Compass going berserk, smoke billows out of the engines, passengers jumping out in parachutes and a loud sputtering noise that is shaking trees miles away. If you see a plane going down in distress, it’s impossible to take your eyes off of it.

When you watch some of the newer Fem Competitors on the rise like Mikaela from Miami and Pharra from Las Vegas, it’s impossible to take your eyes off of their matches because they are going full throttle in an adrenaline slug fest. Often the matches end early or in Pharra’s case, she expends so much energy that she can’t come back the next day to compete.

Fantastic Pharra article, femcompetitor  photo article, femcompetitor photo

We hear so much about adrenaline but when is it a good thing or an adverse one? What are the side effects of constantly using it?

The well-researched site explains, “Adrenaline is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands during high stress or exciting situations. This powerful hormone is part of the human body’s acute stress response system, also called the “fight or flight” response. It works by stimulating the heart rate, contracting blood vessels, and dilating air passages, all of which work to increase blood flow to the muscles and oxygen to the lungs. Additionally, it is used as a medical treatment for some potentially life-threatening conditions including anaphylactic shock. In the US, the medical community largely refers to this hormone as epinephrine, although the two terms may be used interchangeably.”

A surge of adrenaline can affect everyone, especially college students who seem to always be under some type of physical, mental, or social stress. We so often associate adrenaline with sports but it often increases with duress so let’s briefly take a look at its effects.

The respected site reports, “An adrenaline rush can have detrimental effects on health. In people with heart disease, it can cause a weakening of the heart muscle, heart failure or a heart attack. It can also affect the brain in negative ways. Continuous heightened levels of stress hormones can lead to a shrinkage of the hippocampus, the brain’s main memory center, according to a research team in the January 2008 issue of PNAS.

Stress hormone stimulates the production of IL-1 beta, a cytokine, or signaling molecule, that creates inflammation in the hippocampus and prevents the formation of new neurons.”

This is a major concern with extensive stress over time. The heart attack is the well-known outcome of too much stress in older people but even in younger ones, the build up to inflammation can have a negative effect on the immune systems and lead to health problems.

Let us view the positive side effects.

The site continues, “While hyperactivity in the adrenal gland can have detrimental effects on health, mildly increased levels of stress hormones can have positive effects on the blood content of leptin, a protein that is produced in the body’s white fatty tissue and that accelerates the growth of cancer cells, according to a research team in the July 2010 issue of Cell. While the blood content of leptin normally is directly proportional to the amount of fatty tissue in the body, stress hormones may play a role in regulating how much leptin the fatty cells produce. The less they produce, the slower cancer cells will grow, the researchers say.”

Ms. Bev Storer is a writer and researcher in the field of nutrition and nutritional supplements. We often like to present the views of other writers and we would like to share her view regarding this stimulating subject.

How Stress Effects Neurotransmitters 

The brain uses feel-good transmitters called endorphins when managing daily stress. When the brain requires larger amounts of endorphins to handle increased stress, the ratio of many of the other transmitters, one to another, becomes upset creating a chemical imbalance. We begin to feel stress more acutely — a sense of urgency and anxiety creates even more stress. As a result, harmful chemicals are released in our bodies that may do damage, causing more stress. This vicious cycle is called the “stress cycle.” Emotional fatigue might result and be experienced and felt as depression.

The body responds to emotional stress exactly as it responds to physical danger. Without our being aware of it, usually not feeling it at all, our bodies are continuously reacting to emotions such as frustration, irritation, resentment, hurt, grief and anxiety. We physiologically respond to these mental and emotional struggles with a primitive “fight or flight” response designed to prepare our bodies to face immediate danger. Today, we usually don’t fight, we usually don’t flee. Instead, the high-energy chemicals produced in many everyday situations insidiously boil inside us.

Most all of our body organs and functions react to stress.

Your body responds to stress with a series of physiological changes that may include increased adrenaline secretion, blood pressure elevation, heartbeat acceleration, and increased muscle tension. Digestion may slow or stop. It is likely that within one to two days after a stress-anxiety-anger reaction, physical symptoms will occur. Excessive stress could manifest into illness.

Increased adrenaline production causes the body to increase metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates to quickly produce energy for the body to use. The pituitary gland increases production of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which in turn stimulates the release of cortisone and cortisol hormones. These hormonal releases may inhibit the functioning of disease fighting white blood cells and suppress the immune system’s response.

According to NeuroGenesis, Inc., researchers estimate that stress contributes to as many as 80% of all major illnesses. Studies by the American Medical Association have shown stress to be a factor in over 75% of all illnesses today.

Is there any alternative?

There are many natural products on the market that may help with disorders where stress is a factor. Do your homework before making a choice.

Always be sure to check with your health care provider before you take any nutritional supplement. Some supplements may not be right for you.

Thank you Ms. Storer.

There was also a research report by The summary of findings is extensive so we’ve chosen a few that speaks to the effects of extensive adrenaline rushes.

  1. Adrenaline stimulates the body into becoming physically and mentally capable of engaging in stressful activities. Triggered by the sympathetic nervous system in cases of emergency or stress, adrenaline is released from the adrenal glands into the bloodstream.
  2. The physiological processes that occur in the body as a direct effect of adrenaline released into the bloodstream provide energy to the skeletal muscles and stimulate brain function.
  3. Overstimulation of the adrenal glands causes them to grow in physical size and increase the amount of epinephrine they are able to produce and release. This phenomenon is known as the development of the “sports adrenal medulla.”
  4. Adrenaline increases the amount of glucose that can be utilized by the muscles.
  5. Adrenaline causes mental arousal and improves cognitive function in the brain.
  6. Adrenaline does not mask pain. It diverts an individual’s concentration from pain to something else, giving him or her the feeling that the felt pain no longer exists.

That was a very revealing study and great article. What we interpret is that adrenaline related to sports and physical activity is mostly a good thing. The fact that it causes more glucose to be utilized by the muscles is often why people with diabetes are encouraged to exercise.

The increase in adrenaline caused by internal stressors over time is not desired.

The women in our sport exert a lot of energy and adrenaline. Balanced in the right way the positive effects can be extremely beneficial. article, photo article, photo

~ ~ ~ subscribes to news source, no affiliation.

Sources:, Wikipedia,,, FCI Elite Competitor,,,, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.