Cognitive enhancing drugs come in many forms and functions. L-tyrosine is an amino acid that predominantly influences adrenaline and dopamine in the brain in order to reduce stress and mental performance [1].

N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine is a modified version of the amino acid that has the active compound “acetic acid” in order to increase bioavailability and absorption [2]. Studies suggest that providing more bioavailable L-tyrosine helps to support the same functions (and benefits) in the body. These include the cognitive enhancement (especially during acute stressors like cold) [3], reducing stress and increasing working memory and wellbeing [4].

There is not a lot of literature comparing N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine (NALT for short) and L-tyrosine, but what exists suggests that the kidneys break NALT into L-tyrosine [5], which provides most of the benefits for your brain.

Also Known As


Editors’ Thoughts On N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine

Even though the evidence in scientific literature doesn’t yet back up the claims of NALT, I’m a believer. I think it is a better alternative to L-tyrosine because it is more easily absorbed and utilized for L-tyrosine in the brain.

I’ve never taken NALT, but I see so many positive experiences on Reddit and Longecity compared with L-tyrosine so there is no reason to doubt it in my eyes.

Mansal Denton, Nootropedia Editor


Benefits of N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine

The primary benefits of N-acetyl-L-tyrosine revolve around dopamine and adrenaline metabolism. Studies suggest that NALT can increase mood in military personnel exposed to stressors like cold and altitude [6]. One can reasonably assume this mood boost is via dopamine improvements from taking the L-tyrosine.

Another benefit of NALT is for memory protection against stress. One study showed that L-tyrosine could increase adrenaline concentrations and reverse memory loss caused by stress [7]. In fact, one of the primary benefits of N-acetyl-L-tyrosine is related to handling stress as much of the literature suggests.

Under stressful conditions (acute stress rather than chronic) general cognitive enhancement suffers greatly. Most of the studies with L-tyrosine (and relate to NALT) are on military personnel tested in stressful situations. One study on cadets showed cognitive preservation during a week of difficult training [8]. Another measured how L-tyrosine improved mental performance during extreme sleep deprivation as well [9].

The benefit of using NALT is that the substance has increased solubility. In fact, it is 20 times more water soluble than L-tyrosine alone and anecdotal effects suggest improved mood and focus even though there isn’t much evidence to support those claims.

Side Effects of N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine

The side effects of N-acetyl-L-tyrosine are again related to the L-tyrosine amino acid. Some people complain of headaches and this is most likely due to a build-up of other molecules. Chronic migraines have been tied to poor tyrosine metabolism so it is possible for people who already suffer from migraines to have an increase in side effects from NALT supplementation [10].

Otherwise, the only N-acetyl-L-tyrosine side effect may be for people using MAO inhibitors. Tyrosine acts as a precursor for a molecule called tyramine, which can cause a risk for people taking MAOIs.

NALT Dosage

The serving size of N-acetyl-L-tyrosine is around 350 mg. Some people take smaller doses more frequently throughout the day, but this is a good starting point in order to improve cognitive markers without taking too high a dosage.

How and Where to Buy NALT

Even though L-tyrosine is relatively popular and can be found in health food stores, N-acetyl-L-tyrosine probably will not be. It is a more rare form of L-tyrosine and it has not been as well-researched as the amino acid.

You can buy NALT online relatively affordably. Our recommended vendor, Nootropics Depot, is selling over 700 servings (enough for almost 2 years) for around ten dollars. This is considered an effective nootropic for mood and attention according to anecdotal reports, but the science (and the cost) have not caught up with it!

Selected Community Experiences

I usually shake my leg a lot which I find distracting to myself but I took NALT today for the first time and I’ve noticed though there’s some tension in my legs still it’s markedly less than usual. It’s kind of cool, usually my leg is always moving when I’m on my computer. There’s still tension in them and I’m wiggling my toes a bit here and there but still that’s a pretty big improvement. Also I don’t want to get my own hopes up but it seems like NALT increases my focus significantly. I have pretty severe ADD, though, but with the effect on my legs I wouldn’t be totally surprised at this point if it becomes some sort of super-noot for me like Theanine was for my anxiety.” [11] – EternalOptimist829

During times that I do need daily stimulation I find that Ceretropic’s Caffeine/NALT solution works well, especially in conjunction with phenylpiracetam or noopept.” – Prolefeed_Generator

References (Click to Expand)
  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2736402
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6220046
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2736402
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8029265
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2507878
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2736402
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8029265
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10230711
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7794222
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22671857
  11. https://www.reddit.com/r/Nootropics/comments/3hs4xx/still_very_preliminary_but_i_think_nalt_may_be/
  12. https://www.reddit.com/r/Nootropics/comments/4mu22z/which_nootropics_have_you_found_to_be_reliably/


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