Adrenaline and Noradrenaline: How the neurotransmitters work in your body

Adrenaline and Noradrenaline: How the neurotransmitters work in your body

Adrenaline and noradrenaline are released as stress hormones in situations that are exciting, scary or dangerous for you. Some people are even addicts and are true adrenaline junkies looking for the constant thrill. In this article you will learn where the hormones are formed in your body and what functions they affect when they are released.


What is adrenaline and how does it differ from noradrenaline?

Adrenaline and noradrenaline are two Neurotransmitters belonging to the group of catecholamines belong and occur in nerve cells. For many, they are, just like cortisol stress hormones known to affect different parts of the body and the central nervous system. These hormones are released, for example, when there is an urge to flee or fear. If you have too much or too little of it in you, it can have a noticeable impact on your health.




Adrenaline has strong effects on your body, including increased blood sugar levels, an increased pulse, the heart beats faster, the smooth muscles in the airways loosen up to improve breathing. These effects on your body have the effect that it is additionally supplied with energy. When you are stressed or afraid, not only does your cortisol rise, the messenger substance adrenaline is also released.

Through the hormone release you are in a particularly high state of alertness and concentration. This adrenaline rush is also called Fight-flight response or the fight-flight reflex, which enables you to fight or flee in a life-threatening situation. Norepinephrine, also known as norepinephrine, also has effects on increased blood sugar levels, an increased heart rate and increased heart contraction.

The difference is that norepinephrine or norepinephrine can cause your blood vessels to constrict and your blood pressure to increase. Furthermore, an increased release of norepinephrine ensures that the signals in a fight-flight situation are passed on to your brain more quickly. This stimulates the formation of adrenaline. In addition, norepinephrine influences the sleep-wake cycle and sexual behavior. More about Sex and what that has to do with biohacking, you can find out in our blog post.



Where are adrenaline and noradrenaline produced in the body?

The adrenal glands are a small organ and lie above the kidneys. As one of the main endocrine glands, it is responsible for producing many vital hormones and is controlled by the pituitary gland. The adrenal glands are divided into the adrenal medulla, where adrenaline and noradrenaline are formed, and the adrenal cortex, where the hormones aldosterone, in particular, Cortisol and DHEA are produced.


Adrenaline and Noradrenaline: How the neurotransmitters work in your body


tyrosine is an amino acid found in meat, milk or soybeans. She is for it responsible for our body to produce adrenaline. As you can see in the graphic, there are few differences in the chemical structure. In the first conversion, tyrosine gains a hydroxyl group (OH) with the help of an enzyme.

During the second conversion, a structural part is lost, so that it becomes the dopamine becomes. The procedure between dopamine and norepinephrine is repeated. An enzyme acts between noradrenaline and adrenaline which is responsible for turning noradrenaline into adrenaline. And you're turned on!


Starting shot while running

Effects of adrenaline and noradrenaline: what happens in the body?

The two stress hormones are essential for human survival. As mentioned earlier, this solves Adrenalin a fight-flight response. The hormone is used alongside cortisol given out when you find yourself in a stressful, exciting, dangerous or threatening situation. Your heart beats faster, blood flow to the brain and muscles increases, and the body is stimulated to use sugar for fuel.

This sudden release of adrenaline is then often referred to as an adrenaline rush or rush. Thus, the main task of this hormone is that your body provides you with energy in a stressful or exciting situation. This increases your attention in such situations and you are more focused and can act faster.



The adrenaline rush starts in the brain. There the brain stem has a strong connection with the amygdala, which consists of a nerve cell complex and plays a role in emotional processing. When there is an adrenaline rush, the amygdala receives information, which then sends a signal to the hypothalamus, the command center of the brain, and communicates with the rest of the organism via the sympathetic nervous system. When the signal reaches the adrenal medulla, adrenaline is released into the bloodstream. The adrenaline rush then affects the organism as follows:

Generally speaking, it is called an adrenaline rush because the physical changes occur very quickly when adrenaline is circulating in the blood. So you often don't even have the opportunity to process the current situation. Imagine dodging an oncoming car with an adrenaline rush. In a moment like this, you act before you can even think about it. Other symptoms, such as an adrenaline rush or an energy surge, are

  • sharpened senses
  • lower sensitivity to pain
  • increased strength and performance
  • dilated pupils
  • nervousness

The effect of an adrenaline rush can take up to an hour after the stress or danger is over, the anhalt.


Adrenaline and Noradrenaline: How the neurotransmitters work in your body

How are adrenaline and noradrenaline triggered?

Some people just can't get enough of this feeling and like to throw themselves into situations that release adrenaline, so-called adrenaline junkies.

It can range from watching a horror film to more daring and courageous activities like

  • Skydiving
  • Cliff jumping
  • Bungee jumping
  • Climbing
  • Cage diving with sharks
  • Wildwater Rafting

But Even athletes like to use the effect of the adrenaline release very consciously in order to achieve more performance, attention or concentration. Again, exercise helps reduce adrenaline and thus ensures a balanced hormone balance.


Adrenaline and Noradrenaline: How the neurotransmitters work in your body


In medicine, the messenger substance adrenaline is used to treat anaphylaxis, cardiac arrest and severe asthma attacks. The hormone norepinephrine is used to treat dangerously low blood pressure. Drugs that increase norepinephrine levels can also help with ADHD and depression.


Deficiency and excess of adrenaline and noradrenaline

If you have low levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline and are deficient, it can have many effects on the body. Symptoms of a Deficiency are:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • fibromyalgia
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Migraine
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • sleep disorders


Adrenaline and Noradrenaline: How the neurotransmitters work in your body


In addition, your Sensitivity to adrenaline and noradrenaline may be decreased from chronic stress, poor diet, or from taking certain medications such as Ritalin. This can mean that your body then produces less adrenaline and noradrenaline.

But it can also become one Excess epinephrine and norepinephrine come on, causing symptoms such as high blood pressure, anxiety, profuse sweating, palpitations, and headaches can. But illnesses can also be responsible for the fact that you have too high an adrenaline level or noradrenaline level and that these symptoms occur. These include tumors that form in the adrenal glands or on the outside of the adrenal gland, obesity, and ongoing stress.


If you can't calm down

If adrenaline is activated in response to everyday stress, it can become a problem in the long run. Because when your head is full of thoughts, you have fears and worries, this also stimulates your body to release adrenaline and other stress-related hormones such as cortisol.

So it can be in stressful or exciting times that you lie in your bed in the dark room at night and simply cannot rest because you cannot stop thinking about a problem or you are worrying a lot about tomorrow.


Adrenaline and Noradrenaline: How the neurotransmitters work in your body


Even if there is no real danger at such a moment, yours is taking it Brain as stress and you get an additional energy boost from the adrenaline. Since you actually plan to sleep, the place is out of place. So the thought circling makes you very restless and increases your irritability. Falling asleep is of course difficult.


Control stress factors and adrenaline rushes

Adrenaline can may also be released in response to a noisy environment, bright light, or high temperatures. So if you have a lot on your mind and it is difficult to fall asleep, a few changes in behavior can bring about an improvement. Because watching TV, making calls or listening to loud music yourself can lead to an adrenaline rush at night. Try doing quiet things like reading an hour before bed.


Adrenaline and Noradrenaline: How the neurotransmitters work in your body


So that you can support your adrenaline control, you have to activate the opposite of the fight-flight reaction in the parasympathetic nervous system. This enables your body to rest and digest. It also promotes your sense of balance. There are various ways of activating this area

  • breathing exercises
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • healthy and balanced diet
  • regular exercise
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption


You can also start to keep a journal and write down your thoughts and feelings or talk to friends and family about your stressors. It is not for nothing that "talk a little off your mind". In this way, you may not only receive good advice or tips, but also think less about the situations or problems in bed.


Adrenaline and Noradrenaline: How the neurotransmitters work in your body

The influence of neurotransmitters on your mental performance

If you are interested in how other neurotransmitters, for example serotonin and dopamine, affect your body and how you can increase your mental performance through exercise, watch our video with founder Philip:




Adrenaline and norepinephrine (norepinephrine) are vital hormones and neurotransmitters that are released in stressful, exciting or threatening situations and also known as the fight-flight reflex. Ultimately, adrenaline has both positive and negative effects on the body.

On the one hand, the adrenaline rush can increase your physical performance, on the other hand, it can trigger anxiety and irritability and lead to difficulty falling asleep due to the energy boost. With some relaxation techniques and behavior changes such as more exercise, you can try to get your hormonal balance back under control.









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