Stress does a number on the human body. At first, the emotional and physiological responses to stress can be a good thing, boosting one’s energy and focus for the task at hand. Chronic stress, on the other hand, has a range of dangerous effects that can lead to illness and disease. One of your body’s natural soothers is the amino acid tyrosine, and in times of stress and fatigue, it’s absolutely vital that you’re producing enough of it.
The Role of Tyrosine
This amino acid is intricately involved in brain function, hormone creation, and nervous responses. Since these are the systems that regulate stress responses, tyrosine is integral to the entire process. Some of its functions within the human body are:
- The production of important neurotransmitters, including epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine
- Assisting in the function of organs responsible for making and regulating hormones, including the adrenal, thyroid, and pituitary glands
- To serve as a building block of the proteins that are used in virtually all molecular biological processes
Coping with Stress
When your body is responding to stress and fatigue, be it emotional or physical, the first response is to release neurotransmitters such as dopamine and epinephrine, as well as adrenaline. Tyrosine is important in both the creation and regulation of these biochemicals. Without sufficient levels of tyrosine, you may not be able to cope properly with these stress responses or balance out the levels of neurotransmitters and hormones coursing through your body. Chronic stress combined with its associated hormonal imbalances can cause a host of health problems, such as:
- Fatigue and insomnia
- Irritability, anxiety, and depression
- Higher risk of hypertension
- Elevated risk of stroke or heart attack
- Headaches, and back and shoulder pain
- Increased risk of type 2 diabetes
- Reduced fertility and sexual functioning
- An overtaxed, depressed immune system
Are You Getting Enough?
In normal circumstances, the human body synthesizes the amino acid tyrosine on its own. If you’ve been undergoing unusual amounts of stress, lack of sleep, or poor diet, however, you may not be creating enough. You can boost your levels of tyrosine by eating foods rich in amino-acids, or you can try an all-natural supplement.
Foods that contain tyrosine include:
- Soy products
- Chicken, turkey, and fish
- Peanuts and almonds
- Milk, cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese
- Lima beans
- Pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds
Supplement Timing and Balance
L-tyrosine is best taken without food and preferably not in the evening, because it can be stimulating. As is the case when supplementing with any individual amino acid, it’s possible to upset the balance by taking just one, so consider adding a supplement that contains a range of amino acids.
- Amino Acid Supplements for Healthy Living
- Support Your Fitness Routine with the Amino Acid, Carnitine!