Fitness-conscious consumers from athletes to casual joggers or cyclists are always on the lookout for creative ways to speed up recovery times and consolidate aspects of their recovery regimen by deploying the use of CBD before and after a workout for performance and muscle recovery.
Factually, CBD has several health benefits to everyone, including athletes, patients, and bodybuilders as it improves our general wellness and health.
With the increasing preference for naturally derived supplements for workouts, many are beginning to consider incorporating cannabidiol (CBD) into their selection of everyday products.
CBD is no longer available solely in dropper bottles; many companies have come up with the more convenient application and consumption methods to better suit the lifestyles of a broad range of consumers.
For instance, fitness enthusiasts can now use CBD-based salves and even CBD rollers to relieve the pain that inevitably comes after a strenuous workout.
It’s worth noting that some professional athletes are already using CBD to help them bounce back quickly from training, creating promising case studies for new consumers.
In this post, we’ll discuss what CBD is and how it works, ways it can support recovery, and how you can incorporate it into your own recovery routine.
What is CBD and How Does it Work?
CBD is one of two primary active cannabinoids in cannabis plants like marijuana and hemp, the other being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive effects meaning it doesn’t cause intoxication or delay motor response, so it’s safe to consume even during workdays.
Most CBD supplements are sourced from hemp since it naturally has a better ratio of CBD to THC.
Numerous studies have shown CBD to have a wide range of potential therapeutic properties including being anti-spasmodic, anxiolytic, antioxidant, and antiemetic.
This is possible because it directly affects how the body interprets and reacts to stimuli via the endocannabinoid system‘s CB1 receptors, which primarily affect the central nervous system, and CB2 receptors, which primarily affect the peripheral and immune system.
How to Use CBD Before a Workout
CBD pre-workout has proven to help boost workout performance as it makes you active and energetic. For instance, a pre-workout massage using CBD cream can help to stimulate the circulation of blood and warm up muscles, making you a little more limber for cardio sessions and a yoga class.
The process does not cover up pre-existing pain, yet it help you to relieve some stretches or find DOMS problem (delayed-onset muscle soreness).
Many athletes are now using CBD before a workout to improve these pre-workout massages.
This is because it is believed that CBD can interact with localized cannabinoids receptors in the skin to improve blood circulation and muscle performance.
To effectively use CBD cream before a workout, then you need to try massaging the CBD cream into areas that need warming up such as leg joints and muscles, and arms, waist, shoulder and neck muscles to help in easing tight muscles.
It is recommended that you apply generously with soothing motion and make sure you do not wash it off.
Remember that the formula is non-greasy enough or lightweight and you can feel comfortable even if you put on gym gear.
How to Use CBD After a Workout
Factually, after a workout, you always feel tired, bored, and exhausted. However, you can use CBD after the workout to relieve pain and aid in muscle recovery.
As a matter of fact, nothing soothes tired muscles like a massage using CBD oil, and nothing enhances a massage like a CBD muscle balm.
Therefore, to use your CBD after a workout, you need to apply it on areas you feel pain or around your arms, legs, shoulder, and back muscles. In other words, use light, gentle strokes, rubbing along your muscles with your palm.
This will help you reduce soreness around the shoulders, tight necks, and achy limbs, work out knots to relieve muscle pain and recovery of muscle after a workout.
Based on studies, doing a massage using CBD cream as soon as possible after a workout can reduce DOMS by thirty percent.
Benefits of CBD for Workout Recovery
The reason CBD is gaining so much traction as a therapeutic is because of its many potential applications discovered in scientific research.
It’s currently approved for the treatment of epileptic seizures by the FDA, but a 2020 Sportsmedicine review explained how early preclinical evidence suggests that CBD may promote traumatic skeletal injury healing, which is a common result of intense physical exertion.
Below we’ll discuss some of CBD’s key pro-recovery properties that can help you manage common aches and pains that come with a good workout, as well as speed along the recovery process so you’re ready to put in another workout sooner.
A Low-Risk Anti-inflammatory
Inflammation is a direct and localized response to injury or irritation, and it can sometimes be more of a hindrance to athletic performance than the injury itself.
It’s the result of white blood cells rushing to cushion and protect the damaged area; this is what causes the affected area to swell.
CBD has shown anti-inflammatory properties which can help mitigate physical discomfort and pain caused by inflammation.
Diminished swelling allows for better mobility and blood flow, which can help to speed along your body’s natural healing process.
A Natural Analgesic
Many people with acute or chronic pain conditions are accustomed to taking drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen, but studies have shown that regular use and prolonged exposure can sometimes have unwanted side effects.
This is why people who like to push their bodies to their physical limits have been warming up to the idea of a natural alternative like CBD.
According to a 2020 review, “CBD exerts an analgesic effect in several neuropathic pain models” making recovery much more manageable and comfortable.
Promotes Healthy Sleep Cycles
It’s well established that the body does most of its repair work and metabolizing while it’s at rest, which is why sleep is an often overlooked but very important aspect of recovery. Insomnia is a growing problem but it’s usually a symptom of other issues like anxiety, pain, or discomfort.
There is significant correlative anecdotal evidence that CBD is effective at mitigating these issues.
According to a published at ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, when your insomnia is caused by external factors or related conditions, CBD may help by treating the causes of sleeplessness,” and help people get the good, restful sleep needed for optimal recovery.
How to Incorporate CBD Into Your Recovery Routine
Another selling point for CBD supplementation is the variety of ways you can actually consume it.
Many users opt to simply vape or directly ingest their CBD, but it can also be applied topically, and even added to food and drinks.
Below we’ll go over some of the most popular forms of CBD and who stands to benefit most from each type.
Add CBD Gummies and Capsules
Gummies and Capsules have always been popular forms of CBD. Each piece has a pre-measured amount of CBD mixed in, so dosing is made simple for people who are on the go.
Gummies are available in a variety of shapes and flavors with the added bonus of being fairly inconspicuous, making them great for use at the office or for those who prefer to be more private about their CBD supplementation.
Add CBD drops or Tinctures
Tinctures/CBD Drops can be taken sublingually, added into post-workout protein shakes or incorporated in post-workout meals.
These forms are best for those who like to adjust their dose sizes and are already accustomed to supplementing with CBD.
Though this form of CBD can be added to food and a variety of beverages, it’s best to add it just before serving, as too much heat could affect the potency of CBD.
Add CBD Cream, Lotions and Rollers
CBD Creams, Lotions, and Rollers make it easy to target problem areas directly.
Topical application is fairly popular because it can provide localized or targeted relief, which is why they are increasingly easy to find in drug stores.
If you’re interested in using CBD topically, it’s best to look for broad- or full-spectrum formulations that include terpenes like limonene or pinene as they have been found to naturally improve transdermal absorption.
That means that these two terpenes increase skin penetration so CBD can quickly reach the muscles or joints that need it.
CBD Use in Professional Sports
Despite marijuana legalization still being debated in some countries and states, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) formally removed CBD from their Prohibited Substances list in 2018.
Professional athletes, from renowned golfers like Scott McCarron to champion bodybuilders like Thomas Wolfe, now openly speak about how CBD has helped them with their athletic endeavors.
CBD has been growing in popularity among athletes in contact sports, as well. Two of the UFC’s top fighters, Yair Rodriguez and Nate Diaz, have not been shy about their use of CBD to help with recovery and sleep during intensive training camps and after fights.
Whether you’re an MMA athlete or an individual with a moderately active lifestyle, there’s an impressive amount of evidence to suggest that supplementing with CBD can be a viable add-on to conventional therapies and methods of recuperation.