The effects of drugs such as cocaine, nicotine or amphetamines are, directly or indirectly, related to an increase of dopamine levels in the brain. But you shouldn’t be a drug addict to boost your dopamine level. You can do it naturally. Since dopamine is synthesized from tyrosine, an amino acid, you can simply eat foods rich in tyrosine – the best injection of the “hormone of happiness”.

Although dopamine is found in many types of food, it is incapable of crossing the blood–brain barrier that surrounds and protects the brain. Therefore, it must be synthesized inside the brain from the building blocks – amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine (with tyrosine being the most common).

Eating protein is a great way to stimulate dopamine production in the brain. There are plenty of food sources rich in tyrosine and phenylalanine that your brain needs in order to create dopamine, but grass-fed meats and wild-caught fish are the best of the best.

The recommended daily intake for phenylalanine and tyrosine is 25mg per kilogram of body weight, or 11mg per pound.

 High tyrosine foods include cheese, soybeans, beef, lamb, pork, fish, chicken, nuts, seeds, eggs, dairy, beans, and whole grains.

Foods highest in tyrosine

Below is a list of 8 foods highest in tyrosine which is presented as amount of milligrams per 100 grams of food with the percentage of recommended daily intake Daily Value – % DV

1.Cheese (Parmesan)

Parmesan contains 1995mg of tyrosine per 100g (228% DV)

2: Soy

Soy and its product contains on average 1497mg of tyrosine per 100g (171% DV), or 419mg of tyrosine per ounce (28g) (48% DV)


Lamb and beef contain 1386mg of tyrosine per 100g (158% DV), and lean pork chops – 1228mg and 140%, respectively.


A 100g serving of salmon contains 1157mg of tyrosine (132% DV).


A 100g serving of chicken, like a serving of salmon, contains 1155mg of tyrosine (132% DV).


One egg has 250mg of tyrosine (30% DV).

7.Beans and lentils

274mg of tyrosine per 100g or (31% DV) have been found in beans and lentils.

8.Whole grains

Raw oats, brown rice, millet, bulgur, quinoa, and pearled barley contain about 160mg of tyrosine per 100g which is about 20% of daily intake.

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