Stress has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. People across the globe have been looking for ways of coping with the unprecedented conditions we’ve all been faced with. Isolation, a lack of outdoor exercise and a poor diet can all lead to sleep difficulties, as well as symptoms of anxiety and depression, but 5-HTP can be useful in treating all manner of conditions associated with a lack of vitality.
If you’ve been struggling to get enough shut-eye, or you’ve been experiencing a low mood, you might’ve come across 5-HTP supplements. But what is 5-HTP? And can it be harmful to health? Keep reading to find out when to take 5-HTP and whether or not it’s right for you.
What Is 5-HTP, and What Is It Used For?
5-hydroxytryptophan — otherwise known as 5-HTP — is a chemical by-product of L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid responsible for the production of serotonin in the brain. The production of serotonin is essential in maintaining our mental well-being and regulating our mood. If serotonin levels go unregulated for extended periods, symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression can start to appear.
The Relationship between 5-HTP and L-Tryptophan
Because L-tryptophan can’t be produced naturally by the body, it must be acquired from the food we eat. It’s predominantly found in animal protein such as chicken, eggs, turkey, and fish, as well as dairy products, including milk and cheese. For vegans and vegetarians looking to boost their tryptophan intake, it’s also found in a few plant proteins, including peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and soy.
Getting enough of these foods in your diet should give you plenty of tryptophan, but that’s not always easy for people on restricted diets or with food allergies. If you want to achieve better health the simple way, 5-HTP supplements make a great choice for people looking to give themselves a boost, but these supplements come with a few caveats.
What Are the Benefits of 5-HTP?
By increasing the production of serotonin within the brain, 5-HTP can help:
Improve Your Sleep Quality: The brain often converts serotonin into the hormone melatonin, which helps to regulate your sleep patterns. Without sufficient melatonin, you’re more likely to experience restlessness and even mild to moderate insomnia. If you’ve given up on counting sheep, taking a 5-HTP supplement like BestVitamin Best 5-HTP Capsules can restore some order to your life by helping you get some much-needed shut-eye. It usually takes about two weeks to start having a noticeable effect, although people sometimes say that it can act faster than that.
Regulate Your Mood: Low levels of serotonin are often linked to depression, as well as anxiety, stress, and a more volatile temper. By taking 5-HTP, you can naturally increase serotonin production within the body, which will help keep your mood in check, make you feel more positive and make you much less likely to get stressed out. Depression and anxiety are serious conditions, so always speak to a doctor to get their professional advice if you’re experiencing moderate to severe symptoms.
Assist with Weight Loss: When you’re cutting calories or trying to eat more healthy foods, your body will continue to produce hormones that make you feel hungry. This can make weight loss doubly difficult, but 5-HTP can suppress your appetite. Taking a 5-HTP supplement can make your weight loss plan a lot more effective, helping you to fend off intense food cravings and shed some extra pounds the easy way.
Reduce Feelings of Anxiety: Sleep is a major factor in anxiety. Taking 5-HTP at night for two to three weeks has been proven to improve sleep quality in people who experience anxiety, in turn, reducing the likelihood and severity of anxiety throughout the day. If you’re experiencing anxiety, a 5-HTP supplement like NOW 5-HTP 100mg can benefit your mental health over time, although it’s advisable that you speak to a medical professional if you have moderate to high levels of anxiousness so that you get the most fitting guidance.
Stop You Getting Migraines: With so much time spent in front of screens, added stress, and a lack of sleep — not to mention an increased intake of caffeine or alcohol — migraines are much more likely to take their toll. Studies have proven that 5-HTP supplements reduce the intensity and duration of migraines, so consider switching to a more natural solution instead of reaching for the aspirin when you get a migraine.
When to Take 5-HTP, and How Much You Can Take
You might be asking yourself, “is it safe to take 5-HTP every day?”, and it’s a valid question. 5-HTP is commercially produced from seeds of the African plant Griffonia simplicifolia, so it’s predominantly a natural product, but you should consult a medical professional if you plan on taking a 5-HTP supplement every day for an extended period.
You might also be wondering “how much 5-HTP should I take?”, and there are different supplements available in varying doses to meet your specific needs. As a general rule, taking between 100mg and 300mg of 5-HTP a day for two to three weeks should allow you to start feeling its positive effects and help you on your journey to better health.
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Looking for more “Better Health Made Simple” solutions for stress, sleep and mood support? Discover our range of 5-HTP supplements and take control of your health today.