By Jonathan Roseland

I'm not a doctor, medical professional, or trained therapist. I'm a researcher and pragmatic biohacking practitioner exercising free speech to share evidence as I find it. I make no claims. Please practice skepticism and rational critical thinkingYou should consult a professional about any serious decisions that you might make about your health. Affiliate links in this article support Limitless Mindset - spend over $150 and you'll be eligible to join the Limitless Mindset Secret Society.

A quintessential Limitless Nootropic; it increases focus abilities and internalized motivation, although many report a wired feeling from it.

It enhances working memory and executive function through chemical signalers in the prefrontal cortex. This amino acid is a harbinger of two of the most important neurotransmitters, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

Scientific Research
Acute Stress

Effects on Exercise
Cold Stress
Mechanism of Action
Sleep Deprivation
Vs Addiction
Antiaging Cream
N-Methyltyramine (NMT) vs L-Tyrosine
Food Sources
Why Supplement?
Taste and Aesthetics
Pharmaceutical Grade
Recommended Daily
Side Effects
A Final Word
Tyrosine Videos

This article is mostly going to focus on decoding what the human studies are saying about Tyrosine and how this squares up with the anecdotal experiences of Biohackers online. For more of my own personal experiences, thoughts, and comparisons, please see the written and video reviews in the sidebar.

 Scientific Research

L-Tyrosine has been widely studied as a performance-enhancing Nootropic with over 4000 scientific papers listed on Pubmed.

 Vs Acute Stress

Acute Stress effect

This is the kind of stress that is stimulated by a singular event that is shocking to our biology as opposed to long-term, nagging, brooding stress. Some examples:

  • The shock of being in a car accident.
  • Soldiers suffering from PTSD as a result of time spent in a war zone or battle.
  • Getting into a fight or being assaulted.
  • Playing a high-impact sport.

But acute stressors don't have to involve physical violence, they can also come from environmentally tamer or even purely emotional stimuli:

  • Being cold or physical activity at high altitudes.
  • Swimming (cold showers anyone?)
  • An unexpected breakup with a partner.
  • Watching an intense movie.
  • Loud, unexpected noises.
  • A business deal going awry.
  • Intense exercise - a classic acute stressor.

In small doses, acute stress can be pleasurable. That's why we enjoy skydiving, driving fast cars, and scary movies. It's also a source of hormesis; positive stress that provides an impetus for our personal development. However, acute stress is still stress that comes with a spectrum of negative effects on our biology, especially our cognition and memory.

As I researched acute stress, I was reminded of some morbid history I learned from my favorite audio program about World War 1, Blueprint for Armageddon by Dan Carlin.

Blueprint for Armageddon

This conflict turned Europe into a cauldron of acute stressors. Many soldiers (not obviously physically wounded) were severely disciplined and even executed by their commanding officers for "cowardice" during battle. They didn't understand that the PTSD and acute stress that soldiers suffered from due to constant nearby explosions and machine-gun fire were just as crippling as losing a leg or an arm.

Tyrosine acute stressAt least several human studies have shown Tyrosine as effective in limiting the retarding effects of acute stress. To quote a U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine study of 23 soldiers:

Tyrosine significantly decreased symptoms, adverse moods, and performance impairments in subjects who exhibited average or greater responses to these environmental conditions.

In a Dutch study, the human participants, in a week-long high-intensity training exercise, consumed two grams daily of tyrosine in protein shakes, from the Abstract:

The effects of the amino acid tyrosine on cognitive task performance were studied on a group of 21 cadets during a demanding military combat training course... The group supplied with the tyrosine-rich drink performed better on a memory and a tracking task than the group supplied with the carbohydrate-rich drink. These findings suggest that supplementation with tyrosine may, under operational circumstances characterized by psychosocial and physical stress, reduce the effects of stress and fatigue on cognitive task performance.

tao nootropic capsuleMost readers of Limitless Mindset are probably not going to find themselves in a war zone or combat training exercise anytime soon, so why should you care about the anti-acute-stress effects of Tyrosine?

  • Crossfit junkies or other varieties of gym rats who live for that euphoric rush of endorphins should strongly consider supplementing Tyrosine to prevent Hypothyroidism (more on this below).
  • Are you a flow state hacker? For many, activities like surfing, rock climbing, snowboarding, and skydiving present a portal to gamma brain wave-driven flow states of clarity, creativity, and even slow time dilation. These stimuli, while awesome, have an undeniable biological cost in stress.
  • Entrepreneurs, business-to-business salespeople, trial attorneys, and professionals whose working lives entail lots of asymmetrical stress, emotional spikes, and unpredictable events.

Supplementing 500 to 2000 milligrams of Tyrosine 30-60 minutes before an acute stressor can sharply cut its negative effect on mood and memory.


Tyrosine intelligence

Speaking of creative flow states, Tyrosine is fuel for inspiration. According to a 2014 paper out of the Institute for Psychological Research and Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition in the Netherlands:

...we investigated whether creativity in convergent and divergent-thinking tasks is promoted by the food supplement l-Tyrosine... As convergent thinking arguably requires more cognitive top-down control, this finding suggests that [l-Tyrosine] can facilitate control-hungry creative operations.

Convergent thinking is when we narrow down, analyze, and choose between options. A common weakness of creative types who are always brimming with great ideas and being pulled in different creative directions. According to the Dutch study, there was no evidence that it aided divergent thinking.

To quote one biohacker's experience on 3.5 grams daily of Tyrosine:

"I feel more intelligent, speak more intelligent, act more intelligent and perform more intelligently. This is not just my own opinion, classmates have expressed surprise and said that 'I'm on the ball these days'. Working memory is phenomenal and my frontal lobe has felt alive with activity (shown through extensive working memory, alertness, extended concentration and focus and extended awake)." 

Many users report that this amino acid improves their ability to solve difficult problems, such as calculus and physics. Research backs these reports, with improved deep thinking and problem-solving occurring following L-Tyrosine supplementation. Several studies suggest that L-Tyrosine can improve cognitive performance despite psychological stress.

 Effects on Exercise

Tyrosine Effects Exercise

It's a scientifically vindicated physical performance enhancer. It's used commonly as a pre-workout supplement, while the benefits of intense, regular exercise are huge (literally and figuratively!). As an acute stressor, there is a risk of conditions like Hypothyroidism. According to health detective Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac.

The stress caused by intense, excessive exercise can negatively affect the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, possibly causing conditions such as hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is known to cause depression, weight gain, and digestive disfunction along with a variety of other symptoms.

And supplementing L-Tyrosine is a great option for addressing hypothyroidism or debilitating low thyroid - which is terribly common! It's a safe, cheap, and effective way to boost Thyroid hormones.

 Vs Cold Stress

Two human studies demonstrated it as being effective in inoculating participants against cold stress-induced memory deficits. This means that Tyrosine supplementation is a great idea for those whose work or recreational activities entail spending a lot of time in the cold...

  • Mountaineers, rock climbers, skiers, and snowboarders.
  • Cops, soldiers, national guardsmen, and public servants who work outdoors.
  • Construction workers and landscaping contractors.

 Mechanism of Action

-Mechanism of Action

This amino has such a wide range of positive effects because of the three important neurotransmitters it helps to produce; dopamine and norepinephrine.

  • Dopamine which we traditionally think of as a pleasure chemical, works on a lot of other areas of our minds as well, which enables us to be productive and focused.
  • Norepinephrinethe stimulator that allows us to use stress as a positive motivator toward our goals.
  • Noradrenaline - in the stress family of neurotransmitters, this is a vital link in the chemical chain of events that allows our bodies to spring into action when they most need to.

The neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine are depleted by various traumatic events; fatigue, death of a loved one, divorce, overwork, sleep deprivation, and even stimulant drugs.

L-Tyrosine regulates and decreases cortisol levels. An MIT study, Dietary tyrosine suppresses the rise in plasma corticosterone following acute stress in rats, demonstrated that it reduces stress hormones. In healthy individuals, it doesn't have much effect on mood but an Amsterdam study, Effect of tyrosine on cognitive function and blood pressure under stress, demonstrated that it lowers blood pressure and boosts cognitive function as well in healthy subjects.

One Erowid contributor reports:

...I find an almost instant rise in alertness, a positive sensation somewhat like doing a very small amount of amphetamine, but much more smooth. Certainly there is also pain relief potential as well as aggression. I ended up ingesting this before every soccer practice and it gave me a psychological and physical edge I need...

Increased plasma transmitter levels, an effect of L-Tyrosine, boosts sex drive as well, it has a positive effect on erectile dysfunction.

 Vs Sleep Deprivation

Sleep Deprivation

If you don't sleep well during the night, a smaller dosage of as little as 800 milligrams will give you an extra few hours of alert mindset. And according to a Naval Aerospace human study) to counteract even extreme sleep deprivation, take 150 milligrams per kilogram of your body weight - I'm 63 kilos (138 pounds) so that would be north of 9 grams. A later American study noted improved performance on several tests and another military paper named it as a countermeasure to performance decrement in military sustained operations. This makes the supplement a good option for those with deviant lifestyles...

  • Entrepreneurs and Wantrepreneurs who need to work awkward hours to build their businesses.
  • Pickup artists that stay up all night gaming (and hopefully pulling).
  • Frequent intercontinental travelers, who are constantly battling jet lag.
  • Biohackers trying to reduce the number of hours they sleep.



Users of ADHD medication report that Tyrosine helps with mental clarity. According to some stack tweakers, Tyrosine, DMAE, and 5-HTP is a heaven-sent remedy for ADHD.

 Vs Addiction


Tyrosine helps those dealing with addiction as well because it balances the dopamine-based reward system.

Antiaging Cream


You might want to pick up some tyrosine-rich skin cream as it also has an anti-aging effect on wrinkles, from a 2012 study:

A new amino acid (tyrosine) derivative was recently found to significantly build volume in the dermal matrix when applied topically... In a pilot clinical study, 17 women, 35-65 years of age, applied the tyrosine derivative, 2%, in serum followed by 1.25% in lightly occlusive cream to target lines and wrinkles on the face twice daily for 8 weeks. Subjects were photographed and completed self-assessment questionnaires. Photographs revealed noticeable decreases in deep crow's feet, nasolabial folds, and glabellar lines. The subjects reported smoother skin (94%) and improved appearance (100%). Other known benefits of the tyrosine derivative include exfoliation and antioxidant effects.

 N-Methyltyramine (NMT) vs L-Tyrosine


Describing it as Tyrosine on meth would be selling this profoundly energizing Nutraceutical a little short. Taken individually, its effects are reportedly unimpressive but stacked with other Nootropics ingredients, it imbues the consumer with levels of focus previously not experienced. 

With its scary, long chemical name, you wouldn't guess that NMT comes from a variety of orange tree, Citrus Aurantium.

While it has 37 results on PubMed, the single human study on it, conducted in the 1980s has not been translated from Chinese and it is something of a fringe Nootropic, bodybuilders use it because of the reserves of energy and motivation it lets them tap.



Is essentially a more pure chemical form of Tyrosine, closer to the actual neurotransmitters it is involved with. It's more bioavailable, due to the acetic acid addition, meaning that less of it gets passed through the body and more of it passes the blood-brain barrier. Some bloggers report that N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine increases their verbal intelligence and sociability.


Tyrosine comes from the Greek word for cheese and was discovered in 1846 by a German scientist.

 Food Sources

Tyrosine is synthesized in our bodies from the protein-like chemical, phenylalanine, which occurs in high-protein foods:

  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Almonds
  • Avocados
  • Bananas

 Why Supplement?

Why spend money on supplemental L-Tyrosine when it's fairly common in a relatively healthy diet?

In a perfect world, we could get all the vitamins and nutrients we need from our diet exclusively. As a veteran Nootropics consumer, the primary value that I see lifehackers are going to find in Tyrosine is to fight asymmetrical stress and combat sleep deprivation. You would have to eat a mountain of Avocados to get the 4 to 6 grams of Tyrosine needed to have a kick-ass day on just two hours of sleep.

As much as lifehackers talk about work-life balance, sometimes you just need to pop some pills to take on a monster of a day or to bounce back from a crazy night. In supplement form, L-Tyrosine is very affordable with a 1-month supply costing about $12Looking for tyrosine capsules?

In the EU, I get L-Tyrosine capsuled from Intellimeds.

Tyrosine capsules

tyrosine powder

 Taste and Aesthetics

I've used L-Tyrosine for several years now and honestly, it's one of my favorite Nootropics to take in powdered form because it has an unremarkable taste; it tastes almost identical to flour to me.

Many Nootropic powders have ghastly tastes and are sticky or otherwise inconvenient to consume. Tyrosine is comparatively undramatic.

Dump a little of powder under your tongue and it washes down easily with a glass of water or tea.

It has a pretty wide dosage range. This isn't a Nootropic that you need to measure out with precisely every time you take it. After you've measured out 500 milligrams once on your digital scale you can just eyeball it.

Powdered L-Tyrosine

Pharma-Grade300 Pharmaceutical Grade

The purity, dissolution, and absorption of a given vitamin are 3rd party tested and verified to meet regulatory standards that come from a national Pharmacopeia. Pharmaceutical-grade can be obtained without a prescription, but typically they are sold by licensed healthcare practitioners.

Companies that distribute this grade will typically be Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certified, so look for GMP Certified on the labeling of and the websites you order from.

It's required to be 98-99% pure, you're never going to get 100% pure, but pharma grade is required to be within a couple of percentage points of it.

Downloadable L-Tyrosine?

You may be interested in taking it as an infoceutical - a non-pharmacological, side-effect-free version of the supplement that takes advantage of the phenomenon of water memory - which is imprinted on water via quantum collocation and electromagnetism using this device...

Infoceuticals typically have 1/3 or half the effect of the actual medicine being imprinted. If you're skeptical of Infopathy that's understandable, it's a game-changing application of a little-known scientific phenomenon. But I'd urge you to evaluate the scientific evidence (presented in my biohacker review) that downloadable medicine is no longer science fiction...

 Recommended Daily

  • 1500 milligrams - 4500 milligrams for nootropic purposes or to treat anxiety or stress, broken up into three doses daily.
  • Acetyl-l-tyrosine is more bioavailable so a lower dose will create the same results, 250 milligrams per dose(3). Do not exceed 12000 mg (12 g) daily.


5-HTP balances out Serotonin baseline levels. Recommended ratio 10:1 Ten units of L-Tyrosine for every 1 unit of 5-HTP is popular. A Dr. Dan Kalish recommends up to 3000 milligrams of L-Tyrosine with 300 milligrams of 5-HTP daily.

DMAE, this anti-aging agent is popular in combination with Tyrosine.

Racetams, a stack with a proportion of 2.5 grams of Tyrosine with 1.6 grams of Piracetam is a favorite of Biohackers on Longecity.


Conflicts: Not a good idea to take with caffeinated drinks. May have moderate interactions with Levodopa and Thyroid hormone.

 Side Effects

No clinical studies have demonstrated significant side effects of L-Tyrosine. Some bloggers have reported that high L-Tyrosine dosage results in highly motivational periods, alertness, or concentration that lead to anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia. So it’s probably not a good idea to begin dosing L-Tyrosine at a high level. Some people experience heart palpitations at dosages of 500 milligrams.

 A Final Word

It's a very common ingredient in popular Nootropic stack products - this is because it stacks well with other Nootropics. But it's such a good Nootropic on its own that I suggest you take it in isolation while experimenting with dosage.


Powdered L-Tyrosine


Tyrosine ?️ Military-Grade Nootropic for hacking acute stress and sleep deprivation


  • File Description
    File Size
    File Type
  • L-Tyrosine (N-Acetyl-Tyrosine) — a Military Grade Performance Enhancer
    1 MB

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