is highly absorbable.

This is the best tyrosine supplement if you’re looking to easily boost your levels with just one dose per day.

3. NutraBio N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (350mg 120 capsules)

N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine SupplementBy binding an acetyl group to pharmaceutical grade tyrosine, NutraBio have made the amino acid more water-soluble, absorbable, and bio-available.

This means that the tyrosine in this supplement may work quicker and more effectively, so a 350mg dose may be enough for most people.

This supplement is high quality, free from added chemicals, and tested by an independent lab to guarantee quality.

2. BulkSupplements Pure N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (500g)

Bulk L-tyrosineBulkSupplements also offer a highly bioavailable N-acetyl L-tyrosine, and as the brand name suggests, it comes in a bulk bag of 500g. No added nasties, and no capsules to digest. Taking 1/8th of a teaspoon of the powder dissolved in water delivers 400mg of N-acetyl L-tyrosine, so it’s perfect if you’re looking to control your dosage.

The powder easily dissolves in water and has a slight salty taste. Some reviews of this product suggest adding it to a smoothie or other protein supplement – but remember that amino acids compete for absorption, so it’s best to take tyrosine with water, away from food or other protein supplements if you really want to boost your levels.


1. Superior Labs L-Tyrosine (500mg 120 capsules)

Best L-Tyrosine SupplementSuperior Labs manufacture their supplements in the USA from high quality ingredients.

This tyrosine supplement is suspended in natural rice powder, a low-allergen alternative to flow agents that other companies may use. The capsules are made with easily digestible plant cellulose, and doesn’t contain any nasties like dioxides, preservatives or artificial ingredients. This is a great tyrosine supplement to take if you have allergens or are worried about additives.

Each capsule delivers 500mg of L-tyrosine, making it easy to reach a therapeutic dose each day.

View Superior Labs L-Tyrosine Here


[1] Hase, A., Jung, S. E. & aan het Rot, M. (2015) Behavioral and cognitive effects of tyrosine intake in healthy human adults. Pharmacol Biochem Behav., 133, 1 – 6.

[2] Colzato, L. S., et al. (2013) Working memory reloaded: tyrosine repletes updating in the N-back task. Front Behav Neurosci., 7.

[3] Steenbergen, L., et al. (2015) Tyrosine promotes cognitive flexibility: evidence from proactive vs. reactive control during task switching performance. Neuropsychologia, 69, 50 – 55.

[4] Strang, S., et al. (2017) Impact of nutrition on social decision making. PNAS, 11:25,

[5] Dejong, C. H. C., et al. (2007) Aromatic Amino Acid Metabolism during Liver Failure. Journal of Nutrition, 137:6.

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