Skip to content
Close (esc)


Use code NEW15 to save 15% on your first order. Free UK next day delivery if you order before 3PM.

how to increase dopamine naturally  what does dopamine do  l tyrosine benefits side effects of l tyrosine l tyrosine for dopamine

How to increase dopamine naturally? The role of L-tyrosine.


Dopamine is your reward and pleasure brain chemical. It is released when the brain is expecting a reward-which could be apparent or anticipated. Good food, sex, exercise, music, socializing, thrill-seeking and other feel-good activities involve the dopamine pathway. Dopamine is also involved in motivation and creating the drive to seek those pleasures. This property also influences its role in addiction. 

What does dopamine do?

  • Dopamine increases motivation- Dopamine is released even before you receive the reward/pleasure of an activity, to motivate you to work towards your goals. A study of “go-getters” found that there was an increase in dopamine release in brain areas involving reward and motivation [1]. Animal studies found that decreasing dopamine reduced the motivation to dispense effort to choose a good food option [2].
  • Dopamine encourages risk-taking- Dopamine can help overcome the challenge of taking risks to achieve a possible reward/feel-good experience. Increasing dopamine production encouraged individuals to choose riskier bigger-reward options, compared to smaller safer-rewards [3]. This ties in with dopamine’s love for seeking new experiences, with brain imaging showing activation of dopamine-producing areas in response to novelty [4].
  • Dopamine promotes community spirit- The brain views social interaction as a rewarding experience due to the potential of forming happy relationships and receiving positive social feedback. Activating dopamine brain cells increased social interactions in animal studies [5]. These areas were also activated in humans looking at pictures of their favourite social activity after being kept in isolation [6].
  • Dopamine inspires fearlessness- Dopamine, in its attempt to seek rewards and new experiences, reinforces that overcoming fears may be rewarding. When a previously fear-inducing event leads to a positive outcome, instead of a negative outcome, dopamine is released. Dopamine uses this relief/reward to solidify the memory of being safe [7][8].

How is dopamine made?

Amino acid (building block of protein), L-tyrosine, taken from food, crosses into the brain and is converted to L-DOPA which is then converted to dopamine [9]. It is important to consume an adequate amount of L-tyrosine for dopamine production. 

how to increase dopamine naturally  what does dopamine do  l tyrosine benefits side effects of l tyrosine l tyrosine for dopamine

What are the sources of L-tyrosine?

L-tyrosine content of some protein rich foods are as follows: [10]. 

Food (per 100g)

Tyrosine content (mg)

Parmesan cheese


Frozen dried tofu


Powdered full fat milk


Beef steak


Turkey meat


Whole egg


Ensuring enough eggs, dairy, plant protein and animal meat in the diet can help your brain produce more dopamine. Supplementation of L-tyrosine benefits those with inadequate intake. Brain feed has created the world’s 1st natural 800mg tyrosine capsule from fermented corn.

How long does L-tyrosine take to show effect?

Upon intake, L-tyrosine blood levels peak after 1-2 hours. It stays in the blood for up to 8 hours [11]. Once it enters the brain, it can be used to produce dopamine when the need arises.

Is L-tyrosine supplementation safe?

The US Food and Drug Administration has labelled L-tyrosine as safe [13]. Research studies employ doses between 500mg-12g per day. Up to 12g/day over 3 months was noted to be safe [11]. Dangerously high dopamine levels using high doses of L-tyrosine are unreported because the body only uses the amount that is needed and metabolises the excess [12]. Serious side-effects of L-tyrosine were unreported when consumed within recommended dosage. 

What are the contraindications of L-tyrosine?

L-tyrosine is involved in the production of thyroid hormones and supplementation is contraindicated in those with hyperthyroidism [14]. 


  1. Treadway, M.T. et al. (2012). Dopaminergic Mechanisms of Individual Differences in Human Effort-Based Decision-Making. The Journal of Neuroscience, [online] 32(18), pp.6170–6176.
  2. Salamone, J.D. et al. (2007). Effort-related functions of nucleus accumbens dopamine and associated forebrain circuits. Psychopharmacology, 191(3), pp.461–482.
  3. Chew, B. et al. (2019). Endogenous fluctuations in the dopaminergic midbrain drive behavioral choice variability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(37), pp.18732–18737.
  4. Bunzeck, N. et al. (2006). Absolute Coding of Stimulus Novelty in the Human Substantia Nigra/VTA. Neuron, 51(3), pp.369–379.
  5. Matthews, G. et al. (2016). Dorsal Raphe Dopamine Neurons Represent the Experience of Social Isolation. Cell, 164(4), pp.617–631.
  6. Tomova, L. et al. (2020). Acute social isolation evokes midbrain craving responses similar to hunger. Nature Neuroscience, 23(12), pp.1597–1605.
  7. Salinas-Hernández, X.I. et al. (2018). Dopamine neurons drive fear extinction learning by signaling the omission of expected aversive outcomes. eLife, 7.
  8. Luo, R. et al. (2018). A dopaminergic switch for fear to safety transitions. Nature Communications, 9 (1) 
  9. Juárez Olguín, H. et al. (2016). The Role of Dopamine and Its Dysfunction as a Consequence of Oxidative Stress. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity2016, 9730467. 
  10. Nutrient Search Tool (n.d.). Foods highest in Tyrosine. [online] Nutrition Data
  11. Frank, K. et al. (2019). L-Tyrosine Research Analysis. [online] 
  12. Jongkees, B.J. et al. (2015). Effect of tyrosine supplementation on clinical and healthy populations under stress or cognitive demands—A review. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 70, pp.50–57. 
  13. (n.d.). CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21. [online] 
  14. (n.d.). Tyrosine Uses, Benefits & Dosage - Herbal Database. [online] 

Leave a comment

Open tab

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Related articles

dopamine vs endorphins what releases endorphins what do endorphins do endorphins and dopamine are endorphins neurotransmitters

Aug 4, 2023

Endorphins vs dopamine: The best ways to boost your happy chemicals.

Endorphins and dopamine bring positive emotions. How do they differ? Find what releases endorphins and dopamine
anti-dopamine parenting dopamine and sugar cravings dopamine and screen timethe role of dopamine dopamine and motivation

Jul 24, 2023

The role of dopamine in anti-dopamine parenting: facts VS opinion

Learn more about anti-dopamine parenting, discover dopamine’s true role, and how it benefits us.
how to overcome disappointment how to overcome failure dopamine's role dopamine and reward how to improve perseverance

Jul 13, 2023

Dopamine’s role in how to overcome failure

Discover the truth behind dopamine’s role in overcoming failure and boosting persistence while learning why it’s essential to nourish it throughout your life.
andrew huberman supplement list  andrew huberman supplementsandrew huberman recommended supplements l tyrosine huberman andrew huberman sleep

Jun 2, 2023

Andrew Huberman supplements list: what does the award-winning Stanford neuroscientist take?

Award-winning neuroscientist Andrew Huberman recommended supplements include l tyrosine & Alpha GPC. Find out why?
tyrosine for adhd dopamine and adhd  l tyrosine dosage for adhd  l tyrosine adhd reddit adhd dopamine deficiency

May 31, 2023

The truth behind dopamine and ADHD

There is a lot of talk that ADHD is linked to dopamine dysfunction. Read about what ADHD is and how it connects to dopamine. Discover new study findings and get your answers.


Shopping Cart