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What Increases Adrenaline?

The fast-paced action of basketball can lead to the production of adrenaline in the body.
Diets high in caffeine and protein can increase the amount of adrenaline released during stressful times.
Computer games have been shown to increase adrenaline in the body.
Action sports, such as lacrosse, can increase a person's adrenaline.
Activities such as whitewater rafting increase adrenaline.
An adrenaline junkie may enjoy paragliding.
Dangerous activities, such as base jumping, may increase adrenaline.
Dangerous situations, like cave diving, may increase adrenaline levels.
Physical confrontations increase adrenaline.
Jumping out of an airplane is almost certain to release adrenaline.
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  • Written By: Todd M.
  • Edited By: Kathryn Hulick
  • Last Modified Date: 15 December 2014
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Adrenaline, or epinephrine, is a hormone that dilates an individual's air passages and increases his heart rate when he is faced with a stressful situation. The hormone is secreted from the adrenal glands to help ensure survival under dangerous situations. Many people come to enjoy the surge of energy that comes with a rush of adrenaline and actively search out activities that will stimulate this stress response. Participating in sports, eating certain foods, or playing some computer games can increase this hormone.

Humans most likely evolved the ability to use adrenaline in order to act quickly and efficiently under pressure or when in harm's way. This hormone is the key trigger of the "fight or flight" response that is activated when an individual is faced with immediate danger, such as potential violence or bodily harm. Some people actively seek out extremely stressful situations in order to feel the rush associated with this experience. They may enjoy activities such as driving fast automobiles, engaging in heated debate, or studying martial arts.

Participating in sports activities is a well-documented method of increasing hormone levels. The fast-paced action of popular sports like football, basketball and lacrosse is similar enough to fight or flight emergencies to cause the production of adrenaline in the body. Other action junkies satisfy their need for a rush by becoming involved in extreme sports like surfing, snow boarding, motocross and rafting.

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An individual can also increase the amount of the hormone that his adrenal glands secrete under stress by including certain foods in his diet. Diets that are particularly high in protein and caffeine will increase the amount that is released during stressful situations. Individuals who prefer to keep themselves in perpetual fight of flight mode throughout their day will find that they have a strong craving for excess sugar in order to provide for the next perceived emergency. Including healthy proportions of fresh vegetables and fish or chicken will ensure that a person has the proper nutrients on hand to balance the metabolism after reacting to an emergency situation.

In addition to diet, sports and dangerous situations, there are a handful of other methods of increasing adrenaline in the human body. Many computer games have been shown to simulate the types of real world situations that cause it to be released into the human body, particularly first person shooters, sports games and popular multiplayer role playing games.

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kylee07drg
Post 7

I was in a bad car wreck once, and now, every time I see a vehicle about to pull out near me, I get a rush of adrenaline. It always causes this weird metallic taste in my mouth, and I have a sudden sharp pain in my underarms.

I guess this is related to adrenaline, because it fades in a few minutes. It's sad to me that even a perfectly harmless vehicle sitting at the end of a person's driveway can put me in this state of increased adrenaline if it so much as inches forward one bit.

orangey03
Post 6

@shell4life – Kids are always looking for a rush, mostly because they have the energy and vitality to do extreme physical things. I actually preferred getting my adrenaline pumping by playing video games.

When I would get to the end of a round and face the biggest challenge, my heart would pump so fast. My hands would sweat, and I would breathe hard.

Video games must be really bad for people with heart conditions. I can see how they would raise blood pressure right along with adrenaline.

OeKc05
Post 5

I got so mad at my boyfriend when he told me that he wanted to take up skydiving for an adrenaline rush. I didn't want to be worrying every time he went out to have fun that he might not come back in one piece.

We ended up breaking up over it. I guess I understood his need for adrenaline, but I was at a more mature place in my life, and I wanted security, which is the opposite of increased adrenaline.

shell4life
Post 4

I kept my adrenaline receptors active when I was a child and a teenager. My friends and I were always looking for something to give us a thrill.

Usually, this involved things like skating or biking down steep hills. We also once used a rope swing above a lake to dive in and swim.

Some kids were terrified to do these things, but we were addicted to the rush. Now that I'm older, I miss it, but I know that I could seriously hurt myself doing these things, and I would be sore for days even if nothing went wrong.

ddljohn
Post 3

@feruze-- I'm not sure if adrenaline causes anxiety but I know that anxiety causes adrenaline rushes.

I have an anxiety disorder and have been talking to nurses, doctors and reading forums about this for a long time. When I have an anxiety attack, blood rushes to my limbs, I get tingling on my hands and arms and have difficulty breathing. My body gets hot and I do get the urge to leave the place I'm at.

I asked a nurse about this one time and she said that since my fight or flight response doesn't work properly because of anxiety, I feel threatened by many factors that I shouldn't be threatened by. When the body feels threatened, it doesn't know if that threat is physical and real or if it's just a thought in our head. It releases adrenaline so that we can be prepared to protect ourselves.

So what you said about the feeling of a tiger running behind you is correct! I feel like that too except that there is no tiger behind me, rather an email that I wished I hadn't gotten. So stress, anxiety and panic disorders do cause increased adrenalin levels.

bear78
Post 2

I believe that caffeine affects the adrenaline mechanism because after having coffee at my job, I feel very energetic but unbelievably stressed, tense and anxious. I think anxiety is one of the effects of high adrenaline levels right?

A lot of us, including myself, depend on caffeine to get through the day. When I have to overwork for my job or when I have a stressful week going on, my energy is drained and I reach for coffee. Coffee wakes me up and keeps me energetic but it also keeps me on the edge. It makes me feel like something is about to go wrong any minute.

I had never been able to figure out why but now it makes sense. It's the adrenaline! No wonder I feel like I have a tiger running behind me on stressful work days.

discographer
Post 1

I have a metabolic disorder and I learned from my doctor that when we're starving or when we have a disorder that prevents energy from reaching the brain, the body releases adrenaline.

It happens a lot to people who have hypoglycemic (low blood sugar levels) or people with glucose intolerance (diabetes). Basically what happens is that the glucose doesn't get transferred into ATP, the energy that our cells use to function. So as we are left without energy, the body releases adrenaline hormone to re-balance blood sugar levels and to get the much needed energy to the cells.

That's why it's important for us to keep our blood sugar stable with regular healthy meals. And for me, I have to make sure I'm eating well and taking my medication regularly.

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