Yes, Running can make you high


Yes, Running can make you high

Published: March 27, 2008

The New York Times

The runner’s high: Every athlete has heard of it, most seem to believe in it and many say they have experienced it. But for years scientists have reserved judgment because no rigorous test confirmed its existence. (…)

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The myth of runner’s high revisited with brain imaging

For the first time scientists demonstrate in long-distance runners the release of endorphins in the brain

Throughout the world, amateurs, experts and the media agree that prolonged jogging raises people’s spirits. And many believe that the body’s own opioids, so called endorphins, are the cause of this. But in fact this has never been proved until now. Researchers at the Technische Universität München and the University of Bonn succeeded to demonstrate the existence of an ‘endorphin driven runner’s high’. In an imaging study they were able to show, for the first time, increased release of endorphins in certain areas of the athletes’ brains during a two-hour jogging session. Their results are also relevant for patients suffering from chronic pain, because the body’s own opiates are produced in areas of the brain which are involved in the suppression of pain. (…) The results of the study have now been published in the scientific journal ‘Cerebral Cortex’.


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Cerebral Cortex Advance Access published online on February 21, 2008

The Runner’s High: Opioidergic Mechanisms in the Human Brain

Henning Boecker1,2, Till Sprenger3, Mary E. Spilker1, Gjermund Henriksen1, Marcus Koppenhoefer1, Klaus J. Wagner4, Michael Valet3, Achim Berthele3 and Thomas R. Tolle3

The runner’s high describes a euphoric state resulting from long-distance running. The cerebral neurochemical correlates of exercise-induced mood changes have been barely investigated so far. We aimed to unravel the opioidergic mechanisms of the runner’s high in the human brain and to identify the relationship to perceived euphoria.

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I suppose i didn’t ‘get there’ from running but probably from swimming.
After swimming i really feel good and it’s like all porous of my body are relaxed…it’s not really euforia but…peace?!
Once or twice i think i probably got that high, inside the swimmingpool and after the practice, because i felt i could swim the rest of the day. This happened when i was ‘in shape’. The perfect swim…sliding, good coordination. hummmm!! I love water!

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