Phenylethylamine with Alpha-GPC For Focus and Energy

Alongside prescription medications known to spike dopamine, such as Adderall, Ritalin, Modafinil, and Armodafinil, there are milder, non-prescription alternatives. 

One example is alpha GPC, which is recognized for its shorter duration of action and less intense effects on the brain’s dopamine pathways.

Beyond pharmacological interventions, Huberman introduces fascinating research conducted by his colleague at Stanford’s Department of Psychiatry, Rob Malanka. 

Malanka’s study sheds light on how oxytocin, often associated with social bonding and the serotonergic pathway, also activates the dopamine pathway—a system chiefly involved in the drive for seeking and the experience of reward. 

Previously, oxytocin’s role was primarily linked to feelings of contentment and connection in the present moment, areas typically governed by opioids and serotonin in the brain.

But the shift in understanding resulted from Malanka’s 2017 publication in the journal “Science.” It was revealed that oxytocin could gate or regulate the flow of social rewards through activation in the ventral tegmental area of the brain, an essential region in the mesolimbic pathway responsible for reward processing. 

These insights offer a deeper comprehension of the complex interplay between our social interactions, the neurochemical pathways they engage, and the overarching influence this has on our behavior and motivational states. Emphasizing the powerful effect of social connection on our brain’s reward systems reiterates not only the importance of interpersonal relationships for emotional well-being but also their potential role in influencing our dopamine-driven pursuits.


“Now there is one compound that you are all familiar with and you’ve probably actually taken without realizing it that increases dopamine, and that’s something called PEA for phenylethylamine, technically beta phenylethylamine. And PEA is found in various foods. Chocolate just happens to be one enriched in PEA, and can increase synaptic levels of dopamine. 

I personally take PEA from time to time as a focus and work aid in order to do intense bouts of work. Again, I don’t do that too often. This might be once a week or once every two weeks. I might use it for training, but typically I don’t. It’s usually for mental work. And I will take 500 milligrams of PEA and I’ll take 300 milligrams of alpha-GPC. That’s something that I personally do. That’s what’s right for me. It’s within my margins of safety for my health. 

Again, you have to check with your doctor and decide what’s right for you. It leads to a sharp, but very transient increase in dopamine that lasts about 30 to 45 minutes. And at least in my system, I found to be much more regulated and kind of even than something like L-tyrosine and certainly much more regulated and even and lower dopamine release than something like mucunipurines. ”

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