It is well known that endorphin is the happiness hormone. Talking it out is easy, now do you understand why it’s the happiness hormone? How about finding out more about endorphins and their mysteries?
Many myths and truths surround common sense about endorphins and their mysteries … For this very reason we seek to bring together a wealth of scholarly, empirical, and folkloric knowledge on this subject to come to a reasonable middle ground and unravel these mysteries at once by all.
Always aiming at the ease of its reading, we will separate this article into topics, arranged as follows:
- What is Endorphin
- Ways to Release Endorphin
- Myths and Truths about Endorphin
- Endorphin and its Restrictions
Let’s go to these topics then?
1 – What is Endorphin
To begin with, let’s understand what the word endorphin means. Endorphin is a word divided into two parts, ENDO meaning “inside” or “internal” and FINA comes from morphine, which would be “analgesic,” “soothing.”
Endorphin is a neurotransmitter and is a natural communication system in our brain. It is a chemical that travels through the blood and contacts other cells of the body, provoking positive sensations such as well being. Therefore it is considered the happiness hormone, because it is a reaction of the brain that brings well-being.
There are around 22 different types of endorphins, but year after year this number grows. The most famous of these is the beta endorphin, which is a compound of 31 amino acids in sequence and is released, mainly with the practice of physical exercises. This beta endorphin, in addition to bringing a feeling of well being, also relieves muscular pain.
The most interesting fact about beta endorphin is that recent research indicates that it is responsible for fighting cancer, so stimulating its production may be directly linked to the effectiveness of treating some types of cancer.
Endorphins were discovered in 1970 by Avram Goldstein, where the most relevant of this research was its addictive action.
Highlighting again, endorphin is a NATURAL substance and in spite of causing dependence, it is still a natural response of our body. It is produced by the pituitary gland of our brain and the study on the subject grows exponentially, much because of the positive action in the treatment of chronic diseases.
2 – Ways to Release Endorphin
The mechanism of release of endorphin through this pituitary gland occurs mainly, said in relation to beta-endorphin, during the performance of physical activity, intense or moderate.
For this reason that many people who do not possess as a hobbie or lifestyle, practice physical activity, enjoy without complaining of this means given the feeling of fullness after their practice. This release brings the feeling of well being, muscle relaxation and in some cases even pleasure. Extreme sports produce beyond endorphin, dopamine and adrenaline, which are responsible for a mixture of sensations that cause even more dependence.
The way we practice these physical exercises also contributes to the amount of endorphin released, but this differentiation is practically imperceptible. In activities of high intensity, its increase in blood is around 10 to 15% higher than in activities of low to medium intensity.
Another way to release this endorphin is through feeding. The taste buds send a signal to the brain when we eat some food that pleases us. There are some types that cause more than others … Fatty foods, for example, are good food references that trigger the release of endorphins.
3 – Myths and Truths about Endorphin
There are myths and truths about it, we must observe them with criticality. Why do we go through the concept of endorphin before we approach these myths and truths? So that I can now argue with you the motives of each being myth or reality.
- Truth: Eating chocolate releases endorphin. In fact it is not chocolate, it is cocoa is the only known fruit in the world that has a substance called anandamide. In addition, cocoa stimulates the production of enzymes responsible for the delay in the elimination of this substance from the body.
- Myth: Artificial endorphin does not exist. There are sim and is well known, is the famous morphine and has its molecular formula arranged as follows: C17H19NO3.
- Truth: Pepper releases endorphin. The pepper burned when it comes in contact with the taste buds and provoke the burning, sends a signal of danger to the brain, prompting it to release endorphin to relieve the pain.
- Myth: Sadomasochists like pain because it releases endorphin. This is a myth, simply because all people release endorphins when they feel pain and not everyone likes pain.
- Truth: High-performing athletes tend to have depression because of the lack of endorphin. Especially when they end their careers, as they are accustomed to the injection of endorphin almost daily and for a long time. When an athlete stops practicing intense physical activity, he / she has a chance of 30% greater than the others to develop depression.
- Truth: menstruation decreases endorphin production. Just before menstruation, the woman enters the state of the famous Pre Menstrual Tension, much due to the decrease in the production of endorphin. That’s why they say to give a chocolate to a woman with PMS, it’s not an act … And if possible give a bit bitter chocolate, it has a higher concentration of cocoa.
- Myth: Positive thinking is also a powerful weapon for the release of endorphin. Other substances may even be, but endorphins do not, since endorphins come more as an ALERT reaction from the body than a reaction to well being.
There are more innumerable myths and truths surrounding endorphins, but I believe that with these comparatives it is already possible that when reading something about, you are critical enough to understand why our brain releases the signal for endorphin production.
4 – Endorphin and its Restrictions
As endorphin is a hormone that causes dependence, for regular physical activity practitioners, over time the need for production of this substance increases dramatically, which can lead this athlete to have long periods of bad mood when this activity is suspended.
Understand that these periods of easy irritability usually occur when the absence of exercises exceeds, on average, two weeks running. In extreme situations, this lack of endorphin may cause compulsive reactions, with the main focus being the search for this endorphin through diet.
As a subterfuge, people ingest greasy foods and chocolate indiscriminately, entering a spiral that is totally detrimental to health.
It is common to see athletes who finish their career and gain extremely fast weight, as in the case of soccer player Ronaldo Nazário, or also former player of the selection and currently manager of White clubs.
Endorphin is a powerful ally of the human being to aid in the most diverse situations that our body suffers, from chronic diseases to deep depressions.
Of course, just like water, anything in exaggeration tends to do us harm. Maintaining a routine of physical activity, regardless of how intensely our body feels the benefits of endorphins without dependence on it to survive, is a powerful longevity assurance mechanism.
Including the pepper in your food is a good idea, given that in addition to the endorphins it helps release, the pepper is thermogenic and burns 10% more calories compared to the consumption of this food without the pepper. In this way you, besides feeling happy through the hormone of happiness, will also be satisfied with your physical appearance.
If chocolate is your weak point, change to at least one less milk and more cocoa, the sensation of pleasure will come in the long term, replacing the immediacy of the flavor itself.
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