Gatorade – Tyrosine Supplementation to Improve Physical and Mental Performance.
The Gatorade Sports Science Institute is investigating performance benefits from Tyrosine supplementation.
Key points from their article:
- Increased dopaminergic and noradrenergic activity in the brain has been associated with feelings of motivation, arousal and reward and decreased fatigue, and this has been linked to enhanced performance.
- Both dopamine and norepinephrine are synthesised from the non-essential amino acid tyrosine through a shared metabolic pathway.
- Since tyrosine and the other large-neutral amino acids (LNAA) share a common transporter across the blood-brain barrier, an elevation in the plasma concentration ratio of tyrosine to LNAA increases tyrosine uptake into the brain.
- The increased delivery of tyrosine into the central nervous system may result in increased brain dopamine and norepinephrine synthesis, although this relationship may be not straightforward.
- The current balance of evidence does not support a benefit of ingesting tyrosine to enhance exercise performance, but longer-term studies may be required to reveal a clear response.
- Tyrosine supplementation does appear to consistently attenuate losses in cognitive function when individuals are exposed to challenging environments. As many sporting situations are highly dependent on effective decision-making and the successful execution of fine and gross motor skills, this would be desirable, despite no apparent benefit to physical performance.