Friday, March 11, 2011

Endorphins, Cannabinoids, or Farce?

    I don't know if I can get caught up in all the "Runner's High" theories such as Endorphins and Cannabinoids.  Heck, I can barely spell those words!   Since the 1980's, many believed that Endorphins acted as an internal morphine-like response to pain in your body when running long distances.  In the early 2000's this theory was discredited by a research that determined that the molecules associated to Endorphins were to large to pass through the Brain-barrier.  The latest theories are associated to Cannabinoids, a new neuro-based chemical system composed of molecules known as lipids.  These lipids are small enough to pass through the Brain-barrier and stimulate the body with a similar effect as marijuana.
    I just don't buy it!  I believe when you run, its all psychological.  When you have a good run, you feel good.  When you diet right and lose weight you feel good.  When you meet your goals, you feel good.  When you sweat out all your toxins, you feel good.  When you run, you get in a trance, and you feel good.  But remember, sometimes you feel bad too.  When you run, your foot hurts.  When you run, your back hurts.  When you run, your knee hurts. 
    Its all about the psyche.  When you run, the impacts can vary from person to person.  For me, running usually helps me with thinking through problems, helps me get rid of the stresses of the day, and definitely helps me with losing weight and feeling good about it!  If that's the so-called "Runner's High," then I'm addicted!

1 comment:

  1. I think that what you are describing is what these researchers are talking about. Canabinoids dont necessarily mean you are high like you smoked a fatty. It would mean you are experiencing what your body has a design to do while active: give you a boost, helps you to loosen up and think differently, and to connect with your body. Many men have difficulties doing this (being connected with your body), but exercise is definitely a way to connect. I work in the drug and alcohol field for a while, and my research has shown that drugs mimic what the body can do naturally, although drugs sort of "highjack" the system, creating a more intense and taxing experience, with many harms of course! There are other things we can do to acheive this natural lift too (ie sex!), but physical activity comes with a lot of other benefits obviously!
    Run on!


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