When we think of dopamine we naturally label it as the arousal or feel good chemical . When we overindulge in activities that overstimulate the release of dopamine we can actually send our mood in a downward spiral. Some men may actually experiencing low dopamine levels which can also lead to libido and erection issues.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays an essential role in your sexual function. Dopamine is one of the first chemicals released by the brain when a man is aroused, and its release triggers a cascade of chemical reactions that ultimately lead to an erection.

Dopamine deficiencies can occur when the body doesn’t get enough sleep, or after substance or alcohol abuse. Thankfully, there are several ways in which you can raise your dopamine levels to enjoy a normal sex life.

 What Is Dopamine

 Dopamine is an organic chemical that’s synthesized in your brain and kidneys. Dopamine has multiple roles. When it’s in the brain, it will act as a neurotransmitter and it will send signals between nerve cells.

Even though dopamine is synthesized in the body, its levels will vary greatly throughout the day. Dopamine release will increase in response to food, sweets, drugs, and sex. A spike in dopamine is usually associated with the reward-motivated behavior. When a person anticipates a pleasure or a reward, more dopamine is released in the body.

The reward-motivated system in the brain is activated every time a person is engaging in activities that increase his or her survival, or the continuation of their genes. This system can be activated by simple actions like drinking water or eating, but it can also be activated when you learn something new or when you’re having sex.

Dopamine is also released in a stressful situation. When a person experiences high levels of stress or fear, dopamine will be released in larger amounts. This dopamine spike is meant to make you more alert, and to help you escape dangerous situations. More dopamine is also released when you escape a dangerous situation to help you identify these situations easier and avoid them in the future.

Several studies have shown that dopamine has an important part to play in the body’s movement regulating system, and if the neurons that use dopamine as a neurotransmitter are destroyed there’s a higher chance of developing Parkinson’s Disease. Schizophrenia and social anxiety have also been linked to low levels of dopamine. This chemical is also involved in the control of nausea and pain processing.

 How Dopamine Increases Erection Quality – [1],[2]

 Now that you have a good grasp on how complex this chemical is, and how deeply it can affect the way your body works, let’s take a look at how dopamine can influence your sexual activity and libido.

Dopamine plays an important role in the human sexual behavior. In males, dopamine is necessary for the erection to take place. When the dopamine is released, it triggers a cascade of interactions which will lead to an erection. For an erection to take place, dopamine interacts with nitric oxide, testosterone, serotonin, and other chemicals.

Besides being one of the chemicals necessary to produce an erection, dopamine is also crucial for your libido. When you want to have sex or when you’re anticipating it, the reward-motivated system is activated, and large amounts of dopamine are released in the brain. Without this spike of dopamine, the brain wouldn’t register the urge for sex, so you wouldn’t have a libido.

Dopamine is interdependent with testosterone for a healthy sexual function. Testosterone has to be present for sexual activities to happen. Good testosterone levels are also necessary to produce dopamine. If a man doesn’t produce enough testosterone, his body won’t produce enough dopamine, so he will not have a normal sexual drive.

However, dopamine acts and reacts faster than testosterone, so it will be the one to respond to a sexual act or sexual anticipation. When you’re craving sex, dopamine is released in large amounts to communicate this between the neurons, so we can say that dopamine actually activates the sexual motivation or sexual drive.

 Signs And Symptoms Of Having Low Dopamine

 There are many causes for a dopamine deficiency. Some of the most common include but are not limited to stress, obesity, porn addiction, lack of sleep, poor diet, stress, heavy metal poisoning, excessive drinking, substance abuse, and even sex addiction.

A dopamine deficiency is not equivalent with not producing any dopamine. Instead, it means that the body doesn’t produce enough dopamine. When the body is worn out due to lack of sleep or substance abuse, it may produce less dopamine than usual.

Dopamine deficiency can also happen when the neurons which are normally susceptible to the actions of dopamine can’t connect with the neurotransmitter. This will block the message the dopamine would normally pass between the neurons. This kind of dopamine deficiency is usually observed when a man’s receptors are overloaded. The overloading takes place when someone overindulges in watching pornography, masturbating, or having too much sex.

If someone has a dopamine deficiency, he usually notices some of the following signs happening simultaneously.

  • Feeling sad, apathetic, bored, or depressed
  • Having low mental and/or physical energy
  • Lack of enthusiasm, drive, or motivation
  • Having difficulties focusing or concentrating
  • Cold hands and/or feet. Getting easily chilled
  • Gaining weight easily
  • Needing external sources to stay alert. Consuming large amounts of coffee, sugar, etc, just to stay alert or motivated
  • Consuming large amounts of alcohol or abusing substances just to feel good for a short time

 10 Natural Ways To Increase Dopamine

 Thankfully, there are a lot of ways you can naturally increase your dopamine levels, so you can make a positive change in your life. Here’s a list of substances and activities that can increase your dopamine levels.

Exercise [3]

Exercise has a complex effect on the body. Not only will regular exercise lead to a regular release of large amounts of dopamine after each exercise, but it will also help you lose weight. When you’re losing weight, the reward-motivated system is activated, and that leads to additional amounts of dopamine being released.

Sleep

Ever since we were children, we were thought that we need our sleep. This is true when it comes to dopamine. Several studies have noticed a decrease in dopamine release and a lack of neuronal sensitivity when people don’t get enough sleep.

Mucuna Pruriens [4] 

Studies have shown that consuming Mucuna Pruriens supplements increase the dopamine levels in healthy males. Consuming these supplements will also increase your testosterone production.


Essential Fatty Acids [5]

Studies have shown that a deficiency in polyunsaturated fatty acids containing omega-3 affects the production of dopamine and can lead to the development of psychiatric diseases.

Sex

Our bodies boost the dopamine release when we’re anticipating sex. Studies have shown that the dopamine release during sex is similar to that occurring when the brain is stimulated with cocaine or heroin.

Eat More Curcumin [6]

Curcumin is found in turmeric, and it has the ability to increase both dopamine and serotonin levels. Studies have shown that curcumin can be as effective as antidepressants. Its effects are increased when it’s combined with pepper. Where I live turmeric is very expensive so I usually buy it in a supplementation form instead.

Supplement With L-tyrosine [7]

L-tyrosine is a precursor of dopamine that is processed by the body. After it’s processed, L-tyrosine converts into dopamine. This amino acid is found in large amounts in meat and dairy products, but you can also find it in soy, nuts, oats, wheat, and legumes.


Eat More Protein

Eating protein is a great way to elicit dopamine production in the brain. Many proteins contain the amino acids that your brain needs in order to create dopamine. For the highest quality sources, be sure to eat grass-fed meats and wild-caught fish.

Music

You might be familiar with the expression “Sex, drugs, and rock ’n roll”. These ingredients were the foundation for Woodstock, and people seemed very happy there, didn’t they? Well, it’s certain these things have a common element. And that is dopamine release. Just like sex and drugs, listening to good music can lead to a sudden release of large amounts of dopamine.

Supplement With Magnesium [8]

Studies found that magnesium deficiency can lead to a drop in the neurons’ sensitivity to dopamine. To avoid a magnesium deficiency that can lead to a drop in dopamine levels, you should supplement your magnesium intake.

Summary

 Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays an essential role in your sex drive and libido. Dopamine deficiencies can occur when you least expect, but thankfully there are simple ways to naturally prevent and treat such a deficiency.

Prolactinergic and dopaminergic mechanisms underlying sexual arousal and orgasm in humans – World Journal of Urology, 2005, Volume 23, Number 2, Page 130, Tillmann H. C. Krüger, Uwe Hartmann, Manfred Schedlowski Gambling and Increased Sexual Desire With Dopaminergic Medications in Restless Legs Syndrome – Driver-Dunckley, Erika D. MD; Noble, Brie N. BS; Hentz, Joseph G. MS; Evidente, Virgilio G.H. MD; Caviness, John N. MD; Parish, James MD; Krahn, Lois MD; Adler, Charles H. MD, PhD,Clinical Neuropharmacology: September/October 2007 – Volume 30 – Issue 5 – pp 249-255 PET studies of the effects of aerobic exercise on human striatal dopamine release – Gene-Jack, Wang; Volkow, Nora D; Fowler, Joanna S; Franceschi, Dinko; et al. The Journal of Nuclear Medicine; New York41.8 (Aug 2000): 1352-6 Shukla KK, et al. Mucuna pruriens improves male fertility by its action on the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis. Fertil Steril. (2009) The dopamine mesocorticolimbic pathway is affected by deficiency in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids – Zimmer L1, Vancassel S, Cantagrel S, Breton P, Delamanche S, Guilloteau D, Durand G, Chalon S. Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial – Sanmukhani J1, Satodia V, Trivedi J, Patel T, Tiwari D, Panchal B, Goel A, Tripathi CB Daubner SC, Le T, Wang S. Tyrosine Hydroxylase and Regulation of Dopamine Synthesis. Archives of biochemistry and biophysics. 2011;508(1):1-12. doi:10.1016/j.abb.2010.12.017. Evidence for the involvement of the monoaminergic system in the antidepressant-like effect of magnesium – Cardoso CC1, Lobato KR, Binfaré RW, Ferreira PK, Rosa AO, Santos AR, Rodrigues AL, Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2009 Mar 17;33(2):235-42. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2008.11.007. Epub 2008 Nov 27