Guide to L-Tyrosine for Bodybuilding – Should You Use It?

Do other gym-goers distract you from making your gains? Thought so.

Sadly, we can’t make them leave the gym and leave you alone with all the dumbbells.

Thankfully, you can take supplements to make you feel zoned in.

In today’s guide to L-tyrosine for bodybuilding, we’ll explore how this compound helps you stay in the zone, build muscle and reach your goals.

What is L-Tyrosine?

L-tyrosine (sometimes referred to as tyrosine) is an amino acid often referred to as a “feel good” ingredient in many pre-workout formulas.

If you want to get technical, L-tyrosine is a precursor to dopamine and norepinephrine (noradrenaline) – two neurotransmitters vital for a plethora of bodily functions.

In terms of bodybuilding, L-tyrosine is thought to have an effect on motivation, cognitive focus, or mental clarity.

In theory, all of these could help you get through your workouts, mute the outside noise, and never again forget which rep you’re on.

What are the Benefits of L-Tyrosine for Bodybuilding?

When it comes to the benefits of L-tyrosine for bodybuilding, there aren’t that many.

And even the ones we’re about to discuss are not 100% guaranteed to happen.

That said, here are a few potential benefits you may experience from taking this supplement:

1. Improved Cognitive Function

The main and most heavily studied benefit of L-tyrosine is its effect on cognitive function.

Its effects on neurotransmitters have been found to enhance cognition and make it easier to focus on the task at hand. [1]

But how does this exactly help you reach your desired bodybuilding goals?

Well, for starters, a better cognitive function means staying focused on your workout routine and sticking to it.

If there’s one thing that separates top bodybuilders from the rest, it’s that they are able to stay laser-focused and consistent with their training.

2. Increased Motivation

As previously mentioned, L-tyrosine is a precursor to dopamine, which plays a fairly significant role in motivation. [2]

By increasing your dopamine levels, you could experience an overall improvement in motivation and drive.

In other words, you may just pick yourself up from the bed, leave the ice cream in the freezer, and hit the weights.

Is L-Tyrosine a Useful Ingredient in Pre-Workout Supplements?

Yes, L-tyrosine is a useful ingredient in pre-workout supplements.

While it certainly won’t boost your athletic performance, endurance, or anything of that sort, it could help you stay on top of your goal.

In our opinion, L-tyrosine is one of the rare ingredients in the sea of pre-workout ingredients that actually matters.

What’s the Best Way to Take L-Tyrosine Supplements?

The best way to take L-tyrosine is through oral supplementation.

You can find L-tyrosine in powder, capsule, tinctures, and gummy forms, but we recommend sticking to the first two.

It’s always better to know exactly what you’re taking!

So only go for powders or capsules with transparent ingredient labels.

The gummy and liquid tinctures might look cool and taste good, but they’re often tainted with several added ingredients, which are all but necessary.

Best Dosage for L-Tyrosine

The best dosage for L-tyrosine is 500-2000 mg in a single dose.

Also, some studies suggest that taking 100-150 mg per kg of body weight is the better dose. [3] However, considering that’s nearly 10 grams of L-tyrosine for an average bodybuilder, we’d say that’s probably overkill.

Since tyrosine levels in the blood peak about an hour or two after ingestion, some could argue that taking them half an hour before your workout (as a part of a pre-workout formula) isn’t all that effective, but we beg to differ.

It’s probably best that your L-tyrosine peaks midway through your workout when you’re already worn down, sweaty, and tired.

That’s when you could use that extra push the most.

You’re already zoned when you’re fully rested, and quite frankly, studies show that L-tyrosine isn’t all that effective when you’re at your best.

Should You Take L-Tyrosine Every Day?

We can’t say if you should take L-tyrosine every day, as that’s mostly up to you.

That said, L-tyrosine is generally considered safe when taken in moderation.

So if you think it’s helping you reach your desired bodybuilding results, then sure, go ahead and take it.

What’s worth mentioning is that the long-term effects of L-tyrosine supplementation still haven’t been properly explored, so we’d strongly urge you to talk to your doctor before embarking on a lengthy tyrosine journey.

Does L-Tyrosine Have Any Side Effects?

As we just said, L-tyrosine is generally considered safe.

However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with a few side effects.

While mild and uncommon, side effects of L-Tyrosine may include:

  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain
  • Tiredness

N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine vs. L-Tyrosine – What’s the Difference?

You’ll often find that some labels list L-tyrosine as N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, and no, that’s not a typo or a “full name”.

N-acetyl L-tyrosine is a modified form of L-tyrosine that is more bioavailable and readily absorbed by the body.

It offers the same benefits as L-tyrosine but is often considered to be more effective.

Now, the “more effective” part is still up for debate because better absorption doesn’t necessarily mean better results or improved efficacy.

Now, we’d love to say, “No, it’s not better, it’s just easier to absorb“, but we’re not trying to make unsupported claims.

We love us some data-driven conclusions – not barbershop discussions.

That said, we do have a full head-to-head comparison of these two, so if you’re curious to learn more about the differences between N-acetyl L-tyrosine and L-tyrosine, head on over there.

Foods That Are High in L-Tyrosine

Several foods are high in L-tyrosine – some A LOT more than others.

That said, if you want to eat a lot of L-tyrosine, you should focus on:

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Salmon
  • Chicken

And, if you’d like to eat anything other than meat, here are some additional foods to help you get some tyrosine in your system:

  • Almonds
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Lima beans
  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Soy products
  • Yogurt

Is Taking L-Tyrosine Worth it for Bodybuilders?

Yes! Taking L-tyrosine is definitely worth it for bodybuilders.

While many would argue that the effects of L-tyrosine are minimal, those same people often forget (or ignore) the fact that even small advantages can make a huge difference in bodybuilding, especially when you’re already pushing yourself to the limit.


To sum it up, L-tyrosine is a great supplement for bodybuilders looking to take their performance to the next level.

It can help you push through your toughest workouts and maximize the results of each session. 

While there are still many questions surrounding its long-term effects, we feel confident that taking this amino acid in moderation will transform your health and fitness dreams into reality.

With all these benefits considered, why not give L-Tyrosine a try?

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