Any exercise enthusiasts, especially the runners out there would have heard of Endorphins, or the “runners high” .
So why do we feel so good (give or tack 5 min) post exercise?
With all the marathon craze in the 80’s. Runners were reporting a “euphoric like” feeling after their run.
So…were the runners telling the truth in regards to there feeling of euphoria? well yes for sure (subjectively). We know from science these euphoric feelings and pain inhibition have been reported in many other sports not just including running.
So what are we dealing with then?
Endorphins. If we break it down to two syllables… Endor = Endogenous (processes that originate within an organism) and Phine = morphine. If we look at morphine we know if we take an opioid such as paracetamol, there will be a pharmacokinetic interaction within the organism and because the brain has mu-opioid receptors, pain signaling can be blocked, and an analgesic feeling will be met (in very basic terms you don’t feel pain)
So have I got of topic?
Not quite…here is where I am getting at…
We now know that the brain cannot make it’s own endorphins….WHAT!
So what happens then?
Neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine and one which you may of not heard of called Anandamide are abundantly released when we exercise (more so aerobically), and then the above can cross the blood brain barrier were it can influence the central nervous system (and US) can you see where I am getting at?. We know serotonin is the feel good neuromodulator. And you now know that Anandamide increases motivation and pleasure (that’s why you come back for more exercise), anandamide influences dopaminergic neurons in the Nucleus accumbens. This is GOOD!!! (just nod with me here peeps)
So peeps, what is really happening is that with exercise you are stimulating/arousing big players in the human body (periphery) and this is giving you your “euphoric’ like feeling…
Of course intensity, environmental factors and the HPA axis can influence the above, but very interesting nonetheless.
And when you think about it…..it’s in a biology and genetics to move. So it makes sense that we have powerful systems in this amazing body of ours.
Next post I will delve more into the Endocannabinoid system and it’s effects on exercise.
Happy reading peeps 🙂