LiftMode’s Mood-Lifting Stack Advice – How to Combine Supplements for Best Results

In this article, we explore the best supplement combinations to create the ultimate Mood-Lifting stack. We often get questions about which supplements go well together, which is why we’re addressing it in this blog post! Read on, as we examine TWELVE of our favourite Mood-Lifting stacks, why they work well together, and how best to take them. Our Mood-Lifting supplements are well-known for their effectiveness, having all undergone multiple trials and studies to assess their safety and efficacy. Nevertheless, there’s always room for improvement, and a supplement stack is one great way to boost the mood-lifting, stress-reducing, or sleep-promoting benefits of these top natural supplements.  

1.    5-HTP - Griffonia simplicifolia extract

5-HTP is the biochemical precursor for serotonin, a brain hormone and neurotransmitter involved in regulating mood and many biological processes including sleep, appetite, memory, learning capacity, sex drive, circulatory system, immune system, endocrine system, and muscle tone.[1] Serotonin is also the key hormone involved in supporting a happy mood.[2] 5-HTP supplements are often extracted from the leaves and flowers of the Griffonia simplicifolia plant, an African shrub that contains high concentrations of the neurotransmitter precursor. Studies have shown that 5-HTP supplements are effective at improving mood and subjective feelings of well-being, while simultaneously reducing stress.[3] Some people also use 5-HTP to reduce their intake of food because it can increase feelings of satiety (fullness) when taken with a meal.[4] The recommended serving size for 5-HTP is 50 – 100mg, taken 1-3 times per day. Side effects can include gastrointestinal effects like nausea and stomach cramps when used taken in large servings. It is not recommended to take this supplement if you are on any medication, and especially not with antidepressants or SSRIs due to the risk of dangerous interactions.[5]  

Goes Well With:

  • DL-Phenylalanine: Another of our top mood-lifting supplements, this combination of D- and L-Phenylalanine is effective at increasing levels of dopamine in the brain.[6] It makes a great stack when taken alongside 5-HTP because the two help to balance serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain.
  • Green Tea Extract: An extract of the ‘world’s healthiest drink’. Rich in plant polyphenols and catechins, including the well-known EGCG. Studies have shown that EGCG inhibits an enzyme in the stomach called dopamine decarboxylase, which allows greater concentrations of 5-HTP to reach the brain.[7] [8]
  • Oleamide: A functional fatty acid involved in the natural process of sleep-promotion. Oleamide is known for its benefits in promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and improving mood.[9] These benefits certainly complement 5-HTP, and the two supplements make a great stack for improving sleep!

2.    DL-Phenylalanine

DL-Phenylalanine is a 50/50 combination of both the naturally-occurring L-Phenylalanine and the synthetic D-Phenylalanine, both mirror images of the same compound. L-Phenylalanine is an amino acid found in protein-rich foods and is one of the building blocks of proteins.[10] D-Phenylalanine also occurs naturally but is more often synthesized as this is easier than natural extraction techniques. It was originally thought to have the potential to be developed as an analgesic (pain-relief substance).[11] When taken as a dietary supplement, DL-Phenylalanine is known for its effectiveness in helping to support a healthy mood, to reduce feelings of stress[12], and to boost natural energy levels through its effects on catecholamines (including dopamine and epinephrine).[13] Some studies have also pointed to possible benefits for cognitive performance[14] and to help reduce physical feelings of pain.[15] The recommended serving size for DL-Phenylalanine is 100 - 500mg daily, which can be separated into several smaller servings if required. Side effects may include heartburn, nausea, and headaches as well as increased blood pressure.[16] Importantly, people with the rare medical condition called phenylketonuria (PKU) should never take Phenylalanine supplements (or aspartame sweetener).  

Goes Well With:

  • GABA: The body’s primary ‘depressant’ hormone which helps to reduce signals from the Central Nervous System to promote calm and relaxation. Research suggests that D-Phenylalanine while improving dopamine levels, may inhibit the natural release of GABA.[17] Using a GABA supplement is a good way to counteract this effect!
  • L-Theanine: Found in high concentrations in tea, this amino acid-like compound is a great addition to DL-Phenylalanine for its ability to assist with stress-reduction.[18] As with DL-Phenylalanine, studies have shown that L-Theanine may have the potential to help with cognitive performance.[19]
  • Hordenine: A powerful natural compound found in the Bitter Orange fruit, Hordenine is often taken as an energizing and mood-lifting supplement. Its effects include temporarily inhibiting the breakdown of dopamine.[20] Since DL-Phenylalanine boosts dopamine levels, the two are thought to make a good match!

3.    L-Tryptophan

L-Tryptophan is an essential amino acid found in protein-rich foods. The human body cannot produce it, which is why it is called “essential”. In terms of its role in the body, Tryptophan is involved in protein synthesis, as well as the production of niacin (vitamin D3) and serotonin.[21] When taken as a dietary supplement, a portion of L-Tryptophan is converted into 5-HTP, which is then converted into serotonin.[22] Some people prefer using this supplement over 5-HTP because it reportedly has less potential to cause gastrointestinal side-effects. It can be used to help boost your mood, to reduce stress, and to promote healthy sleep at night.[23] Some studies show that Tryptophan supplements may be effective in supporting cognitive function[24], and to suppress appetite – particularly for carbohydrate-rich foods.[25] The recommended serving size for this supplement is 500 – 1000 mg, taken 1-2 times per day. It is not recommended to exceed the suggested serving size as this may cause gastrointestinal side effects like nausea and cramps.[26] Do not use this supplement if you are taking any antidepressant or SSRI medication, as there may be a risk of dangerous interactions.

Goes Well With:

  • Melatonin: As the body’s natural sleep-promoting hormone, Melatonin is a great supplement to help reduce the time taken to fall asleep.[27] We recommend combining these two for a synergistic natural sleep stack.
  • Synephrine: A well-known dietary supplement and one of the key active compounds in the Bitter Orange. Synephrine is known to confer a powerful boost in physical energy[28], which goes well with L-Tryptophan’s cognitive support. Together, the two may also be used to support a healthy metabolism and reduce appetite.[29]
  • Choline bitartrate: Another fantastic natural dietary supplement to help support cognitive function.[30] Choline occurs in high concentrations in protein-rich foods like meat, eggs, and fish, and Choline supplements are often recommended for vegans and vegetarians.

4.    Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea is a herbal extract with a long history of use in traditional medicine in the Northern hemisphere, especially in the cold climates of northern Asia and Scandinavia. It is best known for its effects on fatigue and stress – a powerful ‘adaptogen’ that helps to naturally fight fatigue, boost energy levels and improve mood.[31] Several clinical studies have been conducted to elucidate this herbal extract’s effects on mood. In one such study, its effects on 89 participants were assessed in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study, using parallel groups over 6 weeks. The results showed that a serving size of between 340 – 680 mg/day was effective at improving mood and sleep.[32] The recommended serving size is between 300 – 680 mg daily, and contains high levels of salidroside and rosavins – the active phytochemicals in Rhodiola extract. Side effects are generally unreported when used at the recommended serving size. However, WebMD suggests side effects of large servings may include agitation, insomnia, anxiety, and occasional headaches.[33]  

Goes Well With:

  • Caffeine + L-Theanine: The combination of Caffeine with L-Theanine has been found to be more effective than using either alone, for supporting cognitive performance.[34] Together, they also provide the user with a noticeable boost in energy, which complements Rhodiola’s effects greatly.
  • 5-HTP: Mentioned above, 5-HTP is one of our favourite mood-lifting supplements. Combining 5-HTP with Rhodiola is a great way to boost its adaptogen effects, to help reduce feelings of stress and to improve mood.
  • Magnolia Bark Extract: Rich in alkaloids like Honokiol and Magnolol, the effects of this ancient plant extract are well-established in their ability to promote relaxation and feelings of calm, while also reducing stress[35] – a perfect complement to Rhodiola!


In summary, these four top mood-lifting supplements, including 5-HTP, L-Tryptophan, DL-Phenylalanine, and Rhodiola Rosea extract, are both highly effective when taken alone and also when taken in combination with complementary supplements in a stack. The term ‘stacking’ refers to taking multiple supplements in combination, which can be a great way to boost their benefits and help improve the effects you are seeking. WARNING AND DISCLAIMER: It’s important to treat supplement stacks with care. Some supplements, when taken together, can potentiate (increase) the effects of others. Always use the lowest serving size recommended when taking supplement stacks to assess how your body feels. Everyone is different and what works for one person may be too strong for another.  


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.


B.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Researched & written by Tristan and verified by the Research Team


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