Endorphins don’t cause post-exercise rush after all
(Charlotte Andersen : SheKnows.com)
After a few months of putting the little rodents through five-hour treadmill runs and then testing their anxiety and pain responses, they discovered that a runner’s high is more high than running. (Which might explain the propensity runners have to wear tutus and gorilla suits in races?)
In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences of the U.S., the researchers concluded that anandamide, a type of endocannabinoid that floods the body during exercise, is actually responsible for that post-workout rush and that endorphins actually have very little to do with the whole process.
“We thus show for the first time that cannabinoid receptors are crucial for main aspects of a runner’s high,” the researchers wrote.
In the end, does the knowledge that your runner’s high comes from one brain chemical instead of another change how you exercise? Not really. But it is kind of cool to think that working out can give you the same kind of rush smoking a bong will, but without all the nasty side effects like lung cancer, impaired judgment or eating three bags of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos in one sitting.
And hey, anything that motivates people to go out in the dark on cold mornings and exercise is worth shouting from the rooftops.