CBD, fitness, and exercise: can it help?
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'The benefits of CBD are making headlines almost daily. From chronic pain to anxiety, CBD is helping people all around the world manage all kinds of debilitating medical conditions.
But what if you don’t suffer from any of these conditions? Can you still use CBD as a health supplement and reap its benefits?
Well, the answer is a resounding yes. Many people are using CBD as a regular supplement to enhance their already healthy lifestyle. More specifically, a growing number of people are beginning to use CBD as an exercise supplement.
CBD AS A WORKOUT SUPPLEMENT
Most of the evidence supporting the use of CBD as a workout supplement comes from anecdotal reports. Clinical studies and other kinds of scientific research have yet to explore this topic.
Nonetheless, there is a strong consensus among a growing population that CBD can be a powerful supplement to help enhance one’s exercise regime. Most of the positive anecdotal evidence for CBD in this arena praises it both as a pre and post-workout supplement.
IS CBD SAFE TO USE?
While the answer to this might seem obvious for many of us, this question is on a lot of people’s minds. After all, whenever you try a new health supplement, you want to make sure it’s 100% safe.
Luckily, CBD is completely safe to use daily as part of your exercise routine. It’s impossible to overdose from CBD, and it doesn’t cause any serious side effects when taken properly.
CBD AS AN ANXIOLYTIC AND MOOD-ENHANCER
There’s a solid body of research which argues that CBD is a powerful anti-anxiety medication.
Now, you might wonder why we’re bringing this up, but it turns out the anxiolytic effects of CBD are actually quite relevant to understanding its role as an exercise supplement.
When taken even in small doses, CBD can help improve mood and induce a calm, yet focused state of mind, which is why it has gained so much attention as a possible treatment for anxiety, stress, and depression. And you don’t have to suffer from any of these conditions to benefit from CBD’s advantageous effects.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that more and more people have concluded that small doses of CBD also greatly increase their focus when exercising or training, regardless of what kind of exercise they perform or whether they train professionally.
CBD FOR INFLAMMATION AND PAIN RELIEF
There’s no doubt about it; CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory and painkiller. Thanks to countless studies that have proven CBD’s anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, it’s become extremely popular among patients dealing with arthritis and many other conditions.
But again, you don’t need to be physically in pain or battling chronic inflammation to benefit from CBD. As we know, exercise results in acute inflammation of the muscles. This inflammation, in turn, is usually what leaves us feeling tense or sore in the days following a particularly gruesome workout.
Luckily, just like CBD can help quell the pain and inflammation of conditions like arthritis, it can also help soothe post-workout symptoms. Even in small doses, CBD can have almost immediate effects on pain and inflammation, helping speed up the recovery process.
That’s exactly why for instance UFC fighter Nate Diaz uses CBD as part of his post-fight routine and why some NFL players are turning to CBD instead of opioid painkillers to manage pain.
CBD FOR APPETITE STIMULATION
Eating is a big part of exercising properly. After all, you can’t expect your body to perform at its best if you’re not giving it enough fuel. This goes for both pre and post-workout.
Thankfully, CBD is a great natural supplement that can help you maintain healthy eating habits.
CBD is a known appetite stimulant. And while its effects might not be as pronounced as those of THC, CBD is becoming increasingly popular among patients who struggle to maintain a healthy and regular appetite. Patients undergoing chemotherapy, for example, often turn to CBD for this reason.
CBD AS A SLEEPING AID
One final way that CBD can help improve your exercise routine is by promoting better sleep. We’re all well-aware how important sleep is for recovery, especially REM (or rapid eye movement) sleep, during which the body recovers the most.
Thanks to its anxiolytic effects, CBD can help you get to sleep sooner and sleep deeper. Also, CBD has been shown to improve REM sleep in people with PTSD, Parkinson's, and other conditions, as well as help those suffering from more generalized sleep issues like insomnia.
But again, you don’t have to suffer from any of these problems to harness the benefits of CBD. As you’ll find out later, a simple small dose of CBD before bed can help you enjoy a deeper night’s sleep that’ll leave you feeling energized and recovered in the morning.
So now that we’ve covered how CBD can help improve your exercise regime, how to use CBD both pre and post-workout?
HOW TO USE CBD PRE-WORKOUT
A growing number of people are using CBD as a pre-workout supplement. And there’s a number of reasons why.
As we mentioned earlier, CBD is a known anxiolytic drug that can help fight stress, improve focus, increase creativity, and boost mood. This can have huge benefits for those about to embark on a workout, regardless of whether they’re a professional athlete or just trying to trim down in time for summer.
Whether you run, lift weights, play football, or cycle, CBD can help you clear your head before you start your next workout or training session, especially when administered in small doses.
Be aware that just like THC, CBD can have more sedative effects in larger doses, which isn’t ideal if you’re about to hit the gym.
As a pre-workout supplement, people tend to take around 2.5mg of CBD roughly 30 minutes before starting their workout. The most common way to take CBD is probably CBD oil, and 30 minutes should give you enough time for the CBD to be absorbed by your body and start to take effect.
Alternatively, you can also try CBD-enriched edibles (like gummies, chews, etc). If you prefer to use CBD edibles as part of your pre-workout routine, make sure to take them at least 1 hour before. Remember, edibles have to pass through the digestive tract in order to take effect, and this can take at least 1 hour.
HOW TO USE CBD POST-WORKOUT
As we listed above, CBD has a variety of benefits that can aid recovery. It can help fight inflammation around the body and relieve the pain of sore, aching muscles.
Because CBD is such a good appetite stimulant, it can also induce hunger post-workout, which is necessary for a full recovery.
Finally, the fact that CBD can help improve sleep and induce REM sleep faster means it’s a great tool for getting a solid night’s rest after a hard session on the track or at the gym.
How you take CBD post-workout depends a little bit on your workout regime. If you’re looking to harness the anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and appetite-stimulating benefits of CBD, it’s a good idea to take CBD directly after your workout. The dose will vary depending on your desired effects, but 2.5mg is a good place to start.
Alternatively, you may also take a larger dose in edible form. Just keep in mind that the effects will have a slower onset as the edible has to be digested.
If you’re looking to improve your sleep following a workout, you’ll want to to take your CBD around 1 hour before hitting the hay. Again, start with a dose of about 2.5mg and increase it as necessary.