You’ve probably heard of dopamine before, one of the chemicals naturally produced ion your body that has to do with happiness. That is all good and well, but it’s actually important for a whole lot more than just our happiness. This chemical functions as the neurotransmitter and plays a great role in the functions of the brain. These functions include; sleep, mood, ability to focus and concentrate, working memory, and learning.
When levels of dopamine fall low because of poor nutrition, drug abuse, stress and lack of sleep, symptoms such as mood swings, food cravings, depression, and poor attention can occur.
Major Functions of Dopamine
Dopamine is commonly referred to as the reward chemical because it is in charge of the brain’s pleasure-reward system. However, it is also known to reference to as the motivation molecule, because it also provides the drive and focus you need to be productive. This chemical messenger between cells of the brain acts as a supplement for better thinking, productivity, memory, and mood.
If you’re suffering from low levels or lack of dopamine, this could lead to a wide range of issues.
Symptoms of low dopamine
- Inability to experience pleasure
- Low motivation, insomnia, and fatigue
- Hard time getting going in the morning
- Failure to focus and concentrate
- Mood swings and forgetfulness
- Memory loss and low libido
- Inability to connect with others
- Inability to handle stress and lose weight
- Caffeine and sugar cravings
Depression, loss of satisfaction, chronic fatigue, apathy, and chronic boredom is one of the main symptoms of low dopamine. Your body will be chilled, and your hands and feet will become cold. This is because dopamine deficiency automatically lowers the experience of excitement and pleasure, and the moods can rapidly swing from positive to negative.
Deficiency of nutrients such as magnesium, iron or zinc in the body, can produce dopamine deficiency which normally results in oversleeping. Unfortunately sleeping a lot isn’t just your body telling you that you need rest. It often can be a sign of lack of motivation to get up and do anything. You might be tempted to procrastinate on work assignments, home projects, or exercising.
Rapid weight gain
Since low dopamine tends to produce cravings for sodas, alcohol, sugar and saturated fats, which often results in rapid weight gain that is further stimulated by inactivity and fatigue. Unfortunately, this is a circular problem. In addition to the issues of weight gain, refined foods, sugary food, and saturated fats can also lower the levels of dopamine and decrease its activities in the brain.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder which affects the balance, muscle control, and movement is known to be associated with loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. It is known that low dopamine in the brain corpus stratia is the key defect in Parkinson’s disease. Individuals in early levels of the disease may be treated successfully with a dopamine precursor drug which helps in replacing the lost dopamine.
Low dopamine levels can interfere with your ability to focus and concentrate. You might experience intense feelings of fear and sadness because there is a lack of dopamine to counter balance and regulate emotions.
How to increase the levels of dopamine naturally
Eat the right foods
Foods rich in Tyrosine provide basic building blocks for the production of dopamine. Phenylalanine is the amino acid that helps in converting these foods into tyrosine. Almost all animal products are good sources of both phenylalanine and tyrosine.
Other good foods include: peanuts, legumes, almonds, chocolate, apples, bananas, avocados, watermelon, green leafy vegetables, beets, sea vegetables, and coffee, wheat germ, and pumpkin seeds.
Use dopamine supplements
Unfortunately, sometimes food isn’t enough, and you need to see faster, guaranteed results. This is where dopamine supplements come in. While there are many supplements to choose from, you’ll want one that includes the 1-tyrosine, acety1-1-tyrosine ingredient. This absorbable form of the amino acid can readily cross the blood-brain barrier and help restore the imbalance quickly. Others ingredients to look for are s-adenosylmethionine, phosphatidylserine, bacopa monnieri and curcumin
Doing activities that boost dopamine levels
Doing activities that make you feel relaxed and happy, will help increase your levels of dopamine. Focusing on activities such as home repair, knitting, painting, woodworking, gardening or physical exercise can work well for you. Accomplishing your goals, even the small ones will stimulate your brain in releasing more dopamine.
Overcoming dopamine deficiency
- Take appropriate and most recommended dopamine enhancing supplements
- Get plenty of exercises
- Eat the diet that is high in dopamine boosting foods
- Engage in activities that reduce stress
Dopamine plays a huge role in our everyday lives and moods. From our happiness to our motor functions, it is important to make sure your levels are in check. Low dopamine levels can cause you to be depressed, fatigue and increase the likelihood of schizophrenia and neurodegenerative diseases.
For the best health practices, you can increase the levels of dopamine by doing some physical exercises, keeping a proper and balanced diet that is high in foods that boost dopamine. Natural supplements, or smart drugs, are also a very popular and widely used way to increase your dopamine levels so you can be the best, most productive version of yourself.