We eat to get energy for our business life and gym session and our relationships.
We need exercise to stay healthy.
But trust me, only with the right nutrition you will get the most out of your gym sessions.
For example, phenylalanine is involved in building catecholamines, which act as neurotransmitters in your body. Neurotransmitters can make you more alert, better-tempered and mentally more efficient.
Proteins are one of the big building blocks of your body. Among other things, you need them to build muscle.
They consist of different amino acids, which are held together by peptides. Some of them can be made by your own body (eg alanine, arginine, cysteine, histidine), but others must be given to you through the diet, they are essential. (eg isoleucine, lysine, methionine) .
However, they can not be synthesized on their own. This last group, also called essential amino acids, includes phenylalanine.
This particular amino acid occurs in different forms:
L-Phenylalanine: naturally found in protein-rich foods
D-phenylalanine: Purely artificially produced form.
DL-phenylalanine (DLPA): Combination of the other two forms
Phenylalanine is involved in the production of important endogenous substances, including tyrosine, as well as an amino acid.
Tyrosine is formed by the hydroxylation of phenylalanine, a process in which the enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase acts as a catalyst.
Tyrosine has many important functions in your body.
It plays a role in the formation of hormones such as thyroxine (thyroid hormone) and insulin (lowers blood sugar levels) as well as neurotransmitters and catecholamines (happiness hormone dopamine, as well as norepinephrine and adrenaline).
The latter provide as messengers for the excitement of nerve cells.
Throughout the body, these cells mediate stimuli (in the form of electrical impulses) through synapses with which they communicate with one another.
When dopamine is released, for example, it spreads the message across all nerve cells: “I feel good and I’m motivated.”
Phenylalanine as a precursor to tyrosine is thus indirectly able to raise your mood.
There is also scientific evidence for that.
Researchers were able to prove in a study that an increased concentration of L-phenylalanine as the first intermediate step of dopamine seems to affect your state of mind to positive and also to improve your concentration – especially in stressful situations.
This is especially interesting for those who often treat themselves to an all-nighter.
Of course, in the long run, it is not a good idea to demand your own body around the clock to 100 percent, after all, he has to recover to process all the collected sensory impressions and new information.
But you can help out in the short term with the intake of phenylalanine.
Researchers found that stressed subjects had significantly better psychomotor performance after eating the amino acid.
It is therefore natural to consume phenylalanine and tyrosine-containing foods on a busy and sleepless day.
Phenylalanine can help you get as much out of yourself as possible.
Take-home-message # 1: Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid, which the body absolutely needs to produce, among other things, the happiness hormone dopamine.
In addition, by acting as an important precursor to dopamine, it also appears to be able to improve your performance in stressful situations, even if you’ve been through the night again and still want to shine at peak performance.
By the way, your memory also benefits from phenylalanine.
As a reminder: phenylalanine is converted first to tyrosine, then dopamine, later norepinephrine and finally to adrenaline.
Researchers have shown that people with high adrenaline levels in the blood absorb and store more information in less time.
Phenylalanine can influence your cognitive ability.
Another exciting topic is the relationship between phenylalanine and the state of mind.
Scientific studies have taken up the topic and have shown in initial studies that the administration of DL-phenylalanine symptoms such as fatigue and irritability could be reduced if they complement classical treatment methods.
As these investigations are still in their infancy, it is not yet possible to formulate a statement!
Nevertheless, the underlying mechanism should be considered more closely: phenylalanine hampers the work of enzymes, which in turn contribute to the breakdown of endorphins and enkephalins.
Less GABA (neurotransmitter) is released, which in turn correlates with an increased release of the happiness hormone dopamine.
The body may, therefore, be in a better mood for longer. This effect can also help you with intense workouts. Phenylalanine is sometimes used as a remedy for muscle cramps.
An adequate supply of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and sodium (inter alia contained in nuts, avocados, bananas, dairy products) is important.
In addition, with a hard workout, you should always remember to drink enough water.
Take-home-message # 2: Since phenylalanine also produces adrenaline, it can stimulate the body and make you feel better and thus more resistant to stress.
What Foods Contain Phenylalanine?
As mentioned earlier, you need to consume phenylalanine via foods or dietary supplements because your body produces it.
If you are looking for a healthy, balanced diet, you are usually on the safe side.
But which foods are particularly high in phenylalanine?
Phenylalanine is found mainly in foods that have high protein content.
- pumpkin seeds
- chicken egg
- Unpeeled rice
- pork meat
If you want to be sure that you are taking the phenylalanine as best as possible, at the same time, be sure to give yourself vitamin C and vitamin B6. In this combination, it works most efficiently.
How much Phenylalanine Do I Need?
The experts currently advise adults to take in 25 mg/kg of body weight daily.
So if you weigh 75 kg, that makes 1.875 g of phenylalanine.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is much more cautious.
According to their recommendation, the intake of a total of 14 mg tyrosine and phenylalanine per kilogram of body weight is sufficient.
How high your actual need depends on your tyrosine supply. If this value is 0, more phenylalanine should be consumed, as one amino acid is converted into the other.
In this case, it should be 38-52 mg/kg body weight phenylalanine daily.
On the other hand, if enough tyrosine is already absorbed through the diet, the recommended amount drops to about 9 mg phenylalanine.
In the base case, the ratio of phenylalanine to tyrosine should be 60:40. Under this condition, your body can make optimal use of both amino acids.
If you do sports, have permanent stress from work or suffer insomnia, you should pay attention to a sufficient phenylalanine supply!
If your body is under pressure, the need for phenylalanine increases.
Ande you can’t really overdose phenylalanine.
If you are healthy, your body will be able to excrete what’s left.
Take-home-message # 3:The required amount of phenylalanine depends on your supply of the amino acid tyrosine.
In stressful situations, your need for phenylalanine, increases.
Where to Buy Phenylalanine?
Basically, in a balanced healthy diet, you’ll have as much phenylalanine as you need.
If you are not a fan of the foods listed or you prefer mixing protein shakes, the amino acid is also available to you as a dietary supplement in pure form (as a loose powder) and usually vegan.
Most manufacturers offer the substance pre-portioned in capsules with a dosage between 500 and 750 mg.
However, more is not automatically better in this case.
Only those who have special requirements such as hard training or a very stressful everyday life should take a increased amoun.
Did you know about Phenylalanine?