In recent months, a growing number of high profile athletes have spoken about about their use of CBD as a supplement or treatment when taking part in their chosen sport. Such revelations have a positive effect, as if leads to a wider discussion about the use of CBD in sports and exercise.
UFC star Nate Diaz and NFL linebacker Derrick Morgan were just two of the high profile names ascribing the benefits of their CBD usage. Thanks to their openness, the stigma regarding CBD is beginning to fade as more people become informed about the potential benefits CBD can offer.
With WADA having removed CBD from its list of banned substances, CBD usage amongst athletes is sure to rise in the coming months. And since the WHO (World Health Organisation) recently concluded that CBD is not only safe but also non-addictive, a growing number of people are now using CBD as a supplement in their exercise routines.
As a result of this increased media exposure, more and more questions have arisen about CBD and what kind of impact it has on your body both prior to and after exercise.
So, can CBD can really help you in both your exercise performance and recovery?
To this day, the understanding of CBD and its potential benefits by the wider public do remain somewhat limited, but hopefully, by answering some of the more commonly asked questions, we can provide some further enlightenment on a subject that seems to be on everyone's lips at the moment.
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“I just started using CBD, but I usually exercise 3-4 times a week. Can I take CBD before my workout?”
CBD can potentially provide many benefits as a pre-workout supplement, including a reduction of your sensitivity to pain, boosting your energy and working as an anti-catabolic.
A 2009 study showed that CBD is an analgesic, meaning it effectively works to relieve pain. As a consequence, you are able to work out harder and for longer because you won’t be as sensitive to the pain signals coming from your muscles.
CBD is also used as a general energy and mood booster. CBD can potentially offer antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects, which can give you more energy, positivity and higher levels of motivation that you need to complete your workout routine.
We all know just how challenging it can be to even go to the gym, let alone muster the energy to complete a grueling workout, so anything that helps to boost our energy levels and motivation has to be worth investigating.
Another pre-workout benefit of CBD is that it’s thought to act as an anti-catabolic in your body.
Catabolic hormones act to break down muscle tissue, which is the basically the opposite of what you want to happen during a workout or a run. One of the crucial catabolic hormones is cortisol, more commonly known as the stress hormone. One of cortisol’s main functions is to break down muscle tissue to supply the body with blood sugar. A study conducted in 1993 concluded that volunteers given CBD showed decreased cortisol levels in their blood.
This effect can help to prevent the breakdown of muscles during your workout, helping you to gain lean body mass more easily.
However, if you are using CBD specifically as an anti-catabolic, please make sure you’re not using any pre-workout drinks that contain caffeine. Unlike CBD, caffeine actually raises cortisol levels.
“Can I take CBD after my workout?”
Yes, in fact, using CBD after exercise is now very popular amongst CBD users, with many reporting a variety of benefits. Those benefits are said to include: Reduced muscle soreness, lowered inflammation, and reduced levels of anxiety.
CBD has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help you to both recover faster and to deal with the symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness. CBD may also help to reduce anxiety and can also help you to get a better night’s sleep.
Sleep plays a vital role in our post-workout recovery as well as our general health and well being. Muscle recovery also takes place while you sleep, meaning that if you sleep better, your ability to build muscle also improve.
“Will CBD help to improve my running performance?”
CBD does help to improve your endocannabinoid function, which could potentially boost to both running performance and recovery.
Our esteemed writer Mary conducted her own personal test on CBD as a supplement for her running performance with some interesting results. You can read her story here.
Mary’s account pairs up with a number of people, who are now supporting the theory that CBD may help to improve running performance. While there is a lack of scientific evidence at this stage, a growing number of CBD users are now beginning to support the theory that CBD could help to enhance running performance.
“Are there any side effects to using CBD when I exercise?”
One of the possible side-effects of CBD is that it might lower your blood pressure. When your blood pressure drops, it is possible that you’ll feel lightheaded or even some light dizziness when doing physical activity.
Therefore, it is really important to fully understand how CBD works on your body, before you do any kind of serious physical activity or exercise. You can find all the information you need by visiting our website or sifting through our blog.
There certainly appear to be many benefits from using CBD and while there may be a lack of scientific evidence, there does seem to be a real change in the attitudes of both sporting figures and the wider public with respect to CBD usage - both in professional sports and in our everyday exercise routines.
With more and more of us now armed with a better knowledge and understanding of CBD, it is vital that we share our stories and push for more scientific testing. This way, the full benefits of CBD can be revealed on a wider scale.
Hopefully, with more detailed analysis expected in the coming months and years, we will develop a fuller and more complete understanding of the benefits that CBD can provide to our bodies.
Ultimately though, everyone is different and the effects of CBD do vary from person to person, so it is really important that you understand your body and it’s limitations before including CBD as part of your exercise routine.