UNITED STATES—There are a number of chemicals that are vital for healthy mental functions, and one of the most important is dopamine.
The importance of dopamine is things such as learning, attention, mood, and other common mental skills cannot be overstated.
The main reason people know about dopamine is its role in more pleasurable actions such as enjoying sex or the taste of a good cookie.
We’re here today to converse on the topic of dopamine effects on a variety of cognitive functions.
We’ll also look at more nuanced things, such as how nootropics for dopamine as well as other natural dopamine supplements can help brighten our mood and whether or not we can find natural supplements for overall mental health.
What Are Nootropics For Dopamine?
Nootropics are natural compounds that can improve your cognitive performance and mental health. According to Greg, founder of Your Inception and one of the most well-known researchers of nootropics, they can provide a wide variety of benefits and usually bring no side-effects.
Among other benefits, nootropics can also boost your dopamine levels.
But what exactly is dopamine?
The Definition of Dopamine
Dopamine has become a popular topic in mainstream and neuroscientific research.
There have been over 110,000 papers and journals over the past sixty years and yet there’s still a number of disagreements between various doctors and scientists.
The popular definition of dopamine – which is different from the scientific definition of dopamine – is a naturally occurring chemical your brain produces to help stimulate pleasure.
In a more scientific sense it help level out the brain functions that affect our sense of reward – that is, if a person’s dopamine is too low they don’t simply “not feel pleasure” but rather the brain reacts to doing things as if they’re the greatest ever or completely worthless.
The Chemicals N-Acetyl and L-Tyrosine
Stress is no different from pleasure, at least in terms of being a fundamental part of the human experience. The higher the stress level we suffer the more our cognitive functions also suffer. We become incapable of focusing or sometimes acting at all. L-tyrosine is one chemical that may help moderate and manage higher stress levels.
Then there’s the more bioavailable and active form of L-tyrosine – N-Acetyl.
The clinical trials done on the effects of L-tyrosine show that the bioavailability of the chemical can affect the creation of norepinephrine as well as dopamine in animals. This shows a strong possibility of having the same effect on us humans.
Stress causes a rapid increase in the level of catecholamine in the brain and then causes a depletion of those chemicals. Stress-induced increases in catecholamine can be reduced by the chemical L-Tyrosine and protect our normal dopamine levels at the same time!
Tyrosine is another chemical in the brain that creates other chemicals – in this case DOPA which then further converts into dopamine. N-Acetyl L-tyrosine brain supplements can enhance mental performance thanks to the extra support given to our brains’ dopamine production.
Definition of L-Theanine
L-theanine is one of the multiple amino acids that work to induce alpha brainwaves – the alert reaction brainwaves.
It’s easy enough to find L-theanine by drinking green tea and eating some mushrooms, which is great because the amino acid can help boost dopamine levels thanks to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier.
It’s an all-natural antidepressant as well as a natural anti-anxiety medication, working to help reduce the symptoms caused by depression and anxiety on memory and learning.
L-theanine can reduce anxiety and stress-causing brain chemicals, help boost dopamine creation, and help protect our brain cells from age-related neural damage.
L-theanine can be easily combined with caffeine in order to super-boost our cognitive functions.
Multiple research papers have given evidence that caffeine boosted with L-theanine can increase our focus, our information processing, and our ability to switch trains of thought quickly.
A dose as low as 100mg – a single, solitary dose – can give a massive boost to cognitive functions when compared to a placebo.
A Description of Citicoline
Citicoline has several components, but the main one – CDP Choline – has been shown to agitate the neurons that release dopamine which helps improve the overall levels.
Citicoline is water-soluble which means the body can absorb it easily and quickly into the bloodstream. This allows citicoline 90% bioavailability rate, thus making it far more effective.
While this is amazing it’s only one of the plethora of reasons the best overall nootropic for dopamine is Citicoline.
Preliminary evidence from research and clinical trials indicate that this nootropic can be effective at reducing cravings that cocaine addicts exhibited. This indicates it can affect the dopamine-reward system and reduce drug and food cravings. Another major component of Citicoline – uridine – can be beneficial when combined with CDP choline.
When combined with CDP choline, uridine exhibits beneficial growth of new receptors for dopamine. It does this by activating D1 and D2 receptor signaling which helps mitigate and even prevent dopamine burnout.
Agitating the reactors in order to help avoid dopamine burnout can be a big help in optimizing our cognition and mood.
What Is Rhodiola Rosea?
Translating to “golden root”, rhodiola rosea has been used in traditional medicine for centuries.
Rhodiola’s benefits are quite similar to many of the other dopamine creators discussed so far. It can help boost energy, manage our moods, and help mitigate the short and long-term effects of mental and physical stress.
Scientists have observed that rhodiola exerts numerous effects on our body’s central nervous system, including but not limited to; reduce fatigue and anxiety, inhibiting dopamine reuptake and thus maintain steady dopamine levels, and aid the brain in handling overall stress.
There has been evidence from multiple studies performed on humans that rhodiola can reduce feelings of depression, anxiety, and fatigue when compared with a placebo.
This is not the same as a psychiatric anti-depressant and shouldn’t be substituted for one, but rhodiola can certainly enhance the blood-brain barrier’s permeability which can aid the transport of dopamine and other chemicals.