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By

Grant Bissell

St. Louis (KSDK) - It's a great time to be a sports fan in St. Louis. We've got a World Series Champion, a hockey team that's on top of the league and two college basketball teams heading into March Madness.

But did you know cheering for your favorite team can actually change your brain chemistry?

Many St. Louis area fans are still riding an emotional high that's started with last year's world championship run and has lasted deep into the hockey season.

"The Blues, they're on fire right now. I mean we're the best team in the league right now," said hockey fan Brian Keck. "There's lots of bragging rights when you can say we're not only the best team in the division, but the league. That's awesome."

Some fans say they've even seen an improvement in their day-to-day lives.

"I think when your team is winning and you have something to be excited about it can totally turn your mood around," said Wendy Mathis.

It turns out cheering for the winning team can have a positive effect on your brain.

"We're getting more of the good chemicals we like to have," said sports psychologist Joe Lenac. "We are getting some more endorphins, some more serotonin, a little more dopamine because our brain's excited.

But Lenac warns the opposite is true if your team starts to lose.

"It's the kind of stuff we don't like to see. The depressed mood, also some aggression that comes out in different ways. And ironically when teams have a big crash and lose and there's a highly identified fan, that core group, we actually see an increase in drinking alcohol," said Lenac.

He says the whole experience is like a shared emotion and can affect everyone around you. That's something all Tiger, Billiken and Blues fans can hope for.

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