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18 Best Ways to Increase Dopamine Levels Naturally

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how to increase dopamine naturally

How to increase dopamine naturally?

We’ve all been taught that dopamine makes you happier, more innovative, productive, creative, focused, and social.

And if we know how to increase our dopamine levels naturally, it will also help improve our mood and motivation and ultimately improve how we feel day to day.

So what are some easy ways to increase dopamine?

Dopamine can be increased by exercising, sleeping, listening to music, meditation, and spending time outside in the sun.

And what causes low dopamine?

Impacts of low dopamine could be mental illness, stress, lack of sleep, drug abuse, being obese, overeating sugar, and saturated fat.

Moreover, a problem with the adrenal glands can also cause low dopamine.

What are the signs and symptoms of low dopamine?

  • Depression.
  • Problems with motivation or concentration.
  • Working memory issues include difficulty remembering the first part of a person’s spoken sentence.
  • Restless leg syndrome.
  • Shaky hands.
  • Changes in coordination.
  • Low sex drive.


What does low dopamine feel like in everyday life?

A person with low dopamine could experience problems with anger, low self-esteem, anxiety, forgetfulness, impulsiveness, and lack of organizational skills (symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

They could also experience social withdrawal, reduced emotions and don’t feel pleasure, and gastrointestinal symptoms, including chronic constipation.


How to Increase Dopamine Naturally.

Learning how to increase dopamine naturally is more accessible than most people think. Many people might already be engaging in some of these activities and not even know it.

Even more interesting is that practicing healthy habits to increase dopamine is reinforced by the reward and motivation benefits of the neurotransmitter itself.

There are more ways to enhance dopamine levels naturally,

Check out these healthy ways to enhance your dopamine levels naturally.


18 Best Ways to Increase Dopamine Levels Naturally

how to get dopamine naturally, women holding two sliced oranges smiling

1. Food.

Eating a diet high in the amino acid l-tyrosine can help ensure you have the basic building blocks for dopamine synthesis.

Here is a list of foods and drinks that can directly increase l-tyrosine and dopamine:

  • Coffee.
  • Chocolate.
  • Beets.
  • Bananas.
  • Avocados.
  • Apples.
  • Almonds.
  • All animal products.


2. Green tea.

Research suggests that regular consumption of green tea can increase dopamine levels and may be associated with lower levels of depression.

How does green tea do this? The amino acid L-theanine in green tea enhances serotonin and dopamine levels and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. 

So if you would like to feel just a bit better, grab a box of green tea to enhance your dopamine levels naturally!


3. Coffee.

girl drinking coffee from coffee mug and winking to help boost dopamine

Another way to increase dopamine levels is by drinking coffee.

Evidence suggests that caffeine can increase dopamine levels in the brain.

Another study has shown that coffee increases dopamine signaling and does not affect dopamine receptors.

So try having a go-to coffee brand for your morning coffee and see it goes.


4. Get enough sleep.

Getting adequate sleep every night is necessary for maintaining our health. Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults get an average of seven or more hours of sleep every night.

When you don’t get enough sleep, dopamine receptors in your body can be adversely affected. Moreover, research has also linked sleep deprivation to suppressing dopamine receptors in the body.


5. Listen to Music.

music records to listen to help increase dopamine

When in doubt, listen to your favorite music when you feel unmotivated or listless.

Researchers found that extremely pleasurable music leads to dopamine release in the brain; these fantastic results were confirmed by a study in 2011.


6. Meditate.

weighted eye pillow for meditation or sleeping for dopamine

Weighted Eye Pillow filled with Flax and Lavender.

Dopamine and meditation go hand in hand, it seems. 

One study used brain scan imaging to prove that meditation increases dopamine levels by a whopping 65%.

Meditation can also positively impact many mental health conditions and has been shown to increase inner peace. You can read more about meditating here.


7. Avoid excessive alcohol and recreational drug consumption.

Even though some people can enjoy a glass of wine or cannabis on occasion, others are more sensitive to moderate alcohol and drug use which can cause a sudden surge in dopamine levels.

When this happens, the body uses more dopamine than needed, and a crash in depression usually follows. 

Moreover, sometimes people can get help for their substance abuse disorder to help get them back on track.

And if excessive alcohol and drug consumption are avoided, the body can naturally restore its dopamine levels and prevent future relapses.


8. Avoid junk food.

girl eating junk food in robe

Did you know that junk food can trigger a temporary but minor increase in dopamine? This is similar to drugs such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.

For instance, if you overindulge in junk food, be aware that this can cause a temporary increase in the body’s desire for unhealthy snacks.

It also causes a crash and increases blood sugar, so avoiding junk food will help you restore your dopamine levels naturally.


9. Dopamine levels can be increased by exercising regularly.

Of course, regular exercise will always be a critical factor in improving our health and wellness.

But you may also need to walk a bit more!  A quick 30-minute walk every day can help you get more dopamine.

And although it may seem complicated, establishing a simple routine for exercise is possible and very easily attainable when you start small.

Also, if you stick to exercising, you will feel the dopamine rush from doing the exercises alone, thus encouraging you to continue the habit as part of your lifestyle.


10. Increase Sunlight & Vitamin D.

Portrait of asian woman sitting on rubber mat meditating showing

Sunlight is one of the best and most natural ways for your brain to produce more dopamine.

Research has shown that sunlight can increase dopamine levels effectively because vitamin d triggers dopamine release; however, getting sunlight in your eyes will be essential.

When you’re outside, and if you don’t wear sunglasses, contacts, or glasses, you’ll experience a more significant dopamine boost than wearing protective eyewear.

Of course, use your best judgment and always stay safe when out in the sun; however, ensure you are getting enough vitamin D through tablets or the sun in a healthy way. 


11. Take Rhodiola.

Rhodiola is a prevalent herb that can increase mental and physical performance

Rhodiola is a prevalent herb that can increase mental and physical performance.

It is a Traditional Chinese or Scandinavian herb, and sometimes it is also called golden root or even arctic root.

The cool thing about this herb is researchers discovered that Rhodiola stimulates the dopamine receptors in the brain while inhibiting enzymes that degrade dopamine.

It also increases dopamine precursors’ ability to pass the blood-brain barrier, thus helping anyone who takes it to feel more energetic and joyful.

This Rhodiola Tincture has the best reviews if you need to increase energy and cognitive function. However, please always seek medical advice from a medical professional before taking any advice you read online. 


12. Uridine.

Did you know that Uridine is a naturally occurring compound found in beer? Maybe that’s why beer is so addictive.

And although it’s not recommended that you overindulge in drinking beer, supplementing with pure Uridine can help to protect the brain.

It does this by improving cognition and increasing mood while motivating your brain to feel happier.

Research has also shown that Uridine increases dopamine release and raises dopamine levels at a staggering rate.

You can take the uridine supplement before bed to get your desired dopamine boost. And please always seek medical advice from a medical professional before taking any advice you read online. 


13. Cold Exposure.

cold exposure for dopamine

Did you know that exposure to cold is another natural way to increase dopamine levels?

Exposure to cold can increase your natural dopamine levels, and research has shown that cold water immersion can also increase dopamine levels by 250%.

If you want the same results, you could take a cold bath every other day or venture outside in the winter with very little clothing to boost dopamine levels.

However, you needn’t be this extreme to get your dopamine hit. You can start small by taking a quick shower and ending it with cold water for one minute.

The benefits are well worth it!


14. Probiotics.

probiotics to boost mood (1)

According to research, some probiotics may also increase dopamine naturally.

One study showed that Lactobacillus Plantarum, a probiotic species, significantly increased dopamine levels.

Another study showed that Lactobacillus Rhanosus increased dopamine levels in the prefrontal cortex.

So healthy gut bacteria are another great way to keep your dopamine receptors healthy.

Please note that while harmful gut bacteria have been shown to decrease dopamine production, probiotics can increase dopamine, which may boost overall mood.


15. Standing.

standing desk to increase dopamine

Another easy way to quickly increase dopamine naturally is to stand longer.

Standing more often is one of the best ways to improve your brain because research has shown that prolonged, unassisted sitting can lead to fatigue.

So if you are at a desk all day, consider getting a standing desk to work while not being seated.


16. Iron.

Iron can be found in all living cells of our bodies as a trace mineral.

It is essential for oxygen transport to all areas of the body. Low levels can cause fatigue, pallor, and even irritability.

Research has shown that iron plays a vital role in regulating dopaminergic neurotransmission. Iron deficiency can result in lower levels of dopamine.

Supplementing with iron is not something I recommend. Some research has shown that too much iron can lead to health problems.

It is better to get your iron through food, though.


17. Intermittent Fasting.

Intermittent Fasting for dopamine, Portrait of woman enjoying a dish of poutine

Did you know that fasting and food restriction alters the activity of the mesolimbic dopamine system to affect multiple reward-related behaviors?

Food restriction decreases baseline dopamine levels in different target sites and enhances dopamine release in response to rewards such as food and drugs.

Thus, intermittent fasting allows the digestive system to rest and triggers the release of hormones and neurotransmitters, including dopamine, throughout the process.

Researchers also discovered that intermittent fasting increases dopamine levels by increasing dopamine production, and when it does this, it enhances dopamine activity when the fasting takes place. 

Fasting also decreases age-related loss of dopamine receptors if you eat the right food within eight hours and then fast for the rest of the day, called the 16/8 fasting schedule.


18. Eat plenty of protein.

A composition of eggs and red caviar and flowers over natural background, protein to help increase dopamine naturally

Lastly, the secret to higher dopamine levels is in a protein-rich diet.

Protein is often called the building block of our bodies. For instance, protein, fats, and water comprise more than 15% of the body.

The building blocks of protein are called amino acids. There are 23 total amino acids, some of which can be synthesized by the body. Others must be obtained from food.

Tyrosine is the critical ingredient in dopamine production in high-protein-rich food.

And since your body has enzymes that can convert tyrosine to dopamine, getting enough tyrosine in your system for dopamine production is very important.

Tyrosine can be found in protein-rich foods such as:

  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Legumes
  • Soy

So try upping your protein intake and see how you naturally feel. 


Conclusion on how to increase dopamine levels naturally. 

If you are looking for natural and effective ways to increase your dopamine levels naturally, look no further than these easy ways to increase the way you feel at a moment’s notice. 

Granted, it does take a few different lifestyle choices to increase your dopamine levels naturally, but it will be well worth the effort if it improves how you feel consistently and daily. 

And here’s a quote I found regarding dopamine… “Dopamine could be the key to our humanity – it may mean that we are extraordinarily bright, able to plan ahead, and can resist impulses when needed.” Dr. Emily Deans.


Thanks for reading! 

Author: Everything Abode

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