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Is a Second Wind Real?

A girl drinks a protein shake after working out.
Oleg Romanko/Shutterstock.com

Fitness lovers, runners, and gym enthusiasts, are you chasing the enigmatic phenomenon known as the “second wind?” It’s that magical moment when exhaustion threatens to conquer your body, but suddenly, a surge of energy sweeps in, propelling you forward like a superhero.

But is a second wind real… or just a figment of our imagination?

While it may sound like a mythical concept, science offers some intriguing insights into the second wind. According to experts, the second wind is not merely an illusion. It’s a very real thing that can help you get even more out of your workout… but they’re not certain why it happens.

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During intense exercise, it’s common to feel a wave of exhaustion followed by a refresh of energy. One theory suggests this occurs when the body switches from burning carbohydrates to fueling with fat reserves, but experts aren’t confident this is a satisfactory explanation.

Researchers are more confident in the theory that a second wind is more mental. When physical activity triggers the release of endorphins (the feel-good communicators in your brain), you can get a burst of new energy and determination for your workout.

There’s also evidence to suggest that external factors—like an encouraging fitness coach—can help you dig deeper and find your second wind.

Whatever the case, the moment when determination triumphs over exhaustion is real. It can be so powerful that it helps propel you through the finish line and get more out of your workouts.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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