Epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, is secreted from the adrenal glands. This stress hormone plays a big role in the fight or flight process, preparing the body to react when faced with an external threat, physical or imagined. A sudden excretion of adrenaline results in a rush. An adrenaline rush may also be caused by a brain or adrenal gland dysfunction, anxiety, chronic stress, heart failure and strenuous exercise.
When the body perceives a threat or is excited, the hypothalamus, situated in the brain, will send a signal to the adrenal glands to secrete adrenaline. This process involves several steps, starting with the transformation of tyrosine, an amino acid, into dopamine. The oxygenation of the dopamine will then produce noradrenaline, which is finally changed into adrenaline.
This adrenaline will bind to various receptors around the body, including on fatty tissues, muscles, the liver, the pancreas, arteries and the heart. Heart rate and respiration increases and insulin production is inhibited. The body then uses fat and sugar synthesis to create fuel, which can be used during the fight or flight situation itself.
Effects on health
For some people there can be detrimental effects of an adrenaline rush. Heart attack, heart failure and weakening of the heart muscle have all been noted in individuals with heart disease. The brain can also be affected. Heightened levels of stress over a long period may reduce the size of the hippocampus, causing issues with memory.
Conversely, however, there are several beneficial effects of a short-term adrenaline rush in healthy individuals. When stress hormone levels are mildly increased, there may be a positive effect on things such as the reduction of leptin content within the blood. Leptin is a protein produced in white fatty tissue which, according to research, accelerates cancer cell growth. The less of this we produce the better.
Have fun, live longer!
Regular, short-lived adrenaline rushes are therefore good for the body and long term health. This is especially the case if the adrenaline rush occurs as a result of a fun or exciting experience, such as a riding on a rollercoaster or participating in a tank experience (https://www.armourgeddon.co.uk/tank-driving-experience.html).
So, if you are in good health and are looking for an excuse to have more fun, look no further. It really is good for you!