The consumption of large neutral amino acids (LNAA), specifically tryptophan, tyrosine and the branched-chain amino acids (BCAA are L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine and L-Valine), alters tryptophan and tyrosine uptake by the brain and their subsequent conversion to serotonin and catecholamines, respectively. This is due to the fact that they all compete for the same delivery vehicle- the LNAA transporter- at the blood-brain barrier. This effect has been long over looked and even ignored because the classic “sports performance” thinking is that by raising BCAA blood levels it would lower tryptophan levels thereby decreasing serotonin reuptake and decreasing fatigue. While it is true that serotonin and catecholamine synthesis in the brain parallel the tryptophan and tyrosine changes, the net effect of BCAA is not real world borne out. The performance effect of lowering tryptophan is negligible. However, because BCAA also lowers tyrosine uptake and dopamine synthesis this can cause serious performance decrease in sports where high force and high velocity are required. It is well known that increasing dopamine function in the brain improves sport performance and therefore is a key area to be addressed when using BCAA blends.
We found the solution
So how do you get around this issue and get the best of both worlds?
First, by using a full spectrum blend of all EAA (which is also high in BCAA) NOT just BCAA alone. Secondly, by adding L-Tyrosine to the formula you can prevent the decline in dopamine levels while still lowering the reuptake of serotonin. We have done this for years at OptimumEFX by concomitantly using NEURON (which contains high levels of L-tyrosine) with our AMINO MATRIX V3.0 on high intensity training days.
However, since we realize most people won’t have this specialized knowledge, or may want the ease of one product, we have added the precise dose of L-Tyrosine to the Next Generation formula- AMINO MATRIX V3.0.
Take a look at the New matrix here AMINO MATRIX V3.0.
Read more about how proper use of AMINO MATRIX V3.0 helps with optimizing cortisol control in Part 2 of this article.
In Part 3, we will explore how to achieve balance between optimizing dopamine levels during training and getting mTOR effects to promote cellular growth by phosphorylating substrates that potentiate anabolic processes such as mRNA translation and lipid synthesis, or minimize catabolic processes.