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Chasing a runner’s high? Here’s everything you need to know.

A runner’s high is a rare sensation that many exercise enthusiasts strive for. It is described as a deeply relaxing and even euphoric state that once experienced will keep you coming back for more.

While for some runners, it is a constant throughout their athletic lives, others experience it only once, and some not at all.

In this article, we’ll answer any questions you may have about that euphoric feeling, like how do you get a runner’s high and what exactly does it feel like?

Most importantly, we’ll provide you with an in-depth analysis of the possible causes of a runner’s high, giving you a better shot at experiencing this unique pleasure for yourself.

What is a runner’s high?

A runner’s high is a relatively short-lived state of euphoria that sometimes accompanies prolonged high-intensity exercise.(1)

Triathlete Scott Dunlap describes a runner’s high as “two Red Bulls and vodka, three ibuprofen, and a $50 winning lotto ticket in your pocket.” But the physical sensations that each person experiences are different, some people never experience a runner’s high!

The good news is that you don’t have to. Run an ultramarathon. To experience a runner’s high. bad news? What exactly creates these feelings of excitement is not fully understood.

This means there is no magic recipe for those wondering, “How do you stimulate runner’s high?” That being said, understanding the possible causes of runner’s high can help those who want to experience this blissful state to finally reach their goal.

What causes a runner’s high?

There are two schools of thought regarding runner high. Originally, researchers believed that runners’ highs were triggered by the release of neurochemicals called endorphins, which are responsible for reducing the pain of intense physical exercise.(2)

However, new research suggests that endocannabinoids may be responsible for this highly desirable feeling. In fact, it’s possible that endorphins and endocannabinoids work together to produce a runner’s high.(3)


Endorphins are “feel good” chemicals that are released during both pleasant and painful experiences, such as getting a massage or high-intensity exercise.(4)

When your body is in pain, endorphins – which act as natural pain relievers – are released to block the pain receptors responsible for receiving pain signals. Prolonged high-intensity exercise stimulates the release of endorphins to help our bodies adapt to stress. Making these chemicals a plausible cause of runner’s high.

However, new evidence suggests that these molecules are too large to pass through the blood-brain barrier. Leaving researchers to search for another possible reason for this euphoric feeling.(5)


Upon further investigation, the researchers also discovered higher amounts of molecules called endocannabinoids that are released during high-intensity exercise.(6)

Endocannabinoids are molecules that are similar to the cannabinoids you find in THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, but produced naturally by your body. They have been shown to induce euphoric feelings, reduce anxiety, and increase feelings of relaxation, all of which are important components of a runner’s high.(1)

Stimulating the release of endocannabinoids is just one of them. Benefits of running every dayalong with improving cardiovascular health, mental clarity, and boosting your mood.

How long does a runner’s high last?

Most runners will undergo 60 minutes of sustained aerobic exercise to experience the release of beta-endorphins – a chemical thought to be responsible for the runner’s high.(7)

A study done on beta-endorphins shows that within 40-90 minutes of exercise, the level of these hormones in the body decreases by 50%. This means that you can’t expect to feel the effects of a runner’s high for more than two hours.(8)

Ways to increase your mileage

If you want to experience the effects of runner’s high, the first step will likely be. Increase your running ability So you can sustain 60 minutes of high-intensity exercise.

Here are some of our favorite tips to help you run longer and faster.

Eat breakfast before the right time.

Eating the right breakfast before your run has the potential to fuel your personal best or leave you feeling sluggish and sick.

While there is no such thing as a “best diet for runners,” there are some. Foods that will benefit you. before a run. A banana with peanut butter is an example of an ideal pre-snack because it is high in carbohydrates, potassium and protein.

However, simple carb foods like white bread and heavy animal-based protein snacks are. Foods to avoid Before high intensity exercise

Focus on your breathing.

Your breathing is an important component of high-intensity exercise. Without adequate oxygen, your muscles won’t get the fuel they need to keep you moving.

When running, try to focus on breathing into your belly to make sure you’re getting all the oxygen into your lungs. You can choose too. Practice rhythmic breathing. As a way to increase awareness of your breath.

Use an app.

If you are unable to reach your running goals on your own, you may consider using a running app, such as Adidas Running App. In it, you’ll find workouts designed to challenge your running skills and a tracker to help you follow your progress.

Using the Adidas Running App can provide you with many of the same benefits as hiring a running coach – at a fraction of the cost.


Runner’s high means increased pleasure and a sense of relaxation that sometimes accompanies longer distances or higher-intensity exercise—but not always. It is unclear whether runner’s high is due to endorphins, endocannabinoids, or a combination of the two.

Many experts believe that at least 60 minutes of vigorous exercise is needed to trigger a runner’s high. But the truth is, there is no magic recipe for inducing that euphoric feeling.

If your goal is to experience the emotional feeling of a runner’s high, finding ways to increase your stamina will help. You can start by using the tips in this article, such as changing your pre-run snack, changing your breathing pattern, or downloading a running app.

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