- Diet & Weight Loss
Best Fat Burner Supplement: Tyrosine
What Is Tyrosine?
Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid made from another amino acid called phenylalanine contained within the body. That may sound foreign to you, so let us examine what an amino acid is first.
Amino acids are biologically important organic compounds and one of the three most important energy sources within the human body. The other two major energy sources include fatty acids (fats) and monosaccharides such as glucose (sugars). Amino acids are linked together in construction with the body's proteins which are either structural or regulatory in nature. Structural proteins such as collagen and elastin make up the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Regulatory proteins such as enzymes control the function of all the metabolic pathways within the body's cells (i.e., breaking down food).
So, where does tyrosine fit in with amino acids? It is a building block for several important brain chemicals called neurotransmitters which communicate information throughout the body. They relay signals between nerve cells called 'neurons' and tell your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe, and your stomach to digest. They also affect your mood, sleep, concentration, and even weight. Tyrosine also helps your body produce melanin which is the pigment responsible for hair and skin color. Moreover, it helps your organs make and regulate hormones (i.e., adrenal, thyroid, and pituitary glands). As you can see, tyrosine is an important element in your body's functions.
relieves stress (both from life situations and exercise)
relieves depression, anxiety, mental fatigue, and burnout
enhances cognitive performance and memory
improves workout intensity
increases recuperation from training
increases fat burning and maximizes body composition
relieves premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Foods Containing Tyrosine
Per 200 Calorie Serving
Seaweed, Spirulina, Raw
Cottage Cheese, Low-Fat, 1%
Seaweed, Spirulina, Dried
Salmon, Chum, Raw
Turkey Breast, Cooked
Mustard Greens, Cooked
Pork Roast, Cooked
Cream Cheese, Low Fat
Fish, Whiting, Cooked
Crab Meat, Cooked
Do you take tyrosine as a supplement?
Tyrosine for Fat Burning
Tyrosine is helpful in many ways when it comes to burning body fat. Let's take a look at a few benefits it promotes:
Improves Stress Levels - Remember the 'neurotransmitters' talked about in the introduction of this hub? These chemical messengers (i.e., dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine) send information to the rest of your body which helps stabilize your body to stress factors and promotes a sense of well-being. Tyrosine helps these neurotransmitters to do this. A Dutch study on soldiers proved that tyrosine helped them with better memory and tracking tasks. The study also concluded that it helped these soldiers reduce the effects of fatigue and stress. Other studies have proven that performance is better while sleep deprived when the first meal of the day was packed with protein and complex carbohydrates. When stress levels are reduced, it's easier to lose body fat.
Helps Control Appetite - Tyrosine also regulates the 'feel good' hormone called serotonin (also a neurotransmitter). Serotonin not only makes you feel good, it also helps control food cravings.
Increases Metabolism - Low calorie diets tend to lower metabolic rate and cause plateaus in weight loss. Due to a particular neurotransmitter (norepinephrine), tyrosine may help in increasing metabolism, especially while on a calorie-restricted diet. It does this by increasing the heart rate which increases the amount of blood to your muscles. With increased blood flow, your body then releases glucose (sugars) from your energy stores at a faster rate.
Improves Training Focus - Because tyrosine has been shown to increase mental alertness, it may be reasonable to say that your focus on training will increase. A study by Brigham Young University published in the Journal of Applied Physiology reported that the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) on its study group was reduced after 90 minutes of cycling.
Do NOT Take Tyrosine With These Medications
- MAOIs or Antidepressants - You should avoid taking tyrosine if you currently take Marplan, Nardil, Parante, and Selegiline. Whether through food or supplements, tyrosine can increase your blood pressure dramatically which is dangerous.
- Thyroid Hormones - Tyrosine is a precursor to thyroid hormones. Taken with thyroid medications, your thyroid levels may increase too much.
- Levodopa (L-dopa) - Used to treat Parkinson’s disease, tyrosine may interfere how your body absorbs this medication.
How Much Tyrosine to Take
The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends 500 to 1,000 milligrams of tyrosine three times per day, and it should be taken approximately 30 minutes before each meal.
The Medical Center also recommends that B-6, folic acid, and copper be taken with tyrosine for better conversion into the important brain chemicals it needs. There are a number of supplements on the market that include tyrosine as part of their synergistic blends. Therefore, you may want to check what's available before trying tyrosine as a stand-alone supplement. Many supplement companies provide complex proprietary blends that have been proven to enhance training and fat loss.
If you're taking the medications listed to your right in the blue box, please do not take this supplement before checking with your physician as it could have adverse affects on your health.
Tyrosine may aid in fat loss by improving stress levels, controlling appetite, increasing metabolism, and improving training. However, this supplement is not going to be for everyone. It is also important to check with your physician to be sure tyrosine is right for you, especially if you are on any medications, have any medical condition, or have any health concerns.
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About the author
Abby Campbell, BSc, SFN, SSN, CPT, is a leading professional fitness and nutrition expert, researcher, and published author. For the past 10 years, she has coached thousands of women locally and online to lose body fat and lead healthy lifestyles. Her clients have lost thousands of pounds, reclaimed health, and call her “Coach No Gimmick.” She is from Northern Virginia but now resides near Charlotte, North Carolina. Abby has been married for 20 years and has three grown daughters, one of which is autistic. She is a 19 year cancer survivor.