CBD AS A WORKOUT RECOVERY AGENT
Your workouts are typically going to fall into a combination of one of four categories. Cardio, resistance, flexibility, and balance, now many exercises may draw from these; HIT training, for example, draws from cardio and strength. Cardio is some form of running or swimming; resistance is our strength training, lifting, and calisthenics. Flexibility might be yoga or activities that require mobility, and balance can also include yoga, but sports like surfing also fit that workout style. Each of these workouts has a myriad of benefits.
When it comes to workout benefits, there are many. Better circulation, helping stave off heart attack and stroke. Denser bones not just for preventing breaks but also fighting off osteoporosis as we get older. The brain also gains benefits from workouts, producing more hormones such as serotonin. Of course, weight is better modulated; having a ratio that is of lower fat and higher muscle is almost always a good thing for our health.
Like most activities, workouts are not without potential risks. Muscle soreness, injuries, chronic inflammation, and overtraining are some issues that can arise if we are not training correctly. The main reason these harmful factors come into play is a lack of dedication to recovery. If we are going to work out to live healthier lives, we must put a big emphasis on recovery. LeBron James’s trainer stated that “…recovery never stops…” So, while our workouts can be beneficial, inadequate recovery can lead to the opposite of our desired wishes.
Of course, our diet and sleep, play a significant role in our recovery. But supplementation is beginning to play a more crucial role in athletic performance. For your workouts to be successful, we need to cause some stress, not too little and not too much. MMA coach Faris Zahabi states exercises should be like throwing a baseball, not a paper ball, and not a bowling ball. A baseball, this gives us enough stress that the body responds but does not break. The rest portion is often neglected by many of us. Some of us may need some assistance in recovery, CBD might be that assistance some of us need.
CBD, working off our natural production of endocannabinoids, CBD helps stimulate the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These two receptors have a multitude of duties CB1 helps with the chemical transmission in the brain, while CB2 aids in our immune system. Because these two have a lot of control of our chemical and bodily functions, they may aid in our body’s recovery post-workout.
A potential benefit from CBD is for the “runner’s high.” CBD works on the endocannabinoid system; this system may also regulate that euphoria feeling when you are running a great distance. It’s worth noting that CBD does not trash the body’s ability to produce these chemicals. CBD aids the body’s ability to build more of what it needs, not substituting what it needs. The science is still up in the air about when to take CBD for this benefit. Some athletes note that “runner’s high” is much longer and more robust when supplementing with CBD.
CBD may help in the suppression of cortisol, a potentially unhealthy hormone in large doses. Cortisol is beneficial for workouts but only in small doses. Too much leads to muscle wasting, fat gain, and sleep deprivation. Many overtrained athletes suffer from too much cortisol and struggle to make gains. CBD might aid the process of downregulating cortisol so that our body is gaining the benefit of this hormone.
Many athletes have some inflammation issues from either overtraining or old injuries. CBD again shows that this may be a useful aid in combating the harmful effects of working out. Reducing chronic inflammation will help to alleviate this pain. CBD is a mild pain killer, aching joints and old injuries that keep you up at night might feel some alleviation while supplementing with CBD.
Arguably the most crucial part of a good workout program, sleep. There are a host of issues from a lack of sleep, but if you are not getting good sleep, your workout is going to diminish in value. CBD for sleep is a niche market, and some of the research appears to be promising. One such study found that suffers from insomnia saw an increase in quality sleep. Quality of sleep is essential; the research also states that CBD helps users to get into a proper sleep schedule and doesn’t just sedate the user. The study noted that CBD kept the users going through all sleep cycles. CBD may aid in the regulation of serotonin; deficiencies in serotonin are strongly correlated with sleep problems.
When is a good time to take, and how much?
Dosage is mainly dependent on what delivery system you are using. Drops, pills, flowers, and creams all vary quite a bit, so reading and understanding the product label is a must. The timing might be a little easier to zero in on; the goal is that the body is using CBD 5-30 minutes after the workout. In theory, this should help the body fight off the aches and pain also increase those hormones that make workouts so enjoyable.
Notable athletes using CBD
Gordon Ryan, one of the most celebrated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu submission artists of all time, is an avid user of CBD as well as his coach Garry Tonnon who is another excellent submission fighter and an undefeated MMA fighter. While on the subject of MMA, some of the greats, current and former, are turning to CBD. Bas Rutten began supplementing CBD in retirement, Nate Diaz is a long time supporter, and Jorge Masvidal is currently sponsored by a CBD company as well.
Since CBD is now allowed by WADA and USADA Olympians are now using CBD as well, USA’s triathletes are now using CBD. Individual sports are using CBD to get some added benefits; many yoga studios are now offering CBD and yoga in the same class. Surfers such as Nathan Florence is also using CBD to promote better living through exercise and recovery.
All these sports cover the before mentioned categories mentioned previously, cardio, strength, balance, and flexibility. So, it seems no matter what activity you participate in, there is some benefit that CBD can offer you as an athlete. CBD also doesn’t appear to throw your body out of homeostasis, a dream of most supplements. Better recovery leads to better workouts, which lead to a better quality of life, give CBD a chance.