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L-Tyrosine vs. L-Theanine


L-tyrosine and L-theanine are some of the new kids on the block regarding wellness supplements, and for a good reason.

While tyrosine is known for being a general neurochemical booster with an all-rounder effect on your nervous system health, L-theanine is the perfect caffeine substitute for those seeking a calm-alertness state of mind that skips side effects like jitteriness, energy crashes, or even pesky gastrointestinal issues.

But which one is better? How do they work, and can they work in tandem? In the following article, we’ll compare L-tyrosine vs. L-theanine, explaining how they work, their general effects and benefits, whether they can be taken together, and the best dosage to use in daily tasks.

Key Takeaways

  • L-tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid involved in producing neurotransmitters like dopamine. It helps improve mood, focus, and stress resilience, which is particularly useful for high-stress environments.
  • L-theanine, on the other hand, promotes relaxation without causing drowsiness. This amino acid supports mental functions.
  • Both amino acids enhance mood and cognitive function in different ways. However, combined, they offer potential balanced cognitive enhancement and stress relief.
  • This synergistic effect benefits high-stress environments and can improve alertness while reducing stress. 


What is L-Tyrosine?

Let’s first talk about L-tyrosine. This amino acid plays a crucial role in the production of neurotransmitters and other neurochemicals in the brain, including dopamine, adrenaline, and norepinephrine.

These neurochemicals are vital for regulating mood, cognition, and response to stress. Unlike some amino acids, L-tyrosine is considered non-essential because our bodies can produce it from another compound called phenylalanine.

That said, supplementation can provide some benefits, especially in stressful situations, or enhance cognitive performance. 

Let’s go further into detail to learn more about this supplement, and how it can improve mental performance under stress.

Benefits of L-Tyrosine

Some of L-tyrosine's benefits are closely related to its ability to provide raw materials for the synthesis of some of the key neurotransmitters we need for our everyday lives.

This amino acid can improve mood, enhance focus, and increase stress resilience by supporting the production of dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline. 

Let’s examine each of these benefits.

  • It may improve mood: Tyrosine is known for its powerful mood-regulating effects. Thanks to its ability to help the production of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, it can help combat fatigue or lethargy, specifically due to burnout or long periods of stress.
  • It can increase your resilience to stress: While L-tyrosine is still being studied, this review found that cognitive functions like working memory and information processing could be helpful in high-stress situations. It specifically helped healthy adults improve their resilience to catecholamine depletion over time. This is important as catecholamine is a key neurotransmitter that gets depleted through stress.
  • It can boost your multitasking and performance: A study found that tyrosine could improve performance, specifically in high-stress situations or demanding jobs. In this review, researchers found that a simple dose of 150mg could boost cognitive functions like working memory and visual monitoring after a heavy workload during the day.


What is L-Theanine?

L-theanine is an amino acid mostly found in tea leaves, especially green tea, and is widely recognized for its calming effect. In that sense, this compound is similar to other compounds like glutamate, which transmits nerve impulses in the brain. 

Unlike other amino acids, L-theanine does not build proteins itself, but rather creates an effect on the brain, promoting relaxation without drowsiness. This makes it a good option for those who want to cope with stress without the energy crashes or jitters from caffeine.

People also use this compound to improve mental function. Others tend to use it for anxiety symptoms, mental impairment, stress, and improving cognitive abilities. 

Let’s go over some of the most common benefits of this amino acid.

Benefits of L-Theanine

Now, the benefits of L-theanine mostly come from its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

L-theanine can act on the central nervous system, meaning it can use certain pathways in the brain to help you feel less stress and anxiety. Specifically, it can reduce glutamate in our system, a neurotransmitter that usually promotes these types of chemical signals.

This review found that doses in adults around 200 and 400mg per day could help reduce stress and anxiety when exposed to stressful moments or high-stress jobs. This effect happened in a span of four to eight weeks with minimal side effects.

Another potential benefit is how L-theanine can directly boost cognitive function, specifically supporting memory and attention functions by improving our brain’s ability to focus and quickly remember information.

This study focused on the use of L-theanine in adults around 50 and 69 years old showed that even a single dose of 100.6mg of this compound could help reaction time and working memory on specific tasks, including cognitive tests and memory.

L-theanine can be a pretty good alternative for those wanting to stay alert and help some cognitive functions without getting the jittery or energy crash side effects of caffeine and other stimulants, making it a fairly accessible supplement for most people with several potential benefits that boost our health.


L-Tyrosine vs. L-Theanine: Side-by-Side Comparison

Both amino acids are highly regarded in the world of dietary supplements and wellness. They offer different benefits that support our physical and mental health.

L-tyrosine is known for its role in aiding the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine or adrenaline, which are essential for cognitive functions, mood regulation, and stress response.

L-theanine is commonly found in green tea and mushrooms and is known for its calming effects. This amino acid has also been associated with stress reduction, improved mood, and the enhancement of specific cognitive functions.

Both L-theanine and tyrosine affect mood, relaxation, and cognitive function by increasing key neurotransmitter production. Tyrosine indirectly boosts memory and focus.

Additionally, none of these neurochemicals have considerable side effects, and both can be ingested safely by most populations.

Even more, some of the key studies often use adults and elderly populations to understand its effects on cognitive functions, specifically to help with stress and its effect on certain cognitive tasks.


Synergistic Effects of L-Tyrosine and L-Theanine

Now, when working in tandem, these two compounds can boost your cognitive functions and create a unique synergistic effect. 

Simply put, they can enhance alertness and focus while providing calmness and reducing stress, an incredible combo for people who work in high-stress environments.

Tyrosine’s role in synthesizing key neurotransmitters complements L-theanine’s calming effects, potentially offering a balanced cognitive enhancement without the drawbacks of overstimulation or excessive relaxation.

Furthermore, this synergy might be particularly useful if you have high-stress cognitive tasks or want to improve your mental performance while keeping a relaxed mind (no jitters or energy crashes).

The precise dosage and ratios might night to be tweaked depending on your individual needs and goals, specifically depending on your desired results. 

While the research on the use of both compounds is limited, users and anecdotal evidence suggest that their simultaneous use could support cognitive functions, mood regulation, and stress management holistically.


Recommended Dosages and Stacking

When considering supplements like tyrosine and L-theanine, it is important to understand the generally recommended dosages for both supplements, especially to maximize their benefits while minimizing potential risks.

For L-tyrosine, dosages typically range from 500 to 2,000mg per day, depending on the individual’s needs and the specific circumstances under which it’s being taken, such as to counteract stress or improve specific cognitive functions.

On the other hand, L-theanine is often recommended in the range of 200 to 400mg per day, particularly for its stress-reducing and calming effects. Stacking these supplements together could provide a balanced approach to enhance cognitive performance and stress resilience.

That said, the ideal ratio and total dosage might vary from person to person, and it’s important to consider personal health conditions and objectives when determining the right combination. 

More importantly, always talk with your healthcare provider to ensure the right dosage is taken, considering your own metabolism.


Potential Side Effects and Considerations

While L-tyrosine and L-theanine are generally considered safe for most people, potential side effects can happen, especially when taken excessively or without proper consideration of individual health conditions.

Common side effects of tyrosine may include nausea, headache, and some gastrointestinal issues, while L-theanine is less likely to cause adverse effects but may lead to drowsiness or a too-relaxed state in some individuals.

It’s also fairly important to consider potential interactions with other medications or supplements, and underlying health conditions that may make supplementing with tyrosine or L-theanine less advisable.

As mentioned above, consulting with a healthcare provider or professional before starting any new supplement is key to taking the best course of action to ensure safety and efficacy.


Which One is Better?

The choice between L-tyrosine and L-theanine depends completely on your specific health goals and needs. 

L-theanine can support your daily stress, improve mood, and help specific cognitive functions like memory and focus. 

While both tackle stress, L-theanine works by modulating their activity and promoting general calm alertness, while L-tyrosine has a holistic approach by helping with the production of key neurotransmitters.

Tyrosine could be helpful for a holistic approach, while L-theanine can be a powerful ally to those looking to stay away from jitteriness and side effects from caffeine or other stimulants. 

Tyrosine is particularly beneficial if you are looking to enhance cognitive performance, especially under stress, and might be better suited for individuals looking to improve focus, motivation, or resilience to stress.

You can try L-tyrosine with TUNE IN, a powdered supplement with all-natural adaptogenic and nootropic ingredients that can power up your cognitive performance. This supplement is perfect to take on the go with water, tea, or mix in your favorite smoothie, perfect to boost your task list while keeping yourself calm during the day. 


Final Thoughts

While both L-tyrosine and L-theanine have their own unique properties, promising options for those seeking support for their cognitive functions and managing stress better, each has its own approach to mood and stress.

Tyrosine can be a great way to have a holistic approach to stress and cognitive performance, while L-theanine is a great way to regulate mood and help with focus, motivation, and general calm alertness.


L-Tyrosine vs. L-Theanine: FAQs

What are the Main Differences Between L-Tyrosine and L-Theanine?

L-tyrosine is an amino acid that aids in the production of neurotransmitters related to alertness and focus, while L-theanine promotes relaxation without sedation. Tyrosine supports cognitive function under stress, whereas L-theanine reduces stress and anxiety.

Can L-Tyrosine and L-Theanine Be Taken Together?

Yes, L-tyrosine and L-theanine can be taken together as their combined effects may provide a balanced enhancement of cognitive performance and stress, catering to both ends of the cognitive spectrum efficiently.

Are There Any Side Effects Associated with L-Tyrosine or L-Theanine?

Tyrosine may cause side effects such as nausea and headache when taken in high doses, while L-theanine is generally well-tolerated but may cause drowsiness in some individuals. It’s important to adhere to recommended dosages and consult a healthcare professional to cater to your specific wellness needs.

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