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11 Intense Facts You Didn’t Know About Adrenaline

Feel the rush!

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1. Adrenaline is a hormone created and secreted by the kidneys of humans and animals to help cope with distress.

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Adrenaline, also known as epinephrine, is created and released from the adrenal glands, two battery-sized glands located at the top of your kidneys. Adrenaline is released into your bloodstream within a couple of minutes of a stressful situation, preparing your body for action or "fight or flight."

2. Adrenaline increases your concentration so much that you forget about pain.

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It’s a common misconception that adrenaline dulls our capacity to feel pain. In actuality, adrenaline doesn’t block pain sensors, but instead laser-sharpens our attention to the task at hand. You’re essentially being distracted from pain and focusing on running away from a bear or fighting your way through a crowd.

3. You can actually see better on adrenaline.

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Adrenaline gives you better eyesight by cueing the muscles of the iris to contract, thereby allowing the pupils to expand. This way you can see more clearly when you're avoiding your boss or your ex or a lesser predator.

4. Adrenaline actually expands the air passages in your lungs.

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When your air passages are dilated, this means that blood will be oxygenated more quickly. This is all so that your muscles will have the oxygen they need for fast action.

5. But it does the opposite to your blood vessels.

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In order to help direct blood to major muscles like your heart and lungs, adrenaline contracts your blood vessels. This serves to increase your heart rate, readying you if you need to fight or flee.

7. Adrenaline feeds your body with sugars stored in your muscles, the same kind of natural sugar from apples.

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Adrenaline diverts blood away from your digestive system. So where does it get the energy to fuel your muscles? Adrenaline speeds up the process of breaking down glycogen in your muscles into a type of sugar called glucose, which in turn increases your muscular strength and energy.

8. Adrenaline stimulates your brain so you can think more quickly.

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Adrenaline activates a part of your nervous system, which then causes the neurons in your brain to fire two to three times faster.

9. The effects of adrenaline can last for up to an hour.

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Our ancestors actually did fight or flee. For us, this isn't as common, so we have to work off the adrenaline in our bloodstream through physical exertion. So after bungee jumping, be sure to take advantage of that adrenaline rush by getting your workout in and running a kilometer!

10. Adrenaline is used to stop allergic reactions and heart attacks by encouraging blood flow.

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EpiPens are named after epinephrine, aka adrenaline. It causes veins to constrict and pump more blood. The adrenaline also stops the muscles in the airways from constricting so that breathing can return to normal during an anaphylactic reaction.

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