10 Best Ways to Increase Dopamine Levels Naturally
You’ve probably heard about dopamine. There is talk of all kinds of circles. Scientists give the floor when talking about depression and addiction.
Fans of the exercise raved about the madness that crazy runners got, and take supplements to further increase body weight. Now there are even complete formulas dedicated to raising the levels of dopamine with just one pill.
But what exactly is dopamine? why should you want more and What does it do for your brain? How can you know if you do not have enough? And what can you do to increase dopamine levels naturally?
It can be confusing, right? So many people have so many opinions and it can be difficult to separate truth from fiction.
We are here to make things clear.
Let’s help you understand what, why and how of dopamine.
Before starting … What is Dopamine?
“Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the reward and pleasure centers of the brain. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional response, and allows us not only to see rewards but also to take steps to move toward them.” – Psychology Today
Powerful and Best Ways to increase Dopamine Levels Naturally
There are some terrible ways in which dopamine can increase. You can take illegal drugs and totally fry your brains.
Marijuana and analgesics are the most popular ways in which people try to increase dopamine levels (even if they do not know exactly what is happening in their brains).
People also depend on drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine to take their brains to the next level. Unfortunately, these tactics can lead to addiction/jail/ruin your life completely.
Please do not do this. There are safer and much more natural ways to increase dopamine. Ways that do not involve hiding in the night for a clandestine meeting with your Russian mafia dealer. Lolz
1. INCREASE THE TYROSINE
Of the chemicals that make up dopamine, none is more important than tyrosine. In fact, tyrosine is considered the basic component of dopamine. Therefore, it is vital that you get enough of this protein. There is a large list of foods that increase tyrosine, which include:
- Cow meat
- Green Tea
There are a lot of good things in there, so it should not be hard to find something that works well for your dopamine levels.
2. CONSUME PROBIOTICS TO INCREASE DOPAMINE LEVELS NATURALLY
In recent years, scientists have discovered that the intestine and the brain are closely related.
In fact, the intestine is sometimes called the “second brain,” because it contains a large number of nerve cells that produce many signaling molecules of neurotransmitters, including dopamine.
It is now clear that certain species of bacteria living in the gut are also capable of producing dopamine, which can affect mood and behavior.
Research in this area is limited. However, several studies show that when consumed in sufficiently large quantities, certain strains of bacteria can reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression in both animals and humans.
Despite the clear relationship between mood, probiotics and intestinal health, it is still not well understood.
It is likely that dopamine production plays a role in the way that probiotics improve mood, but more research is needed to determine how significant the effect is.
3. GO OUT AND EXERCISE
Despite your possible hatred of all things that run, the high of the corridor is a real thing. Several studies have shown that vigorous exercise can produce a real increase in dopamine levels.
Ideally, the exercise will be intense and will last for a while, but even a short walk can produce results.
If you want to feel happier, go to the gym, go for a run or go to the pool. Make your heart beat and the sweat that comes out of your body and you will feel the results.
4. GET ENOUGH SLEEP
When dopamine is released in the brain, it creates feelings of attentiveness and wakefulness.
Studies in animals show that dopamine is released in large quantities in the morning when it is time to get up and that the levels fall naturally at night when it is time to go to sleep.
However, lack of sleep seems to alter these natural rhythms. You can read my Natural Sleeping Aids and Tips Backed by Science and 9 Best Breathing Exercises for Sleep You Should Do if you find it difficult to sleep.
When people are forced to stay awake all night, the availability of dopamine receptors in the brain is drastically reduced the next morning.
Since dopamine promotes wakefulness, reducing the sensitivity of receptors should make it easier to fall asleep, especially after a night of insomnia.
However, having less dopamine usually leads to other unpleasant consequences, such as reduced concentration and poor coordination.
Sleeping regularly and of high quality can help keep your dopamine levels balanced and help you feel more alert and with a high level of functioning during the day.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night for optimal health for adults, along with proper hygiene to sleep.
Sleep hygiene can be improved by sleeping and waking up at the same time every day, reducing noise in your bedroom, avoiding caffeine at night and using your bed only to sleep.
5. CUT OUT THAT COFFEE
This can be hard to hear, but coffee is not always pleasant with dopamine. It’s true, coffee provides a temporary increase in dopamine, so you feel like a superman after the second cup. But these results are temporary and can even develop a tolerance to caffeine.
A study found that after repeated exposure to caffeine, the rats developed tolerance to caffeine and received no serotonin boost from the stimulant.
Practically speaking, this means that when you drink coffee, all you get are the effects of nervousness/anxiety without much boost in mood. And like sugar, you will feel the shock soon after when caffeine leaves your system.
There are much more effective ways to increase your dopamine. If you desperately need caffeine, green and black tea are much better sources than coffee because of the chemicals that contain dopamine.
As with exercise, we are discovering more and more benefits for meditation. Again we are adding to the list. As discussed, the human brain is liable to a variety of addictions.
Another addictive habit we have is about thinking. In fact, some Buddhists have an idiom for this addiction: “monkey mind”.
To think excessively is not simply a distracting habit, it is also a true compulsion that leaves us in a disconcerting state, while also having a negative effect on our spiritual development.
However, scientists are finally reaching what Buddhists have known for thousands of years: meditation and mindfulness are essential for a healthy mind.
In addition, prayer and self-reflection are shown to increase dopamine levels.
7. LISTEN TO MUSIC
Listening to music can be a fun way to stimulate the release of dopamine in the brain.
A study of brain imaging has found that listening to music increases activity in the reward and pleasure areas of the brain, which are rich in dopamine receptors.
Another study that investigated the effects of music on dopamine found a 9% increase in dopamine levels in the brain when people heard instrumental songs that sent chills down their spine.
Since music can increase dopamine levels, it has even been shown that listening to music helps people with Parkinson’s disease improve their fine motor control.
To date, all music and dopamine studies have used instrumental melodies so they can be sure that dopamine increases are due to melodic music, not specific lyrics.
More research is required to see if songs with lyrics have the same or potentially superior effects.
8. DON’T GET ADDICTED
Many people become addicted to something because it gives them some kind of instant gratification: drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography, shopping, and other addictive behaviors actually have the opposite effect on long-term dopamine levels.
In essence, when we become too addicted to something, the “reward circuits” of our brain are activated and we long for the “quick hit”.
This is not a sustainable solution for the production of dopamine, which can and must be done naturally.
9. EAT LESS SATURATED FAT
A research in animals has found that saturated fats, such as those found in animal fat, butter, fatty dairy products, palm oil, and coconut oil, can alter the signaling of dopamine in the brain when they are consumed in very large quantities.
So far, these studies have only been done in rats, but the results are interesting.
One study found that rats that consumed 50% of their calories from saturated fat had reduced dopamine signaling in the reward areas of their brain, compared to animals that received the same amount of calories from unsaturated fats.
Remarkably, these changes happened even without differences in weight, body fat, hormones or blood sugar levels.
10. TAKE SUPPLEMENTS TO IMPROVE DOPAMINE
While you can not pump your brain with dopamine, at least not until we have brain injection kits at home, you can take supplements that stimulate your brain to produce more dopamine. Here are some of them:
Curcumin, the active ingredient in our favorite curry spice, turmeric, helps increase dopamine levels.
Ginkgo biloba is a wonderful medication and, although not proven, can help increase dopamine levels by making it stay in the brain longer.
L-theanine increases the production of neurotransmitters in your brain, one of which is dopamine. Green tea has a lot of this, although it can also be taken as a theanine supplement.
Acetyl-l-tyrosine is a version ready for the production of tyrosine that will facilitate the creation of dopamine in your brain.