Do you feel depressed?
Are you struggling to lose weight?
Do you suffer from throbbing migraines?
Do you find it hard to get a good night’s sleep?
Well, if you answered yes to any of the questions above, there’s an epic supplement out there called 5-HTP which may be able to help.
Now, the interesting thing about 5-HTP is that the best time of day to take it depends on the benefit you’re wanting to feel.
For example, if you’re taking 5-HTP for weight loss, then you may need to take it at a different time of day than if you were taking it to sleep better at night.
So in this post, we cover the best time of day to take 5-HTP for various different benefits.
You can then use this knowledge to take 5-HTP at the time of day which is best for you.
Let’s get started.
What is 5-HTP?
5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is a compound our body makes from tryptophan, which is an amino acid found in food like eggs, turkey, and salmon.
Our bodies use 5-HTP to make serotonin – an important neurotransmitter which facilitates communication between neurons
Since it isn’t found in any foods, we can’t get 5-HTP from our diet. So, lots of people supplement with 5-HTP to remove the need to make it from tryptophan, with the goal of increasing serotonin levels.
Reasons to take 5-HTP in the morning
5-HTP may help with weight loss
Lots of people struggle with weight loss due to feeling hungry all the time.
5-HTP may help reduce these hunger pains, making weight loss much easier. (Source)
In one study, 20 subjects with diabetes took either 5-HTP or a placebo every day for 2 weeks.
The results showed that those who took 5-HTP consumed 435 less calories per day on average than those who took the placebo.
In another study, 19 obese subjects took either 5-HTP or a placebo every day for 5 weeks.
According to the results, those who took 5-HTP consumed less food and had more weight loss than those who took a placebo.
So by taking 5-HTP in the morning, it’ll be in your system throughout the day which is when you’re most likely to have food cravings.
5-HTP may help improve your mood
Depression is one of the most common (and crippling) mental ailments.
It’s hard to treat since the cause is largely unknown, but some researchers think it may be caused by a serotonin imbalance. (Source)
If this is true, then 5-HTP may be useful for people with depression.
In one study, 15 women took 5g of Creatine and 100mg of 5-HTP twice per day for 8 weeks.
After the 8 weeks, their depression scores were reduced by 60% on average.
In another study, 60 subjects with depression took either 5-HTP or fluoxetine each day for 8 weeks.
(Fluoxetine is a commonly prescribed antidepressant.)
By the end of the 8 weeks, 73% of the 5-HTP patients showed improved symptoms of depression.
Since depression is usually more troublesome during the day, taking 5-HTP in the morning will ensure it’s in your system when your mental health needs it the most.
5-HTP may help reduce migraines
Research suggests that 5-HTP may help those suffering from migraines.
For example, a study of 124 people compared the effects of 5-HTP and methysergide – a popular migraine drug – on migraines.
According to the results, 71% of the subjects who took 5-HTP had a decrease in headache frequency.
In another study, 48 students took either 5-HTP or a placebo.
The results showed that 5-HTP reduced the frequency of headaches by 70%, while the placebo reduced the frequency by 11%.
Like with depression, it’s best to take 5-HTP in the morning for migraines as you want it in your system when you’re most troubled by the symptoms.
Which is during the day for most people.
Reasons to take 5-HTP at night
5-HTP may help improve sleep
The serotonin produced from 5-HTP can be converted into melatonin.
Melatonin, aka the sleep hormone, rises at night which helps you fall asleep, and decreases in the morning which helps you wake up.
So, it’s theorized that 5-HTP can improve sleep by increasing melatonin levels.
In one study, 18 people with sleep disorders took either 5-HTP with GABA (Gabadone), or a placebo.
Interestingly, the Gabadone takers fell asleep quicker, slept for longer, and had a higher quality sleep than the placebo takers.
So, by taking 5-HTP at night, your brain is more likely to convert the serotonin into melatonin, which should help you sleep better.
By reading this article, you now know just how flexible 5-HTP is as a supplement.
And if I’ve done my job correctly, you’ll have a solid idea of when the best time to take 5-HTP is for you.
By the law of averages, some of you will see better results taking it in the morning while others will benefit from taking it in the evening.
But if you’re undecided, then why not do your own little experiment and try both?
As always, thanks for sticking with me to end and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
See you in the next one.
PS – Let me know how you get on with using 5-HTP. I’d love to know!