Mood Enhancers: The Facts Behind These 3 Brain-Balancing Supplements
When it comes to your mental health, cognitive focus, and overall mood, the proverbial saying holds true: You are what you eat.
Several brain-balancing supplements have been shown to target key brain chemicals and hormones that directly influence your cognition and emotions. Not only can these supplements help you to think more clearly, feel more at ease, and embody your best self, but these mood enhancers may also give you the focus, motivation, and drive to hit your workouts harder than ever.
Yet, not all mood enhancers are the same, and many unscrupulous brands make promises that don't hold water. Here's what the real research says about three of the most popular mood boosters and cognitive enhancers: 5-HTP, dyanmine, and l-theanine.
1. 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
5-HTP, sometimes referred to as oxitriptan, is a natural byproduct of tryptophan — an amino acid found in potatoes, turkey, dairy, and other foods. 5-HTP is responsible for the production of serotonin, a brain chemical responsible for a healthy central nervous system and proper sleep and mood regulation.
5-HTP's mood-enhancing results come from its ability to trigger higher rates of serotonin. For example, it's been used in numerous clinical trials to alleviate and prevent depression.
When taken regularly, 5-HTP may also:
- Improve sleep quality while shortening how long it takes you to fall asleep
- Reduce the effects of stress and anxiety
- Balance the brain chemicals related to hunger and appetite, potentially improving weight loss and weight maintenance
5-HTP Dosages and Supplement Schedule: Always talk to your doctor before trying 5-HTP or any other supplement. The exact dosage for 5-HTP varies widely depending on your goals. For general mood enhancement, studies have used 50mg to 100mg three times a day.
Methylliberine is a type of alkaloid found in coffee, tea, yerba mate, and other caffeinated herbs and plants. Nutraceutical company Compound Solutions isolated and purified methylliberine for a concentrated and proprietary supplement designed to increase energy, improve mood and strengthen your mental focus.
Because it's a proprietary supplement and relatively new to the nootropics and nutraceutical world, the clinical trials and research on Dyanmine are small but growing quickly. For example, in a 2020 report published in the peer-reviewed Nutrients journal, researchers found that Dynamine significantly increased the half-life of caffeine without any negative side effects. Put into everyday language, that means Dyanmine safely extends the energizing and mood-enhancing effects of caffeine while not requiring more caffeine and without inducing so-called caffeine jitters.
The Nutrients study also highlighted how Dynamine's supportive role with caffeine might help you achieve more of the benefits of caffeine itself:
- Better concentration
- Less fatigue
- Reduced post-workout pain and soreness
- Improved exercise performance and workout endurance
Dynamine Dosages and Supplement Schedule: Many supplements, such as MTS Nutrition's Dynamine Non-Stimulant Mood and Focus Enhancer, start you off with a 100mg dose. Always take Dynamine in the morning so that your energy rush doesn't interfere with your sleep (getting enough sleep is key for physical recovery and balanced moods).
L-theanine is one of the most well-regarded and researched mood boosters. It's a natural amino acid found in green tea and black tea — it's why many people can drink tea without the same anxiety or jitters they get from coffee — and supplement companies have perfected a way to extract l-theanine in its pure form.
Much of the research surrounding L-theanine has honed in on this amino acid's effects on the neural pathways related to anxiety and stress.
In a clinical review of five different studies, researchers found that L-theanine significantly reduced stress and anxiety. It worked both in the short-term (i.e., when you're in the middle of a stressful situation, such as a big work presentation) and the long-term.
L-theanine doesn't just help you to navigate chronic stress. Studies have also linked this supplement with:
- Better mental focus and alertness
- Stronger immunity against viruses and bacteria, especially respiratory illnesses like the common cold
- Enhanced sleep and relaxation, even in those who have other health conditions that affect sleep (such as those with ADHD)
- Healthier blood pressure
L-Theanine Dosages and Supplement Schedule: Everyone reacts to L-theanine differently, and the doses used in studies have varied widely. One of the more commonly recommended doses is 200mg of L-theanine a day, preferably in the morning. If you find that stress and anxiety keep you up at night, you can also try another dose before heading to bed.
Find Your Bliss: Supporting a Healthier Brain and a Better Mood in All Areas of Life
While researchers say that these brain-boosting supplements can be significantly effective, they work best when combined with a healthy lifestyle and diet that supports a balanced nervous system.
If you're struggling with mood swings, mental fog, anxiety, or stress, consult a professional before self-treating your symptoms. Then, try 5-HTP, Dyanmine, and L-theanine supplements in conjunction with:
- Exercising regularly
- Eating a healthy diet rich in nutrient-dense foods such as quality meats, an assortment of fruit/vegetables, and low-glycemic carbohydrates.
- Getting at least seven hours of sleep a night
- Practicing mindfulness, meditation, or other healthy stress-relieving techniques
By combining a sound diet with a balanced lifestyle routine and effective brain-balancing supplements, you create an emotional and psychological buffer against the chronic worries and pressures of our always-connected, 24/7/365 world.
Tiger Fitness Is Your Go-To Source for Effective Mood Enhancing Supplements
Manage stress with L-theanine. Enhance your mood with 5-HTP. And attain new peaks of energy and focus with Dynamine. When you're ready to level up and boost your mood and brain, Tiger Fitness has everything you need. Browse our collection of proven mood enhancers and nootropics today, and experience the difference at home and in the gym.