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Tryptophan - The Sleep Amino Acid
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that needs to be supplemented daily with food because the body can not make it on its own. The main task of tryptophan is to promote a healthy sleep, because as a precursor to the happiness hormone serotonin it helps to keep the serotonin level almost constant. From serotonin, the body can form melatonin at night, which is responsible for the regulation of the day-night rhythm and thus at the same time for a healthy sleep. This aspect is also of great importance for athletes, because for a sufficient recovery of the muscles after sports a restful night's sleep is particularly important. Another important aspect for athletes is that tryptophan can improve zinc uptake in the body, which in turn can have a positive effect on testosterone levels. Testosterone is by far the most important hormone for muscle growth. During a diet with a negative calorie deficit, tryptophan can help prevent food cravings. Athletes can take advantage of these benefits by integrating this amino acid into their diet to meet their increased need for tryptophan. In natural foods, however, tryptophan is found only in very small amounts, so a deficiency is not uncommon. Natural sources include cashews, soybeans or raw cocoa powder. The amino acid is relatively stable to heat and water, so nothing special needs to be considered when preparing these foods. Only oxygen can make this amino acid something. Therefore, the food should be stored as close as possible airtight, otherwise too much of this amino acid is lost and the occurrence of a deficiency can be favored. Possible deficiency symptoms include skin diseases, depression or sleep disorders. Additional supplementation with tryptophan not only bypasses a possible deficiency, but also an existing deficiency of vitamin B3, which the body converts to tryptophan. A dietary supplement is therefore not only for athletes, but for almost anyone, because a sufficient supply of this amino acid of the body is very significant, as a shortage can quickly occur.