8 Ways to Increase Dopamine Levels Naturally
Updated: Jun 19, 2021
Dopamine is an important chemical messenger in the brain that has many functions.
It’s involved in reward, motivation, memory, attention and even regulating body movements.
When dopamine is released in large amounts, it creates feelings of pleasure and reward, which motivates you to repeat a specific behavior.
In contrast, low levels of dopamine are linked to reduced motivation and decreased enthusiasm for things that would excite most people.
Dopamine levels are typically well regulated within the nervous system, but there are some things you can do to naturally increase levels.
Here are the top 8 ways to increase dopamine levels naturally.
“1. Eat Lots of Protein.”
Dopamine is produced from the amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine, both of which can be obtained from protein-rich foods. Very high intakes of these amino acids may boost dopamine levels.
“2. Eat Less Saturated Fat.”
Studies have found that diets high in saturated and trans fat (eg" deep frying and animal products) can reduce dopamine signaling in the brain, leading to a blunted reward response.
“3. Consume Probiotics.”
Probiotic supplements have been linked to improved mood in humans and animals, but more research is needed to determine the exact role dopamine plays.
“4. Exercise Often.”
Exercise can improve mood and may boost dopamine levels when performed regularly. More research is needed to determine specific recommendations for increasing dopamine levels.
“6. Get Enough Sleep.”
Lack of sleep can reduce dopamine sensitivity in the brain, resulting in excessive feelings of sleepiness. Getting a good night’s rest may help regulate your body’s natural dopamine rhythms.
“7. Listen to Music.”
Listening to your favorite tunes and singing along may boost your dopamine levels.
“8. Get Enough Sunlight.”
Sunlight exposure can boost dopamine levels, but it’s important to be mindful of sun exposure guidelines to avoid skin damage.