How To Increase Your Dopamine Levels Naturally?

How To Increase Your Dopamine Levels Naturally?

How To Increase Your Dopamine Levels Naturally?

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, which is responsible for performing a number of functions. It is related to motivation, memory building, attention, regulation of body movements etc.

When a large amount of dopamine is released, the person feels happy and pleased. It encourages and motivates you for a specific behavior as well. On the other hand, low levels of dopamine are related to low motivation and no excitement for things that usually excite people.

The nervous system of the body regulates dopamine levels. Following are few things that you may try for boosting your dopamine levels naturally.

Increase your protein intake

Proteins are made of amino acids and there are 23 different amino acids that are required for the body. The body is only able to synthesize a few of them and the rest is to be taken from food sources. One of these amino acids called tyrosine is helpful to produce dopamine.

When the enzymes of the body are functional, they convert tyrosine into dopamine. Tyrosine can also be taken from phenylalanine. Both these amino acids, tyrosine, and phenylalanine are abundant in protein-rich foods such as eggs, dairy, meat, and legumes.

When you increase the intake of protein, the amount of tyrosine and phenylalanine are also increased. The result is an increase in dopamine levels in the brain. That’s why eating a healthy diet, rich in protein is sometimes linked with improved cognitive abilities.

How To Increase Your Dopamine Levels Naturally?

Do not eat saturated fats

It is evident by research that saturated fats such as animal fat, butter, palm oil, coconut oil etc disrupt dopamine signaling in the brain when they are consumed in large quantity.

The high amount of saturated fat may also increase internal inflammation that changes the dopamine synthesis. There are so many other observational studies telling a link between saturated fat intake and a poor memory and low cognitive functions. It is better to control the daily intake of saturated fats.

Take probiotics

The digestive system doesn’t only control what a person eats but also the brain functions. It has been recently discovered by the scientists that the gut and brain are closely connected. That’s the reason gut is sometimes called the second brain.

Gut has a large number of nerve cells in it. These nerve cells produce many neurotransmitter-signaling molecules that include dopamine. There is a limited research on this but when probiotics are used and these guts bacteria are in large quantity, it reduces the symptoms of stress and anxiety.

It is much likely to relate dopamine with probiotics intake. More study is required to understand how significant is this probiotic effect.

Make a routine for exercise

A daily exercise is recommended for everyone aiming to be healthy. It boosts the endorphin levels and improves mood too. This mood improvement is visible in a few minutes of aerobic exercise. It is also considered that exercise helps to boost dopamine levels. However, these effects are studied in animal models and the same results are not consistently replicated in humans.

However, more research is required to determine the intensity, type, and duration of such an exercise that works most effectively for boosting dopamine in humans.

Fix your sleeping hours

When the brain releases dopamine, it creates the feelings of alertness and wakefulness. The study on animals suggests that dopamine in large quantity is released in the morning when you wake up. The levels naturally fall by the time when you go back to sleep.

It means that a lack of sleep will disturb this natural cycle of dopamine. When you force your body to stay awake through the night, the availability of dopamine receptors in the brain is somehow reduced by the next morning.

As you know that dopamine promotes wakefulness, reduced sensitivity of receptor causes you to fall asleep easily. In less dopamine, the unpleasant consequences include reduced concentration and mood swings.

When you get the regular and high quality of sleep, the body balances the dopamine levels. You feel alert all day with the high functioning of the body. For adults, 7-9 hours of sleep are essentially required along with sleeping hygiene.

How To Increase Your Dopamine Levels Naturally?

Take time out for meditation

Meditation is a practice in which you clear your mind from unnecessary thoughts, focus inward and let your mind relax. It is not necessary to do it at a special time. You can do it while sitting, standing, walking or even traveling. Following such a practice improves mental and physical functions of the body.

It is proven by research that all these benefits are due to the increased dopamine production in the brain. That’s why a person feels positive and relaxed after meditation. Following it regularly provides long-term mental stability and calmness.

Soak the sun

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is an illness where people feel sad or depressed during the winter. The reason is that they are not exposed to the sun for absorbing sunlight which makes them unhappy.

It may sound unbelievable but low sunshine exposure can cause reduced levels of mood-boosting neurotransmitters, i.e. dopamine. When the sunlight exposure is increased, they feel better.

It is necessary to follow the guidelines as getting too much sun may cause a harm to the body. For example, the damage to the skin may induce the risk of skin cancer. So a moderation in sunlight exposure is necessary.

It is better to limit the sunlight exposure when the sun is at peak and the ultraviolet radiations are the strongest. This time is typically between 10 am to 3 pm. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen whenever you go out.

How To Increase Your Dopamine Levels Naturally?

Take dietary supplements

The dopamine release requires several vitamins and minerals such as niacin, iron, folate and vitamin B6. When the body is deficient in any of these nutrients, the person feels trouble in meeting the dopamine level.

The blood test determines if any of these nutrients are in low quantity. In that case, taking dietary supplements is the best way. Along with proper nutrition, other supplements may also help with increased dopamine levels. But research in this area is limited with animal models. Try adding supplements that have magnesium, vitamin D etc in them. You may also substitute herbal supplements that are loaded with natural ingredients.

The final word

Dopamine is an integral brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that affects your mood and feelings of motivation and wakefulness. It also helps to regulate the body movements. Dopamine levels are naturally regulated by the body but only with a few diet and lifestyle changes, you can boost them up naturally.

A balanced diet has sufficient amount of protein, vitamins and minerals, probiotics and a moderate fat that fulfill all nutritional requirements of the body. People who have dopamine deficiency need food sources to restore their dopamine levels.

Certain lifestyle changes also contribute for boosting dopamine level. For example, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, meditation and exposure to the sun all can help to regulate dopamine levels in the rain.

 

The author is a Medical Microbiologist and a healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health.

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