Tyrosine is an amino acid and a mild stimulant.
Natural food sources of this amino acid include grains such as wheat and oats, nuts such as almonds and peanuts, fruit such as avocados and bananas, seeds such as pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds, and legumes such as soy and lima beans.
The body can produce tyrosine from the amino acid phenylalanine.
In the body tyrosine is converted into the neurotransmitters dopamine, adrenaline, and norepinephrine.
First, it is converted into L-DOPA, which is then decarboxylated into dopamine. Dopamine turns into norepinephrine and finally to epinephrine, which explains its stimulating and euphoric effects.
A light dose is up to 1000 mg, while a strong dose is upwards of 2000 mg.
The onset of effects occurs around 1 hour, while the peak may come on up to 3 hours following ingestion. While the effects can last up to 4 hours, some after effects, including wakefulness, can last for up to 12 hours.
Keep that in mind when deciding when to take tyrosine supplements. You probably do not want to take it later than 12 hours before your planned bedtime.
Besides wakefulness and stimulation, the state of consciousness produced by tyrosine may involve enhancement of analysis, creativity, focus, memory, motivation, and stamina, as well as cognitive euphoria, increased libido and appreciation of music, and thought acceleration.
Tyrosine improves mental performance and memory especially in stressful conditions and for sleep deprived people. So if you need to take a stressful test but haven’t slept enough the night before, tyrosine would be a good supplement to use.
One person ingested a quarter teaspoon of liquid tyrosine (equivalent to 600-1200 mg), which is a low to medium dose. He writes:
an almost immediate ‘up’ comes. The effects are similar in many ways to ‘real’ speed in that my motivation, energy, mood and senses all brighten, I become ‘intense.’ Yet somehow I feel somehow, ‘within.’ Subjectively these feelings are more controllable and even ‘cleaner’ than when trying speed. […] This does dull the register of pain, so much more physical activity (working out or otherwise) can be sanguinely endured! Alas, this is still prey to ‘overstimulation’ in that I can become so speedy that I can’t actually concentrate on any one thing for very long, and become restless, even agitated. And there is some ‘crash’ about 4-7 hours after I use it, though it can be remedied with a cup of coffee or so, or actually sleeping… Curiously, this does make me want to smoke cigarettes more often (not surprising) but also reduces my physical ‘reward’ for smoking. I’ve found that it is best a couple hours after breakfast, though it does work on an empty stomach, or with very low protein food, as other amino acids will compete with this for attention in the body. I suggest after breakfast because tyrosine does suppress the appetite for several hours, and better to have something digested before pushing my body.
Another person experimented with 3 dosage levels:
First, he tried 500 mg.
went and worked out with my usual calisthenics routine in the park along with my friend J. He noticed that I was unusually loud, commanding, and overall more irritable than usual. I definitely noticed a difference in perception. When I came home, M (my other friend) said that he could tell that I was high, from my abnormally hyperactive behavior, excessive talking, and bouncing around like a little kid.
Then, he tried 3000 mg.
We talked for hours about monetary society, like we were planning on blowing the whistle on government policy. I’m not usually open to secular discussions, but this one intrigued me. […] Tapping into information without distraction was so second nature, that I didn’t realize how long we talked until a few days later […] I didn’t know I was high until I wasn’t high anymore.
Finally, he tried 1000 mg.
Usually, whenever I have one of these social services meetings, it is extremely annoying, boring, and it drives me crazy. This time was different. I had the urge to be communicative with every person I encountered, which made the day fun (for the most part,) and all the females that worked at the hospital were flirting with me, which was MORE fun. One girl said that I reminded her of Johnny Depp, while two others said that they liked me because I was making them laugh. All the while, I have a feel-good smile across my face. I’ve heard that enthusiasm is contagious, so maybe that’s why they felt there was a connection betwixt us. […] that night I was drained, mildly apathetic, and uncomfortable talking. The effects were similar to a cocaine crash but not at all as drastic.
The following experience was reported by a person who took 1000 mg tyrosine and 2000 mg a few weeks later.
I heard about the stimulant and potentially perception altering effects of tyrosine, so I figured I’d give it a shot. I […] started my training regimen that day. I didn’t feel any sort of jolt of energy but it certainly helped me. My endurance was increased slightly and I wasn’t as tired as I normally would be. The crash (about 5 hrs later) kinda sucked, but after a few hours rest I was good to go. No changes in my personality or perception. I considered the experience a moderate success so I tried two a few weeks later. My endurance shot through the roof and I completely blasted through my training. The fatigue on my body coupled with the crash (again, 5 hrs later) had me out for a while. I slept for about 5 hrs and woke up and ate something, then fell asleep for the rest of the day.
If you’re looking for a natural stimulant that is less destructive than amphetamines, tyrosine would seem to be a good option to try. Don’t try it too often though. Reserve it for when you really need your mental focus and alertness but cannot get enough rest, especially during stressful life events.