DL-Phenylalanine (DLPA) is an essential amino acid. The term “essential” means that your body can’t run without the presence of DLPA. That said, people tend to get some DLPA via natural sources. One of the biggest DLPA sources is chicken thighs. Lots of protein-rich foods have DLPA in it.
Here’s some DLPA containing foods.
One of DLPA’s main bodily functions is to produce tyrosine. DLPA also produces epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
The dopamine aspect is especially important, but we will get to that a bit further down.
When speaking of DLPA, it is important to realize that we are talking supplement. The version found in food is the most natural version. D-phenylalanine is a synthetic version, but it a close natural replica. DL-phenylalanine is a combination of both natural and synthetic. That’s the supplement. That’s what we are discussing.
There are many DLPA benefits, but caffeine withdrawal management is the most popular one. It is also one I have direct experience with. For that reason, I begin here. However, realize that DLPA benefits extend far beyond caffeine withdrawal. In fact, it may compliment caffeine use.
Julia Ross’s The Mood Cure popularized DLPA.
Can DLPA help ease symptoms of caffeine withdrawal? This is one of the main reasons anyone searches for DLPA benefits. It is by far the most popular way to use DLPA.
Let’s explore why.
Julia Ross, author of The Mood Cure, promotes the use of DLPA for improving your mood.
In some ways, Ross popularized the DLPA supplement. Many people began to make a connection between addiction withdrawal and DLPA. Being that caffeine is the most used drug in the world, many people used DLPA to help them quit morning Joe.
But does it work?
Yes, it does. I’ve used it.
You will see all types of claims associated with the DLPA caffeine withdrawal experience. Many of these people claim they had 0 side effects upon quitting caffeine. They claim that by using DLPA, they eliminated all caffeine withdrawal symptoms. It’s important to note, many people use L-Tyrosine for the same reason, or even both. I did not. You can read about L-Tyrosine benefits here for more information.
It sounds too good to be true.
For me, the results were great but not as great as some claims I read on the Internet before trying.
Day 1: This was no big deal, but let’s face it, the body doesn’t realize you’ve cut off the coffee yet.
Day 2: I woke up with a headache. I took 500mg DLPA, the headache backed down considerably. Four hours later, the headache returned with a vengeance. I took 500mg DLPA, the headache backed down. Four hours later, rinse-wash-repeat.
I ended up sleeping great that night. I felt generally off, but the DLPA seemed to do a good job managing headaches.
Additionally, I experienced 0 brain fog. I can tolerate headaches, but brain fog is a deal breaker because it puts me out of work.
Day 3: Woke up feeling amazing. No headaches, pretty great energy for most of the morning. I began to feel fatigue around 3pm. I took 500 mg DLPA in the morning and in the afternoon.
That was it. Using DLPA for caffeine withdrawal reduced symptoms to a mere two days. Only one of those days was bad.
So what happened?
It’s simple – Dopamine.
Dopamine is the brain’s reward center.
Dopamine is made from L-Dopa. And L-Dopa is made from Tyrosine. And DLPA is a precursor to Tyrosine.
Caffeine causes the brain to overload on dopamine. In many ways, that’s how most addictive things work; they push dopamine, that makes you happy. When you cut off the addictive substance, the dopamine is gone, and you’re irritable, angry, and depressed.
When you abuse caffeine, the caffeine depletes natural stores of Tyrosine and Phenylalanine.
At this point, you need MORE caffeine to produce Tyrosine and Phenylalanine.
Ever wonder why your one green tea per morning turns into two large coffees per day by week three? Eventually, you need more caffeine to get the same effect. This is why.
Addiction is a crap cycle. It plays on neurotransmitters such as dopamine. It hijacks your life.
DLPA acts to cut out this trickery.
Taking DLPA means experiencing the dopamine blues less.
Removing caffeine from your morning ritual improves sleep tenfold. I now sleep like a nightly hibernator.
DLPA also blocks the enkephalinase, which helps to stop pain. There is not enough research to available for DLPA’s role in pain management. That being said, it is important not to rely on it. It is also imperative that you speak to a doctor if you suffer from chronic pain.
Improved Cognitive Skills
One of the worst parts of addiction withdrawal, particularly involving caffeine, is brain fog. DLPA helps to clear out brain fog and improve cognitive skills. In simpleton terms, DLPA makes you feel sharper. This is my personal favorite DLPA benefit. If I take DLPA in the morning on an empty stomach, I notice improved mental clarity throughout the day.
The proposed reason behind this benefit is that DLPA binds to glutamate AMPA receptors.
You May Feel Happier
Depression and anxiety rule us (at least, more than they should). Phenylalanine helps produce epinephrine and dopamine, two essential mood influencing neurotransmitters. When we lack dopamine, we feel sluggish, unmotivated, and less happy. So it makes sense that DLPA replenishing dopamine improves our moods.
When it comes to depression and anxiety, no “cure” is full-proof. You gotta work on you. You should eat healthy and exercise. You should communicate feelings and seek out meaningful connections. But there is nothing wrong with using an edge to help light the fire.
DLPA is a powerful natural solution for depression and caffeine withdrawal management. It can also help manage pain. But it is important to check in with your doctor before using it. It won’t work for everyone. Do your research.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.
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