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One of the joys of a hard day in the saddle is that warm, satisfied internal glow you feel in the aftermath of your ride. It amplifies the sense of achievement you get from climbing or descending a mountain, finishing a race, completing a sportive or reaching a training target. There are times after a ride where I feel immensely euphoric and talking with friends, enjoying a cold beer and listening to music is better than ever. Surely this isn’t just because of the Rapha Bib Shorts I’m wearing?
Endorphins are endogenous opioid polypeptide compounds. Eric Simon, who discovered opioid receptors in the brain, created the term by abbreviating ‘endogenous morphine’, which implies ‘a morphine-like substance originating from within the body.’ They are produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus in the spine (which links the brain to the central nervous system) during exercise and they resemble opiates as they produce a natural anaesthetic and sense of well-being.
Endorphins allow humans to feel in control allowing them to persist with physical activity over long periods. However, it is not proven that moving the body across a pain threshold (such as climbing a mountain or sprinting for the line during a criterium) is the only trigger for the release of endorphins. It is suggested that endorphins are some of the many chemicals that contribute to the high cyclist’s receive after a hard ride; other chemicals include adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine. Time for a ride in the autumn sunshine.
- U23 winner in 2012 what's in store for @RichHandley90 in the @anpostras http://t.co/xyZWX3NbtG
- Sunday morning race day, church car park scene. @anpostras #ras2013 http://t.co/2E1UlfAxhe
- Will all these numbers be able to wear the coveted t-shirt in one weeks time? #menoftheras #ras2013 http://t.co/ai1oqnDIyh
- Team about to start the @anpostras probably the Worlds friendliest race.
- RT @nedboulting: Kristian House's Grandad was a fantastic man. He told me about him once. Then I read this: http://t.co/ZCeYbm4sFU
- @DeanHardman @nedboulting @j_t_locke such a shame...
- @TeamSkyGirl @nedboulting @j_t_locke we've asked JTL to change his name.
- RT @Ed_Clancy: Watch @raphacondor team mate Kristian House take another win (and lap me in the process) around his favourite circuit to…
- RT @TourSeries: Catch-up with all of the #Durham #tourseries action on ITV4 tonight http://t.co/YE9zgNaZem
- Some helpful #womens100 tips from Australian pro @tiffanycromwell that you might find useful over on @gcntweet → http://t.co/ZqgODQ6Tz3