Not to be confused with 5-hydroxy-tryptophan (5-HTP), tryptophan remains among the most popular of all amino acids. This is due, in large part, to its relative abundance in turkey, coupled with the popular assumption that this essential amino acid is the cause of Thanksgiving Day drowsiness. But this speculation is often refuted by experts. Although tryptophan does provide for neurotransmitters responsible for sleep, excessive carbohydrate and alcohol consumption are usually the culprits of Thanksgiving lethargy. Research has indicated that food sources of tryptophan only work as a sleep-inducing agent when consumed on an empty stomach.

Tryptophan is classified as having the lowest biological value of all essential amino acids. Due to this characteristic, the dietary intake of tryptophan is lower than any other amino acid. A typical American diet provides anywhere from 1 - 1.5 grams per day. Other amino acids, mainly phenylalanine and tyrosine, compete for individual absorption privileges with tryptophan. Supplemental tryptophan is often the only accurate method of increasing one's blood levels of this essential amino acid.

Tryptophan may exist freely in the blood and can be carried via protein to various binding sites. This is a unique trait not seen in other essential or nonessential amino acids. Tryptophan also serves as the precursor to the nutrients niacin (B3) and picolinic acid. Picolinic acid exists as the body's prime chelator of many of the most vital minerals found in human anatomy. Serotonin, a vital neurotransmitter influential in the regulation of mood and sleep, is equally dependant on the adequate intake of tryptophan.

Additionally, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folic acid, and magnesium are needed by the body for tryptophan metabolism.

Products Containing Tryptophan
Name Price Rating Serving Price # of Servings Manufacturer Health Condition
Casein Protein $25.99
$0.96 27 Optimum Nutrition
Genuine Brewers Yeast $6.90
$0.22 32 Twinlab
Lean Body Chocolate Peanut Butter $48.95
$2.45 20 Labrada
Lean Body Mass $26.24
$2.92 9 Labrada
Myoplex Deluxe $99.99
$2.78 36 EAS
Pro Blend 55 $31.49
$2.42 13 Wellement
ProV60 $29.81
$1.49 20 Labrada
Superior Amino 2222 $17.99
$0.12 150 Optimum Nutrition
Whey Gourmet $27.95
$0.93 30 PVL
Whey Matrix $26.00
$0.37 71 ISS


Learn More about Tryptophan

Top Ten Reviews