Naturally increase your dopamine levels and watch your productivity skyrocket with these 5 simple hacks!

“Happiness is the highest form of health.”

-Dalai Lama

Dopamine is the main neurotransmitter for feelings of pleasure, motivation and drive. Its plays important roles in sustained attention, memory, and regulation of certain bodily mechanisms (1). Apart from this, proper regulation of dopamine has critical functions in neurological health from impulse control to sense of well-being (1). Lets explore 5 easy hacks to fire up dopamine levels for sharper focus and productivity!

Exercise

Sharper focus

Multiple studies have demonstrated that habitual exercise can lessen hypothalamic-pituitary axis reaction to stressors and elevate mood. Notably, these positive physiological changes have been linked to the effectiveness of exercise to regulate dopamine (4).

A randomized clinical trial found that regular exercise substantially boosted dopamine levels in patients going through rehabilitation for methamphetamine use (5). Not only will enhanced levels of this neurotransmitter keep them motivated but it has been shown to protect against addiction as well, reducing the chances of relapse (5).

Sleep

A 2012 randomized, placebo-controlled trial demonstrated the adverse effects of sleep deprivation on dopamine receptors in specific regions of the brain crucial for mood and learning. This was evidently also linked to decreased vigilance and wakefulness (6). Furthermore, in murine models it was shown that sleep deprivation may even reconstruct the brain’s dopaminergic circuits (7).

These studies highlight the importance of sufficient sleep on dopaminergic activity in our brains and demonstrates that the negative impact of sleep deprivation may be worse than we think.

Meditation and music

A 2001 study demonstrated the ability of a form of meditation known as Yoga Nidra to enhance activity in brain regions responsible for sensory imagery and increase dopamine levels. The study displayed an increase of roughly 65% in the dopamine production of 8 healthy meditation teachers practicing Yoga Nidra (8).

A 2011 study demonstrated the ability of favoured music to activate dopamine release in specific regions of the brain critical for motivation and reward. Similarly, a randomized, double-blind, crossover study in 2019 study showed that listening to favoured music stimulates the human brain to produce more of the ‘feel-good’ hormone (9,10).

Consume adequate protein

Most dopamine synthesis materializes directly from the non-essential amino acid tyrosine which is created from essential amino acid phenylalanine (1).

It is necessary to get essential amino acids from our diet as the human body is incapable of producing them. Any form of complete protein derived from animal sources such chicken beef and lamb provides the nine essential amino acids we require for optimal health (2).

Moreover, consistently higher dietary intake of tyrosine had substantial positive effects on working memory and fluid intelligence. Foods such as dairy, fish, chicken and beef contains are high in tyrosine. Consuming an adequate amount of these foods will ensure that your body has adequate amounts of tyrosine for optimal dopamine production (3).

Adaptogenic herbs

Various natural herbs have been shown to effectively regulate dopamine activity in our brains. Unlike synthetic drugs, these herbs seek to bring the body back to its natural optimized state of balance. Several studies have illustrated the effectiveness of potent herbs such as Ginkgo biloba and Bacopa monnieri to modulate dopamine.

In murine models of Parkinson’s disease, treatment with Ginkgo biloba extract was shown to prevent deterioration of dopaminergic neurons in distinct regions of brain crucial for motor control (11). Continuous treatment with Bacopa Monnieri extract has been demonstrated to inhibit dopaminergic neuronal death and enhance dopamine levels in aged murine models, effectively restoring them back to levels observed in young murine models (12,13).

Ginkgo biloba and Bacopa monnieri extract were intentionally formulated into Brain Focus by BesaPure in precise concentration levels and ratios of bioactive compounds for their synergistic benefits to enhance concentration capacity, motivation and drive.

Dopamine

Bottomline

Dopamine is a crucial neurotransmitter that affects your mood as well as your motivation and emotions of pleasure. It also aids in controlling bodily motions.
 
Although levels are typically carefully controlled by the body, a few dietary and lifestyle adjustments can help you raise your levels naturally.
 
Your body can make enough if you eat a balanced diet with enough protein, vitamins, minerals, and saturated fat in moderation.
 
Additionally crucial are lifestyle issues. Levels can be raised by getting enough sleep, working out, listening to music, meditating, and utilising specific herbal extracts.
 
Overall, a healthy diet and lifestyle can significantly boost your body’s natural synthesis of dopamine and support optimal brain function.
  1. Klein MO, Battagello DS, Cardoso AR, Hauser DN, Bittencourt JC, Correa RG. Dopamine: Functions, signaling, and association with neurological diseases. Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2022Aug1];39(1):31–59. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30446950/
  2. Lopez MJ, Mohiuddin SS. Biochemistry, Essential Amino Acids. [Updated 2022 Mar 18]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557845/
  3. Colzato LS, de Haan AM, Hommel B. Food for creativity: Tyrosine promotes deep thinking. Psychological Research [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2022Aug1];79(5):709–14. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25257259
  4. Greenwood BN. The role of dopamine in overcoming aversion with exercise. Brain Research [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2022Aug1];1713:102–8. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006899318304529
  5. Robertson CL, Ishibashi K, Chudzynski J, Mooney LJ, Rawson RA, Dolezal BA, et al. Effect of exercise training on striatal dopamine D2/D3 receptors in methamphetamine users during behavioral treatment. Neuropsychopharmacology [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2022Aug1];41(6):1629–36. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4832026/
  6. Volkow ND, Tomasi D, Wang G-J, Telang F, Fowler JS, Logan J, et al. Evidence that sleep deprivation downregulates dopamine D2R in ventral striatum in the human brain. Journal of Neuroscience [Internet]. 2012 [cited 2022Aug1];32(19):6711–7. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3433285/
  7. Lim MM, Xu J, Holtzman DM, Mach RH. Sleep deprivation differentially affects dopamine receptor subtypes in mouse striatum. NeuroReport [Internet]. 2011 [cited 2022Aug1];22(10):489–93. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3116438/
  8. Kjaer TW, Bertelsen C, Piccini P, Brooks D, Alving J, Lou HC. Increased dopamine tone during meditation-induced change of consciousness. Cognitive Brain Research [Internet]. 2002 [cited 2022Aug1];13(2):255–9. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11958969/
  9. Salimpoor VN, Benovoy M, Larcher K, Dagher A, Zatorre RJ. Anatomically distinct dopamine release during anticipation and experience of peak emotion to music. Nature Neuroscience [Internet]. 2011 [cited 2022Aug1];14(2):257–62. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21217764/
  10. Ferreri L, Mas-Herrero E, Zatorre RJ, Ripollés P, Gomez-Andres A, Alicart H, et al. Dopamine modulates the reward experiences elicited by music. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2022Aug1];116(9):3793–8. Available from: https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.1811878116
  11. Ahlemeyer B, Krieglstein J. Neuroprotective effects of ginkgo biloba extract. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences (CMLS) [Internet]. 2003 [cited 2022Aug1];60(9):1779–92. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14523543/
  12. Thomas RB, Joy S, Ajayan MS, Paulose CS. Neuroprotective potential of Bacopa Monnieri and bacoside a against dopamine receptor dysfunction in the cerebral cortex of neonatal hypoglycaemic rats. Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2022Aug1];33(8):1065–74. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23975094/
  13. Aguiar S, Borowski T. Neuropharmacological review of the nootropic herb bacopa monnieri. Rejuvenation Research [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2022Aug1];16(4):313–26. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23772955/