If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, forget em', cause, man, they're gone. –Jack Handey
Question #89349 posted on 04/12/2017 7:08 p.m.

Dear(, hopefully, multiple Writers of the) 100 Hour Board,

First off, you guys are great. I just rediscovered the 100 Hour Board after a long hiatus, and I am once again (or still) a fan.

And now the question/poll: When you get an adrenaline rush, do you feel like it "goes" to one certain place on your body? For example, if I narrowly avoid dropping a baby or falling from a high place or something, after about a second, I feel a rush in my feet. My brother says he feels something similar, but in his shoulders. My sister says she feels it in her knees.

And question 1.B, I suppose: I have a half-formed theory that we girls feel it in our legs and he feels it in his arms because men and women are proportionately stronger in their upper and lower bodies, respectively (call me out on that if I'm mistaken, please), so maybe if we had to lift a car off of someone, etc., the adrenaline would help out most effectively. Do you folks have any evidence, supporting or otherwise, that relates?

-Al Umnus

p.s. maybe this isn't actually an adrenaline rush at all, but something else?


Dear Albert,

When I get an adrenaline rush, I normally feel it in my legs and my fingertips. Sometimes it's an intense tingling throughout my entire body.



Dear Ally,

It's been so long since I've had an adrenaline rush that I can't say for certain, but from what I remember I don't think it all went to one particular spot. 

-Frère Not Particularly Helpful


Dear Intriguing Theory,

Hm. That's the tingling sensation right? I usually feel that in my stomach/lower ribcage area. Which makes sense, I guess, because my body is not particularly upper or lower body-centric and is more rectangular. Or maybe it's just broken on me.

Speaking from the position of someone who is definitely not a physiologist, it could be that adrenalin affects the entire body but because some people are more upper-body proportioned and some lower-body proportioned, they feel it more there. Thus, as they get that surge, it is uneven because there's more muscle to affect in certain areas. If any of the readers know more about the human body than Google and myself, please chime in.

-Van Goff

posted on 04/12/2017 11:35 p.m.
YAY I get to be a temp board writer!!

Adrenaline (epinephrine/norepinephrine) is a hormone--meaning it's a chemical signal that travels via the circulatory system. Where does the circulatory system take it in the body? Literally everywhere you're not dead (so not your epidermis). However!! a signal only has an effect if there is something monitoring for that signal. Alpha1 Beta1 and Beta2 are the receptors that monitor adrenaline, so where they are located is where we will find our effect.

Alpha1 is everywhere* in the smooth muscle of your blood vessels, and when activated causes vasoconstriction (why people get pale when frightened). This may sound counterproductive, but since you haven't decided which muscles to use yet (run? fight? catch?), it's easier to shut down everything and open up blood supply via local control (NOT hormones!) to the muscles you do end up using--thus maximum blood goes where it's most needed.
Beta1 receptors are found on the heart, and when triggered cause an increase in heart rate and strength of contractions.
Beta2 receptors are located on the coronary vessels (the blood vessels that supply the heart with blood; it's a muscle, it needs blood too!) and the bronchiols and triggers vasodilation--cuz no matter what your response is gonna be, you're gonna need increased breathing and cardiac output (and remember, we just stimulated that heart!).

So--adrenaline goes everywhere, and you'll feel different effects in different predetermined places which are the same for everyone. However, local control (which my physiology class did not go in depth on) will have effects specific to the situation. The body is complicated, and there are likely other factors involved with the tingling feeling, but know it's not adrenaline directly causing it, and that the location you feel has more to do with muscle groups that were prepped for action.


*not in your brain