Runner’s high is a sensation that many exercise enthusiasts strive for. It is described as a deeply relaxing and euphoric state that, when experienced, keeps you coming back for more.
For some runners it is constant throughout their athletic life, others experience it only once and some never.
In this article, we’ll answer any questions you may have about this elusive feeling, such as how do you get a runner’s high and what exactly does it feel like?
Most importantly, we provide you with an in-depth analysis of the possible causes of runner’s high, giving you the best shot at finally experiencing this unique pleasure for yourself.
What is Runner’s High?
A runner’s high is a relatively short-lived state of euphoria that sometimes accompanies prolonged high-intensity exercise.(1)
Triathlete Scott Dunlap describes a runner’s high as “two Red Bulls and vodka, three ibuprofen, plus a $50 winning lotto ticket in your pocket.” But the physical sensations experienced by each person are different, some people never experience a runner’s high!
The good news is you don’t need to Run an ultramarathon To experience the runner’s high. The bad news? What exactly creates these euphoric sensations is not fully understood.
It means “How do you induce runner’s high?” For those who wonder, there is no magic recipe. That being said, understanding the possible causes of runner’s high can help those who want to experience this euphoric state eventually reach their goal.
What causes runner’s height?
There are two schools of thought regarding runner’s highs. Originally, researchers believed that the runner’s high was triggered by the release of neurotransmitters called endorphins, which are responsible for reducing the pain of intense physical exercise.(2)
However, new research suggests that endocannabinoids may be responsible for this highly desirable feeling. In reality, it’s possible that endorphins and endocannabinoids work in unison to create a runner’s high.(3)
Endorphins are “feel-good” chemicals that are released during pleasant and painful experiences, such as getting a massage or doing high-intensity exercise.(4)
When your body experiences pain, endorphins — which act as natural pain relievers — are released to block the pain receptors responsible for receiving pain signals. High-intensity exercise done for extended periods of time triggers the release of endorphins to help our bodies adapt to stress. Making these chemicals the plausible cause of a runner’s high.
However, new evidence suggests that these molecules are too large to pass through the blood-brain barrier. Researchers are left to look for another possible reason for this euphoric feeling.(5)
Under further investigation, researchers have discovered large amounts of molecules called endocannabinoids that are released during high-intensity exercise.(6)
Endocannabinoids are molecules similar to the cannabinoids you find in THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, but produced naturally by your body. They induce euphoric sensations, reduce anxiety, and increase feelings of calmness, all of which are important components of a runner’s high.(1)
Stimulating the release of endocannabinoids is just one Benefits of running every dayIn addition to improving cardiovascular health, mental clarity and enhancing your mood.
How long does a runner’s high last?
Most runners need to undergo 60 minutes of steady aerobic exercise to experience the release of beta-endorphins — one of the chemicals thought to be responsible for the runner’s high.(7)
A study on beta-endorphins shows that the level of these hormones in the body decreases by 50% within 40-90 minutes of exercise. This means you can’t expect to feel the effects of runner’s high for more than a couple of hours.(8)
Ways to increase your mileage
If you want to experience the effects of a runner’s high, the first step might be Increase your running stamina So you can perform 60 minutes of high intensity exercise.
Here are some of our favorite tips to help you run longer and faster.
Eat a proper pre-run snack
Eating the right snack before your run has the potential to fuel a personal best or leave you feeling sluggish and sick.
While there is no such thing as a “best food for runners,” there are some Foods you can benefit from eating Before the race. A banana with peanut butter is an ideal pre-breakfast example as it is high in carbohydrates, potassium and protein.
However, simple-carb foods like white bread and heavy animal-based protein snacks Best foods to avoid Before high intensity exercise.
Focus on your breathing
Your breathing is an important factor in high-intensity exercise. Without enough oxygen, your muscles don’t have the fuel they need to keep you moving.
When running, try to focus on breathing into your belly to make sure you’re getting all the oxygen you can into your lungs. You can choose Practice rhythmic breathing As a way to increase your awareness of your breath.
Use the app
If you can’t reach your running goals on your own, you might consider using a running app Adidas Running App. In it, you’ll find workouts designed to challenge your running skills and a tracker to help you follow your progress.
Using the Adidas Running App Hiring a running coach can provide you with many benefits – at a fraction of the price.
A runner’s high means a heightened sense of euphoria and relaxation that sometimes accompanies long-distance or high-intensity exercise — but not always. It is unclear whether the runner’s high is caused by endorphins, endocannabinoids, or a combination of the two.
Many experts believe that at least 60 minutes of vigorous exercise is needed to induce a runner’s high. But the truth is, there is no magic recipe to create this elusive feeling.
If your goal is to experience a runner’s high, finding ways to increase your stamina can help. You can start by using the tips outlined in this article, such as changing your pre-run snack, changing your breathing patterns, or downloading a running app.