CBD and Exercise Recovery: What to Know
There’s growing evidence to suggest that CBD can contribute to post-exercise recovery by acting on the endocannabinoid system — the biological system that appears to regulate a wide range of physical and cognitive processes, including sensation and motor coordination.
It’s been known for a long time that CBD can support digestion, metabolism, sleep, neurological health, and heart health, but it’s only recently that more attention has been paid to the possible benefits that CBD has to offer in recovery from strenuous exercise.
Studies are beginning to point to significant benefits from taking a quality CBD supplement as part of an exercise and well-being regime — so let’s look at the phenomenon of post-exercise soreness and how we can combat it with a quality CBD supplement.
At this point, we must note that, as with all supplements, CBD products are not a substitute for a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle, and should only be used after consulting a medical professional.
In This Article
Hitting the gym or going for a run can bring enormous benefits to our fitness levels, strength, and general well-being, but there’s often a catch: post-workout soreness.
Just what is it that makes the day after a hard workout so uncomfortable?
Post-workout soreness, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), occurs because of microscopic damage to muscle tissue by impact and the eccentric lengthening of muscles during activities like weight training and running.
The breakages in the muscle fibers are a normal part of vigorous exercise and ultimately result in greater strength, but the tears cause the tissues to temporarily swell and it’s this swelling that causes soreness.
Some exercises and training regimes create more soreness than others and we generally experience more DOMS when:
- We train harder than normal
- We use muscles that we don’t normally use
- We do “eccentric” exercises that lengthen the muscles they strengthen such as weightlifting
- We engage in high-impact exercises
Soreness is the body’s natural response to being used and indicates that the process of recovery and strengthening has started — so if you don’t experience some soreness, it’s unlikely that you’re causing enough micro-damage to strengthen the muscles you’re using.
Real pain, on the other hand, may indicate that you’ve overdone it, so learn where your “balance point” lies and learn to distinguish between the two forms of discomfort.
For example, if you have pain over the site of a tendon, you may have the beginnings of an overload injury. Site-specific pain like this is different from the more generalized soreness that follows a workout, so it can be helpful to give the sensation a score “out of 10”.
If you score the pain as more than 4 out of 10, it might be time to throttle back a bit and schedule more recovery time into your regime.
The salient point to remember is that post-workout soreness is felt in muscle tissue and indicates that the body is responding to the controlled stress you’re subjecting it to.
Listen to your body — the soreness is your gauge of how much or how little to do and indicates that you’re on track to increase your strength and overall physical ability.
There’s always a flip side though and that’s if you do overdo it, excessive soreness can prevent you from training — so use your pain score as a yardstick and adjust your training program accordingly.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, a phytocannabinoid compound found in the hemp plant. Research suggests that CBD can help support several key mental and physical processes and may benefit post-exercise recovery.
Numerous human-tested research studies published in the National Library of Medicine (NLM) have shown that the compound can support better sleep, improve mood and focus, and can strengthen the immune system. In addition, an animal-tested study in the NLM suggests it improves heart health.
Given the benefits cannabidiol has for the mind and body, it’s not surprising that there is now more attention being paid to CBD’s role in recovery from exercise — so let’s look a little more closely at the link between the two.
The study of the link between CBD and exercise is still in its infancy but there’s growing evidence to suggest CBD can support the body’s recovery from strenuous exercise by acting upon the body’s endocannabinoid system.
We need to stress that the endocannabinoid system itself is not yet fully understood and there is much more to be learned about its effect on the body and how it may be influenced by CBD, so what follows should be considered as theory and not an establishedfact.
That said, we’re confident of the myriad benefits CBD has to offer in a holistic health and wellness regime and believe that future research will bear out the hypothesis that CBD is beneficial in post-exercise recovery.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS)
The endocannabinoid system regulates a vast range of key processes in the body and has been shown to act upon the immune system, metabolism, nervous system, circulatory system, inflammatory response, emotional processing, and pain control, to name but a few.
It comprises a vast network of chemical receptors that are distributed throughout the brain and body. To stimulate and communicate with these receptors, the body produces endocannabinoids, compounds that have a structural similarity to the cannabidiol found in the hemp plant.
Here lies the mystery and the potential: what is the exact relationship between CBD and the endocannabinoid system, and how can we best harness the power of CBD to support the body in post-exercise recovery?
We already suspect that CBD helps the body maintain normal responses to stressors such as exercise and fatigue, but there’s much more to know and it’s very exciting to see the boundaries of our knowledge being extended all the time by new research.
Potential benefits of CBD post-exercise
- Modulates body’s response to exercise
- Reduces muscle soreness
- Helps body achieve homeostasis more quickly
- May help improve overall recovery time
Research indicates that CBD may modulate the body’s response to the micro-damage caused by exercise and help prevent a physiological “overreaction” that can cause increased soreness from muscle swelling.
By supporting the endocannabinoid system, CBD could help the body reach homeostasis (physiological balance) more quickly and speed up the recovery process, thereby decreasing discomfort and helping you resume your training program more quickly.
With the wealth of benefits CBD offers generally, such as improved neurological function, , and better sleep, in our opinion, there’s a very strong case for incorporating a CBD supplement into your fitness regime as an aid in managing DOMS.
Choose an emulsion formula instead of an oil
When it comes to choosing a CBD formula, we think the choice is clear: choose an emulsion rather than a lipid-based formula.
The reason is that over 90 percent of a traditional lipid-based CBD supplement is not absorbed by the body; unless CBD oil is very finely dispersed, as in an emulsion, it simply isn’t available to the body.
That’s bad economics and poor use of a wonderful, natural, health-giving resource.
By using a natural water-soluble carrier, scientists are now able to disperse the tiny CBD droplets in water, giving an unparalleled degree of bioavailability, a faster-acting effect, and greater convenience for the user.
According to the Phytotherapy Research study, water-soluble CBD supplements deliver 4.5 times more CBD to the body than lipid-based formulas, so when choosing a CBD product, it pays dividends to choose an emulsion.
In fact, one study at Colorado State University found that good-quality CBD emulsions provide 450% more bioavailable CBD than lipid-based products. That equates to quicker absorption and more usable CBD, meaning better value and greater benefit from your supplement.
There is a wealth of CBD products on the market, so which one do you choose?
The best CBD supplements utilize the nanoemulsion process to produce CBD oil droplets that are sub-micron in size. Called Nano CBD, this is CBD in its most potent, bioavailable form.
NextEvo’s range of CBD supplements use Smartsorb™ technology, meaning they deliver their Nano CBD to your system in as little as 10 minutes. This means that one NextEvo Premium Pure CBD Capsule is equivalent to 4x the dose of a traditional lipid-based supplement.
(A word of caution here: don’t confuse a nanoemulsion with a microemulsion. A microemulsion’s CBD droplets are far larger than those of Nano CBD, so a microemulsion can’t match Nano CBD for bioavailability and overall efficacy.)
Consider water-soluble CBD for post-workout convenience
The best way to experience the benefit of CBD quickly and powerfully in post-exercise recovery is to take it in water-soluble form.
NextEvo and Caliper offer a complete range of Nano CBD products in easy-to-take powders and capsules (along with some great-tasting gummies, mints, and other supplements), so we have the perfect CBD supplement for everyone — wherever and whenever you need it.
For example, Dissolvable CBD Powder sachets are a quick and easy way to add water-soluble CBD to your diet. Just add one of the flavorless sachets to your post-workout drink or meal and you’ll get an instant dose of 20mg of 100% pure, US-produced CBD goodness.
CBD for busy people on-the-go
Swiftsticks. Available in three delicious flavors: Mixed Berry, Lemon Lime, and Cool Mint, all you need to do is sprinkle the powder on your tongue to receive a precise 20mg dose of pure, potent CBD.
Everyone is different and there is no standard dosage for a daily CBD supplement. However, one of the most important things we’ve learned from our study of supplements and wellness is to listen to your body.
So, we suggest you incorporate CBD into your health regime gradually and start by taking 10mg every day, increasing your intake incrementally until you feel relief from your post-exercise soreness.
There are plenty of other ways to help relieve post-exercise soreness and you should definitely take a holistic approach to manage it.
Here’s what we suggest:
- Drink lots of water. Many people still don’t drink enough water!
- Get enough good quality sleep
- Eat a balanced diet that includes lots of antioxidants
- Use massage
- Schedule adequate recovery time into your workout program
Is CBD good for weightlifting?
There’s a lot of evidence to support the theory that CBD offers relief from post-exercise soreness and that it may contribute to overall recovery after strenuous exercise, such as weightlifting, by modulating the body’s response to muscle fiber micro-damage.
How much CBD for bodybuilding?
Research indicates that CBD can give relief from muscle soreness, so it’s useful as part of an overall exercise and health regime, but there’s currently no evidence to suggest that it affects muscle growth.
Does CBD affect athletic performance?
There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that CBD affects athletic performance directly, but studies do indicate that it may play a role in supporting the endocannabinoid system, thereby potentially reducing pain and inflammation.
How does CBD affect muscle growth?
There is currently no evidence to suggest that CBD affects muscle growth., strengthening the case for the use of CBD as an aid in post-exercise recovery