Have you ever experienced a drug dip? This is often the result of a serotonin deficiency. You can increase serotonin through supplements such as L-Tryptophan or 5-HTP. What are the 5-HTP effects and can L-Tryptophan be dangerous? What is serotonin? Learn all about this neurotransmitter and help yourself avoid a Tuesday dip.

You have probably heard of serotonin. Particularly party people will have heard the term. Maybe a smart friend of yours mentioned it at an after party, or maybe you were looking for a solution for a Tuesday dip after taking drugs. But what is serotonin exactly? 

What is Serotonin?

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter. Your body is full of neurotransmitters. They are molecules that your brain cells use to transfer information and nerve impulses. Neurotransmitters are captured in your body by receptors. These are cell membranes that capture molecules / neurotransmitters. The receptors transmit the substances, after which they start to work in your body. Neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine influence your state of mind in their own way. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter with a stimulating effect [1]. This so-called tryptamine has a great influence on your mood, emotions, self-confidence, memory, sleep, appetite and orgasm. If you have a shortage of serotonin, you can suffer from depressive feelings, sleep problems and even panic attacks [2].

When you take drugs such as XTC, your body produces extra serotonin. The receptors that capture these neurotransmitters are also wide open when you are under the influence of such drugs. The result is an excess of serotonin in your body. At that point you are filled with self-confidence and your mood is fantastic. Recognizable? Sounds good, doesn't it? The downside to that excess is that your body has to "pay it back" after taking drugs. The receptors that absorb serotonin are depleted and are temporarily less effective. Your body is now fighting a serotonin deficit. In other words: a drug dip.

Serotonin deficiency / Drug Dip

Okay, so some types of drugs affect the way your brain works. Drugs such as XTC (MDMA), DXM, LSD, magic mushrooms and magic truffles, 4-FA (4-FMP) and 2C-B affect neurotransmitters such as serotonin. They act, so to speak, as if they were these substances, preventing serotonin from being eliminated quickly or ensuring that more of the substance is produced by your brain cells. So that can lead to a serotonin deficit / drug dip. If you regularly use this type of drug, the serotonin balance in your brain can become disturbed. This is why the symptoms of a serotonin deficiency are more intense and last longer. But what are the symptoms of a serotonin deficiency?

A drug dip or Tuesday dip can lead to depressive feelings.

Symptoms of a serotonin deficiency

Anyone who has ever taken party drugs such as XTC will be familiar with the symptoms of a serotonin deficiency. There are probably legends in your group of friends who claim they don't suffer from it. How this happens is still difficult to understand. Because a drug dip is almost inevitable. You can suffer both physically and mentally. These are the most common symptoms.

Physical

  • Trouble sleeping: serotonin affects your sleep. This is because your body uses serotonin to produce the sleep hormone melatonin. If your melatonin production is insufficient, you may experience sleep problems. Tip: CBD Night works great for sleep problems after drug use.
  • Digestive problems: serotonin is primarily found in the intestines of the body. A serotonin deficiency can lead to irritable bowel syndrome and decreased digestive function.
  • High sensitivity level: serotonin regulates pain in your body. With a serotonin deficiency, you are therefore more sensitive to light and sound as well as to knocks and bumps.

Mental

  • Depression / poor self-image: perhaps the most common complaint in a serotonin deficiency [3]. You feel depressed, tired, grumpy and nothing is fun anymore. You're a total wreck and your self-esteem has plummeted. You look in the mirror and wish Tuesday would end as soon as possible. Being depressed is very unpleasant. So keep reading and learn how to increase serotonin.
  • Anxiety: if you've had a really intense experience and your body has a serious deficit of serotonin, you can suffer from anxiety and even panic attacks. Even if you are already extra sensitive to anxiety, taking drugs can make you more likely to suffer from it.
  • Difficulty studying: especially students will notice that learning is not so easy after a weekend of partying and after-parties. You may find it harder to concentrate, take things in more slowly and be unable to make decisions. Do you have exams coming up? Then it is advisable to increase your serotonin levels before you fall into drug dip.

The symptoms of a serotonin deficiency can be noticed a few days after taking the drug. Sometimes it only lasts for a day or two, but it can also last all week. If you use drugs regularly, the drug dips will become more intense. This is because you are disrupting the serotonin balance in your brain. We advise everybody not to use illegal drugs such as XTC. If you do, you should stick to using them once every two or three months. This way the serotonin balance remains intact.

Increase your Serotonin levels

Now that you know what serotonin does in your body and what a serotonin deficiency can cause, it's time to explore ways to prevent it. Preventing a drug dip or Tuesday dip is done by increasing the amount of serotonin in your body at the right time. Fortunately, this is easier than you think, because to increase serotonin you can use food supplements containing L-Tryptophan or 5-HTP.

L-Tryptophan molecule.

L-Tryptophan

L-Tryptophan is an amino acid that contributes to the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin. It is an essential amino acid. This means that it is not produced by our own bodies. We only get it through food or dietary supplements. There is a lot of L-Tryptophan in soya beans, parmesan cheese, sesame seeds, chicken and turkey. But if you want to increase the amount of serotonin in your body quickly, it is best to use L-tryptophan capsules.

So using L-Tryptophan is a good remedy for the depressive feelings that come with serotonin deficiency. This is why many party people use it after taking drugs. A nice side effect is that the substance helps to get your digestion back in order and helps to get rid of your sleeping problems. This is because it restores the necessary amount of serotonin in the intestines and indirectly helps to produce the sleep hormone melatonin. Want to increase serotonin naturally? That is what you do with L-Tryptophan. But beware! L-Tryptophan can be dangerous when used incorrectly.

Is L-Tryptophan dangerous?

We often get the question whether L-Tryptophan is dangerous. If you use these dietary supplements correctly, the substance is not dangerous. But if you use the capsules incorrectly or in combination with other medicines or after taking drugs? Then L-Tryptophan can be dangerous. This is due to serotonin syndrome.

Serotonin syndrome

When you have too much serotonin in your body, you can suffer from serotonin syndrome. It can actually only occur when you use the wrong medicine or get too much serotonin through supplements while taking drugs. Take this seriously and be aware! Serotonin syndrome can lead to serious symptoms. It often starts a few hours after taking a drug or supplement. The temperature in your body increases enormously and your blood pressure rises. You will experience headaches, dilated pupils, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rapid heartbeat, heavy sweating and muscle twitching. When you notice that you or someone around you suffers from serotonin syndrome, call 112 immediately. When the temperature in the body rises too high it can have fatal consequences.

Using L-Tryptophan after using drugs

The previous information may sound very serious, but there is nothing wrong if you follow the instructions for taking L-tryptophan capsules. If you want to increase serotonin after taking drugs, use a maximum of 2 to 4 capsules per 24 hours. Very important: Use L-Tryptophan capsules at least 24 hours after your last drug use. This is also the right time to take the supplement. Do not wait much longer. You have to take it before the drug dip starts. Otherwise it will not work. Never use L-tryptophan or drugs in combination with medication such as antidepressants. 

L-Tryptophan Effects

Wherever you get your information from: L-tryptophan experiences are actually all positive. When you look at reviews on web shops or forum threads and read about L-tryptophan or serotonin, you will notice that everyone is positive. As long as you stick to the directions of use. L-tryptophan experiences range from: "The best remedy after a big party", to "I think this is good for everything. I feel good again and I can sleep again”.

Supplements such as 5-HTP improve the state of mind.

5-HTP

A similar supplement is 5-HTP (L-5-hydroxytryptophan). It is both a medicine and a natural component of dietary supplements. It is produced by our own bodies. It is a kind of natural precursor to serotonin. Decarboxylation of 5-HTP produces serotonin, which is further converted into melatonin [4]. Sounds familiar after reading the section on L-Tryptophan, doesn't it?

L-Tryptophan is found in many types of food. But there is no food that contains 5-HTP. The 5-HTP in our food supplements is extracted from Griffonia herb (Griffonia simplicifolia). The seeds of this plant are mostly used for commercial products. Medicines containing high concentrations of Griffonia herb are used for serotonin-related disorders and depression. In addition, these concentrated preparations are used to increase the feeling of fullness, in order to reduce food intake and combat obesity [4]. So it has a wide range of uses. In the party scene it is mainly used to combat a serotonin deficiency.

Is 5-HTP Dangerous?

The use of 5-HTP is not dangerous as long as you use it in the right way. That means:

  • Stick to the recommended dosage. Do not exceed 2 to 4 capsules per 24 hours.
  • Be careful when combining 5-HTP with other medication. 
  • Wait 24 hours after last using drugs before taking 5-HTP. 

These rules also apply to L-Tryptophan. If you don't take this seriously, you could end up with serotonin syndrome. You definitely don't want that to happen!

5-HTP Effects

Most 5-HTP experiences are positive. Critics point out that the substance is already produced by our bodies and it is not natural to take extra supplements with 5-HTP. Supporters praise the effect of the substance after taking drugs, before sleeping or while exercising. The last point is remarkable. Many positive 5-HTP experiences come from its use in combination with exercise. When you exercise, you consume a lot of serotonin and dopamine. 5-HTP in combination with calcium or magnesium appears to be an excellent remedy for recovering after a tough workout.

Buy L-Tryptophan or 5-HTP? Which one is better?

L-Tryptophan & 5-HTP - Which one is better?

Whichever of the two you choose, both L-Tryptophan and 5-HTP are suitable for increasing serotonin levels in your body and thus preventing your drug dip. But which one is better? Let's say first of all that both substances are completely safe as long as you use them in the right way. The difference is that L-Tryptophan is not produced by your own body. You always need to get it from food. So when you take supplements with L-Tryptophan, nothing unusual happens. It is completely natural. You only get a little more than when you eat, for instance, soybeans. On the other hand, 5-HTP is produced by your body. So taking some extra is not entirely natural. The effects are pretty much the same. It just depends on your personal preference.

Buy L-Tryptophan & 5-HTP

Overcoming a serotonin deficiency is very easy with the right supplements. Capsules with L-Tryptophan or 5-HTP are the solution. Our 5-HTP capsules from Happy Caps contain, besides Griffonia herb, also Sleeping Hat herb, rice starch and calcium citrate and are therefore widely used. The L-Tryptophan capsules of the same brand also contain vitamin B6 HCI, magnesium aspartate and magnesium stearate.

In another blog you can find more ways to prevent a to prevent a Tuesday dip. Or check out all drug dips and anti-hangover supplements.

Sources: 

[1] James McIntosh, Alan Carter (2020). “What is serotonin, and what does it do?

[2] Baldwin, D. Rudge, S (1995). “The role of serotonin in depression and anxiety.

[3] Katherine M. Nautiyal, René Hen (2017). “Serotonin receptors in depression: from A to B.

[4] Massimo E. Maffei (2020). “5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP): Natural Occurrence, Analysis, Biosynthesis, Biotechnology, Physiology and Toxicology.