I have been into biohacking for over 7 years now.  If you never heard about biohacking, it’s the movement that tries to optimize human performance.  Basically, they see the human body as a machine that has systems that work together.  By hacking one of these systems the machine, your body performs better.  That being said, we were wondering about the following question:

Can you increase Love Hormones?

The short answer is Yes.

  • By ingesting more precursors, building blocks of these hormones
  • Having the right gut bacteria that produce more of these hormones
  • Having good working receptors in your brain to make them effective
  • Lowering stress
  • Acts of affection release these hormones

That was the short answer, but of course, there is much more to it to bring this into practice.

What are the Love hormones?

Love is more than oxytocin alone

When we talk about Love Hormones, often there is only one hormone that is referred to and that is oxytocin.  Oxytocin is the hormone that is responsible for bonding.  When you hug, kiss, when you look deep in someones eyes this bonding hormone is released.

But there is a lot more going on with our hormones when we are in Love. It is not just one hormone that is at play.

Testosterone and Estrogen, these hormones are the drivers of increased sexual desire.

Dopamine. Dopamine is responsible to give us drive and motivation.  It motivates us to be with our partner and do fun things with them.

Serotonin and endorphins. Both responsible for giving us a general feeling of happiness.

Oxytocin and vasopressin.  Give us a feeling of togetherness, bonding with your partner

Precursors for Love Hormones

A precursor is a term that is used for “the building blocks” of these love hormones. What can you eat or do to give your body the best building blocks to make these Love hormones

Testosterone and Estrogen

Eat: Egg yolks, cruciferous vegetables, garlic, oysters
Do: Get enough sleep, lift weights, get enough sun exposure for Vitamin D

Dopamine

Eat: foods rich in tyrosine, like almonds, fish, chicken, bananas.
Do: Regular healthy lifestyle, exercise, sleep

Serotonin and endorphins.

Eat: Foods rich in L-tryptophane like eggs, turkey, chicken and healthy complex carbohydrates to transport the serotonin into the brain. Like sweet potatoes, blueberries or apples.
Do: Exercise

Oxytocin and vasopressin.  Give us a feeling of togetherness, bonding with your partner

Eat: The enzyme that produces Oxytocin is highly dependent on Vitamin C.  So eat a lot of foods containing high levels of Vitamin C.  like parsley, limes, berries
Do: Hug, Kiss, do caring things for each other

 

How to improve gut bacteria to increase production of Love Hormones

Certain probiotics in the gut play an important role in the production of these love hormones.  These type of probiotics are also called “psychobiotics” as they have an impact on the psyche.

90% of serotonin is produced in the gut.

The expression “I have a gut feeling” doesn’t seem so far fetched.  Probiotics that have an impact on mood have been extensively studied by science.  There are a lot of mood-improving probiotics on the market.

 

Make your neuro-receptors work well

Increasing your hormones can all be well, but you also want your brain to able to use them.  You have to see the receptors in your brain as a sensor that detects if these hormones are present in your body. If these sensors don’t work very well, those hormones will not have their full effect.

So how can these “hormone sensors” be out of order?  Inflammation

Inflammation is a state where your body fights an infection of some kind.  A lot of people suffer from light forms of inflammation without ever noticing.  For example by eating gluten, lectins or oxidized oils.  You will not feel sick, but there is a light form of inflammation.

When you have this light form of inflammation, this makes your neuro-receptors a little bit swollen.  This makes it harder to receive the signals from the hormones.

A healthy lifestyle can increase the sensations of being in love.

So what can you do to minimize inflammation?

  • avoid eating gluten, even if you are not intolerant.  It causes a mild inflammation in the gut. Most gluten is in grains
  • Don’t eat oxidized oils.  Cheap oils like canola or corn oil are causes of inflammation.  Use extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil.
  • eat your veggies
  • Avoid stress and  have sufficient sleep
  • Consider supplementation with a Turmeric /Curcumin extract and Brocolli sprout extract with active myrosinase enzyme. Both compounds are well studied to show decreased inflammation markers.

 

Reduce Stress

We all know stress does not have many good properties.  Especially not beneficial for our love life.

I don’t want to talk about the obvious, but do want to point you to the vicious circle you are getting into.  When you recognise the pattern you can take action.

The pattern often goes like this.  You got stress at work, the business, managing the kids.  Stress decreases testosterone and estrogen.  Not only is there less time for intimacy, but you also have less desire due to the drop in reproductive hormones.

Less intimacy means less production of oxytocin. Less oxytocin means you feel less connected to your partner.  When you feel less connected to your partner you have less desire to be intimate with your partner.  See what is happening here?

This is a slow and slumbering process that can take years.  But also the reason why so many couples break up and long term relationships fail.

Habits to increase oxytocin

Incorporating some small habits into your life can keep the level of oxytocin in a long term relationship, meaning you keep on feeling connected with your partner.  Even if you are going thru hard times.

How to increase oxytocin in a long term relationship

  • Hug as much as you can. Touch releases a lot of oxytocin.  Make it a habit to give an intimate hug before you leave the house. Not just a quick kiss.
  • Snuggle up before you go to sleep, even if it is only for a few minutes.
  • Sleep naked. Skin to skin increases the release of oxytocin
  • Look each other deep in the eyes.  Eye contact releases oxytocin
  • Walk hand in hand.  Again touch, but has benefits like social proof that you are a pair.
  • Be intimate regularly.  Even if you do not have a lot of time or lust.  Make an effort.  It is very important to not get into the vicious circle.
  • Give each other regular massages.  Not only does it increase oxytocin, but it also lowers stress which has many other beneficial hormonal effects.
  • Experience new things together.
  • Surprise each other.  Little moments during the day where you think about your partner and feel the connection keeps up the level oxytocin.

At Romantify we are on a mission to make this world a more romantic loving place.  We often write about inspirational subjects, but it is also important to know how the biology of love works.  If we understand how it works, we can recognise it and act upon it.  We are convinced that romance is something you can learn and nurture.

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