Pleasure and Dopamine

In going with Tuesday’s post on sleep, I thought we would discuss a neurotransmitters, that I’m actually surprised we haven’t covered yet- dopamine. Like all things coming from your brain dopamine plays some very important roles. Besides being essential to cognition, dopamine is responsible for:

  • behavior (decreased levels thought to contribute to ADD)
  • cognition (decline effects memory, attention, and problem-solving)
  • voluntary movement (Parkinson’s Disease is a hard-hitter here, dopamine deficiency is associated with this condition)
  • motivation and reward (pleasure system, something is rewarding: sex, drugs, food, etc. we repeat the behavior and cause of the happiness).
  • prolactin production (affecting breast milk and lactation)
  • sleep
  • mood
  • attention
  • learning

So how can we obtain optimal dopamine levels?

  1. Sleep: this is when the brain recovers and revs up your neurotransmitters again.
  2. Controlling Stress: increased stress is associated with dopamine deficiency
  3. Exercise: blood circulation increase affects hormones and dopamine in the bloodstream
  4. Proper eating: Steer clear of sugar foods and alcohol that have negative affects on dopamine. Encourage consumption of foods rich in antioxidants or eat in a way that decreases free radical damage and inflammation (hmm- fat-burner) because free radical have a negative connotation on dopamine. Foods rich in protein, especially the amino acid tyrosine are a precursor to dopamine. Think turkey and salmon especially (or fish oil anyone?). Other beneficial foods:
  • almonds
  • grass-fed dairy
  • pasture-raised eggs
  • buffalo
  • elk
  • leafy green like mustard greens
  • seaweed
  • avocado

This sounds so familiar, interesting? BE happy: sleep, relax, and eat like a fat-burner and you’ll have one happy brain and neurotransmitters! For more on our fat-burner weight loss programs check out our website at

Also check out Tuesday’s blog on sleep:

Sleep, Summer, Cravings, and Disease

This entry was posted in Diet, Foods, Longevity, Nutrition, Physiology, Stress, Weight Loss, Workout and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Pleasure and Dopamine

  1. Lon Goetz says:

    I always take L-tyrosine to boos my neurotransmitters. L-tyrosine helps in boosting my mood because it can increase dopamine as well as serotonine.,`.`’


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