Runner’s high: fact or fiction?

We all heard about the famous runner’s high before, the ecstatic feeling you get after running for a long time, but does the runner’s high actually exist?

More than 30 years ago the holy grail of running was discovered; however we know very little about it and there are lots of contradictions and mysteries about a runner’s high.

What is it?

The runner’s high is

How to track it?

There is absolutely

Repetition high

There are some serious doubts whether a runner’s high is produced by endorphines or by neurotransmitters like dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that is produced in the frontal part of the brain, in the nucleus accumbens, which is also known as ‘the pleasure center’ of the brain. Dopamine is directly associated with pleasure: whenever you have pleasure (whether it’s from a work promotion, a sexual activity or something else), your brain produces dopamine. Speed, intensity and reliability of a dopamine release will trigger an addiction. If we trick our body into running several times a week and we produce dopamine, our body might start to trick us and associate the dopamine release with the running and stimulate an addiction.

 

Fact

– Endorphines

Fiction:

– Placebo effect in 1980’s http://www.amsciepub.com/doi/abs/10.2466/pms.1986.62.3.789

– Brain tricks you: reward effect of doing something good: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/21/health/runner-s-high-endorphins-fiction-some-scientists-say.html?pagewanted=2

Negative side effects?

– Less feeling for pain so more likely to have an injury

 

Community manager @Addapp. Fascinated by sleep tracking, healthy nutrition, technology, social media, sunny days and Addapp users.
Training to run the Half Marathon of San Francisco.

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