What does adrenaline do?

When stress first attacks -- whether the threat is emotional (bad news about a best friend) or physical (getting trapped in a blizzard) -- the brain’s first reaction is to signal to the adrenal glands to release epinephrine, better known as adrenaline. Among its many jobs are increasing heart speed and rushing blood to the big power muscles, just in case you have to move fast.

Adrenaline commandeers some of that blood from the skin and face, by the way, which makes you look washed out, which is where the phrase “white with fear” comes from. If whatever caused your heart to race passes, the adrenaline flow abates, your pulse assumes its usual pace, your palms dry, your color returns, and life as your body knows it goes back to normal.

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

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