Does intensive workout release dopamine?

Submitted by Jonte on
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I didn't really knew were to put this question, so feel free to move it if its not in the correct section.

So, my question is as the topic says. If you're looking for a more balanced brain on a neurochemical level. Could hard workout sessions be non-benifit for you? I do boxing, and do a lot of intervall-runnings with high intensity. I think my body feels very good about it but what about the brain?

I've heard of athlethes getting depressed when they don't exercise for a while. Could this be dopamine related or maybe connected with another substance like endorphine?

Maybe a minor increase of dopamine after a training session isn't that bad that bad? As long as its not as big and stimulating like when one uses P/M/O frequently.

Cheers /Jonte

Good observation

Yes, exercise regulates mood, and no doubt dopamine levels. Gary has posted various articles about exercise in his blog: http://www.reuniting.info/blog/104?page=1

The issue is balanced stimulation (good, makes life feel like it's worth living) versus excess stimulation (which is such a high that it sets off a neurochemical low). People who really go for the "high" of exercise sometimes do notice a drop afterward.

But, generally speaking, exercise is a "safe" way to regulate your mood. The highs are enjoyable, but not so extreme as to kick in a downward cycle.

It's not yet clear

There have been lots of theories on the runner's high. It's common knowledge that people get addicted to, and have withdrawal from exercise.
Dopamine, adrenaline, serotonin, opioids (endorphins), endocanabanoids have all been theorized as the main players.

Dopamine: When rats run on a wheel dopamine increases. Not only dopamine, but also there's an increase in dopamine receptors.
But experiments on humans have shown NO increase in dopamine (half hour of treadmill running).
Exercise is rewarding - sometimes - and addictive, so dopamine should be involved.

Opioids: One experiment suggests it's opioids (incorrectly called endorphins).
I've always though it was opioids, as they would be released to reduce pain of vigorous exercise. To keep you going if you have to.

Endocanabanoids: yes the brain makes its own THC. This makes the most sense to a lot of researchers.

It's known that serotonin often increases, but it wouldn't give you a runner's high.

Several other brain chemicals (growth factors) are definitely released. They increase connections between nerve cells, and cause some brain cells to divide.

I think all the above, and then some, will be involved - but I still think opioids will be central to runner's high.

Interesting

[quote=gary]There have been lots of theories on the runner's high. It's common knowledge that people get addicted to, and have withdrawal from exercise.
Dopamine, adrenaline, serotonin, opioids (endorphins), endocanabanoids have all been theorized as the main players.

Dopamine: When rats run on a wheel dopamine increases. Not only dopamine, but also there's an increase in dopamine receptors.
But experiments on humans have shown NO increase in dopamine (half hour of treadmill running).
Exercise is rewarding - sometimes - and addictive, so dopamine should be involved.

Opioids: One experiment suggests it's opioids (incorrectly called endorphins).
I've always though it was opioids, as they would be released to reduce pain of vigorous exercise. To keep you going if you have to.

Endocanabanoids: yes the brain makes its own THC. This makes the most sense to a lot of researchers.

It's known that serotonin often increases, but it wouldn't give you a runner's high.

Several other brain chemicals (growth factors) are definitely released. They increase connections between nerve cells, and cause some brain cells to divide.

I think all the above, and then some, will be involved - but I still think opioids will be central to runner's high.[/quote]

That is an interesting post.