So a back story first; yesterday I played some badminton games with my friends, and I kind of pushed myself a bit harder than usual.

Usually I'll get out of breath after 2-3 sets of a game (I'm easy to get out of breath, and have low stamina), but yesterday I pushed myself to play 4 sets. To my surprise, when I was exhausted in the half of the 4th game and tried to adjust my breathing, I suddenly felt some kind of surge of energy.

My breathing suddenly became stable, I was sweating less (which is rare because normally I sweat a lot, by a lot I mean I'll just standing doing nothing and I'll sweat bucket), I felt a bit stronger, and recovered my stamina.

This is not my first case and I'm wondering if this "surge of energy" thing is normal or not. I'm a bit overweight (92kg 178cm) if that matters.

1 Answer 1


It sounds a lot like you experienced a "runner's high". This is something that usually is experienced by runners, as running is the most common form of aerobic exercise, and runners therefore experience this quite often. They run for a while, get exhausted, and achieve a sort of second wind, or as you describe it, a sudden burst of energy.

When you're subjecting yourself to aerobic exercise at a pace that is neither too easy, nor too hard, you will after a while trigger an endorphine response to the stress. Endorphins is basically your body's natural painkiller. It's potent enough to overcome a certain level of stress, making you feel good. But it's not powerful enough to overcome the pain of severe stress, induced by all-out sprinting for long durations. Thus, in order to get a runner's high, you have to be careful with the choice of pace. In your case, the pace was pretty much picked for you by the combination of which activity it was, and the skill level of the people you played with.

Additionally, endorphins activate your opiate receptors (similar to what drugs to, but in a much milder, and completely natural way), which is why we call it a high. Similar responses can be elicited by achieving a feeling of mastery, like when you learn a new fact or skill.

I'd post some links for you to read, but it would basically just be whatever you can find by googling runner's high study, so if you want to know even more about it, that's where I'd start.

  • 1
    Thank you for the answer! I'm blind in fitness because i only do casual walk, run, and sports. At first i thought if this is my blood vessel got blocked or something and then set free after pushing myself out (something like cholesterol animation on YT, because i'm overweight), thank god it's natural chemical reaction to body stress. Commented Jun 23, 2019 at 13:24
  • I believe this is also called "getting your second wind."
    – Ed Grimm
    Commented Jun 23, 2019 at 20:34

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