Lysine is an essential amino acid that plays a role in a variety of bodily functions, including maintaining the body’s muscles. Since the body doesn’t make Lysine naturally, it’s important to receive enough of it through diet. While most people who follow a well-balanced diet will naturally ingest enough Lysine, folks with specific dietary restrictions may benefit from supplementation.
Although more research is needed to figure out exactly how effective Lysine is, there is some evidence that suggests this amino acid may play a role in treating cold sores (1). Before adding supplemental Lysine to your diet, it’s wise to consult with a medical professional. We rounded up some of the best Lysine supplements on the market and gave our picks.
Best Lysine Supplements
- Best Powder: BulkSupplements Lysine Powder
- Best Capsule: NOW Foods Lysine Capsule
- Most Unique Formula: Quantum Health Super Lysine+
- Best For Vegans: Superior Labs L-Lysine
Editor’s note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning a new fitness, nutritional, and/or supplement routine. Individual needs for vitamins and minerals will vary.
Delivered in a factory sealed foil zip pouch, each quarter teaspoon serving of BulkSupplements Lysine Powder contains 680 milligrams of the essential amino acid. The pouch makes it easy to store and they have their batches lab tested for purity
BulkSupplements is known for providing straightforward, competitively priced supplements and their lysine is no exception. Containing nothing but the amino acid L-Lysine HCL, this is a solid option for anyone looking to buy in bulk.
Unfortunately, there’s no scoop included, so users will have to rely on their own tools to ensure they’re receiving an accurate amount of Lysine in each serving. This likely isn’t too big of an ask if you have a set of measuring spoons in your kitchen, but it is still an inconvenience that could be avoided.
Who Should Buy BulkSupplements Lysine Powder
- Those who need their supplements to be easily storable.
- People who appreciate third party lab testing to confirm purity.
- Anyone paying attention to their bank accounts.
Who Shouldn’t Buy. BulkSupplements Lysine Powder
- People who do not want a powder supplement.
- Folks who do not have their own measuring spoons.
What’s nice about this product in particular is that it is purely L-Lysine HCL. There is nothing else added, making it a smart pick for people trying to accurately calculate their supplement intake in combination with their diets. If you’re looking for a powder based Lysine, then this is a great choice. The only knock is the lack of a scoop, a recurring point across most BulkSupplements’ products.
Each NOW Foods Lysine Capsule contains 500 milligrams of L-Lysine. They are made with non-GMO ingredients in a GMP Certified facility and sport a competitive price that’s likely to make those on a budget feel better about their purchase.
Those who prefer capsules to powders may want to check out the offering from NOW Foods. At 500mg per pill, these reasonably priced supplements are a convenient way to bolster lysine intake.
The gelatin used in the formulation of these capsules makes this supplement unsuitable for strict vegan diets. If your diet does not allow for gelatin, steer clear.
Who Should Buy NOW Foods Lysine Capsule
- People happy to have supplements free of GMOs.
- Anyone who needs the convenience of capsules.
- Folks on a budget.
Who Shouldn’t Buy NOW Foods Lysine Capsule
- Vegans and anyone with a similar diet.
- Those who would prefer a Lysine powder.
Aside from the gelatin not fitting with vegan diets and the like, an unfortunate caveat of most capsule supplements, this is an all around solid choice.
Most Unique Formula
Each three capsule serving of Quantum Health Super Lysine+ contains 1500 milligrams of L-Lysine. That sounds like a lot considering the other capsule option on our list has a 500 milligram serving, but that’s just a variation of capsules per serving. Both products’ capsules individually contain 500 milligrams of Lysine.
Quantum health incorporates several ingredients into their formula in addition the Lysine including Vitamin C, garlic bulb, calcium, echinacea, propolis and licorice root. All of the additional ingredients are aimed at bolstering your immune system.
Quantum Health Super Lysine+ contains far more than just lysine. With six other ingredients intended to boost the immune system, including Vitamin C, this is a multi-faceted supplement with a unique formula.
These capsules are made with vegetarian friendly products. Although there is some flexibility with dosage depending on your needs, the recommended serving size of three capsules may be a bit cumbersome for some customers.
Who Should Buy Quantum Health Super Lysine+
- Vegetarians. These capsules are made with vegetarian friendly ingredients.
- Anyone interested in the additional ingredients to aid their immune system.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Quantum Health Super Lysine+
- People who don’t enjoy swallowing capsules may be put off by the three capsule serving size.
- Penny pinchers. The extra ingredients don’t come without cost.
Despite this supplement being a bit pricier than some of the competing Lysine products on the market, its unique immune system supporting formula was strong enough to rank highly on our list. If you are debating between Lysine capsule supplements, it would serve you well to take these into consideration.
Best For Vegans
Each capsule of Super Labs L-Lysine contains 500 milligrams of L-Lysine, similar to other top products on our list. The vegetable and rice formula used for these capsule makes this supplement vegan-friendly. Additionally, it is entirely devoid of additives, fillers, or adulterants, making this a strong pick for supplement purity enthusiasts.
Folks looking for vegan-friendly capsules may want to check out this offering from Superior Labs. At 500mg of l-lysine per serving, these are a solid source of l-lysine.
Super Labs produces these capsules in third party certified NSF facilities, reinforcing their commitment to product purity.
Who Should Buy Superior Labs L-Lysine
- Vegans. The vegetable and rice formula clears these capsules for vegetarian and vegan diets.
- Folks who appreciate transparency when it comes to product purity.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Superior Labs L-Lysine
- Anyone who doesn’t like swallowing capsule supplements and would prefer a powder.
- Those who don’t want to reach too deep into their wallets.
Compared to other Lysine supplements, these capsules are a bit on the pricey side. Unfortunately, the price jump is just something that those who follow vegan diets will have to swallow (no pun intended). Looking past that, this is a really nice capsule option and should be part of your purchasing considerations, whether you are vegan or not.
How We Decided Our Picks
When looking at any supplement, it’s important to pay attention to the differences between each product. Before deciding to invest in Lysine, it’s wise to consult a medical professional. When selecting a particular brand of Lysine, there are a few key features to consider.
Powder vs. Capsule
This largely comes down to personal preference, but it also one of the biggest factors we had to compare. Powders allow users to more accurately measure just how much Lysine they’ll get in each serving. They are also generally more affordable on a cost per serving basis. However, capsules may be more convenient for some as they take less time to consume and may be easier to travel with.
If you are looking for a Lysine supplement, determining if you prefer a powder or a capsule first will narrow the options to consider significantly. We suggest this being the first decision you make when comparing options.
It’s wise to consult a medical professional as to how much Lysine is right for you in a supplement. It is always going to be the smarter move to discuss any supplementation you’re interested in adding to your diet with a physician. Pay attention to the listing on each package, as they can vary from 500 milligrams to as high as 1500 milligrams per serving.
Dosage will usually inform price as well. Check out our section on cost below to understand the math behind seeing how much items cost per dose.
Some manufacturers create Lysine products that offer additional ingredients in their formula and they could sway your purchasing choice if they fulfill something you want. For example, Vitamin C is commonly paired with Lysine. If the immune system boost of that Vitamin C is worth the potential cost increase, then it is a good idea to click that buy button.
Be sure to take a look at the ingredients list to ensure there are no ingredients to which you may be allergic. If you are just looking for a pure Lysine supplement, several of our top picks stay clear of mixing any other ingredients with the Lysine.
The best way to determine cost is to divide the total cost of an item by the amount of servings. For example, if two products of the same price have the same number of capsules, but one product is a single capsule serving and other is a double capsule serving, the second product is twice as expensive — assuming both servings offer an equivalent dose of Lysine.
Cost is always going to be something to take into account when it comes to rankings. If you are looking to keep the spending on supplements light, there are several really good options on the market for you.
Lysine may be a useful supplement for folks in certain populations, but those who eat well-balanced diets may not need any further supplementation. If you do decide to supplement with Lysine, clear it with your physician. It’s important to take it regularly to ensure efficacy once you have decided which product to buy.
Is it safe to take Lysine supplements?
Consult a medical professional before taking Lysine supplements. Taking excessive amounts of Lysine may result in stomach troubles.
Is there a difference between L-Lysine and Lysine?
Basically, L-Lysine is the more technical term for what the body is able to process, while Lysine is a more generic term. Manufacturers differ in their use of these two terms.
Does Lysine cause hair to grow?
There is some evidence that Lysine deficiencies may cause hair loss. However, there is not solid evidence to suggest that Lysine supplements can result in hair growth.
Singh BB, Udani J, Vinjamury SP, et al. Safety and effectiveness of an L-Lysine, zinc, and herbal-based product on the treatment of facial and circumoral herpes. Alternative medicine review : a journal of clinical therapeutic. 2005;10(2):123-127.