The role of endorphins in exercise: a review of current knowledge

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1983;4(3):169-73. doi: 10.2519/jospt.1983.4.3.169.


Exercise training is used increasingly to prevent and treat disease, and millions of healthy persons participate in various aerobic-type sports; yet, the mechanisms by which exercise produces various clinical effects is imperfectly understood. Emerging evidence suggests that the endogeneous opioid endorphins may be involved in two widely varying aspects of exercise: endocrine control and behavior and mood adaptation. The present paper summarizes these findings. The relationship of endorphins and adrenocorticotropin to stress and the aspects of endorphins' involvement in the concept of "runner's high" are discussed. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 1983;4(3):169-173.