August 28th, 2007 by Paul Johnson

For bodybuilders suffering from depression, 5-HTP may be a miracle supplement. But it also has even more benefits than that.

What is 5-HTP?

5-HTP stands for 5-Hydroxytryptophan. 5-HTP was first a supplement in 1994 in the U.S, but was used as a medicine in Europe dating back as far as the 70's. It is the direct pre-cursor in the body to the powerful neurotransmitter serotonin. The amino acid tryptophan is the precursor to 5-HTP. Serotonin is the chemical involved in addiction and involved in feeling "satisfied". It also effects your overall mood, sleep, and appetite. Anti-depressant drugs deal with interactions with Serotonin in the brain. Serotonin also is involved in the gastrointestinal tract and blood cells.

Benefits of 5-HTP:

Your energy and mood will feel better overall when taking 5-HTP. If you suffer from depression it will dramatically help you. You will feel more refreshed and have better sleep on 5-HTP. This will lead to better gains as a bodybuilder. 5-HTP also helps reduce appetite. Due to it's action on serotonin, it can make a person feel satisfied with less food. While cutting this supplement could do wonders for curbing your appetite.

Side Effects:

Despite it being on the market for so many years, it's long term usage is still unclear. People do seem to build a tolerance also. For this reason, it is recommended to only stay on it for short brief periods (cycle it), until more research is done. However, 5-HTP certainly can't be any more unsafe, than current anti-depressants on the pharmaceutical market, since 5-HTP is naturally found in the body and in nature.

Does 5-HTP Really work?

Yes, bodybuilders report a definite improvement after taking 5-HTP. As a direct pre-cursor to serotonin, there is no doubt it works directly on serotonin.