Let us begin with dopamine definition (1).
Generally speaking, dopamine is an essential chemical carrier in an individual’s brain that performs multiple functions.
For instance, dopamine is involved in reward, motivation, overall improvement of the memory, the increase of attention, and even coordinating an individual’s body movements.
When dopamine is being released in considerable amounts, this chemical transporter tends to create feelings of pleasure and reward, which in its turn motivates an individual to repeat a specific behavior that has caused a burst of dopamine in the first place.
Alternatively, low levels of dopamine are associated with a reduction of motivation and decreased enthusiasm for duties that would undoubtedly excite the overwhelming majority of people.
In substance, dopamine levels are well managed within an individual’s nervous system; however, there are some things one can do to increase levels naturally.
For this particular reason, you and I are going to talk about 5 best ways to increase dopamine levels naturally.
Cook That Chicken Breast!
Essentially, proteins are made up of smaller building blocks called amino acids (2).
Speaking of the quantity of these amino acids, there are twenty-three different amino acids, some of which an individual’s body is capable of synthesizing and others that one ought to receive from food consumed.
Other than that, there is one particular amino acid called tyrosine (3) that plays a critical role in the production of dopamine.
Now, enzymes (macromolecular biological catalysts, which are known to accelerate chemical reactions) within an individual’s body can turn tyrosine into dopamine.
Hence, having adequate tyrosine levels is essential for the efficient production of dopamine.
Also, tyrosine (one of the twenty standard amino acids that are used by cells to synthesize proteins.
Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid with a polar side group) can be made from another amino acid titled phenylalanine (an essential α-amino acid).
Now, both tyrosine and phenylalanine are natural products that are known to be quite abundant in protein, such as turkey, beef, eggs, dairy, chicken, soy, legumes, and so forth.
There were many studies that have determined that doubling the amount of tyrosine and phenylalanine (4) in an individual’s diet can result in an overall boost of dopamine levels in an individual’s brain, which in its turn is capable of promoting deep thinking and enhance memory, at that!
On the contrary, when phenylalanine and tyrosine are reduced from an individual’s diet, dopamine levels deplete dramatically.
While these studies point out that both extraordinarily high or deficient intakes of these amino acids can impact dopamine levels, it is unknown whether normal variations in protein intake would have much impact at all.
Dopamine is produced from the amino acids titled tyrosine and phenylalanine, both of which can be received from various products that are abundant in protein.
Sufficient intakes of such amino acids can boost an individual’s dopamine levels.
Saturated Fat Is Bad
There was recent animal research conducted in the year 2018, over the course of which it has been determined that saturated fats, like those found in animal fat, butter, full-fat dairy, palm oil, and coconut oil, may interrupt dopamine signaling in an individual’s brain when consumed in enormous amounts.
By far, such studies have only been conducted in rats; however, the results are quite intriguing.
Also, there was one study conducted on the same matter, throughout which it has been concluded that rats that consumed fifty percent of their calories from saturated fat had decreased dopamine signaling in the reward areas of their brains when compared to animals receiving the same amount of calories from unsaturated fat.
Surprisingly enough, these changes happened even without differences in weight, body fat, hormones or blood sugar levels.
Further to this, a number of researchers tend to hypothesize that diets that are high in saturated fat may improve swelling in an individual’s body, thereby leading to various changes in the dopamine system; however, there is more research needed in order for us to be able to state anything under the “for sure” label.
Numerous observational investigations have found a connection between high saturated fat intake and reduced memory and cognitive functioning in some individuals.
However, it is unknown whether these effects are related to dopamine levels or something else.
Several animal studies have determined that diets that are high in saturated fat can reduce dopamine signaling in the brain, thereby leading to a blunted reward response.
Notwithstanding, it is not clear yet whether the same is works for humans. In other words, there is more research needed.
Recently, many scientists have discovered that the gut and brain are closely connected.
As a matter of fact, the abdomen is sometimes called the “second brain,” forasmuch as our gut contains a large number of nerve cells that are known to produce many neurotransmitter signaling molecules, including dopamine.
It is now evident that specific species of bacteria that live in the gut also can produce dopamine, which in its turn impacts both our mood and behavior.
Unfortunately, research in this particular area is quite limited.
Nonetheless, numerous studies determine that when consumed in large quantities, specific strains of bacteria are capable of reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression in both animals and humans.
Notwithstanding, the clear connection between mood, probiotics, and abdomen health, it is not yet well understood.
However, we do know that it is very likely that dopamine production plays a vital role in how probiotics improve mood; nevertheless, more research is needed in order for us to determine how significant the actual effect is.
Numerous probiotic supplements have been linked to improved mood in both humans and animals.
Though, there is more research needed so that the scientists can determine the exact role dopamine plays in the human’s body.
In general, exercise is recommended for boosting endorphin levels and enhancing one’s mood.
Interestingly enough, changes in mood can be seen after as little as ten minutes of aerobic activity; however, it is recommended to work out at least for twenty minutes long in order for one to notice significant mood changes.
Such effects do not entirely occur because of the changes in dopamine levels; however, animal research implies that exercise can increase dopamine levels in the brain.
In hamsters, treadmill running enhances the release of dopamine and upregulates the total amount of dopamine receptors in the reward regions of the rats’ brains.
It is worthy to note though that these results have not been consistently replicated in humans.
There was one study, in which a number of adults participated in order to determine how thirty-minute session of moderate-intensity treadmill running can influence the overall increase in production of dopamine levels in adults.
Also, there was one three-month-long investigation, over the course of which it was found that performing one hour of yoga six days a week dramatically raises dopamine levels.
Further to this, daily aerobic exercise also benefits people with Parkinson’s disease (5), which is a condition in which low dopamine levels interrupt one’s brain’s ability to manage and regulate body movements.
There were several studies that have shown that regular intense exercise several times a week notably enhances motor control in people with Parkinson’s, which in its turn suggests that there may be a beneficial effect on the dopamine system.
However, there is more research needed in order to manage the intensity, type, and continuation of a physical activity that is most effective at boosting dopamine in humans, but the current research is particularly encouraging.
Training can enhance mood and may increase dopamine levels when performed regularly.
Nevertheless, more research is needed in order for us to determine specific recommendations for enhancing dopamine levels.
Do Supplements Help?
Yes, they indeed do!
However, before using any kind of supplement, no matter how potent it is, one ought to consult with his medical professional in order to not harm himself over the course of self-treatment.
When you choose a dietary brain-boosting supplement, you should keep one thing in mind: always go for the most natural product.
The one supplement I actually heard of is titled BrainTonus.
From what I know, this particular product consists of nine solely natural ingredients in its core structure, which is actually quite astounding.
I am going to redirect you to this article in case if you want to learn more about this product
There are plenty of supplements on the healthcare market.
Choose wisely and live your life nicely!
A Final Point
I genuinely hope that this article gave you a comprehensive understanding of how to increase dopamine levels.
You can never be too curious when it comes to acquiring more information about your own health.