Do you want to become happy and satisfied in your life? Well, who doesnt want these two things? How about you get to know a scientifically proven way to achieve them? The one word answer to these questions is dopamine. Confused? Lets dip into the details to find more about this amazing chemical.
What is Dopamine?
Dopamine is an organic chemical in the brain which controls a number of functions in the human body. It basically controls the pleasure and rewards centers. It also controls your emotions and enables you to not only see your goals, but also to take steps towards them as well.
Its a precursor of two important neurochemicals: epinephrine and norepinephrine, also named as adrenaline and non-adrenaline. The brain and nervous system use these neurotransmitters to send messages to different parts of the body and to also control a number of bodily functions.
The Functions of Dopamine
Dopamine is responsible for a number of different functions in the human body. It helps in regulating the arteries, changing eating habits, and in learning. Here are some other important functions of dopamine:
Memory: Dopamine is associated with some noteworthy increases in working memory. It also affects your learning speed and how well you retain certain types of information.
Attention: Dopamine also helps you keep your focus and attention. It responds to vision which helps in a certain kinds of activity. This neurotransmitter basically controls the content which remains in your short term memory. Low levels of dopamine can cause attention deficit disorder (ADD).
Pleasure seeking: Dopamine also regulates how you perceive and experience pleasure. During pleasurable moments this neurotransmitter is released, due to which the person repeats the activity again and again. For example, dopamine is released during sex.
Pain:Dopamine also processes pain. It is released when you encounter unwanted stimuli, for example fighting or hitting a rock.
Low Dopamine Levels
Sometimes dopamine levels in the body can fall due to drug use, a lack of proper nutrients and the use of anti-depressants. When dopamine levels fall below a certain point, it can cause symptoms like depression, mood swings, lack of motivation, fatigue, trouble focusing, and poor attention.
How to Increase Your Dopamine Levels?
There are a number of ways to increase the dopamine levels in the body. They are quite diversified, from using dopamine boosting supplements to making small changes in your lifestyle, such as doing exercise. Here are some top ways to increase dopamine levels:
Many people get addicted to certain types of things because it gives them some gratification, for example, drug, alcohol, pornography and sex.
However these things can have an opposite effect on dopamine levels in the long-term.
The brain causes reward circuitry which causes dopamine overdrive – this can reduce dopamine in the long run. So you should try to get some control over unhealthy habits to improve your dopamine levels.
Mucana pruriens contain about 5 percent L-Dopa. It is the same biochemical that is made in the human body from amino acid L-tyrosine, which later is synthesized into dopamine.
So, when you use mucuna pruriens as a supplement, it crosses the blood brain barrier and elevates dopamine levels in the brain.
Powdered mucuna has been used in traditional medicine for treating a number of diseases, including Parkinson disease. Studies have shown the Mucuna supplements arent only helpful in preventing Parkinson disease, but also psychological stress and depression.
Along with increasing dopamine concentrations, it also increases neurotransmitters, like norepinephrine and serotonin. Lastly, supplementing with mucuna can lower prolactin levels in the body which helps men shorten the refractory period.
To include mucuna pruriens in your diet, look for an extract, standardized at 15% L-DOPA. Take about 300 mg twice daily.
Exercise is one age old age tip which is a cure for almost anything and it also helps increase dopamine levels. So, exercise not only relieves stress and gets you in better shape, it also makes you more productive.
Besides just dopamine, it increases a number of multiple neurotransmitters, including endorphins and serotonin. And here is the interesting part: you dont need to do crazy strenuous exercises; simple exercises like walking and jogging can also increase your dopamine levels.
The amino acid L-tyrosine is pivotal in making dopamine. It can either be taken through the diet or through supplementation.
By helping in the production of the neurotransmitters like dopamine, L-tyrosine helps in enhancing mood, well-being, and mental functioning, especially in situations of environmental and emotional stress. It also helps in enhancing emotional well-being and sleep.
In order to consume L-tyrosine, first, take about 500 mg of tyrosine. If you feel no effect, take another capsule within thirty minutes. Take a third one if you still dont feel any effect from the first two. Continue taking 500 mg of capsules two to three times daily. Decrease the dose if your blood pressure levels start increasing.
Some natural food sources of tyrosine include:
- Green tea
Rhodiola rosea, also known as the golden root,” is a traditional medicine in Asia and Eastern Europe; it has a reputation for improving depression, eliminating fatigue, enhancing work performance and treating symptoms of intense psychological and physical stress.?It also enhances the effects on the nervous system and stabilizes dopamine levels in the body. This causes a significant decrease in depression, anxiety, and fatigue.
Different human studies have also shown that rhodiola significantly reduces depression, anxiety and fatigue compared to placebo.
To take rhodiola, look for a rhodiola extract containing standardized root, so that it contains 1% salidrosides and 3% total rosavins. Take about 170 mg twice daily.
Use Fish Oil:
Last, but not the least, fish oil also helps in elevating dopamine levels in the body. The DHA present in fish oil causes dopamine receptors to become more sensitive, which increases the ability of dopamine to bind to its receptors.?Due to the negative impact of mercury in fish, it is better to take fish oil supplements. Take about 1,000 to 2,000 mg twice daily.
These are the top dopamine boosters. The good thing is that all of these are easily available. So the next time you are feeling down and depressed, instead of giving into your addictions you can naturally improve your dopamine levels.