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The Role of Adrenaline in Exercise

Adrenaline In Exercise

Adrenaline is commonly associated with extreme sports such as skydiving and situations which require a fight or flight response, however, the presence of the hormone can be utilised frequently throughout an exercise routine to fuel your focus, outlook and mood on a daily basis. Read on to discover the role of adrenaline, its biological functions and how you can best utilise it.  

What is adrenaline?

Adrenaline, or epinephrine as it’s scientifically known, is triggered by stress on the body; the hormone is pumped into the bloodstream from the adrenal glands which are located just above each kidney.  

What is its role?

Epinephrine has been an integral part of our survival as human beings. It activates in dangerous and stressful situations which encourages this ‘flight or fight’ response. The presence of the hormone enhances our abilities somewhat; it expands our air passages and blood vessels which in turn supply the muscles with more oxygen and increases the quantity of blood flow running to the brain giving us an increased alertness.

How can we utilise it in exercise?  

Little do we know, we’re in fact building up adrenaline all the time, every little stress at work or at home can contribute. If the adrenaline built up from these everyday stresses sits still and unused it can become dangerous in extreme cases; feelings of stress and anxiety will build up furthermore which could potentially be harmful to many of your bodily functions including your immune system and digestion. This is why exercise serves a greater purpose beyond just building muscle; it’s also a fantastic way of utilising this adrenaline and shedding stress which contributes to your wellbeing.

Adrenaline can be a helpful tool when heading for those last few reps in your sets – it may provide you with that last jolt of energy as you begin to tire. After releasing adrenaline, the relief felt afterwards carries throughout the day allowing you to tackle tasks with focus and an upbeat energy.  

In order to reap the full rewards on offer from exercise and fully utilise your built-up adrenaline, you need to retain focus and intensity in your routine. You can do this by focussing on the muscles you’re using for each exercise – this helps you feel the burn which not only helps your progress but also helps you to use and engage the adrenaline. You also need to have a consistent pattern of exercise in your routine so your muscles are engaged throughout the whole workout; you can do this by keeping to 30-60 seconds rest periods. A common problem in gym etiquette is the use of smartphones in between exercise sets which often causes people to lose focus and linger around a lot longer on their rest periods than necessary; this is in fact incredibly detrimental to your progress. That being said - never underestimate the importance of resting!

A great way of using up and accessing adrenaline is by partaking in high-intensity training such as HIIT. It’s essentially a condensed rapid-fire exercise requiring small bursts of intense workout in between rest periods. Read more on the exercise in our article exploring what is interval training and how does it help?

When training under such intensity, it’s important that your body remains stocked up with the right nutrients, particularly protein. Fortunately, TREK bars are an incredible way of consuming the protein required for muscle recovery; check out our range of TREK Protein Flapjacks here which are each packed with 9g of protein, or alternatively, tuck into TREK Protein Energy Chunks each containing a whopping 12g of protein per bag. You could even take it that one step further and try out our delicious TREK Vegan Protein Energy Shake recipe – delicious!  

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