Dopamine is a neurotransmitter released from the hypothalamus that blocks the release of prolactin from the anterior lobe of the pituitary. One of its main functions is to act on the sympathetic nervous system to elicit effects such as: Excitement, high blood pressure, motivational energy, and impulsive behavior. For example, when a male engages in sexual intercourse, he reaches peak dopamine levels while climaxing, then immediately after intense pleasure prolactin floods his system which induces opposite effects.
■ HIGH dopamine and low prolactin
■ LOW dopamine and high prolactin
When a person is meticulously dieting to achieve extremely low body fat levels, a cascade of effects begin to take place as fat cells begin to shrink. Neurotransmitters begin to plummet, which affects our mood, hunger, and social behavior. One way to keep dopamine levels consistent while in a calorie deficit is to eat smaller meals more frequently. Eating every 2–3 hours will maintain higher dopamine levels as well as keep blood sugar balanced.
Another great way to boost dopamine levels is to incorporate a cheat day or cheat meal once a week. Implementing this technique will not only boost dopamine levels, but increase thyroid output and replenish glycogen stores in muscle tissue. You can also raise dopamine levels through drugs and supplementation. Supplementing with the psychoactive substance known as caffeine will temporarily boost dopamine levels and raise energy and alertness. The non-essential amino acid L-tyrosine is a precursor to dopamine and also contributes to healthy thyroid levels.
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