Thanks to a wealth of media coverage, the benefits of CBD oil for inflammation are now quite well known.
So, the next logical question for anyone who trains often and hard is, can CBD supplements also improve your fitness performance?
To answer this - before we get into the role of CBD - we first need to understand that without proper recovery, your workouts can mostly go wasted. Of course, you’ll still burn calories and get your heart rate up. But if you’re fatigued before you even start, your performance will drop, you won’t build lean muscle, and you could risk dangerously high levels of stress hormones.
That can lead to everything from injury to muscle wastage, and even the unwanted kind of weight gain.
So, the first takeout from this post is: planning for your recovery is just as important as your workout routine. Recovery needs to be purposeful - it's more than just resting after a hard training session.
Secondly, we should take a quick look at what CBD is, so we understand how it could help.
Any workout, especially a rigorous one, causes microscopic damage to your tissues and muscles. It's this inflammation that triggers your body's repair processes, allowing tissues to grow back stronger and fitter.
However, too much inflammation can contribute to excessive muscle damage and poor workout results. That why inflammation is a leading cause of exercise-relatedinjuries, like muscle strains. That means that people who train hard usually take measures to combat inflammation, such as having ice baths or even taking NSAIDs like ibuprofen. Although it’s obviously not a good idea to be taking ibuprofen on a regular basis - overuse could damage your liver and kidneys.
But taking a CBD supplement could help. Cannabidiol has anti-inflammatory, pain- relieving and appetite-stimulating effects that can help you have effective workout recovery, and therefore boost your performance results.
CBD – or cannabidiol - is one of more than 100 compounds called cannabinoids contained in cannabis. It has a similar structure to endocannabinoids, which the body naturally produces, and it helps to regulate many of the body’s systems - from motor function to mood, appetite, and pain.
However - in case you were wondering - unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD doesn’t cause psychoactive effects or a ‘high’. In fact, CBD counteracts it.
CBD supplements can be used before a workout to reduce pain sensitivity. That immediately helps you go harder during your workout and meet your performance goals. Many people also use it as a general energy and mood booster.
CBD has antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects, which can help you feel more energised, positive, and motivated to perform your workout - especially if you sometimes suffer from stress or feeling low.
Another pre-workout benefit of Cannabidiol is that it’s thought to act as an anti-catabolic.Catabolic hormones break down muscle tissue, which is the opposite of what you want from your workouts. As an example, one of the catabolic hormones is cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. One of cortisol’s main functions is to break down muscle tissue to supply the body with blood sugar. CBD has been shown to decrease cortisol levels in the blood, which can prevent the breakdown of musclesduring your workout and help you to gain lean body mass more easily.
And CBD post-workout, too…
CBD is thought to have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help you recover faster and deal with symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness.Cannabidiol can also aid with relaxation and help you sleep better at night. Muscle recovery takes place while you sleep, meaning anything that improves your sleep can also help you build muscle.
Finally, some people find CBD can stimulate their appetite and help them eat their post recovery meal. It’s important to consume enough protein after a workout to help you build muscle, so if you struggle to eat enough, try CBD.