The Complete Guide To Consuming CBD For Fitness
There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding cannabidiol (CBD) in the past decade, mostly for good reasons. CBD is a mainstream product in the wellness and health industry these days primarily because of its effectiveness. CBD products are shown to alleviate certain medical conditions such as pain, depression, and anxiety. And if you’re into working out, you’ll be glad to know that consuming CBD can also bring you closer to your fitness goals.
With many athletes incorporating CBD into their fitness routine, you may be wondering how you can do it, too. There are already many other supplements in the market, not to mention the protein shakes that are part of workout lovers’ daily regimen. Adding CBD products to the mix may complicate things. To help you make an informed decision about whether you should add CBD for muscle recovery, muscle growth, and weight management, among other things, this article serves as a complete guide to everything you need to know about using CBD for fitness.
What Is CBD?
It is a chemical compound that naturally occurs in the Cannabis sativa plant. The other well-known compound in the plant is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which causes physiological effects after use. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive effects. So, you don’t need to worry about experiencing impaired cognition and reduced libido when using CBD to aid in your workout.
CBD is mostly extracted from industrial hemp plants such as hemp seed, which only contains about 0.03% of THC. After that, the extracted CBD oil gets mixed with carrier oils such as grapeseed, coconut, avocado, and olive oils.
You can get CBD in different forms. The most common ones among fitness lovers include the following:
- CBD Topicals: This form of CBD is formulated into lotions, roll-ons, creams, and patches. They’re popular among bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts because they quickly get absorbed through the skin. CBD topicals are also appealing because they’re easy to apply on specific body parts. This comes in handy to ease pains and aches if you’re experiencing muscle soreness in a particular area of your body.
- CBD Gummies: In the form of gummies, they are a convenient way to get CBD into your body. They’re ideal if you want lower doses of CBD before or after your workout. You can also use them before bed to ease your nerves from anxiety and stress.
- CBD Oils: They contain a mixture of CBD extracted from hemp and a carrier oil such as MCT oil and hemp seeds. They’re the simplest form of CBD for bodybuilders to carry around, thanks to their compact design. Administering CBD tinctures is simple, as they come with a dropper attached to the bottle.
- CBD Tinctures: You can get this form of CBD in many flavors. They’re available in different potencies or concentrations. Workout enthusiasts love CBD tinctures because they’re easy to administer, as you only need to use a dropper to get a dose below your tongue. The CBD will then enter your bloodstream, and you can experience its effects after 10 to 15 minutes.
- CBD Edibles: They’re the best form of CBD to get if you want to experience extended effects and something easy to carry. CBD edibles include honey, coffee, tea, or chocolate bars.
CBD works by interacting with two brain cannabinoid receptors, known as CB1 and CB2, in the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is connected to the central nervous system and plays a crucial role in various things, such as metabolism, pain, and mood. And when it comes to working out, metabolism, pain, and mood are factors that greatly affect how soon you can achieve your goals.
Why Is CBD Good For Bodybuilding?
Bodybuilding is an intense strategy of toning and honing your body muscles by performing strenuous workouts. Doing this consistently will boost your stamina and grow your muscles. As a result, your overall physical performance progresses. But it comes at a price because these intense workouts lead to torn muscles and fatigue.
Intense workouts have adverse effects that may hinder you from attaining your desired fitness goals. And if you’re into bodybuilding, the question of whether CBD is good for muscle development and weight training must have come to mind.
You may be more tempted to consume CBD for fitness, considering this substance is now legal in many countries, including the United States. Moreover, the World Anti-Doping Agency has removed CBD from the list of banned substances.
To put it in a nutshell, CBD benefits bodybuilders and passionate athletes. The many benefits of incorporating CBD use into your fitness routine are detailed below:
- It Helps With Muscle Recovery
Post-workout muscle soreness is an issue you must have faced at one point if you stick to an intense fitness routine. This can be due to many reasons, such as:
- Performing muscle-building intensity-boosters
- Increasing your exercise volume
- Increasing the weights your lifting
Any of these actions can cause your muscles to suffer microscopic damage. This makes your muscles feel sore, forcing you to stop working out for a few days or weeks. You can use CBD for muscle recovery, as this compound is a great remedy for chronic inflammation.
Inflammation is a natural response by the body that entails heat, loss of function, redness, pain, and swelling. It’s a natural immune response by your body that helps safeguard it from dangerous microorganisms. This short-lived process also helps repair the damaged cells and remove residue. As a result, the destroyed cells will be as good as before.
Despite being somewhat painful, acute inflammation is something normal you’ll experience as a fitness enthusiast. By contrast, chronic inflammation can greatly affect your bodybuilding goals as it results in the breakdown of your muscles. It also slows down muscle growth and can trigger the onset of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and arthritis.
Using CBD can effectively deal with chronic inflammation by lowering the chances of repeated inflammation from time to time. With this in mind, it’s easy to understand why many bodybuilders turn to CBD for muscle recovery.
For optimal muscle recovery, you must follow certain guidelines when using CBD. This is the same as when using any other workout supplement. It’s advised to mix CBD supplements with a protein shake right after exercising.
If you’re using CBD in the form of roll-on products, creams, or balms, you should apply them in a circular motion. Follow this up by massaging your body gently so that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors.
For CBD in oil form, it’s best to use a dropper to put it below your tongue. Give the CBD oil about 30 seconds under your tongue for it to pass through your tongue’s mucous membrane, where there’s a network of capillaries. As a result, CBD finds its way into your bloodstream.
- It Improves Quality Of Sleep
Working out is physically and mentally demanding. For your body to be in an optimal state for your workout routines, you need to be fully rested. Otherwise, your body will struggle to synthesize protein into muscle and heal the torn muscles as a result of intense workouts.
If you spend most of your time at the gym, chances are you’re suffering from fatigue. And sometimes, despite your body already feeling tired, your mind may still be racing. You may also have insomnia. You may use your CBD products if sleep eludes you.
CBD can help you sleep if you’re experiencing stress or anxiety. It does this by working with the hypothalamus. This small part of the brain plays an integral role in sleep-related functions like adjusting body temperature and matching sleep patterns.
CBD can ease your mind of too much mental toll, so you can better enjoy quality sleep the entire night. Sleeping better will, over time, promote faster recovery of the damaged muscles. This means spending less time on the sidelines and quickly resuming your workout routine.
Other than helping you sleep, CBD can act as a wake-inducing agent. This helps better regulate your circadian rhythm, which boosts your daytime alertness. The heightened alertness also makes you feel more productive during the day.
The difference between acting as a sleeping aid and a wake-inducing agent lies in the dose and time of intake. It’s best to consult with your doctor regarding the dosage.
- It Promotes Muscle Growth
Another reason to use CBD is that it promotes muscle growth, thanks to its anti-catabolic properties that help regulate specific hormones in your body. One such hormone that’s controlled by using CBD is the cortisol stress hormone. Using CBD lowers the presence of cortisol in your body. This is crucial because high cortisol levels hamper protein synthesis, which is needed for muscle growth.
The use of CBD also helps the body by reducing cortisol fat. This is essential if you want to remain in optimal shape to continue performing high-intensity workouts effectively. In addition, the anti-catabolic properties of CBD help in slowing down muscle breakdown.
- It Helps In Weight Management And Weight Loss
Your weight is one of the things you keep track of if you’re serious about your fitness targets. You can ease your struggles to hit your workout goals by using CBD. It helps with weight management by increasing the levels of leptin in your body, a hormone that makes you feel satisfied and full. As a result, it reduces your cravings for high-calorie foods, which, besides being unhealthy, considerably increase your body’s fat level.
Apart from modulating hunger, CBD improves your body’s metabolism. Cannabidiol interacts with the mitochondria, which burn the cell’s energy. CBD regulates the mitochondria to help achieve metabolic balance in your body, which is needed to burn all the excess fat. By using CBD on top of regular exercise and a balanced diet, you can lose weight and have lean muscle and a superb physique.
- It Reduces Anxiety And Stress
Are you struggling to build your muscles? One reason may be too much stress or anxiety, which causes an increase in the cortisol hormone in your body. You also start to experience other symptoms, such as low self-esteem and poor concentration as a result. You can bypass all this by using CBD, which helps ease your mind from all the worries.
According to one study, CBD helps in managing anxiety and anxiety-related disorders through the endocannabinoid system. With reduced levels of cortisol hormone in your body, you can grow your muscles as desired.
- It Lowers Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness
During a high-intensity workout, your body muscles usually rub against each other. This impact causes your muscles to become sore, which explains why you feel aches throughout your body after an intense workout.
This soreness is often painful and can last for a couple of days, and it’s referred to as delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This condition is characterized by a burning sensation lasting 12 to 24 hours. In some extreme cases, DOMS may cause too much pain such that working out becomes a challenge.
The pain you experience lessens the more your body gets used to the workout routine. If the pain doesn’t lessen, a CBD dose can help ease the soreness. You may use a CBD capsule or dose before and after your exercises for optimal effectiveness.
CBD reduces DOMS by helping your brain keep hold of the feel-good hormones so that you can better deal with the pain. You can continue feeling comfortable even after an intense workout session. You should start seeing the positive effects of using CBD around 72 hours after your exercise.
- CBD Increases Energy Levels
There are days when you feel tired and lazy, making it quite tempting to skip your workout session. This is expected because working out daily and maintaining this schedule for weeks can become tiring. But consistency is key, and thus is one thing you must observe if you’re a dedicated bodybuilding or fitness enthusiast. You should consider using CBD to get the energy needed to keep you going even when you feel unmotivated.
CBD can regulate your body’s energy levels by reducing the insulin level in your body. It’s the hormone responsible for regulating glucose levels. The reduced insulin levels mean your body burns greater quantities of glucose, converting them into energy rather than becoming fat. It then becomes much easier to have the energy to perform your intense workout.
Upping your protein intake is important to achieve your workout goals. Protein plays an essential role in helping the body maintain and repair damaged muscle tissues due to intense workouts. But despite having such a crucial role, eating protein-rich meals is challenging for most workout enthusiasts and bodybuilders. Also, protein digestion is much more complicated than carbohydrates and vitamins.
CBD helps ease these issues because this ingredient attaches to the endocannabinoid CB receptors. As a result, this improves your body’s metabolism, a process whereby food is converted into energy instead of fat. CBD effectively regulates the mitochondria that convert protein, fats, and sugars into energy.
CBD helps eradicate any imbalance that can slow down your metabolism and make losing weight more challenging. Gaining muscles can then be easier as long as you remain consistent with your workouts.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties also improve your body’s digestion by lowering the chances of inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract that can cause an upset stomach. Moreover, it can help your body better handle digestive complications such as irritable bowel syndrome. Another way CBD promotes digestion is by mitigating the likelihood of stomach bloating.
- CBD Enhances Your Focus
Your mind needs to be sharp and focused when working out. When struggling with mental clarity, consider using CBD to improve your focus.
CBD does this by stimulating the endocannabinoid system to achieve a state of homeostasis in your body. With this balanced state of mind, it’s much simpler to focus on your workouts to realize your fitness goals. You’ll also be more motivated to do more reps as you’re more attuned to all the movements you make.
This guide elaborates on what you need to know before integrating CBD into your daily routine. Nine benefits are highlighted here. What you need to bear in mind is that CBD may not go well with other medications. Also, there are products out there that contain more THC, which can have psychoactive effects. You shouldn’t consume CBD without doing your research, especially if you’re a first-timer.
Search for a reputable brand, one that is highly recommended by many consumers and is transparent in the milligrams of CBD in their products. The global industry is yet to be well regulated, so it’s best to source your CBD from a company operating in the United States.
Most of all, do not look at CBD as a permanent solution because there is still no concrete evidence regarding its long-term effects. Instead, go for more sustainable practices such as hydrating well, eating properly, managing stress levels, exercising in moderation, and optimizing sleep quality.