Whenever you feel a sense of fulfillment or happiness, the nerve cells in your brain are pumping out a neurotransmitter called dopamine. This neurotransmitter is what urges us to concentrate and to get any given task done.
In this article, we look into the scientific data that show us how to increase dopamine with supplements. You could say that dopamine is crucial in both daily completing activities and achieving long-term goals in life.
Knowing this, you should learn about the signs of dopamine deficiency – and you must familiarize yourself with some effective ways of boosting the neurotransmitter’s levels just in case.
Signs of Low Dopamine
When you’re “low on dopamine,” your body is either low of the needed components to produce the neurotransmitter, or the dopamine receptors are desensitized due to constant use.
For the latter case, this is mainly due to addictions like porn, video games, eating, drugs, and anything else that can elicit feelings of pleasure, satisfaction, and/or fulfillment.
Although we would be focusing on how to fix low levels of dopamine neurotransmitters and how to increase dopamine with supplements, the same signs would be experienced for both cases.
- Finding it difficult to be motivated;
- A tendency to procrastinate;
- Finding some things, not as fun as before;
- Loss of memory;
- Low sexual drive;
- Low testosterone;
If you’re also experiencing loss of memory, this could be a sign of Parkinson’s disease, so it’s best to have yourself checked by a health professional as soon as possible.
This is the case as low dopamine levels are one of the effects, not the cause of Parkinson’s disease. This is due to dopamine’s other functions as the trigger for our speech and movement.
How to Increase Dopamine with Supplements
So, what should you do if you don’t have enough dopamine? What supplements should I take to increase dopamine? Well, the easiest that you can do is to incorporate Tyrosine-rich food into your diet. Tyrosine is an amino acid that the body uses to produce dopamine.
This amino acid can be found in seeds, apples, avocados, bananas, beans and lentils, cheese, chocolate, whole dairy products, dark leafy vegetables, eggs, fish, coffee, green tea, lean cuts of meat, and whole grains.
Another way to boost your dopamine levels fast is with a cold shower. As revealed in studies, a 250% boost in dopamine levels is experienced by those who did cold immersion (showers or baths) at a temperature of 14 degrees Celsius.
In fact, cold immersion has been found to benefit those with depression due to how it stimulates the brain. Unfortunately, these two approaches for boosting dopamine don’t allow for convenient yet reliable monitoring.
Because of this, supplementation is recommended as one can be sure that the body is actually getting the components needed for dopamine production. Below you will see how to increase dopamine with supplements.
How to Increase Dopamine with Supplements
As mentioned previously, Tyrosine is one of the precursors for the body to produce dopamine. Although the amino acid can be produced by the body, reaching the necessary amounts is impossible.
L-Tyrosine 500 mg
by Now Foods
In supplements, it is available in either L-Tyrosine or NALT (N-acetyl L-tyrosine) forms. However, research has shown that NALT is the least effective in increasing Tyrosine in the bloodstream.
A recommended Tyrosine supplement would be pharmaceutical grade, like the one from Now Foods. Aside from directly supplementing with L-Tyrosine, you can also supplement for reducing stress.
One way of doing this is through another amino acid, L-Theanine. This is due to Tyrosine production being reduced whenever you’re undergoing psychological stress or fatigue. We can say that definitely, L-tyrosine is one of the most popular supplements to increase dopamine levels safety.
Otherwise known as velvet bean, Mucuna pruriens is rich with the compound known as L-dopa. This compound can be converted directly to Tyrosine, which means less energy and time required for metabolism.
by NatureBell | Ojio
Because of this, it has been found to be an even more effective means of increasing Tyrosine than levodopa medications. Traditionally, in Ayurveda, velvet bean is made into a health-boosting powder. However, with the technology available today, it is available as an extract in capsule form like Now Food’s DOPA Mucuna.
Other benefits of this supplement are increased cognitive function, increased testosterone, and better sexual performance. This is why Mucuna pruriens is called as one of the natural supplements to increase dopamine in the brain.
Curcumin, the main ingredient of turmeric, is found to be an effective herbal supplement to increase dopamine levels in the brain. According to research, it has the equivalent effect of medication used for depression but without the negative side effects.
by Nature's Nutrition | Now Foods
Furthermore, curcumin can readily pass through the blood-brain barrier, meaning it’s guaranteed to get to where it is needed – the brain. When taking curcumin supplements, it is advisable to get those that have black pepper in the ingredients. This is because it improves the absorption of curcumin into the bloodstream.
Caffeine prevents the interaction of adenosine and its receptor. When this happens, you experience wakefulness and heightened alertness – the typical effect of drinking tea or coffee. What is not really felt is the increased production of catecholamines in the brain.
by Prolab & ALLMAX
One of these catecholamines is dopamine. Using caffeine supplements to increase dopamine, you are giving your body a temporary boost to its dopamine production. You can supplement by simply drinking coffee or tea, preferably matcha green tea, or by taking caffeine tablets.
Ginkgo Biloba is a traditional medicine often used for the treatment of various ailments of the brain. These include concentration difficulties, headaches, confusion, depression, and anxiety.
Extra Strength Ginkgo Biloba
by Doctor's Best
Interestingly though, it has also been found to increase the dopamine in the brain – specifically in the area responsible for cognition. Ginkgo Biloba ranks among the top 5 supplements to increase dopamine in the body naturally and risk-free.
S-adenosyl methionine, or SAM-e, is a direct metabolite of L-methionine, an amino acid. It increases neurotransmitters (dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin) in the brain by enabling their increased production.
SAM-e 200 mg
by Doctor's Best
And, unlike the mentioned neurotransmitters, SAM-e can cross the blood-brain barrier. This makes it a viable alternative to directly supplementing the body with dopamine, norepinephrine, or serotonin.
Because of this, it has been used as an anti-depressant, which even works faster than prescription anti-depressants. However, it has been noted to worsen the condition of those with bipolar disorder and Parkinson’s disease. It is also advised to stop supplementing with it if one is scheduled for surgery.
Bacopa monnieri is a staple in traditional Indian medicine. It’s mainly used to treat a variety of ailments of the mind like Alzheimer’s disease, loss of memory, anxiety, ADHD symptoms, and epilepsy.
And, like Ginkgo biloba, research has proven it to be effective in treating these diseases. Bacopa monnieri also regulates the body’s synthesis of dopamine. This prevents the receptors from being saturated, which can cause desensitization. Moreover, with the right levels ensured, the brain can efficiently do the tasks that require dopamine.
Added Benefits of Optimal Dopamine Levels
If the benefits of dopamine on brain health aren’t enough to convince you to supplement it, the other perks it boasts might convince you otherwise. Other than triggering a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction, dopamine also increases testosterone and human growth hormone production.
With these two combined, your body essentially has improved means of maintaining and developing muscles while keeping your mind sharp. Moreover, by stimulating bone remineralization, your body is protected from the common bone and postural ailments of aging.
Aim for Moderation
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, making sure that you have enough dopamine is crucial. However, it should also be noted that too much can be detrimental to the things you’re trying to pursue.
With the right supplements to increase dopamine, though, you’ll get everything you need to maintain healthy dopamine levels.