Why Exercise Makes You Happier

Listened to this episode of the Joe Rogan show yesterday with Dr. Rhonda Patrick. Chock full of really great information about supplements and nutrition. They also discussed why exercise helps you feel happier. It has to do with Seratonin, Tryptophan and Amino Acids.

Long story short is this:

  1. Tryptophan (the amino acid in Turkey…and other foods) is necessary to form Serotonin (the neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy)
  2. Other amino acids “compete” with Tryptophan. So other amino acids like Leucine, Lysine, Isoleucine (there are many more) compete with Tryptophan when amino acids are needed and Tryptophan typically loses.
  3. When Tryptophan “loses” it doesn’t get the opportunity to make Seratonin (the feel good and happy stuff).
  4. However, when we exercise, our body uses amino acids (like Leucine, Isoleucine etc.) to repair muscle. This opens up the opportunity for Tryptophan to get where it needs to go (the brain) to make Serotonin.

Fascinating stuff. This discussion was in the context of how the food you eat makes a difference in how your brain works. Much more to expand on later on but gotta go!

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