What adrenaline means to business and sports

I have written in many of my past blogs about motivation and how to achieve success in business in sports (in my perspective), but I think I’ve been leaving out a great topic which is the physical feeling that achieving success and being motivated promotes inside our bodies.

I am not a doctor or by any means intend to give a health class, but according to my research, I know now that when you are facing a particular situation perhaps as running or giving a public speaking presentation, we as humans go into a “flight or fight” mode. At that moment, the brain gives a signal to the adrenal glands located at the top of the kidneys, and tells them to release epinephrin (known as adrenaline) which makes our whole bodies go into overdrive, making our hearts pump faster, blood pressure goes up, and our blood vessels open up to funnel a higher amount of oxygen in, and when that is happening, our brains start lighting up with endorphins, dopamine and chemicals that make us feel good.

So, what does this have to do with business or sports? Isn’t adrenaline only for skydivers?

No, adrenaline rush happens to all of us, but it is up to us to define how it will affect our nervous system. Taking advantage of this can lead to high productivity, enthusiasm, motivation, endurance, performance and strength among others. Managing adrenaline in wrong ways can lead to fear, stress accumulation and different negative symptoms.

This is why athletes and business people seek for adrenaline in a constant basis, because it gives a feeling of fulfillment, achievement, self-realization among others.

Athletes getting ready for competitions sometimes can’t even go to bed the night prior to a game, race or match, since they have that adrenaline rushing through their bodies, which we often refer to as being “pumped up” or highly motivated. During a competition, athletes release dopamine and endorphins, which are chemicals released when human beings fall in love, and for that, athletes often fall in love with the game or the sport.

Business people for instance getting ready for a presentation or getting ready to close a deal react to the flight or fight response. If emotions cannot be controlled, can lead to disaster and fear will take over. Practice, knowledge and preparation will make that business person gain confidence and boost performance, to which a successful one will fight and most likely perform well. Brain cells welcome oxygen and again, start producing endorphins and dopamine, and start falling in love with their own game. That is why we often hear truly successful business people say “it’s not about the money”. People who don’t know how to take advantage of an adrenaline rush will say “yeah right”, while those who know the meaning and feeling will most likely say “that’s right”.

However, it is always highly recommended to keep a balance in life to avoid burnout or disconnection with everything that matters in life. The body can only take so much, and in sports there are cases of “adrenaline junkies” or in business “workaholics”; like everything in life, there must be a balance. Injuries are generally caused by muscle fatigue, burnout and accumulation of stress, and in business I think we all know what accumulation of stress can cause.

In the end it is all about finding your passion. Some people find their passion at a very early age, while others take longer to find it, wherever in life you are, if you have found your passion, pursue it and protect it and don’t let anyone in the way of you and your passion. If you haven’t, don’t lose faith, fight, and keep trying, until you get that feeling of adrenaline rushing through your veins, waking up your body inside telling you that you are alive, that you feel good, and that you have found your passion.

Feel free to share your comments and experiences on this matter.

All my best,


Twitter: @asanvicente

Email: asanvicente@live.com

WiseGeek. "What is adrenaline?". 

Daniels, Nancy. "The Benefits of Your Adrenaline Rush Far Outweigh 
Your Nervousness in Public Speaking". <http://www.selfgrowth.com/ 

Wikipedia. "Epinephrin". <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epinephrine>

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Thanks for the post Arturo, I fully agree with you.

    When you are working on a business challenge, you feel the adrenaline on your body.

    It makes you go the extra mile, it makes you forget you have been working for hours and barely slept.

    It can be a possitive thing, except when it falls in the excesses you well mentioned.

    Read you on Tweeter.

  2. Thank you Vicente, I agree that sometimes we like to go overboard and we start to get enthusiastic. It’s alright every now and then to pull an all-nighter when you are in the zone, but keeping a balance is essential to stay within the limits of creativity, innovation, and of course growth. When we have a passion for what we do, these things come naturally.

    Have a great week!

  3. Marcelo Costa says:

    Great post! I couldn’t agree more.

    Adrenaline in business is what fuels the positive thoughts to keep cycling back again. The secret is to find your passion…

    1. Thank you so much for your comments Marcelo.

  4. Jim c says:

    Great article. I am reading this at 2:30 in a Sunday night because I am so excited about my new job as a first time manager. We face big risks on a new project and I want to understand my reactions as well as harness the results of adrenaline rush’s. There are not many news articles on this subject. You should right a more in depth price on this very important topic!

    1. Congratulations on your new job Jim! I will definitively look into writing a more in depth article. I hope this is helpful to you and wish you the best of success. Just the fact that you are doing research to understand what you are going through says a lot about you, I’m sure you will do great!

      Best regards!

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