Dopamine Supplements: 10 That Actually Work
Even if you haven’t heard of dopamine, you’re probably familiar with its effects on the body.
While serotonin takes all the credit for being the “happy” hormone, dopamine is in charge of our reward and pleasure centers. Basically, it makes us feel good.
Unfortunately, dopamine doesn’t always come naturally to the body in the levels it should, and so we need to supplement. But, with so many options out there, how can you know which ones are legitimate?
We’ve prepared a list of the 10 dopamine supplements that actually work, so that you can start feeling good again in no time flat!
L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in the body, which helps to produce not only dopamine but also adrenaline and norepinephrine.
Supplementing L-Tyrosine, in the form of either a capsule or by eating foods that are high in the amino acid like beef, salmon, pork, turkey, and chicken, can also boost production of dopamine by increasing the amount of neurotransmitters that are available to produce and receive the chemical.*
L-Tyrosine also converts into L-DOPA (also known as levodopa), which can be synthesized directly to dopamine. That makes the supplement pretty darn effective and efficient.
L-Tyrosine also helps increase feelings of energy and alertness.* It’s one of the most direct ways that you can supplement your health and make yourself feel good while also supporting your mental and emotional wellness!
Ginkgo biloba has been used in ancient medicine for hundreds of years, especially in China. In fact, it is still one of the top-selling supplements on the market because of its benefits for the body and the mind.
The way that it specifically helps with dopamine levels is by naturally reducing levels of the substance that naturally breaks down dopamine.* With ginkgo biloba, dopamine can become more prevalent, which works to naturally improve mood and mental wellness. It basically does double duty, and is what makes ginkgo biloba so potent.
Ginkgo biloba is also a natural memory booster, along with helping improve general cognition and overall brain function.*
L-Theanine is an amino acid known for helping to increase certain neurotransmitters, specifically dopamine, serotonin, and GABA.* It has been studied a lot more than some of the other supplements on this list, and has gone beyond animal studies into testing on humans.
While many chemicals are unable to cross the blood-brain barrier, L-Theanine is one of the special ones able to break through and naturally boost dopamine levels in the brain. It also helps to induce alpha brain waves, which are the brain waves seen in people during times of relaxation.*
In addition to being included in many dopamine boosting supplements, L-Theanine can be found naturally in green tea and even some mushrooms.
Rhodiola rosea, also known as arctic root or golden root, is an adaptogen. Originally, it was used to help with physical boosts like strength and endurance but, as people learned more about mental health, its benefits became even more pronounced.
Rhodiola rosea helps support your overall mental and physical wellness, especially in helping to maintain wellness when you’re stressed. It can also support healthy cognitive function, provide feelings of increased energy, and promote emotional well-being. In addition, it can support regular dopamine production.*
The herb also works even better when used in tandem with other similar-purpose ingredients like L-theanine to help further support normal dopamine production and the brain wellness during periods of stress.
Try a supplement like PYM Mood Chews that has complementary mind-supporting ingredients like rhodiola rosea and L-theanine that work together for your emotional and mental wellness!
Ginseng is one of the easiest-to-find supplements out there, due to its lengthy history of usage in traditional Chinese medicine.
The herb as a whole is said to promote dopamine production, and its active ingredients (like ginsenosides) are essential to that function.* Ginseng not only helps with production, but also has protective properties toward the neurons that uptake and help promote dopamine’s function.* It’s a pretty amazing herb, and can be enjoyed in tea form as well as a capsule or pill.
There are also some people who believe that ginseng can help improve sexual health and function, as well as improving memory and mental performance, making it a supplement that can benefit many aspects of life!*
The more we learn about turmeric, the more impressed we are. In fact, in some studies, just one gram of the active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, was shown to have significant mood improving effects.
Turmeric not only helps to increase dopamine levels, it also improves mood and overall mental wellness.* It is an easy product to find and cook with, and is commonly found in many curries.
For those who aren’t into curry, it can also be supplemented in capsule, extract, and even tea form. It even works great as a facial mask, reducing the appearance of acne and redness with its natural skin supporting properties. It’s a well-rounded supplement!
While oregano oil is great overall with benefits like supporting heart health, the immune system, and the digestive system, it is oregano oil’s active ingredient that is the real star of the show.*
Carvacrol is responsible for promoting the production of dopamine (though studies have not been performed on humans… yet).* Plus, oregano is an easy herb to cook with, and oregano oil is simple to make at home. That makes it a great, natural, easy way to help supplement dopamine production with diet alone.
Magnesium deficiency has long been associated with depression. While the exact link isn’t totally understood, mice that were noted to have low magnesium levels were also noted to have low dopamine levels. Supplementing magnesium and dopamine deficient mice with magnesium also boosted their dopamine levels.
Magnesium can be found naturally in green, leafy vegetables like spinach, as well as other whole foods like broccoli, nuts, and whole grains. Many of those foods are also high in fiber, which is great for the body overall. You can even get magnesium from dark chocolate! It’s an easy way to naturally help boost your dopamine.
The importance of Vitamin D is still always unfolding, but what we do know is that low levels of the vitamin in the body can have some pretty nasty consequences.
One of the positive effects Vitamin D has on the body is how it supports normal dopamine function, as well as other neurotransmitters.*
While it hasn’t been studied in too much detail yet, animal studies have shown that mice with low Vitamin D levels also had low dopamine levels. When those Vitamin D levels were increased, there was a dopamine increase as well. We look forward to seeing further studies!
But with so many other benefits like supporting muscle function and bone health, Vitamin D has a lot of promise outside of just supporting dopamine!
While fish oil supplements haven’t been tested a lot, the preliminary evidence seems pretty convincing.
Fish oil is made of two different types of omega-3 fatty acids: DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). Both work in tandem to promote dopamine levels in the brain’s frontal cortex by around 40% (this study has only been performed in rats, though, so human trials are still necessary to confirm) while also supporting dopamine function in regards to its ability to bind to receptors.*
Fish oil also supports heart health, joint health, eye health, and brain development. It can be found naturally in “oily” fishes like anchovies, herring, and tuna, but can also be purchased in capsule form for those who don’t like the taste of fish (though a word to the wise--many people commonly note a fishy taste in the capsule as well).
Even though the evidence is still developing, it’s a well-rounded supplement for anyone who wants to improve their health and make themselves feel good.
Dopamine is the feel good hormone, and we all could use a little more feeling good in our lives!
Helping your body reach healthy dopamine levels isn’t as difficult as it sounds. By just enhancing your diet with products that naturally support healthy dopamine levels, like fish and some teas, as well as adding supplementation where necessary with natural mental wellness aids like PYM Mood Chews, you can support your mental wellness easily and effectively!
*FDA Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.