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Here's why you shouldn't chase the 'feel good' reward as a primary end goal after your gym session.

Did you know that your baseline dopamine level drops after training? What actually is dopamine, and how can we use it to our advantage to continue doing something we love without a drastic decline in consistency? Find out below, but I need your full focus for five minutes to relate the study to your day-to-day life, especially with training.

Dopamine, the neurotransmitter that plays a critical role in our brain's reward system. Dopamine is a chemical messenger that helps regulate movement, motivation, and emotions. When we experience something pleasurable or rewarding, such as eating delicious food or achieving a goal, our brain releases dopamine. This release of dopamine can create a sensation of pleasure or satisfaction, which motivates us to seek out similar experiences in the future.

Training and seeking dopamine hits:

In terms of exercise, dopamine plays a crucial role in our motivation to work out. When we decide to exercise, our brain releases dopamine to motivate us to start and to keep going. As we work out, our dopamine levels rise, which can create feelings of reward and pleasure. However, after we finish exercising, our dopamine levels drop below baseline. This drop in dopamine levels can make it challenging to find the motivation to work out consistently.

To maintain healthy levels of dopamine, it is essential to find sustainable ways to increase it. This may involve limiting or scheduling the release of dopamine through food, drinks, chemicals, or behaviors before, during, or after exercise. While some strategies like pre-workout supplements, music, social media, a training partner, or a personal trainer can contribute to the dopamine hit, it's important to be mindful of how much and how often we rely on these sources of dopamine. I myself have utilized these useful tools for increasing training arousal, but it's important to consider what happens when we cannot access them. If we become reliant on these dopamine-boosting tools, we may prioritize seeking that same level of dopamine over the training itself, which can undermine our long-term consistency.

Overall, understanding the role of dopamine in our brain's reward system and how it relates to exercise motivation can help us stay consistent with our fitness goals. By finding sustainable and healthy ways to increase dopamine levels, we can create a positive feedback loop that motivates us to continue exercising and enjoying the benefits of regular physical activity.


- Limit the layers of your dopamine hit around training.

- Don't chase or expect the high level of dopamine release from something you enjoy and like to keep in your life.

- Train your neurobiology:

You may have heard of the hype around cold therapy and ice baths. Let me emphasize this a bit further and hopefully encourage you to practice cold therapy, starting with a few cold showers per week. Once you're comfortable with that, you can then move on to colder temperatures.

Cold therapy, such as taking an ice bath, can activate the body's "fight or flight" response, causing a release of epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are both neurotransmitters that can increase alertness and arousal. This can lead to a feeling of euphoria or "high," which may be similar to the rush experienced from other dopamine-releasing activities. Epinephrine and norepinephrine can indirectly increase dopamine levels by up to %250 by stimulating the brain's reward pathway that is shown to be longer lasting in other words higher levels of motivation, drive and energy production.

Fair trade-off would you say? Share around.

Take every precautions necessary and practice cold therapy at your own risk depending what your condition may be like.

Sohrab Hassani.

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