#934 Adrenaline

Did you know you have two little yellow, nine-volt-battery-sized adrenal glands in your body, just chilling out, maxin’, relaxin’ all cool on top of your kidneys? Someone told me this and I checked it out. Turns out it’s true.

It seems as though your adrenal glands are kind of like those British Royal Guards with the big, black fuzzy hats who stand like statues in front of Buckingham Palace. They just stand there quietly, not doing much really, just enjoying the brown, slippery beach that is your kidneys.

However, if anything startling should happen that requires your attention — like say you’re about to give a speech at a wedding or your hear a twig crack outside your tent or your doorbell rings in the middle of the night — then they leap into action, jumping out of their peaceful slumber to squeeze out a big dose of adrenaline right into your body, pumping you up, and turning you into a primal, warrior-like version of yourself.

When tension runs high and adrenaline is secreted into your body some crazy things can happen — sometimes called the fight-or-flight response:

  • Your heart rate increases. And specifically, your body starts sending blood to all your big muscles and diverts it away from “non-critical” parts of your body, like your brain, immune system, and digestive system. I guess someone figured you could digest the sandwich after you killed the bear.
  • Your pupils dilate and you get tunnel vision. Quite literally, adrenaline also reduces your peripheral vision, which together with your big, wide pupils helps you focus on what lies ahead. You can’t quite see through walls, but if a crow is diving at your eyes you might be able to swat it away better.
  • Your body gets ready to boot it. In addition to the rising heart rate, your body starts turning lots more stuff into sugar, raising your blood sugar level and filling you with energy. You might not even feel pain as easily, so the raspberry bushes that shred your legs when you’re running out of the forest won’t slow you down.

But what’s also great about adrenalin is that, first of all, you don’t have to control it. It just sort of kicks it into high gear when it figures you could use a boost. I think it’s kind of cool knowing that your body will help you out when you need it most. Punch me in the face and suddenly my internal British Royal Guard tosses away his fuzzy, black cap, cracks his neck, and rolls up his sleeves.

And really, isn’t it that little dose of adrenalin that helps you do a better job when you need it most? It’s a natural upper, helping you nail the big speech, ace the final exam, or perhaps flee both of those scenes.

There’s a reason some people become adrenaline junkies. The boost you get from your adrenal glands waking up and getting out of bed is intoxicating. Sure, it fuzzes up your thinking a bit and sends your intestines on sabbatical, but it sure does pump you up. And remember: when something important in your life is about to happen, you can count on your good pal adrenaline to be there, juicing you up, helping you fight the good fight.


Getting ready to throw down

Photos from: here and here

61 thoughts on “#934 Adrenaline

  1. …and now I notice that I’m not the first person to comment on it, making me feel inept in my anality.

    I’m apparently a nit-picker with a poor eye for detail.

    1. You know what? That’s just okay…why? ‘Cause you made history: 1000 Awesome Things history. Kudos, man :D!

  2. “but if a crow is diving at your eyes you might be able to swat it away better. ” ha ha ha, I love it!
    Thanks for the biology lesson. Also, I had no idea those British Royal guards had such major guns.

    1. Did u notice that the magazine is BEHIND the trigger on that weapon? Called a BullPup configuration,it ejects spent casings out a tube on the front above the barrel, ahead of the trigger, no open sliding ejection port.

  3. Yeah, this is good.

    Did you know when your in a full adrenaline rush your strength is increased 20 times its natural state, which means it would take you a few minutes to take the bear, and I’d feel sorry for the guy you get into a fight with because if the guy already has large muscles or semi-large muscles than adrenaline will not effect his muscles but it will increase the speed that he can swing his punches.

  4. haha! adrenaline is truly awesome! Im a dancer and the huge year-end performances are soooooo fun bucause there is a whole bunch waiting in the dressing rooms and then you get called with your class. Then theres adrenaline from when your backstage to when your back in the dressing room again. It’s awesome!

  5. Adrenaline at its best: while you’re either performing on stage, playing a really expensive electric guitar, or both.

    Adrenaline at its worst: when some small noise in the house wakes you up in the middle of the night – you feel the adrenaline flow into your bloodstream, and you know that no matter how hard you try to mentally stem the flow, you’ll be wide awake for the next hour or so.

  6. Hey, cool tips. I’ll buy a glass of beer to the man from that forum who told me to visit your blog :)

  7. First off, love the site! got some great stuff in here and I think gone through about 300 or so of your AWESOME!(s).
    However I’m kinda having an issue with this one. You’re adrenaline glands don’t just sit there dormant waiting to be squeezed into action. You use them on a constant basis, unless you lead a very very boring life. For example, getting up in the morning is EXTREMELY difficult if you didn’t have your adreno-glands providing you with a kick up and go!
    Again, love the site, just thought I’d let you know that this isn’t very accurate.

  8. One thing I find troubling with this: I actually think more clearly when I’m in the middle of an adrenaline rush. It happens all the time when I’m at work… I’m a cashier at a grocery store, and I can sometimes trigger an adrenaline rush by increasing the rate of my breathing and starting to move faster. After just a minute or so, I feel it kicking in, and the described effects take place. (Although, reading on Wikipedia, it seems this effect of mine is caused by norepinephrine, not epinephrine. The difference: Norepinephrine also affects the person mentally, affecting the brain by accelerating it. Both are caused by stress, which is easily triggered by increasing the rate of breathing and moving faster through a normal routine… So noradrenaline is better than adrenaline!)

  9. Try skeleton,
    you’ll be freezing at the top of the track in your spandex, but once you finish, you just want to take off all your clothes cause you’re so hot and pumped and excited. Honestly, try it. =)

    1. I’ve been thinking about this one a lot lately and now I am ultra-aware whenever my Adrenaline kicks in. It makes me excited. very.

  10. Great site here. Some like yours cover subjects that cant be present in print. I dont know how we’ve got on Many years ago with just magazines and newspapers.

  11. I find it interesting that very little is said about the down side of adrenalin. We like the up side, but the down side is chronic fatigue, attention deficit disorder, depression, compromised immune system, etc. Check it out, because adrenalin junkies pay like any junkie does, for a fix.

  12. I can not feel absolutely do not agree with the author, however, would do well to develop the question additional because from my perspective, this general approach may prove to be the case for some a bit confusing.

  13. Adrenal glands have three layers. Only 1 produces adrenaline, and only in response to several other hormones – that layer does other stuff all the time.
    The outer most layer produces some steroids, manages the body’s salt consumption, and is involved in regulating blood pressure.
    The middle layer produces other hormones, chiefly non androgen (non masculinizing) steroids. These are used in managing fats, cholesterols, and sugars. Also, this is where the adrenaline is made.
    The inner-most layer produces androgens (best known is testosterone) in females. In males, testosterone production being handled in the testes, testosterone related hormones (like DHEA which is almost T, but causes hair loss instead).

    Basically, they handle crisis with adrenaline (when your pituitary tells them they should), and keep you functioning the rest of the time. Which is even cooler.
    But I didn’t make it sound cool. can you?

  14. Cheers with this! I havent been this grateful by a website for a period of time! You’ve attained it, doesn’t matter what this means in writing a blog and site-building. You’re definitely somebody that has things to reveal that searchers want to hear.Continue on the excellent work. Keep on inspiring folks!

  15. ADRENALINE: nothing else matters but gratitiude, for it SAVES LIVES… and that IS AWESOME!!!

    1. my adrenal glands are near wore out…but I actually go to Acunpuncture regularly to help with that, and that’s a fact!

  16. Thanks for the entertaining info :)). Let’s call it adrenaline ‘light’, to all the detail nitpickers, we all know that if we want science we can go google it . I check out this awesome site for the good feeling it gives me.

  17. #934 Adrenaline | 1000 Awesome Things I was recommended this website by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem. You’re amazing! Thanks! your article about #934 Adrenaline | 1000 Awesome Things Best Regards Agata Cindy

  18. I’m actually allergic to adrenaline. I break out in a horrible red rash, and get really itchy. Basically hives.



    (see what I did there?)

  19. Amazing how these words can affect our daily lives. Simple words plus huge inspiration is equal marvellous results. Yesterday I felt the sensation of being pumped up by a wave of adrenaline. It started flooding in my veins but in a few second I had already touched everyone around me. That is the best feeling ever, when you are able to change people`s live, even for a minute and make the difference. AWESOME!!

  20. Adrenaline does really change our routine days. When you feel it`s like those moments you`ll never forget(like kissing or talking in public for the first time). I`ve read once in a magazine that when you feel the adrenaline rush, you get 3 times more strengh then you actually have, for example, to take sth very heavy from someone`s body in an unexpected situation. And for the fact of that extremely intense feeling making our heart beating faster, more blood passing through our brain help us on thinking of new ideas(most of the times, those ideas that would save our lives) for that `unexpected situation`(like thinking of a way to escape from a crocodile in a river). This natural hormone is such a magnificent gift for the animal life.

  21. I hate adrenaline. When I was about twelve, our family was was on vacation in Virginia for someone’s wedding. There was this huge water slide, and my father pushed me down it. I shit myself. Yeah…


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