Adrenaline and Performance by Brandon Hooks


[This is a guest blog from Brandon Hooks. Brandon is a senior at Ferrum College pursuing his degree in Health and Human Performance. Brandon is participating in the coaching mentorship program at Athletic Lab.]

As a college athlete and a Health and Human Performance Major, I have become interested in the effects of adrenaline (also known as epinephrine) on Athletic Performance. I am a vocal leader on my college basketball team and always attempt to get my team fired up before games. Adrenaline is definitely needed when having to do something of that sort, but what about when you are in the game situation or when you are doing anything sports related? How does the adrenaline help propel these sudden moments? Is there a way to be able to tap into your endocrine system to get and feel an adrenaline rush?

basketballAdrenaline is released by your adrenal glands when your body is under stress and  it helps to protect the body from damage. By exercising and moving your heart rate will increase and blood pressure will be raised and your pain tolerance would be higher. According to Vanessa Doctor, exercise increases adrenaline Levels, there are exercises that boost the adrenaline and these are done through compound movements. Exercises like 10 to 15 minute of cardio, squats and doing deadlifts can give you a boost of adrenaline (2014). Now given that adrenaline can be beneficial while exercising, the same can also happen and work for sports.  In the journal article, Adrenaline, arousal and sport, adrenaline secretion seems to be directly related to the mental state and emotional response. The thing about adrenaline is that it can improve your performance to a point, but if the levels of arousal are too high it can adversely affect ones performance (Krahenbuhl 1974). Endurance athletes are well known for having an adaptation of having a high epinephrine system cap more than a regular individual. Being able to tap into their system to engage in increasing their adrenaline levels directly impacts their performance by an outstanding margin compared to one who isn’t used to doing that or not able to control their levels.