We’ve always been told that workouts are a physical thing. But let’s be honest. Training is just as taxing on us mentally as it is physically. If your mind just isn’t feeling it, chances are your body will follow suit, and you’re going to have a pretty crappy workout…
But if there’s one thing that can help boost your cognitive function and mentally power you through even the most challenging workout, it’s a nootropic.
Whether you’ve tried them before or are curious to dabble into them, cognitive enhancers can make a world of difference where training is concerned. They improve focus, increase energy, and boost motivation to help you go harder for longer and get the job done.
When you stack two of the most powerful nootropics together, the results you’ll get are better than you could imagine. We’re talking about L-tyrosine and L-theanine and why they’re a powerhouse duo.
What Are L-Tyrosine And L-Theanine?
L-tyrosine and L-theanine are naturally occurring amino acids found in the body and in food, but also widely available in supplemental form. You’ll find them in everything from pure powders and pills to fat burners and, of course, pre-workouts.
If you constantly struggle to get through your workout and are in dire need of something to boost your focus and prime your mental environment for training, L-tyrosine is it.
It’s the precursor molecule to some of the most important neurotransmitters in your body—the catecholamines. They’re essential for giving you laser-sharp focus, better attention, and more energy.
Studies find that changes in the availability of L-tyrosine can have profound influences on the synthesis of both dopamine and norepinephrine.
When acutely stressful situations hit (ex. intense exercise), catecholamine release increases, and levels decline 1. However, supplementing with this amino acid helps to restore levels before complications arise.
The reason it’s so effective for reducing the negative effects of stress and intense training is because it converts into a molecule called L-DOPA, which is then converted into the catecholamines dopamine, epinephrine (adrenaline), and norepinephrine (noradrenaline).
Together, these catecholamines are heavily involved in sustaining and supporting attention, memory, cognition, and emotion 2.
The second option is another amino acid, L-theanine. And if you’ve ever gone a little heavy-handed on a caffeinated pre-workout and felt like an absolute wreck the next day (or worse, during your workout), L-theanine can be your fix.
It’s one of the most effective supplements for mitigating the negative effects of caffeine and stress on the body by supporting levels of GABA and serotonin in the brain; GABA is a powerful anti-anxiety neurotransmitter, and serotonin boosts mood.
If that’s not enough, it also boosts alpha brain wave activity to give you sharper focus and attention without the drowsiness that most sedative supplements leave you with 3.
Long story short, they can be combined to uplift the effects of your pre-workout for:
- Greater workout intensity
- Calmer, cooler stimulation
- Laser focus and strong willpower
- Reduced crashes, jitters, and side effects
- Faster bounce-back and balance
Let’s dive into their benefits.
Why take them…
If you’ve ever felt mentally exhausted after a hard day of work and don’t have the motivation or drive to get to the gym, these guys are going to be your friends.
Sufficient energy usually turns into motivation to get things done. Lack of energy—both body and brain—usually means low energy and burnout. Basically, if you’re mentally and/or physically exhausted, you’re not going to want to train.
The amount of mental energy you have directly influences your cognitive performance, and taking specific supplements that help boost that is key to priming your body for an intense training session.
Hormones and neurotransmitters that are out of balance or depleted lead to poor cerebral blood flow (and resulting lack of oxygen), low energy, fatigue, and a host of other issues. But when you’re taking L-tyrosine and L-theanine, you’re maximizing your body’s capacity to produce energy, focus, and work.
Here’s how they work:
L-theanine is the anti-anxiety amino acid that promotes increased alpha brainwaves to help stabilize lucid thinking and bolster attention and free-flowing creativity without interfering with energy or motivation 3.
Basically, it’s the ideal supplement for achieving calm, collecting focus to push you through the most intense workouts with ease.
L-tyrosine, on the other hand, is one of the best supplements for counteracting the negative effects of caffeine like jitters, irritability, fatigue, and burnout.
It boosts levels of L-DOPA in the body, which is rapidly converted to the catecholamines—dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine—most affected by caffeine and high-intensity workouts.
When you support these neurotransmitters and hormones, you support the key brain functions that they’re involved in, like attention and focus.
Dopamine For Motivation
If there’s one neurotransmitter that’s key to keeping your motivation high, it’s dopamine. It’s the “reward” chemical that pushes drive and focus, and is a powerful tool essential for reinforcing repeat behaviors.
It’s called the Reward or Pleasure pathway because of its ability to cause pleasure. It is activated in a number of different circumstances like eating tasty food (good), smoking or drugs (not so good), or learning a new activity or skill (good).
But the thing is, more positive behaviors are more likely to occur when the brain is well-stocked with dopamine, whereas if you have a deficiency of either dopamine or the dopamine receptors, you’re more likely to seek the unhealthy alternatives4. And the results you’ll get are something like this:
- Low motivation
- Lack of pleasure
- Low energy
- Mood imbalances
- Poor memory
- Poor learning performance
All really important factors that can break your training routine. Dopamine isn’t the only neurotransmitter involved in motivation, but it plays a significant role.
So, supplementing with compounds that boost dopamine and resulting energy can help to restore motivation and drive you to the finish line.
Should You Combine L-Tyrosine And L-Theanine?
All of that begs the question of if you should combine these two amino acids to maximize performance.
The quick answer is yes. Both of these guys are awesome as standalone supplements, but unlike some other supplements that can leave you with nasty results when combined, this equation adds up to something bigger and better.
Pre Lab Pro does exactly that.
It combines L-theanine and L-tyrosine with eight other advanced and powerful pre-workout ingredients to give you the biggest pump and the best results. It’s a bigger nitric oxide boost, smarter stimulation, and stronger homeostasis for next-level results.
Combined, you’re getting:
- Better brain function with enhanced performance and focus under stressful, chaotic conditions
- Elevated caffeine benefits without the performance-limiting effects
- Calmer focus with a clear head both in and out of the gym
- Enhanced post-exercise relaxation for a deeper recovery
- Neurotransmitter support for better sleep and bigger muscle gains
And studies are there to back it up. They find that combining low-dose caffeine with L-theanine and L-tyrosine can improve athletes’ movement accuracy during exhaustive exercise 5.
So, for athletes needing rapid and accurate movements, caffeine + L-theanine + L-tyrosine could hold a lot of ergogenic value.
If you’re looking to increase motivation, boost focus, and kill every single workout, the combination of L-theanine and L-tyrosine is a sure-fire way to do that.
And when you’re taking it in something like Pre Lab Pro that gives you eight other powerful mental and physical boosters, the results you achieve will be on a new level every time.
It’s a next-gen formula designed to unleash your inner beast and power up your mental state for calm, clean stimulation and the ultimate performance and results.
- SN L-tyrosine to alleviate the effects of stress?J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2007;32(3):224.
- SC Daubner, T Le, S Tyrosine hydroxylase and regulation of dopamine synthesis.Arch Biochem Biophys. 2011;508(1):1-12.2
- AC Nobre, A Rao, GN L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17 Suppl 1:167-168.
- AB Barron, E Søvik, JL The roles of dopamine and related compounds in reward-seeking behavior across animal phyla. Front Behav Neurosci. 2010;4:163.
- J Zaragoza, G Tinsley, S Urbina, et al. Effects of acute caffeine, theanine and tyrosine supplementation on mental and physical performance in athletes.J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2019;16(1):56.