It is known by many names - pleasure chemical, the feel-good hormone, happiness drug, and more recently the neurotransmitter of motivation. But dopamine is more than just a chemical that allows humans to see be in the best of moods. This neurotransmitter (a.k.a. brain messenger) can make many things possible, or at least, give you the motivation and drive to derive pleasure from archiving great things.
If you are still searching for some magic pill to allow your mind to go beyond the limits, well, you’ll be disappointed because these magic pills aren’t real – but dopamine could be the next best thing. Dopamine brings you into a happy state and allows you to keep on going and do what you have to do. And the best part is, it’s already in your body, you just have to learn how to reap it's benefits to the max.
Dope a what?
Dopamine was recognized as a neurotransmitter only in 1958, a year after it was first identified as a brain chemical. If you are wondering, yes, dopamine is both a drug and a naturally occurring brain chemical.
In its synthesized form, dopamine has been around since 1910. Today, it is used to treat various conditions, including cardiac arrest, low heart rate and low blood pressure. While there is no shortage of research, studies, and literature about dopamine and its functions remains to be one of the most misunderstood neurotransmitters.
As a neurotransmitter, it is known for telling the brain to stop moping and start feeling good. This is probably the reason that it earned a reputation as the feel-good chemical produced by the brain.
Are you happy? Satisfied? Depressed? Must Be Dopamine.
For years, scientists and researchers believed that dopamine was the “pleasure chemical.” This connotation was mostly due to the belief that it was responsible for the high that you get while doing something pleasurable. But that is just one of the things dopamine can do.
In recent years, scientists have found that dopamine is not only responsible for the effect—happiness and pleasure—but also for pushing you to act, persevere and achieve results that could either be positive or negative. Thus, dopamine, according to researchers at the Universitat Jaume I of Castellon, is also important in understanding conditions such as depression and addiction.
What If There Isn’t Enough Dopamine In Your Body?
Motivation, pleasure, happiness - these are feelings you can get when the right amount of dopamine travels in your neurons. But what if your brain does not have enough dopamine? You get a laundry list of neurological conditions. Think Parkinson’s, depression, lethargy, lack of motivation and low libido, among others.
Is There Such A Thing As Too Much Dopamine?
Dopamine is good for you. But too much of a good thing can lead to problems. This is true with dopamine. What would happen to you if there was too much dopamine in your system? Schizophrenia and psychosis are just two of the possible outcomes. Some scientists speculate that this could be one of the reasons that many amphetamine and cocaine addicts eventually suffer from schizophrenia and other forms of psychosis.
What to do with a dopamine imbalance?
Now you know that dopamine levels must not be too high or too low. But what is the “just right” level of dopamine? Determining that on your own might be an exercise in futility, but recognizing the symptoms will allow you to act before things go from bad to worse.
As mentioned, dopamine has been synthesized as early as the turn of the 20th century. But taking a dopamine-boosting medication/drug should be the last option. Over the years, many natural dopamine supplements have hit the market that is in general better for you.
Take note, though, that supplements alone will not allow you to achieve optimum levels of dopamine. A healthy lifestyle and balanced diet should accompany dopamine supplements to achieve the best results. Below we will briefly outline the best supplements for dopamine, but you can also find a more in-depth guide over at AnabolicHealth.com.
Boost Dopamine Levels with Tyrosine
Don’t let its name fool you. While tyrosine may sound highfalutin, it is a common component of many everyday foods. What is tyrosine you ask? It is a natural building block of dopamine that can be found in foods such as soy, spinach, cottage cheese and the old reliable egg yolk.
According to a Leiden University and the University of Amsterdam study, eating tyrosine-rich food boosts dopamine production. If eating spinach or cheese is not your thing, don’t fret because of tyrosine, which is turned into L-dopa through biosynthesis, is also available in supplement form from a very amazing herb.
An Aphrodisiac to Increase Dopamine? Why Not?
The velvet bean or Mucuna Pruriens is a legume found in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia, including India. Traditionally used as an aphrodisiac and infertility cure, Mucuna Pruriens contains high levels of L-dopa, which is actually a toxic compound in its artificially man-made form. But when L-dopa from velvet bean is consumed, it becomes a good source of dopamine. No wonder it is used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, one of the most famous conditions associated with low dopamine levels.
Dopamine, Testosterone, HGH: Anti-Aging Triumvirate
If you are looking to delay aging, maintaining high dopamine levels will be a good start. This is one of the reasons Mucuna Pruriens is popular not only for those who are looking to boost their libido but also for those who want to stay young looking.
How can dopamine be an anti-aging agent? First off, increased dopamine is known to decrease prolactin secretion. Prolactin affects gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which is responsible for telling the testes to produce more testosterone. As you can see, the more dopamine, the testosterone.
Where does HGH or human growth hormone come in? Dopamine is known to regulate sleep or the circadian rhythm of your body. Growth Hormones secretion is also affected by the circadian rhythm. Thus, with balanced dopamine levels, it follows that growth hormone production will also be stimulated. The improved regeneration at the cellular level will help keep signs of aging at bay.
Cold Exposure, Tea and Porn: What connects them to Dopamine?
Who knew that being doused in cold water can help increase dopamine levels and give you a perk-me-up like no other. A study shows that a daily cold shower has the potential to stimulate some of the dopaminergic pathways, resulting in increased dopamine production.
Tea and other stimulants also play a role in maintaining dopamine balance. Drinking a tea like matcha helps your mind reach an equilibrium. Matcha is known to contain theanine—a potent dopamine boosting amino acid that in combination with the caffeine, is one of the most potent nootropics on the planet.
Why is porn mentioned here? Because it can mess up your dopamine receptors. Constantly bombarding your brain with pornographic stimuli will eventually lead to your brain rejecting the pleasure that you derive from watching porn at the start. It's simply too much for your primate brain to handle.
It’s all about maintaining the balance
The right amount of dopamine in your system enables you to experience happiness and pleasure and doing the things that you want. If you can get by without supplements, good for you. But if necessary, dopamine supplements and stimulants can be of great help in achieving balance. After all, coffee is the most consumed drug in the world for good reason!