Brain food

Don’t stop at fuelling your body for peak performance – you need to feed your brain, too.

by Sarah Ivory

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The endurance booster - Tyrosine


Released when protein is broken down, this amino acid is used to make performance-boosting neurotransmitters, including epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. Research from Jerusalem University Medical School shows tyrosine also decreases brain levels of the fatigue-inducing 5-HT neurotransmitter, while scientists at Aberystwyth University found that athletes exercising in 30C heat took longer to reach exhaustion after drinking a tyrosine-rich drink one hour beforehand.


Preliminary studies suggest moderate doses of 50-300mg per kilogram of bodyweight taken before exercising in extreme heat or cold can boost cognitive function. ‘But more research is required to prove the benefit of high amounts,’ says Professor Romain Meeusen, head of human physiology at Vrije University in Brussels. ‘They might even be dangerous.’ Get your dose from chicken or sesame seeds.

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