N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NALT) seems to be making the rounds in the supplement industry. You can find it in most pre-workout and fat burning formulas. But why is it there? Good question. Most Barracudas, see article here, have no idea why they included it in their formulas. Well luckily for them, and you, I am going to cover the basics of NALT now.
WHAT IS N-ACETYL L-TYROSINE?
NALT is a combination of acetic acid and L-Tyrosine. L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that helps in reducing stress, increasing working memory, and supporting cognitive enhancement. Acetic acid is added to L-Tyrosine to improve bioavailability and absorption. Your body is able to use NALT much easier than L-Tyrosine.
HOW L-TYROSINE WORKS IN THE BODY
L-Tyrosine is one of the most important amino acids in the body. Not only is it important to the structure of almost every protein in the body, it is a precursor to dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and other thyroid hormones.
L-Tyrosine becomes a catecholamine (dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine) through two steps. In the first step, L-Tyrosine is converted into dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) when it binds with the enzyme Tyrosine Hydroxylase. From there, the enzyme Dopa Decarboxylase binds with DOPA, and Dopamine is produced. Dopamine then binds with the enzyme Dopamine Beta Hydroxylase, and Norepinephrine is produced. Finally, the adrenal glands release the enzyme Phenylethanolamine N-Methyltransferase. PNMT then binds with Norepinephrine, and epinephrine is produced. Still with me?
WHY IS L-TYROSINE IMPORTANT?
So now you and the Barracudas know how L-Tyrosine works to make neurotransmitters. But why is that important? Because those three neurotransmitters effect how you feel, function, and survive. Dopamine is the happy hormone. Low levels of dopamine cause thrill-seekers to seek out new experiences. Without Dopamine, you wouldn’t want to do anything. There would be no reward. And what about Norepinephrine and epinephrine? They are the flight or fight hormones released when the body is under extreme stress. Without them, that huge tiger would have killed off your ancestors. So, without L-Tyrosine, you would just be a depressed, dead human being. It is for this reason that many people with anxiety and depression look to L-Tyrosine and NATL for help.
WHY N-ACETYL L-TYROSINE (NALT) IS IN FAT BURNERS AND PRE-WORKOUTS
Since I told the barracudas why L-Tyrosine is important, I will explain to them why they have been adding it to their pre-workout and fat burning supplements. Most of them just copied and pasted their formulas from other people, so they have no idea why they are using it. It turns out that when you add NALT to any product with a stimulant, it helps to create what I like to call controlled chaos. Your nervous system is still receiving the effects of the stimulants (usually caffeine), but you aren’t freaked out of your mind. You are still in control. You can now use that extra energy in a productive way. Like lifting weights, getting bigger, and burning fat, instead of running around the gym and talking your head off to anyone who will listen.
It also helps to prevent the crash from stimulants. Think about it. You get the crash from your catecholamine hormones (dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine) being depleted. Stimulants cause stress to your body and cause it to produce more epinephrine and norepinephrine. Also, dopamine is one of the first things that your body exhaust during a training session. Hmm, things are starting to click (the light bulb just clicked on).
So now you know how L-Tyrosine works, and why NALT is added to supplements that contain stimulants. The next time you want to sound smart, ask one of your buddies why they are using NALT. And just like most Barracudas, they will have no idea why.
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