When you encounter serious stress, the natural way your body responds is “Anxiety”. When you have anxiety, it means you feel great apprehension or fear of what may happen. Sometimes, you can’t help anxiety and that’s perfectly okay. But then, when anxiety becomes extreme, lasts long, or it interferes with your daily living, you may be dealing with a chronic anxiety disorder. This disorder is more common than any other emotional disorder at every age. Experts also say that men are less prone to anxiety than women. Let’s talk about the use of amino acid for anxiety.
If you want to ease anxiety, have a better mood, and sleep better, you can do so by increasing certain neurotransmitters in your brain. Certain neurotransmitters are inhibitory while others are excitatory. Inhibitory neurotransmitters help to calm your brain cells. As such, they would prevent the overexcitement of your brain. Over the years, doctors have found through research that when these neurotransmitters are low, they can cause illnesses and diseases. This imbalance can also cause anxiety, depression, and panic attacks among many other conditions.
Amino Acid for Anxiety
We have talked about neurotransmitters. The next thing you need to understand is that your body needs amino acids to make them.
How this happens is that your body acts on proteins through specific enzymes and chemicals. These biochemical processes will break proteins down into their constituent amino acids. These aminos are enzyme substrates with which your body makes neurotransmitters.
There is a barrier between your blood and your brain. This barrier protects your brain from dangerous substances. It also helps to keep your brain’s internal environment steady. But then, it also prevents lots of neurotransmitters in your body from getting into your brain.
That is where amino acids come in. They can easily cross this barrier and help make the same neurotransmitter in your brain. But beyond just getting enough of these aminos, their timing is also very important. This is because there is usually some sort of competition between aminos for access to your brain.
High-protein foods, as well as protein powders, can help increase these aminos in your body. When you have these aminos and they gain access to your brain, they will boost the production of neurotransmitters that can help lift your mood.
1. L-Tyrosine for Catecholamines
L-tyrosine is the precursor amino that your body uses in making catecholamines. This refers to the hormones – epinephrine, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Your body also uses tyrosine to make thyroid hormones and melanin pigments.
L-tyrosine has antidepressant activities and can help treat anxiety because of its role in making epinephrine, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These are 3 main neurotransmitters in your brain. Low levels of dopamine and norepinephrine can cause anxiety. But when the levels rise, they will ease anxiety and promote relaxation.
Experts even say that tyrosine may help you cope better with environmental stress such as hypoxia and cold. All you would need is 100 mg tyrosine for each kg of your weight. It will ease anxiety, as well as improve your general performance and mood
2. L-Theanine for GABA
GABA is the most vital inhibitory neurotransmitter in your brain. If its levels fall below the normal range, you will become more prone to anxiety. The amino precursor for GABA is L-Theanine. This makes Theanine a good option for treating anxiety.
More so, Theanine also helps to modulate glutamate. Glutamate is excitatory, so by modulating it, Theanine helps to keep its levels in check.
Theanine helps to support GABA, as well as your entire inhibitory system. When any nerve cell is stimulated above normal, it helps to calm them down. It also works hard to prevent overstimulation in the first place.
Experts also say that Theanine protects your brain cells. It shields these cells from the toxic effects of glutamate overstimulation and oxidation. So when you use Theanine supplements, you will have a better mood and reduce anxiety. But aside from that, it can also help improve your learning ability, as well as reduce your cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Theanine also exerts potent antioxidant effects. It can also rid you of carcinogens and their effects, improve your immunity, support loss of excess weight, and help treat PMS.
3. L-Tryptophan for Serotonin
Serotonin is very vital for happy feelings. It is this vital for your emotions due to the role it plays in defending your brain from signals of depression and anxiety. The amino precursor for making serotonin in your brain is L-Tryptophan.
L-Tryptophan is also a relaxant. It reduces anxiety, alleviates insomnia, and rids depression. It can also help in treating migraine headaches and boosting immunity. Aside from all these, it reduces the risks of heart and artery spasms.
Tips to Cope with Anxiety
You can try these tips to better cope with anxiety:
- Take some time-out to relax, meditate, or listen to good music. You can also go for a massage.
- Step back from any problem you are facing so that you can have a clear head.
- Make sure you are eating well-balanced meals. Try not to skip meals and have energy-boosting, healthy snacks handy always.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol. They can make your anxiety worse and even trigger a panic attack.
- Sleep well enough daily. Aim for six to 8 hours. If your day is particularly stressful, your sleep should be longer.
- Learn new relaxation techniques that can help you.
- Never aim for perfection. The disappointment can trigger anxiety. Just put in your best and be satisfied with your outcomes, knowing you put in all you could.
- Come to terms with the fact that certain things will be out of your control.
- Don’t exaggerate what you are going through. Sometimes, things are not as bad as your brain makes them out to be.
- Welcome humor in your daily interactions and stay positive always.
New findings are still emerging in the use of amino acid for anxiety. But with how much we know already, your doctor may prescribe amino acid supplements as part of the treatment plan for your anxiety. Ensure to use them as prescribed. And if you decide to take them on your own, please make sure you get your doctor’s consent.