Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid which is a precursor to proteins vital to mental functions. When taken as a supplement it provides powerful nootropic benefits.



  • Improves general cognitive performance, includes memory, problem solving, energy, concentration, motivation [3][4][6]
  • Reduces the effects of stress and fatigue[3][4][8][9]
  • Improves mood under extenuating circumstances such as loss of loved one, prolonged work, and sleep deprivation [9]
  • Counteracts cognitive/physical performance impairment during periods of sustained work and sleep loss [8][7]

What Is Tyrosine?

Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid that is used by cells to synthesize proteins.  It was discovered in 1864 by the German chemist Justus von Liebig. He discovered it in a protein called “casein” found in certain cheeses.  It is now known that Tyrosine can be found in many food products including meats, fish, buts, beans, oats, wheat, and dairy products. It is also commonly sold and used as a supplement.

Tyrosine Dosage Information

The standard dosage for Tyrosine is between 500 – 1,500 mg per day. Generally, this is the equivalent of 1 – 3 capsules or tablets. To get the wanted effects it is best to take all the dosage all at once. You should never exceed 12,000 mg in a single day. When dosages are two high, Tyrosine is counterproductive and actually decreases levels of dopamine in the brain.

How Does Tyrosine Work?

Dopaminergic cells in the brain use the enzyme “tyrosine hydroxylase” (TH) to convert tyrosine to levodopa (L-DOPA). Levodopa is essential for your body’s production of the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine (noradrenaline), and epinephrine (adrenaline). [2] Levodopa itself is a drug used in the clinical treatment of Parkinson’s disease and dopamine-responsive dystonia.

The effects of Tyrosine stem directly from its ability to be converted in L-DOPA and its effect on neurotransmitter levels.

Safety and Side Effects of Tyrosine

Tyrosine is known to be safe when taken in doses of 150mg/kg (6,800mg for a 150lb person) per day for up to 3 months. Reported side effects include joint pain, heartburn, nausea, and headache. There is not enough information about Tyrosine to know if it is safe for children or pregnant women. You should also not take Tyrosine if you have an overactive thyroid or suffer from Graves disease. [1]

Because Tyrosine and Levodopa work through the exact same mechanism of action they should not be taken together. Taking them together can cause them to work against each other, decreasing their effectiveness. [1]


Tyrosine FAQ

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about Tyrosine. If you have a question that’s not on this list, send it to us at questions@whatarenootropics.com and we will answer it for you.

Should I Use Tyrosine?

What Are Some Notable Studies on Tyrosine?

Cited Studies

1. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1037-TYROSINE.aspx?activeIngredientId=1037&activeIngredientName=TYROSINE

2. Rasmussen DD, Ishizuka B, Quigley ME, Yen SS (1983). “Effects of tyrosine and tryptophan ingestion on plasma catecholamine and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid concentrations”. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 57 (4): 760–3. doi:10.1210/jcem-57-4-760. PMID 6885965.

3. Deijen JB, Orlebeke JF (1994). “Effect of tyrosine on cognitive function and blood pressure under stress”. Brain Res. Bull. 33 (3): 319–23. doi:10.1016/0361-9230(94)90200-3. PMID 8293316.

4.  Deijen JB, Wientjes CJ, Vullinghs HF, Cloin PA, Langefeld JJ (1999). “Tyrosine improves cognitive performance and reduces blood pressure in cadets after one week of a combat training course”. Brain Res. Bull. 48 (2): 203–9. doi:10.1016/S0361-9230(98)00163-4. PMID 10230711.

5. Mahoney CR, Castellani J, Kramer FM, Young A, Lieberman HR (2007). “Tyrosine supplementation mitigates working memory decrements during cold exposure”. Physiology and Behavior IN PRESS (4): 575–82. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2007.05.003. PMID 17585971.

7.  Magill RA, Waters WF, Bray GA, Volaufova J, Smith SR, Lieberman HR, McNevin N, Ryan DH (2003). “Effects of tyrosine, phentermine, caffeine D-amphetamine, and placebo on cognitive and motor performance deficits during sleep deprivation”. Nutritional Neuroscience 6 (4): 237–46. doi:10.1080/1028415031000120552. PMID 12887140.

8. Neri DF, Wiegmann D, Stanny RR, Shappell SA, McCardie A, McKay DL (1995). “The effects of tyrosine on cognitive performance during extended wakefulness”. Aviation, space, and environmental medicine 66 (4): 313–9. PMID 7794222.

9. Reinstein DK, Lehnert H, Wurtman RJ (1985). “Dietary tyrosine suppresses the rise in plasma corticosterone following acute stress in rats”. Life Sci. 37 (23): 2157–63. doi:10.1016/0024-3205(85)90566-1. PMID 4068899.

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