How to Release Dopamine Naturally

By Aaron Marquis

Dopamine is a naturally occurring chemical in your brain that is responsible for influencing a number of behaviors, including pleasure, cognition and motivation. The feelings associated with increased dopamine levels can also be euphoric, creating a desire to release dopamine naturally in the body. You can release dopamine in your brain through a number of methods -- from the foods you eat, to the exercise you perform -- without the need of supplements.

Dopamine levels can be increased through moderate excercise.

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Cottage cheese blintzes
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Foods such as cottage cheese have the two amino acids to facilitate and develop dopamine.

Step 1

Eat foods that contain significant amounts of the amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine. The two amino acids facilitate the development of dopamine, and are found in a variety of foods. Examples include cottage cheese, soy, yogurt, dark chocolate, and turkey meat.

Woman doing aerobics
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Cardiovascular activities naturally increase the production of dopamine in your body.

Step 2

Exercise with weights and cardiovascular activities to naturally increase the production of dopamine in your body. According to the University of California, exercise, to a certain extent, increases serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain. There is a point, however, that dopamine levels plateau, and no amount of additional exercise will incur gains. You can achieve optimum dopamine release by running 30 to 45 minutes, or exercising with weights for the same amount of time.

Laughing couple playing chess
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A game of chess may increase dopamine levels.

Step 3

Play games that are challenging or provide a competitive atmosphere during play. You do not have to play football to increase dopamine production; video games, card games, competitive chess, and games of chance may, according to the University of Southern California, increase dopamine levels.