Adrenaline: The hormone that can temporarily turn you into a superhuman

March 7, 2024  12:00

Imagine that you are in the Khosrov forest. And suddenly a leopard appears in front of you. This beautiful animal from the cat family is listed in the Red Book of Armenia. But meeting him face to face is still stressful. Your heart begins to beat faster, your senses become sharper, your muscles become energized.

What you experience at this moment is not at all admiration for a slender predator. This is the incredible power of adrenaline - a hormone that can make you almost superhuman for a while and help you fight or escape from a dangerous animal.

Surely you have heard many stories about how a person in dangerous situations, under the influence of a surge of adrenaline, seemed to gain superpowers and was able to lift a heavy car to save a child from under it, or defeated someone much stronger.

What are you really capable of in such situations? How does adrenaline affect your body? How is it that one hormone can make you do something that you wouldn't normally be able to do?

Let's understand the secrets of adrenaline - one of the most interesting hormones produced in our body!

When information about a threat that threatens you reaches the hypothalamus, the area of the brain that coordinates the endocrine system, the sympathetic nervous system is activated, which stimulates energy expenditure when the body is in a stressful situation. The adrenal glands, in response to signals received from the brain, begin to produce and release adrenaline (also called epinephrine), norepinephrine and cortisol, a stress hormone, into the bloodstream, which we will talk about in a future video.

These hormones trigger the body's fight-or-flight response, an innate survival mechanism common not only to humans, but to other living organisms as well.

Cortisol and adrenaline increase blood glucose levels so that more energy is available to your body. Your heart rate and blood pressure also increase, your pupils dilate to take in more light, your attention becomes sharper, and more blood flows to your muscles. Your body tenses, speeds up, prepares to meet danger.

Limit of possibilities?

What new opportunities can open up before you when your body enters the so-called combat readiness mode? Is there a limit to these possibilities?

In normal life, your body does not work at its maximum capacity, because you do not need to use all your muscles and expend a lot of energy to make phone calls, type on a keyboard, or, say, walk. In everyday life, the body not only saves energy, but also makes sure that you do not damage your own tissues by overloading your muscles without serious need.

Your body forgets about caution and economy precisely in stressful situations - be it danger, participation in sports competitions, or even a scary exam. At such moments, the body mobilizes its strength and begins to spend much more energy than usual.

But can it really push you to exceed your limits and do something incredible?

Under the influence of adrenaline, you will most likely actually run faster or fight better. But don't forget that your body still has limits. If in normal times you can lift at most 15 kilograms, then during times of severe stress you, alas, are unlikely to be able to lift 1500. So a lot here depends on the athletic form and the initial capabilities of your body.

Unfortunately, no one can say for sure how much more effective you will be when under the influence of adrenaline. To find out, it would be necessary to conduct research, which, you see, is quite difficult: finding volunteers who can be locked in a room with an aggressive bear or wolf is quite a quest.

Interesting facts about adrenaline!

So, adrenaline is one of the stress hormones, and it plays an important role in the body's response to danger or stress. What else should you know about him?

  1. Adrenaline determines a person’s character!

People who initially have higher levels of this hormone are usually more courageous and hot-tempered. Such people usually make good pilots, circus performers, and military leaders.

  1. Adrenaline increases appetite!

Under the influence of adrenaline, the body spends more energy, and then strives to replenish it. Therefore, after a surge of adrenaline, a person develops a craving for sweet, high-calorie foods.

  1. Excess adrenaline is dangerous!

If too much adrenaline is produced, it depletes the body and can provoke hypertension, diseases of the stomach and duodenum. People whose activities are associated with nervous strain have a higher risk of developing ulcers and a whole bunch of other problems.

  1. Adrenaline can save lives!

In some cases, administering adrenaline can save a person's life. For example, in case of cardiac arrest. In such cases, adrenaline is injected directly into the heart muscle, and it begins to contract again.

  1. Adrenaline can help with a severe allergic reaction!

In case of sudden allergic reactions, when it is necessary to immediately relieve swelling, adrenaline can come to the rescue. That is why this substance is always kept on hand in vaccination rooms and operating rooms!

  1. Adrenaline has an analgesic effect!

Adrenaline can reduce pain, for example, when injured. Reducing pain can also help a person survive in a dangerous situation, especially in cases where the shock of pain could be fatal.

  1. Adrenaline is good for memory!

Adrenaline is thought to help create clearer memories. Research has shown that rats that were given adrenaline the day before were better at navigating a maze than those that did not receive the hormone.

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