If you’re one of those ﬁercely ﬁtness focused people that hits the gym everyday, your cabinets are probably full of all kinds of supplements. The modern day gym junkie has access to more products of all shapes & sizes than ever before. This has led many active individuals to revolutionize how they get their nutrition, stay hydrated, and enhance their ﬁtness routines with optimized supplementation.
On the ﬂip side, many people ﬁnd themselves lost in the deluge of ‘new and exciting’ products that are ever-competing for their attention. There are almost too many brands with too many different offerings, adding up to the confusion many are calling “supplementation over stimulation”.
Nevertheless, if you’re going to achieve your ﬁtness goals or even surpass your own personal best, you’re going to need some support along the way. This is where natural supplements and nutritious diets are proving to be the ‘best of both worlds’. When you combine the data-driven approach of ﬁtness science with the wholesome sources of naturally derived supplements you’re doing what’s best for your physique AND your long-term health.
With this fundamental approach to ﬁtness in mind, let’s turn our attention to one of the fastest growing natural health supplements on the market today: CBD.
IS CBD SAFE BEFORE OR AFTER WORKOUTS?
With a wide array of health beneﬁts, CBD is being used by many people for anything from ﬁghting muscle pain & inﬂammation, to improving focus and sleep. Cannabidiol is very popular because of its versatility in supporting good physical & mental health, ﬁtness and general wellbeing. What’s more, CBD can be incorporated into multiple points of your workout routine – showing promising effects for your training, performance and even recovery.
Cannabidiol has been relied on by millions of people all over the world for many generations, but recently it has taken the spotlight in the United States. Since it’s legalization in December 2018, hemp CBD has taken off. Due to its popularity, low-risk and non-psychedelic effects, hemp-derived CBD has been approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) this year. This has opened up a whole world of opportunities for professionals to use CBD as a health & ﬁtness supplement.
Should you take CBD before working out? Is it better to take CBD oil before or after a workout? How can CBD for working out enhance your ﬁtness? Let’s pump some iron facts and stretch out the truths about CBD and working out to determine if it’s right for you.
CBD FOR WORKING OUT
CBD, short form for Cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid derived from cannabis & hemp plants. The cannabis plant contains hundreds of natural compounds, two of the most prominent being CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). One of the most striking advantages that CBD has over its cannabinoid cousin THC is that Cannabidiol is non-psychoactive. This means that it does not have any mind-altering effects – unlike THC which is the most prominently psychoactive compound that gives you the ‘high’ associated with cannabis.
Hemp-derived CBD contains low amounts of THC (typically 0.3% or lower) whereas cannabis plants can contain high amounts of THC. This is why it is important to get CBD products that have low amounts of THC (0.3%) which is found within the hemp plant.
How does taking CBD before exercise or post-workout CBD work? Before we understand the beneﬁts of Cannabidiol when it’s included in your workout routine, let’s discuss how muscle building works.
YOUR MUSCLES, CBD AND WORKING OUT
We have over 600 muscles, they make up anywhere between a third and a half of our body weight. The way you strengthen muscles works in a very interesting way, a way that works with damage and repair as a way to build your muscles to be stronger than they were prior to your work out.
For the purpose of explaining how you build muscles, let us use the example of opening a door. When your body is given the task of opening a door, your brain sends a signal through to your arm and hand letting it know that you will be using those necessary muscles to complete the task. When your brain is sending the signal to your arm, your brain is actually contacting motor neurons. Motor neurons are nerve cells forming part of a pathway along which impulses pass from the brain or spinal cord to a muscle gland.
When your brain contacts your motor neurons inside your arm, they ﬁre, causing your muscles to contract and relax which pull on the bones in your arm and generate the targeted movement. The bigger the challenge becomes, the bigger the brain’s signal grows, and the more motor units it rallies to help you achieve your task (which in this case would be opening the door).
In terms of muscle building, since opening a door is typically a lighter task than lifting weights, let us say that the door is now made out of solid iron. If this were the case, your arm muscles alone will not be able to generate enough tension to pull it open. Since your arm muscles alone will not be able to open the iron door, it will turn to other muscles in your body for help. Now your nervous system has just leveraged the resources you already have, this being other muscles in your body, to meet your demand. In this case, you are not only using your arm muscles but now you have planted your feet to activate those muscles, as well as tightening your belly and activating those muscles. By engaging multiple muscle groups you have empowered yourself to have the strength to open the door.
When you challenge your muscles like this, you are pushing your muscles to the literal breaking point (micro-tears in the tissue) that triggers your body to devote resources and energy into rebuilding them again, stronger than before. Your muscles build in a very interesting way. When working out your muscle ﬁbers undergo another kind of cellular change, as you are exposing your muscles to stress: microscopic damage.
In this response, the injured cells release inﬂammatory molecules called cytokines. Cytokines call on the immune system to repair the injury that has taken place. This is the process that we refer to as muscle-building. The greater the damage to the muscle tissue, the more your body will need to repair itself. The resulting cycle of damage and repair is what works to initiate muscle growth & development; as they adapt to progressively greater demands. This explains why you can handle more arduous workouts and more physical strain the more you workout.
We’ve all built enough muscle to handle day-to-day tasks like opening doors – hopefully one that is not made of iron! – or petting a cat, pulling out a chair, and other daily tasks that do not strain your muscles. These tasks will not result in stimulating new muscle growth, but they do create muscle memory. In order to build new muscle, our cells need to be exposed to higher workloads than they are used to. This occurs through a process called hypertrophy. If you do not expose your muscles to resistance, they will shrink, which is known as muscular atrophy.
Now we can begin to form a clearer picture of how CBD oil before or after workouts can enhance our progress at the gym. By introducing before exercise or after workouts you can help your muscle inﬂammation to be optimal (not too much to cause further soreness, but not too little to stop the cytokine process from taking place). Additionally, CBD for pre-workouts or post-workouts can ease your pain, allowing you to push yourself harder.
CBD can be introduced throughout any training, performance or recovery routine but CBD oil before or after workouts have become its most popular usage. What is better? CBD before or after workouts? Let’s go through the pros & cons of each.
SHOULD YOU TAKE CBD BEFORE WORKING OUT?
Your body needs more than just working out in order to enable your muscles to grow. Many other factors affect how you build muscles. Some of these factors include proper nutrition, consistency, and rest. Your body would not be able to repair damaged muscle ﬁbers on its own, so what you put into your body and how you turn that into action is an important balance to develop.
One of the main uses of CBD is for its anti-inﬂammatory effects and pain relief. Not only does this allow for faster recovery time and a longer, more intense/challenging workout, but relief from pain & inﬂammation can lead to more productive training and muscle growth. CBD before workouts is aimed at levelling the playing ﬁeld for your mental & physical wellbeing so that you can challenge yourself to exceed your personal best.
Get one more rep, push through the strain & pain of a rigorous workout and ﬁght the symptoms of swelling, soreness and irritation that occur when muscle cramping, spasms and ﬁtness-related injuries strike. You can reduce the onset and severity of all these symptoms with regular hemp CBD use. Apply it topically to the affected areas, ingest some CBD oil before workouts or take pre-workout CBD capsules and you’ll start focusing less on pain and more on being at your best.
IS CBD BETTER AFTER WORKING OUT?
By improving the quality of your sleep, you will be able to optimize your precious resting time to rebuild your muscles and get back to working out faster and more eﬃciently. Not only is CBD great for improving sleep quality, consistency and duration but it’s excellent for calming your nerves. Many post-workout products help to nourish your muscles to promote the repairing/strengthening process, but with CBD added your post-workout routine can help to refocus and re-energize your body & mind as well.
Since rest is an essential part of recovering from your workout, hemp-derived CBD is critical to ensuring you get the most out of your nightly sleep. For those who are kept up at night, whether it be because of muscle and pain inﬂammation, being a light sleeper, or for those who have issues falling asleep at night, CBD for post-workouts can be just what you need.
Some studies have shown that a lack of consistent, quality sleep can not only undo some ﬁtness progress but it can lead to some debilitating health issues. Rest and a ‘good night’s shut eye’ are diﬃcult to come by for many of us. Invest yourself in some hemp CBD and even if you’re not getting enough Z’s by the hours, you’ll at least be sleeping deeper and beneﬁting more from a quality rest.
Is CBD good before a workout?
CBD can be very beneﬁcial both pre- and post-workouts. Some people even combine CBD in their water or snacks during exercise. Cannabidiol can help your body in reducing pain, inﬂammation, and stiffness leading up to rigorous exercise as a proven analgesic supplement.
Is CBD good for muscle growth?
CBD has shown some promise as a reducer of cortisol levels whenever you engage in very intense, high-octane exercises. By inhibiting cortisol levels, Cannabidiol can contribute to muscle tissue growth while also helping your body to cope with soreness, swelling and stiffness in your muscles and joints.
Is CBD good for post workout?
CBD is most notably taken for its anti-inﬂammatory properties as a post-workout supplement. Cannabidiol can be effective before, during and after workouts but most athletes take it as a recovery enhancer due to its ability to ease soreness and swelling.
Does CBD raise testosterone?
It has been suggested by some recent studies that CBD can help to reduce testosterone levels through inhibition of certain enzymes that produce testosterone. More study is required to make any certain claims in this ﬁeld of study.
Why do athletes use CBD?
Athletes rely on CBD for many reasons as beﬁts their unique training, performance and recovery requirements. Most athletes, ﬁtness professionals and active individuals alike have reported that pain, inﬂammation, stiffness and nervousness are the main symptoms that they seek to treat with Cannabidiol.