Notes on Dopamine System

Notes on Dopamine System

These are my notes after watching Andrew Huberman podcast on dopamine

Baseline and spikes

Our experiences of interest are placed into this dopamine base level context.
If some social media post A, spikes it, then the following post B, can look less exciting. But if you would encountered post B first – it would look perfectly interesting to you.

Dopamine and epinephrine (adrenaline) are relatives
Epinephrine with dopamine gives energy
spike of dopamine depletes dopamine stores, lowers baseline

Increasing dopamine level without side effects

Studies shown that cold water exposure can do this.
Studies conducted an experiment submerging people into cold water (14deg C) for one hour.
Plasma noradrenaline and dopamine concentrations were increased by 530% and by 250% respectively
Personally, I'm doing 5-6 minute cold baths.

Dopamine caveats

Doing things for reward makes the process more painful.
You have to learn to enjoy the process.
If you stack more layers of dopamine (caffeine, nicotine) – this makes the process harder.
Don't increase dopamine before the work. Don't increase it after.
Increase it during the work. Trick yourself into loving the work.
(so no caffeine, no social media)

one such example is intermittent fasting, where people get dopamine during from the fast itself.

If you raise baseline – then less exciting things get even less exciting.
Strawberry is less exciting after a chocolate cake. But you always can reset it.

Things you can eat to up dopamine baseline

Be cautious, raising dopamine baseline will cost you later recovery.
Mucuna prurien (мукуна жгучая)
L-tyrosine – aminoacid
beta phenylethylamine + alpha gpc (contained in chocolate)
Huperzine A

Close social connections

Oxytocin inducing interactions stimulate dopamine release.