Post-workout recovery is an intriguing topic and rightfully so. That’s because if you’re to hit the gym the next day with the same vigour and enthusiasm, your body needs to have recovered fully and CBD might just be the way to do it.
Interestingly, the world of fitness has been interrupted by a new trend – suing CBD for your workout. A year ago, the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances. What this means is that athletes were given the green light to incorporate this cannabis-derived product into their exercise regime.
Clearly, cannabidiol is one that is becoming popular among sportsmen and women in influential circles.
But the market is awash with products aimed at promoting full muscle recovery post workouts. How do you know where to start? And will CBD really work for post-workout recovery, or is it just a fad?
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Why Use CBD Before Your Workout?
Unlike other products that target a particular area such as sore muscles, CBD takes a multi-symptom approach. This makes it ideal for use before, during and after workouts as you’ll see next.
To reduce pre-workout anxiety
Some people get anxious before a workout, mostly if they are trying out an unfamiliar activity level. A small 2010 study found that CBD can reduce anxiety; brain scans of participants showed changes in blood flow to the regions of the brain associated with feelings of anxiety.
This is while a 2015 analysis of previous studies showed that CBD can be used to relieve different kinds of anxiety.
CBD comes in various forms including tinctures, capsules, edibles, oils, e-liquids for vaping, gels, sprays, lotions and concentrates.
Edibles and capsules may take a longer time to act since they have to go through the digestive system before hitting the bloodstream. CBD before workout is best taken at least 30 minutes prior to ensure that the effects are felt in good time. Fortunately, CBD overdose rarely ever happens, even in doses as high as 1,500mg/ day.
Why Use CBD During The Workout?
To Increase Stamina
Stamina is the strength and energy that allows one to “endure” through a workout. This can be achieved through a boost in physical energy levels as well inducing mental stimulation or “the runners’ high.”
As much as CBD does not cause euphoria it causes a level of mental stimulation and excitement that can boost stamina. CBD also has a relaxing effect on muscles that can help to improve energy levels and performance. Lastly, CBD helps to balance dopamine levels resulting in more relaxed exercise.
During intense workouts, one can take some CBD infused energy drinks and CBD beverages to boost their stamina and help them to exercise for longer.
Physical activities such as workouts have been shown to raise the level of anandamide in the body. Anandamide is the body’s own generated endocannabinoid that is able to reduce pain and inflammation.
Sometimes, the body’s endocannabinoid system is not sufficient on its own to bring down the pain levels that come with exercise. And this is where exogenous cannabinoids such as CBD come in.
Taking CBD during a workout could help promote the pain-regulating compounds that are already in our bodies — which could help with pain relief.
Athletes are among the worst-hit profession when it comes to opioid addiction. Sports is closely linked with chronic pain. It is no wonder that many athletes are now turning to safer alternatives such as CBD for pain relief.
Lately, it is being speculated that CBD could be used to treat opioid addiction; we are closely watching this space.
Why You Should Use CBD Post Workout
To relieve post-workout inflammation
Post-workout inflammation that shows up a day or two after exercising can affect anyone, especially once you start a new exercise program.
This is often referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS occurs because of microscopic damage to the muscle fibers when muscles are required to work harder than they usually have to.
Anecdotal evidence from people who have used CBD for muscle recovery shows that it basically relieves joint inflammation and promotes faster recovery. Some scientific evidence exists to support this theory.
A recent study published in Frontiers in Neurology showed that CBD improves pain and mobility in patients with multiple sclerosis. The study found that CBD has anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiemetic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective properties as well.
For this purpose, CBD is best rubbed on muscles as an ointment or ingested orally.
To Promote Post Workout Sleep
Restful sleep is very important after a long workout; when you sleep the body produces melatonin which is a human growth hormone that facilitates muscle recovery.
As much as CBD does not directly induce sleep, it is able to relieve symptoms that may prevent one from having sound sleep after a strenuous exercise. These symptoms may include pain, stress, anxiety, and fatigue. CBD also reduces the active phase (REM) sleep meaning that you will wake up refreshed and re-energized.
If your insomnia is caused by any of the above factors, CBD may help by treating the causes of sleeplessness.
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How Much CBD For Exercise Is Enough?
This is a tricky one, as everyone’s body responds differently to CBD. But before you panic, remember that CBD overdose is almost impossible. This is considering that studies have shown that even doses as high as 1,500mg daily may still be considered safe.
The recommended starting dose for CBD is 20 mg to 40mg per day. You can increase the dose gradually, by 5 mg a day, as you observe the effects. Once you feel the desired effect you won’t have to up the dose.
Also, remember that some CBD formulations have limited bioavailability. For example, a 2009 study showed that oral CBD only has a 4 to 20 percent rate of bioavailability.
This means that as much as the CBD amount may be high, only a small amount is available to cause the anticipated effects. Thus 20mg of CBD capsules may not be equivalent to 20mg of CBD concentrate.
Final Thoughts On CBD Workout
As a rule of thumb, you should observe how your body responds to different forms of CBD, of course starting with the lowest possible dosages.
If you do not feel any response even after trying higher doses, it should be your cue to stop and probably try something different.
Ultimately, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any CBD treatment.