How to increase dopamine and lower serotonin with this simple, yet effective stack and food recipe

Who doesn’t want to be in a high dopamine state?

Motivation, drive, creativity, focus, euphoria, witty, upbeat, etc, are all characteristics of some with high dopamine.

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Would you like to be more dominant in those traits? Read on!

Stack

Tyrosine

Dopamine is created from the amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine. Phenylalanine is converted to tyrosine with the help of BH4.

Tyrosine in turn is converted to L-dopa by tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limited enzyme in dopamine synthesis, with the help of BH4.

Providing phenylalanine or tyrosine has been shown to promote cognitive performance, mental function, acuity, processing speed, etc., in humans. It’s been speculated that it’s due to an increase in dopamine (R, R). The most pronounced effects are found when dopamine is already low due to synthesis problems or during stress.

Just 500mg tyrosine should do the trick to increase dopamine.

Vitamin C and niacinamide

The cofactor for tyrosine hydroxylase is BH4 (tetrahydrobiopterin). If BH4 drops, so does dopamine levels, regardless of how much phenylalanine or tyrosine is available.

As you can see, the BH4 cycle connects with the folate cycle. If the folate cycle isn’t running perfectly, then there will most likely be a deficiency in BH4. Serum folate is converted to 5-methyl-THF and then to THF with the help of B2 and B12. Then it requires B6 to convert to 5,10 methylene-THF. Then finally to be used to recycle BH4, you need B3. So all in all, you basically need B2, B3, B6, B9 (folate) and B12 just to get normal baseline BH4 levels.

Boosting NAD+ levels with either tryptophan (kynurenine pathway), niacin, niacinamide, NMN, NR, NAD+ gum, NAD+ nasal spray or whatever, has been shown to boost BH4 levels, and as a result, dopamine levels as well.

As a matter of a fact, giving tyrosine alone isn’t as effective at boosting dopamine as combining tyrosine with tryptophan. But skip the tryptophan and use niacinamide instead (it’s a much better precursor to NAD).

Finally, since BH4 acts as an anti-oxidant, elevated ROS can deplete it. And giving vitamin C has been shown to increase BH4 levels.

Vitamin C has also been shown to increase TH (works synergistically with vitamin E) (R), possibly by increasing BH4.

So combining niacinamide and vitamin C should be a good combo.

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Gelatin/BCAA

In serotonin-depleting studies, researchers usually use BCAAs. BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine and valine), tyrosine, phenylalanine and tryptophan are all large neutral amino acids that compete with each other for entry into the brain.

Using BCAAs shift the ratio, thus reducing tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylalanine uptake into the brain. This lowers both dopamine and serotonin. Adding in tyrosine will boost dopamine and lower serotonin.

Alternatively, gelatin/collagen has also been shown to be very effective at lowering serotonin in the brain. So instead of using BCAAs, one can always use collagen instead and get many other benefits as well, such as extra glycine, hydroxyproline and other collagen peptides.

Coffee

Coffee, or more specifically caffeine, has been shown to increase dopamine, energy, motivation, drive, activity, etc. (R)

Cocoa

Cocoa, mostly in the form of chocolate, is often overconsumed during a stressful period. It’s been shown to blunt the stress response and rescue any drops in dopamine.

The epicatechin in cocoa has been shown to increase tyrosine hydroxylase and decrease MAO-A (the enzyme that breaks down both serotonin and dopamine) (R), leading to higher levels of dopamine.

Smoothie/coffee

A great way to consume these 3 foods is to add them all into a smoothie or into a cup of coffee, depending on your preference.

I like to do a smoothie. Here is the recipe:

  • 500ml A2 milk (A1 milk can cause an inflammatory response, which creates brain fog; more on that in a future post)
  • 3 egg yolks (for choline, cholesterol and other phospholipids)
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee
  • 1 super heaped tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp (or 2) collagen
  • (optional) extra honey
  • (optional) vanilla extract

Sunlight

Sunlight has been shown to boost dopamine synthesis as well as the dopamine receptors D2 and D3 in the striatum (R, R)

Vitamin D has also been shown to increase tyrosine hydroxylase (R), so getting sunlight frequently is a good idea to optimize dopamine long term.

Supercharge the stack

This stack is just the basics if you want to experience a boost in dopamine and a drop in serotonin. This will help you with focus, motivation, willingness to do something, mood, etc.

But sometimes, it’s fun to throw in additional compounds that can supercharge a stack.

  • 300mg vitamin B1
  • 100mg sublingual piracetam
  • 10 drops Pyrucet
  • (optimal) Forskolin (TH boosters) + artichoke extract or Polygala Tenuifolia extract

Related content

Summary

Smoothie with additional (with coffee, cocoa, gelatin)

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12 Replies to “How to increase dopamine and lower serotonin with this simple, yet effective stack and food recipe”

  1. I love pyrcet but it seems to catabolize some of my muscle.. Any tips on how to avoid that?

      1. A decrease in lean body mass. Diet and everything has stayed consistent, likely added a good amount of calories.

  2. It’s the only thing I’ve added to my stack and I dropped weight within the week I added it. My shirts are bigger on my and the scales reflects that as well.

    1. It could be water weight. Pyrucet doesn’t affect muscle protein synthesis or breakdown in any way. It only promotes glucose oxidation and increases the NAD to NADH ratio.

      Quick weight loss is always water weight. You’d litterly have to fast to lose weight that you can actually notice within 2 weeks or so.

    1. Creatine can increase water weight in some people when they go through the loading phase. I’m not sure I understand your question though.

  3. Hi Hans, A2 milk isn’t readily available in the UK. Can you recommend an alternative, please?

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