5 Key Questions On When To Take 5-HTP

5-HTP is a really important molecule in your body. Your body creates 5-HTP from L-tryptophan, an amino acid found in a number of food sources. While you can get sufficient 5-HTP from your diet, the best way to improve your 5-HTP levels is to take a high-quality 5-HTP supplement. Many people wonder when to take 5-HTP (5 Hydroxytryptophan). This really depends on what kind of effects you’d like to see from this great supplement. You can use it to boost your mood, help with falling asleep and help with reducing your appetite. Here we’ll explore when to take 5-HTP. [caption id=""attachment_1193"" align=""aligncenter"" width=""640""] People take 5-HTP for its great mood-lifting properties![/caption]

1.    5-HTP to boost your mood

You can take a 5-HTP supplement any time you’re feeling a little low. 5-HTP is converted into serotonin, which is your brain’s ‘happiness’ hormone.[1] Boosting your serotonin levels helps to improve your mood, which is why so many people love 5-HTP.  

2.    5-HTP and vitamin B6

Taking 5-HTP with vitamin B6 is a great idea. This wonderful combination helps to convert more 5-HTP into serotonin, further increasing the mood-boosting effects of 5-HTP. The reason that this happens is that vitamin B6 is what’s called a coenzyme. This means that it helps out in the biochemical conversion of 5-HTP to serotonin.[2] Basically, more vitamin B6 means better conversion of 5-HTP into serotonin and therefore stronger effects from your supplement.  

3.    When to take 5-HTP and L-tyrosine

5-HTP and L-tyrosine are two great supplements to help aid in promoting a healthy mood. Your brain converts 5-HTP into serotonin, while L-tyrosine is converted into dopamine. Both are involved in maintaining healthy moods.[3] [caption id=""attachment_1160"" align=""alignright"" width=""295""] 5-HTP powder from Liftmode.com, 99%+ purity[/caption]   However, dopamine is more pleasure and sensual response, while serotonin can be thought of as more of just a ‘happy hormone’. Obviously, this is a very simplified version of the real relationship between these brain hormones, but it helps to give some kind of understanding of what happens in your brain.  

4.    5-HTP to help with sleep

If you are wondering when to take 5-HTP for sleep, you’ll want to time it properly. The onset of 5-HTP is around 45 minutes. So, it’s a good idea to take 5-HTP around an hour before going to sleep. Your brain converts 5-HTP to both serotonin and melatonin.[4] Melatonin is responsible for maintaining healthy sleeping patterns, which is why so many people use 5-HTP for sleep.  

5.    5-HTP to promote weight loss

Various studies have found that 5-HTP helps to reduce your appetite.[5] This is why you can use 5-HTP to help with weight loss. This effect may be related to the increase in serotonin, which is known to cause a reduced desire for carbohydrates. [caption id=""attachment_1194"" align=""alignright"" width=""300""] You can use 5-HTP to help reduce your appetite[/caption] This is great for anybody on a workout regime, or anyone just looking to cut back on a few pounds. While 5-HTP is by no means a ‘cutting’ supplement or a magic bullet, it does help to produce a subtle decrease in appetite. If you’re wondering when to take 5-HTP for weight loss, it would be best to take it in the morning or about 30 minutes before meals. Taking 5-HTP on an empty stomach helps it to be absorbed faster, and may increase the effects.  


In conclusion, we can see that 5-HTP is an important brain compound that is converted into serotonin and melatonin. It is involved in promoting a healthy mood and maintaining good sleeping patterns. People also use 5-HTP for weight loss because it helps to reduce your appetite. Take 5-HTP about 30 minutes before meals or on an empty stomach for improved results.  

Medical Disclaimer

Not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any disease or ailment. Please read and fully understand potential adverse effects before using this product. These statements have not been reviewed by the FDA and are not written by a medical professional. Please consult your doctor before using any supplements, especially if you have any medical conditions.


  [1] 5-Hydroxytryptophan: a clinically-effective serotonin precursor, TC Birdsall, Altern Med Rev. 1998 Aug;3(4):271-80. [2] Vitamin B6, Summary, Linus Pauling Institute, Micronutrient Information Center, Oregon State University notes, available from http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-B6 [3] Mood is indirectly related to serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine levels in humans: a meta-analysis of monoamine depletion studies, HG Ruhe et al., Mol Psychiatry. 2007 Apr;12(4):331-59. Epub 2007 Jan 16. [4] Effect of orally administered L-tryptophan on serotonin, melatonin, and the innate immune response in the rat, S Esteban et al., Mol Cell Biochem. 2004 Dec;267(1-2):39-46. [5] The effects of oral 5-hydroxytryptophan administration on feeding behavior in obese adult female subjects, F Ceci et al., J Neural Transm. 1989;76(2):109-17.

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