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N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine Vs L-Tyrosine: What is the Difference?

By Abigail Roberts | |

Tyrosine is an essential amino acid which is used to make the catecholamine neurotransmitters—dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine.

N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NAT) is the amino acid tyrosine but bonded to an acetyl group. The acetyl group must be removed to form tyrosine and become the active form in the body.

Many typical supplement ingredients come in different forms for different reasons. Creatine for example, comes in a variety of different forms, ranging from better absorption and better solubility in water to better taste and bioavailability.

Same thing can be said for NAT and L-Tyrosine, they are both different forms of the same compound.

The question is: what exactly is the different between them? Is one better than the other?

The Role of L-Tyrosine

L-tyrosine is one of the many amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Tyrosine is produced naturally in the body from another amino acid called phenylalanine, but it can also be found in the diet, such as dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, and oats.

L-tyrosine is used in the body to make neurotransmitters and other vital compounds.

L-tyrosine can also be consumed as a supplement, mostly contained in supplements that aim to enhance cognitive function.

There are some studies that suggest that taking L-tyrosine may improve mental performance, particularly under stressful circumstances, and improve memory.

While you can take tyrosine as L-tyrosine, it’s often recommended to take it in the form of NAT. Let’s look a bit closer into this!

N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine Vs L-Tyrosine

NAT is a derivative of L-tyrosine, commonly promoted for its better absorption and efficacy. Though, this doesn’t change the benefits it provides—supposedly to boost physical and mental performance.

NAT increases neurotransmitters known at catecholamines, including dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. These neurotransmitters play major roles in our mental health, cognition, behavior, and stress response.

The body is always in need of a steady supply of tyrosine to maintain their production and keep cognitive performance at its peak.

L-tyrosine is also thought to counter the effects of brain stress, potentially helping support the synthesis of neurotransmitters that are often depleted by high-pressure thinking.

Studies have shown that L-tyrosine may help promote working memory under stressful conditions and optimize mental performance under high-stress, fatigued or sleep deprived states.

Absorption and Bioavailability

Many supplement manufacturers more often use NAT as opposed to L-tyrosine because NAT is far more soluble in water.

Allegedly, better solubility means increased bioavailability, which is the measure of the amount of a substance that enters the circulation and becomes active in the body. This is surprisingly false, as better solubility doesn’t necessarily equal increased bioavailability.

Additionally, another supposed benefit of NAT is that is a better form due to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier.

NAT: The Best Form as a Nootropic

NAT appears to be the preferred form of supplementary tyrosine due to its bioavailability and easy absorption, thus providing more effective nootropic activity than plain tyrosine.

While most of the brain benefits NAT provides are under high stress conditions, the effects are still notable, such as:

  • Improving working memory under multi-tasking conditions, helping to maintain mental and memory performance
  • Improving learning speed, thus helping to process information faster in stressful conditions where cognition may be impaired
  • Improving cognition in sleep-deprived states, helping to reduce cognitive decline associated with lack of sleep
  • Suppressing the rise in neurodamaging stress hormones, thus offering long-term brain protection

Supplementing with NAT would provide you with the motivational fuel reserves you need to perform to your full potential from right through from Monday to Sunday!

Mind Lab Pro, one of the most effective nootropic formulas currently available, contains NAT, which is known to be the best form for brain health.

Mind Lab Pro combines 11 ingredients, including the most powerful nootropics. NAT is one part of an effective formula that works to optimize your cognitive function via multiple brain pathways.

Mind Lab Pro helps you adapt to meet mental performance demands without the need for stimulants or other poor forms of ingredients.

NAT: Nootropic Stacking 101

Any standalone nootropic will provide specific benefits, however stacking nootropics will result in a much more potent effect. These nootropics will work together, synergize, and complement each other's effects. 

NAT specifically is great as a standalone supplement under certain conditions, however it would be even more powerful when combined with other nootropic ingredients. 

Here are some other nootropic ingredients (also contained in Mind Lab Pro) which work well with NAT:

L-Theanine 

L-theanine is known as one of the best natural nootropics for simultaneously providing a relaxed, yet focussed mindset - often described as "wakeful relaxation".

L-theanine is a naturally occurring amino acid sourced from green tea leaves. This powerful nootropic is known to significantly boost daytime cognitive function while aiding quality sleep during the nighttime - the perfect partner for L-tyrosine.

B-Vitamins 

B-vitamins (mostly referring to B6, B9, and B12) are essential nutrients we need for many important bodily functions. 

However, these 3 B-vitamins are specially semi-beneficial co-factors in catecholamine synthesis (dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine). 

Therefore, B-vitamins play a big role in brain function by enabling L-tyrosine to convert to these catecholamines, as well as other key neurotransmitters such as GABA, norepinephrine, and melatonin. 

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola rosea is a powerful adaptogenic herb known to strengthen mental and physical stress resistance, and promote mental clarity.

Rhodiola helps fight mental fatigue, promote a calm mindset, and potentially provide a natural stimulating effect. This is a perfect complementary herb for L-tyrosine, as they are both effectively providing the same benefits in different ways. 

The easiest way to "stack" nootropics is to supplement with a nootropic formula such as Mind Lab Pro, which takes the guesswork out of nootropic stacking strategies by combining 11 of the best quality nootropics available!

Take-Home Message

Tyrosine is an essential amino acid used to make the catecholamine neurotransmitters—dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine.

These neurotransmitters are vital for our mental health, cognition, behavior, and stress response.

Studies have shown that L-tyrosine may help promote working memory and optimize mental performance under stressful, fatigued, or sleep deprived conditions.

There is some debate about the best form of L-tyrosine—either plain L-tyrosine or N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine (NAT). While there are some misconceptions around the bioavailability of plain L-tyrosine compared to NAT, NAT appears to be the most effective form as a nootropic.

This is due to its bioavailability and easy absorption, thus providing more effective nootropic activity than plain tyrosine.

However, the best way to take NAT is through stacking with other effective and similar nootropics such as L-theanine, B-vitamins, and Rhodiola Rosea - which are all ingredients contained in Mind Lab Pro. 

Mind Lab Pro a powerful nootropic formula that allows you to access 100% brain power, containing L-tyrosine in the form of NAT, as well as 10 other research-backed nootropics that have been shown to enhance cognitive health in the short- and long-term!

These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This article is an opinion and explanation of current research given by the author. It is not an expression of a medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on as such.

Mind Lab Pro® Universal Nootropic™

Mind Lab Pro® is the world's first Universal Nootropic™ – formulated to promote a healthy, peak-performing mindstate known as 100% Brainpower™.

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