Chronic pain and fatigue are two of the biggest reasons people stop working out regularly. After a hard workout that leaves your muscles feeling weak, your daily routine can get interrupted and leave you in significant pain.
This pain can come from either working out too hard or not taking the proper steps for recovery before and after a workout. Simply adding a couple of steps to your workout routine can improve recovery and limit how sore your body gets afterward.
Aids to recovery include setting aside time to stretch before and after your workout, and doing a warm-up to get your muscles loose and a cool-down to work off built-up acid in your muscles.
However, many athletes are beginning to add CBD oil into their routine as well. You can take CBD oil before your workout to boost performance, during it to increase stamina and after it to speed recovery. Additionally, taking CBD oil before you go to sleep can help you achieve a deeper sleep, which is crucial for recovery.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is found in cannabis plants, such as hemp and marijuana. It is one of over 100 “cannabinoids” in cannabis; THC, the component that gets you high, is another.
CBD differs from THC in that it does not get you high, does not have any psychoactive attributes and has minimal side effects. Today, CBD can be isolated from industrial hemp to be consumed in capsules, edibles, oils, or topical treatments.
What is the ECS?
CBD works with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in our bodies to cause a number of different processes to become more efficient. The ECS taps into the nervous system in mammals and regulates a number of bodily functions via neurotransmitters.
These include our sleep cycles, metabolism and levels of vital chemicals. Ultimately, these processes end up cascading to cause major changes in our overall well-being. CBD works with the ECS to improve bodily performance and well-being.
What is cortisol?
Cortisol is a chemical in our bodies that prevents protein synthesis and breaks down muscle tissue. It is also the chemical that causes the feeling of stress. However, cortisol is important for removing toxins from our liver, regulating blood-sugar levels and enhancing short-term memory.
The problem with cortisol is that its level varies throughout the day, and has a tendency to get too high due to stressful lifestyles. CBD can help regulate cortisol.
How does CBD improve athletic performance?
In order to properly recover and boost muscle mass, it is crucial to regulate cortisol levels in your body. CBD attaches to the CB2 receptor in the endocannabinoid system to keep cortisol levels from getting too high.
This is what makes people feel more calm and relaxed when taking CBD. It has the added benefit of speeding up your muscles’ recovery when taken after a workout.
Taking CBD before your workout can help you focus and feel better throughout the workout, ensuring you maximize your athletic performance. A number of athletes note that when they take CBD before their workouts, they are able to reach athletic goals they do not normally hit. Some long-distance runners will even take CBD oil during their runs in order to alleviate pain and get a second wind.
Finally, taking CBD before going to sleep can help you reach deep-REM sleep. This level of sleep is when your cortisol levels are lowest and thus when your muscles do the most recovery. In order to boost your recovery, you need to ensure you get enough sleep each night. CBD can help with that, as well as making sure you are getting the most out of your time asleep.
What does the science community think?
While there are studies supporting many of the claims about CBD, more research is necessary. As CBD has only been legally available for a short period of time, there is not much research surrounding its long-term side effects.
Doctors at Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania both state that the long-term side effects are not well understood. Also, they note that many CBD companies do not correctly label their products, making it the consumer’s job to research brands before buying their CBD products.
It is still a little early to claim that CBD is a miracle drug, but much of the information so far does show that it can help athletic recovery. If you struggle with muscle spasms or muscles aches from working out, you should consider getting CBD oil for your daily routine. Whether you take it pre-workout, post-workout or before bed is up to you. Try it at a few different times to see what works best.