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7 Best Lysine Supplements (2022) Reviewed and Compared

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Lysine supplementation has some interesting research in preventing colds as well as helping with herpes outbreaks.

Look, what can we say, people who read RFS definitely fuck, and herpes may be an unfortunate cost for some of us out there.

(Of course, you should still practice safe sex. This is NOT a substitute for safe practices. This is not medical advice and we don’t pretend to be doctors.)

While the research on these benefits is promising, it’s definitely incomplete. But since lysine is a safe, inexpensive ingredient, it comes with very little risk.

Low risk with medium-high benefit is exactly the kind of trade-off we look for in a supplement.

What Is Lysine?

Lysine is an amino acid, which are the building blocks of protein. In particular, it’s one of the essential amino acids, which means the body doesn’t produce it on its own, so we have to get it from food.

The Benefits of Supplementing with Lysine

Because it’s an amino acid, it plays a role in a whole bunch of bodily functions and protein creation. So it has a range of benefits.

  • Reduces the frequency and severity of herpes outbreaks. Lysine supplements may help to reduce the frequency and severity of herpes outbreaks. One study found that taking a lysine supplement reduced the number of outbreaks by nearly 60%. As for a dose, studies show that 2g per day is effective. (That said, if you have a herpes outbreak, we would recommend you check out our friends at Strut Health, who can connect you with a physician to get you a prescription for herpes medication for literally $1.66 after a free trial.
  • Reducing soreness and DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness): The bottom line is if you’re lacking essential amino acids like lysine, your performance and recovery will suffer. In this respect though, I’d recommend simply eating more protein, or not training like a moron.
  • Boosts immune function: Lysine supplements may help to boost immune function. One study found that taking a lysine supplement increased levels of antibodies, which are proteins that fight off infections.
  • Reduces anxiety: Lysine supplements may help to reduce anxiety. A study found that taking a lysine supplement improved symptoms of anxiety in people with anxiety disorders.

How to Choose the Best Lysine Supplement for You

When choosing a lysine supplement, there are several things you should keep in mind.

GMP-Certified

First, make sure that the supplement is GMP-certified. GMP stands for “good manufacturing practices.” This certification means that the supplement is made in a facility that follows strict quality control standards.

If it isn’t, run for the hills. What’s on the label might not be what’s actually in the product.

Form

Lysine is available in capsules, tablets, powders, and liquids. This factor is mostly a matter of personal preference. Capsules and tablets are the most convenient, while powders and liquids are typically cheaper.

Dosage

Most supplements have 500-1000 mg of lysine per serving. This is a safe and effective dose for most people, but you may need more or less depending on your individual needs. If you’re taking it for herpes, 2 grams per day seems to be the effective dosage.

Cost

Liquids and powder are usually cheaper than capsules. But lysine capsules are still inexpensive, and it’s hard to beat the convenience of capsules.

Talk to Your Doctor

Lastly, consult with a healthcare provider before taking any supplement, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking medication.

*Note: We do have affiliate links throughout this article, which means we receive a commission if you purchase from any of our links. This supports our mission to bring complicated health and fitness info in an entertaining package. And it keeps us from putting up annoying things like banner ads. Those suck.

1) NOW Foods L-Lysine 1000mg Tablets (Best Overall)

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Oftentimes with supplements, your best choice is the simplest. That’s the case with this NOW Foods products, and to be honest, most of their products. It contains lysine and nothing else, at a value that you won’t find unless you go with a bulk product.

Now Foods L-Lysine 1000 mg tablets are a cGMP-certified, vegetarian supplement. They are available in 100- or 250-tablet sizes.

Serving size: 1 capsule

Servings per container: 100 / 250

Price: $7.49 / $16.29

Look, for just 7 bucks you can get full clinical doses from one of the most trusted supplement brands out there.

Honestly, it’s kind of a no-brainer to start with NOW Foods L-Lysine.

2) Pure Bulk Supplements L-Lysine HCl (Best Bulk)

best bulk l-lysine powder

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Pure Bulk Supplements always bring the best combination of value and quality out there. You can get a whopping 500 grams of l-lysine for just $13.50.

Now, the upshot to that value is it comes in powder form (they also have capsules). The powder doesn’t have a strong flavor, so it’s easy to mix in smoothies, juices, or pretty much any other beverage.

However, if you prefer the convenience of capsules, then probably look elsewhere.

3) Thorne L-Lysine 500 mg Capsules

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This is also a simple product from a reputable company. Thorne is one of the most well-trusted and reputable supplement companies out there.  Each capsule has 500 mg of lysine. They’re also free of gluten, dairy, soy, and nuts.

Serving size: 1 capsule

Servings per container: 60

Price: $11.00

4) Life Extension L-Lysine 620 mg capsules

life extension l-lysine

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If you’re looking for a lower-dose supplement, Life Extension L-Lysine capsules are a great option. These GMP-certified capsules contain 620 mg of lysine per serving.

Serving size: 1 capsule

Servings per container: 100

Price: $7.33

5) Vitacost L-Lysine 1000 mg Tablets

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Vitacost L-Lysine 1000 mg Tablets are our next pick. These GMP-certified tablets. The tablets are easy to take and can be taken with or without food.

Serving size: 1 tablet

Servings per container: 250

Price: $12.99

6) Solgar L-Lysine 500 mg Tablets

Solgar L-Lysine

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Overview

The next supplement on our list is Solgar L-Lysine 500 mg capsules. These GMP-certified capsules are made from non-lactose ingredients and are suitable for vegetarians. They also contain no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners.

Serving size: 1 capsule

Servings per container: 100 / 250

Price: $11.99 / $23.00

7) Nature’s Bounty L-Lysine 1000 mg Capsules

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Overview

Nature’s Bounty L-Lysine 1000 mg tablets is another great GMP-certified supplement. These tablets are made from toxic-free, FDA-approved ingredients. This company contracts out to big pharmacies, like CVS, so they’re a trusted brand.

Serving size: 1 tablet

Servings per container: 60

Price: $7.49

How We Ranked the Best Lysine Supplements

The reality is lysine supplements are all super simple. We’re not talking about pre-workouts where there could be all kinds of different ingredients. So it’s much more about safety, quality, and cost. We looked at the following criteria.

  • The type of supplement (capsule, tablet, powder, or liquid)
  • The dosage (500 mg – 1000 mg per serving)
  • The price
  • Reputation of the company. The supplement industry is full of crap. So we gave a boost to companies with a proven track record of safety and efficacy.
  • The ingredients (vega, gluten-free, etc.)
  • Certifications (GMP, FDA, etc.)

Pretty simple stuff. Don’t try to overcomplicate it, or let companies convince you that it’s complicated.

FAQ

What Are The Side Effects of Taking Lysine

Lysine supplements are generally safe and well-tolerated. However, they may cause some side effects, such as:

  • Upset stomach: Lysine supplements may cause an upset stomach. If this occurs, take the supplement with food or milk.
  • Diarrhea: Lysine supplements may cause diarrhea. If this happens, reduce the dosage or frequency of supplementation.
  • Headache: Lysine supplements may cause headaches in some people. If this is the case for you, try taking a lower dose.

What is lysine?

Lysine is an essential amino acid that our bodies need to perform various functions. It is found in many foods, such as meat, fish, beans, and dairy products.

What are the benefits of taking a lysine supplement?

There are many potential benefits of taking a lysine supplement. Some people take it to help with cold sores or herpes outbreaks. Others take it for general health purposes, such as to improve calcium absorption or to boost immunity.

How much lysine should I take?

While products come in 500mg-1000 mg doses, many studies suggest closer to 2g.

Is it safe to take a lysine supplement?

Yes, lysine supplements are generally safe for most people. But of course talk to your doctor before taking any supplement especially if you have a medical condition or are taking medication.

Can I take a lysine supplement if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

This is a question for your doctor, not some stranger on the internet.

About the Author

David is a writer and strength coach and co-owner of Roman Fitness Systems. In addition to helping run RFS, he's also the head editor for prohockeystrength.com., the official website of the Strength and Conditioning Association of Professional Hockey. You can also check out his Instagram, he's pretty easy on the eyes.

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