WHAT IS 5-HTP AND WHAT CAN YOU USE IT FOR?
5-HTP is a dietary supplement mainly used to improve mood. This amino acid is a precursor of the happiness chemical serotonin, which incidentally is also involved in the regulation of sleep and appetite. Therefore, it seems that 5-HTP can also help people with sleep problems and excessive appetite reduce them. Read all about this supplement and what you can use it for here.
What is 5-HTP?
The name 5-HTP in full is 5-hydroxytryptophan and refers to the chemical structure of this amino acid. This little substance occurs naturally in your body. You can also buy it as a supplement. In that case, it is extracted from the seeds of an African plant, Griffonia Simplicifolia.
What can you use 5-HTP for?
As a dietary supplement, 5-HTP can have several benefits for your health and well-being. Below are the most common uses that have been scientifically proven:
One of the most well-known and recognised uses of 5-HTP is to boost mood. 5-HTP increases levels of serotonin, which is known as the happiness hormone. This because of its role in regulating emotions and thus improving mood. Several scientific studies have since shown that it can help with depression and anxiety symptoms, but people with pain symptoms can also benefit from it.
Do you suffer from long-term negative mood? If so, be sure to seek professional support. Your GP can refer you to the right kind of help. Think of 5-HTP mainly as a good temporary solution, for instance to help you through a difficult or stressful period. However, it is not a panacea for more serious issues such as trauma or unhealthy coping strategies.
Good news for those struggling with sleep problems: 5-HTP can promote a good night's sleep. This is because serotonin plays a role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. By taking 5-HTP supplement, you can ensure healthy levels of this neurotransmitter, resulting in better sleep quality. Do you suffer from insomnia, have trouble falling asleep, or have trouble falling asleep? Then definitely try this supplement!
After a weekend of partying, lack of sleep and substance use can leave you feeling pretty minus on Monday or Tuesday. 5-HTP can remedy or ease this Tuesday dip by stimulating your serotonin production. Definitely handy to have on hand the next time you have a party planned.
Overeating can be very annoying. It is hard to keep having to say no when you constantly feel the urge to eat something. Now, the hormone serotonin is not only involved in regulating your mood and sleep, but also your appetite and sense of satiety. If you feel that your constant cravings are mostly physical, you can see if this supplement will help you control your eating behaviour.
The right dose of 5-HTP
The usual dose of 5-HTP is between 250 and 500 mg per day. You can take this in one go, or spread it throughout the day.
Side effects and risks
Since 5-HTP raises your serotonin levels, you should be careful with medications and supplements that have a similar effect. If you combine such drugs, you run the risk of developing serotonin syndrome. The greatest risk is when you use so-called SSRIs, antidepressants that make serotonin stay in your system longer. The painkiller tramadol also increases serotonin levels.
5-HTP is not the only supplement you can take to tackle your sleep, mood or appetite. Especially, want to improve your mood or stress levels? Then take a look at all our mood enhancers. Ashwagandha, for instance, is also a good option for those struggling with stress, anxiety or depressive feelings.
If you have mainly sleeping problems, you can use different supplements for this. CBD, for instance, can help you relax and fall asleep faster. Valerian is also a good natural relaxant.
However, the best way to feel better and sleep better is to get your lifestyle in order. Take your sleep seriously, make sure you have a bedtime ritual and less with caffeine and stimuli. Address the causes of your stress or restlessness. Get plenty of exercise and get outside, preferably early in the day. Nutrition also has a significant impact on your mood and sleep quality. These are all proven strategies for feeling better and getting better sleep that also have lasting results.