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What’s behind the runner’s high? It’s more likely endocannabinoids than endorphins

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Jen Martin was halfway through running a race in Melbourne when she was so overwhelmed by sheer joy that it brought her to tears.

“I pretty much started crying because I just felt so gloriously happy to be in amongst all these people, in a city that I loved, doing a race.”

When talking to lucky people like Dr Martin who get a runner’s high – a euphoric sense of bliss and general awesomeness – all I feel is a pang of jealousy.

“That endorphin rush,” they gush. “It’s. The. Best.”

In 15 years of long-distance running, I’ve never felt it.

But you know what? Perhaps runners like Dr Martin don’t get an endorphin hit either — at least, not in the way they think they do.

In recent years, another group of chemicals has emerged as the main…



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