Eating Tryptophan Makes You Smarter

June 01, 2023

As a biological building block, tryptophan can be considered somewhat of a super-amino acid. Given the range of its applications, could tryptophan improve your chances of attaining both stronger cognitive function and better-quality sleep? Research shows tryptophan and its connection to serotonin production could, in fact, have a positive influence on your mental well-being. Better sleep is a happy coincidence for this very important essential amino acid.

Tryptophan’s Positive Impact on the Way Your Brain Works

Studies indicate a link between improved cognitive function and increased levels of tryptophan in the body. Memory, in particular, is a function of the brain that has shown notable improvement with the consumption of tryptophan. This phenomenon appears to be particularly strong in people who have been diagnosed with memory-related diseases like Alzheimer’s. In fact, low levels of tryptophan have been associated with memory loss of the long and short-term varieties.

Tryptophan intake has also been linked with a reduction of age-related cognitive decline in the areas of memory and plasticity, the brain’s ability to adapt. As the precursor to many essential neurotransmitters, tryptophan undertakes much of the heavy lifting in cognitive function. The connection between tryptophan consumption and cognitive health indicates that maintaining regular tryptophan consumption is not only essential to promoting intelligence but also maintaining it well into the later years of life.

Another facet of mental health, emotional wellbeing, is also believed to be improved by increased consumption of tryptophan-heavy foods. Many individuals report seeing improvements with issues like ADHD, depression, and anxiety after raising their tryptophan intake. For instance, participants in a 2015 study that focused on middle-aged women reportedly experienced a change in focus from a negative bias towards a more positive one. They also exhibited faster reaction times and more often experienced a “high energy” emotional state.

Tryptophan is a known booster of serotonin levels. Raised levels of serotonin are strongly linked to improvement in mental illnesses like depression and bipolar disorder. It can also be effective in treating seasonal affective disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. As the molecular building block for serotonin, tryptophan plays the crucial role of providing the human body with adequate tools for proper cognitive function.

Improving the Quality of Your Sleep with Tryptophan

Not only does tryptophan contribute to the production of serotonin, it is also vital to the metabolism of the sleep hormone melatonin. Increasing the amount of tryptophan in your system can help promote longer periods of sleep that are more restful. Tryptophan can also help cut down on the number times you wake up throughout the night. To boost the effects of tryptophan’s sleep-related benefits, be sure to follow up your dose of tryptophan with a carb-heavy snack.

Eat Your Tryptophan with a side of Caveat

Some people swear by tryptophan supplements, but with higher, concentrated doses you may experience side effects like headaches, digestive issues and loss of appetite. A safer way to consume tryptophan is by eating it. Pumpkins seeds, nuts, tofu, chicken, eggs, fish, beans and lentils are all excellent natural sources of tryptophan. There is a big BUT here, though. The metabolism of food-source tryptophan is so fraught, however, with challenges that it even has a name: The Tryptophan Paradox. Eating lots of tryptophan-rich foods do not guarantee the tryptophan is properly absorbed in the brain.

When they developed this novel product, the makers of Zenbev Drink Mix created a clever workaround in their strategic formulation to make sure that all the tryptophan gets where it needs to go to deliver the precursor to natural serotonin and melatonin. We make it easy for you to achieve the most from natural, protein source tryptophan. No other product can make that claim.

Seeing an improvement in your cognitive function and sleep quality could be as simple as incorporating Zenbev into your diet. That deserves an A+!