how to fix downregulated dopamine receptors from addiction?


Recovering from dopamine receptor downregulation due to addiction involves allowing the brain to recalibrate its dopamine system. explains that after experiencing pleasure from high-dopamine-releasing activities, the brain compensates by downregulating dopamine receptors, leading to a state of anhedonia—lacking joy. This state mimics clinical depression, complete with anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and dysphoria. To correct this, it's critical to refrain from further indulging in these behaviors or substances, allowing the dopamine system to reset to its baseline—avoiding the chronic use that can fundamentally alter pleasure thresholds 1.

Furthermore, describes the progression of addiction, where the pursuit of high-dopamine activities leads to a depleted dopamine pool, resulting in an even lower baseline of pleasure. This repeated depletion exacerbates the problem, potentially leading to severe depression. To manage this, activities and behaviors need to be moderated to prevent severe drops in baseline dopamine, allowing for the natural recovery and maintenance of the dopamine system 2.

These insights suggest that recovery involves a period of abstinence or moderation from high-dopamine-releasing activities, with potential support from therapy or other interventions aimed at restoring balance to the brain's reward system.

Dopamine Deficit

Anna explains how indulging in high reward behaviors or substances can lead to a dopamine deficit state, which is akin to clinical depression. Chronic use can reset our dopamine threshold, making nothing enjoyable and leading to anxiety, irritability, insomnia, dysphoria, and mental preoccupation with using again or getting the drug.

Huberman Lab

Dr. Anna Lembke: Understanding & Treating Addiction | Huberman Lab Podcast #33

where can i find more on rucking?

To delve deeper into the topic of rucking, the following podcasts have significant content related to health and fitness that might touch on rucking or related activities:

  1. Rich Roll Podcast – This podcast features conversations around wellness, sports, and entertainment, often including discussions about endurance, training, and outdoor activities.

  2. The Human Upgrade with Dave Asprey – Hosted by a known biohacker, this podcast covers biohacking techniques and upgrades to the human body and mind, which may include rucking as a topic.

  3. Jocko Podcast – Discussions on this podcast are around military discipline and fitness, led by retired Navy SEAL Jocko Willink. Given the military's use of rucking in training, this could be a valuable resource.

  4. Ben Greenfield Life – Ben Greenfield discusses fitness and biohacking strategies. His comprehensive approach might cover rucking as part of fitness optimization.

  5. The Morning Shakeout – This podcast focuses on running and endurance, and occasionally might explore rucking or weight-bearing activities and their impact on performance.

  6. Lifespan with Dr. David Sinclair – While primarily focused on aging and longevity, this podcast could potentially discuss the benefits of rucking as it relates to healthspan and physical fitness.

These podcasts cover a range of topics that often intersect with the practice of rucking, including endurance training, biohacking, fitness, and health optimization. By exploring episodes within these series, you may find specific discussions or references to rucking.


what has huberman discussed about rucking


has discussed the concept of rucking, particularly emphasizing his own personal endurance training practices. He mentions that on Sundays, his focus is on endurance; he looks to move as much as possible, ideally outdoors. As part of this, he sometimes wears an 8 to 10-pound weight vest for a slow jog with hills and practices nasal breathing. When with others, he opts for a heavy backpack with water and hikes for several hours. The goal is to embody endurance, which he refers to as being like a mule, and sustain activity for extended periods 1.

He further explains that after about 20 to 30 minutes into the activity, despite initial discomforts, the body adapts, and the process becomes more enjoyable. Neurologically, this adaption involves engaging central pattern generators, allowing repetitive movements without voluntary attention, eventually making the exercise more manageable and efficient 2.

Although not explicitly mentioned as rucking, the activity he describes with a weighted vest or backpack for endurance aligns closely with rucking principles. Rucking traditionally involves carrying a weighted pack over distances, and it is used in the military to improve soldiers' endurance, strength, and conditioning. Huberman's routine and the benefits he describes are consistent with those sought in rucking.

Endurance Training

Andrew shares his training routine for building endurance, including slow jogs, hiking, and nasal breathing, and explains how the initial discomfort gives way to feeling good and adapting to the exercise.

Tim Ferriss Show

Dr. Andrew Huberman — The Foundations of Physical and Mental Performance