In an age where there’s an astounding amount of supplements readily available for fitness enthusiasts, why is it that elite athletes from Olympic gold medallists to pro golfers in the PGA endorsing the use of CBD oil into their post-workout recovery routine?
There’s a lot of hype around this subject at the moment. Separating the facts can feel confusing and so if you’re considering adding CBD oil to your routine, here’s some more information to help you make a more informed decision.
First, let’s look at what your body goes through after a workout.
Most of you will have experienced the satisfying feeling of adrenaline and release of energy for a few hours after an invigorating workout or sports session. But you wake up the next day and the pain and soreness that ensues leaves your body in an aggravated and inflamed state for days, sometimes potentially putting you off from training or participating harder. For most people, this is an unavoidable aspect of their fitness journey. It’s no secret that so many professional athletes have become accustomed to the idea of ‘playing through pain’ in order to reach their goals.
The inevitable pained state is because of the high levels of physical stress your body experiences after a powerful workout.
As your body exerts itself, it produces the stress hormone, cortisol. This hormone is like the body’s natural alarm system. It works with certain parts of the brain to control your mood, motivation and fear and helps fuel your body’s ‘fight or flight’ instinct. After an energetic workout, a large release of cortisol normally occurs and whilst this stress hormone has a vital and positive role in regulating things like sleep, blood pressure and how your body stores carbohydrates amongst others, a large release can also be catabolic. It can inhibit new muscle growth and actually increase the amount of fat stored in the body.
This release is even more heightened if you are doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which causes more strain to the muscle causing more microdamage to the muscles, further triggering inflammation and stress.
So, how can CBD oil help you recover from your workout more quickly?
The answer can be found in CBD oil’s role in the human endocannabinoid system which contains two types of cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2.
CBD oil predominantly impacts the CB2 receptors which are mainly located in the central nervous system and have a huge role within the immune system. Because the oil is so easy to absorb, it works extremely well with the body to impact specific neurotransmitters and hormones, building up the immune system to regulate and reduce pain and inflammation. This is why millions of people are now using it not just for their post-workout recovery, but also to help combat a range of health issues.
CBD oil is an anti-catabolic which means it has the ability to regulate how much cortisol is released into the system. This is vital because if you can reduce the level of cortisol released from your workout, you can encourage muscle regeneration.
CBD also has the ability to activate the glycine receptors, which play a critical role in the perception of pain. By activating these receptors, inflammation and pain is reduced.
What role can CBD oil have on my post-workout sleep?
One of the most crucial elements for recovering not just from workouts but from the day is sleep. While you are asleep, your body does an enormous amount to repair and grow your muscles. But if you are finding it difficult to fall asleep at night, it is likely the cortisol and adrenaline released from either the gym or pressures of life that are keeping you awake and preventing you from maximising your recovery.
CBD oil can benefit your sleep in two crucial ways; first by regulating cortisol levels to help you fall asleep faster, and secondly by helping you reach the deep REM cycle of sleep that is crucial for the human body’s recovery. This is the cycle of sleep that has the most impact on creating optimal conditions for muscle build and repair.
What’s the best way to integrate CBD oil into my post-workout routine?
Due to its pain relieving and anti-catabolic properties, CBD oil offers a low risk and natural support tool for aiding in the post-workout recovery
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CBD oil can be absorbed through many ways from oil drops under the tongue to candy and topical creams. There are even CBD drink powders that you can add to your post-exercise protein shakes to additionally help in your recuperation. It’s also important to note that food affects your ability to absorb CBD, more cannabinoids are absorbed on a full stomach.
One of the most effective ways to absorb CBD is through oral ingestion via oil drops directly under the tongue. This route gets CBD faster into the bloodstream than swallowing and has a peak bloodstream level range of 0.5-5hrs.
When it comes to CBD dosage, you should consult your doctor to make sure it won’t interact with any medications you might be taking, and follow the recommendations included from the product you’re using. The general rule of thumb is 25mg taken twice daily, and if you’re not seeing the results then increase the dosage by 25mg every 3-4 weeks until you find the ideal outcome.
What is the best dosage?
Disclaimer: This post is intended for informational purposes only and not intended to serve as professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor and listen to your body on what works for you.