CBD, aka cannabidiol, can have many effects on the body and mind, but one benefit you might not have considered is its impact on your workout routine and subsequent recovery. CBD is the non-psychoactive component of cannabis and is an ingredient that is said to deliver a variety of physiological, biochemical, and psychological effects that have the potential to benefit people who exercise.
In this guide, we’ll detail what science tells us about how taking CBD can affect your fitness game, both before and after a workout.
In This Article
- Supports the relief of stress
- Supports your body’s sleep cycle
- Assists reduced muscular tension
- Aids Muscle Recovery
- Promotes Mobility
- How Much CBD Should I Take Before or After a Workout?
How Can CBD Help Before a Workout?
Research has shown that CBD can have several different effects on the body, and using it ahead of a workout is no different. Here are a few ways CBD can help before you work out.
Supports the relief of stress
While you might think it’s most important to ensure your body is physically ready for a workout, you should also ensure your mind is prepared, especially since stress has become a key issue in sports psychology. Most athletes have experienced nerves ahead of competition, as well as the stress that can be caused by intense pressure to work out and succeed. That’s where CBD can help.
CBD is thought to help ease stress generally, with many people believing that it can also help them focus better during a workout. A study published in 2015 found that CBD can effectively reduce stress and stress-related behaviors. It’s important to note, though, that the study used acute dosing on healthy individuals, so further investigation is needed to determine its efficacy in other groups of the population.
The benefits of CBD may reduce stress ahead of a workout or performance. A study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation showed that physical stress was lowered among participants who were given CBD when compared to those who were administered a placebo during exercise.
Of course, each person will react differently to CBD so it’s difficult to say with certainty that it can completely reduce stress ahead of a workout for every person. When it comes to CBD and sport, there is a lot more research needed, as concluded in this study.
Supports your body’s sleep cycle
We all know that reduced stress is a recipe for a general feeling of relaxation and wellbeing. An added perk of this is improved sleep quality and the ability to get a good night’s rest. Getting plenty of rest and sleeping well is fundamental for athletic performance, as well as your overall health, so it’s worth looking into how CBD can assist your sleep cycle, especially if you experience occasional sleeplessness.
Some studies have shown that CBD can potentially block stress-induced REM sleep alteration. REM is the stage of sleep in which we have rapid eye movement and are in a very light sleep stage, which is not the best sleep state to be in for overall rest, so reducing this type of sleep can be beneficial.
When sleeping, especially in a deep sleep state, our body works to restore various body systems and ensure they are in a position where they can maintain our memory, mood, and cognitive function. Ensuring our body and mind are well-rested is essential for improving athletic performance and putting in a good workout.
Assists reduced muscular tension
If you’re a person who struggles with muscular tension when working out, or you experience muscle soreness after a workout, CBD is thought to help.
Warming up thoroughly before an intense workout can help reduce the impact of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and also ensure your muscles are ready for a workout. CBD may also support healthy blood flow by widening blood vessels and reducing muscular tension, therefore decreasing the time it takes to warm up and helping you get the most from a workout.
Who Should Use CBD Before a Workout?
While CBD has been shown to have several benefits before a workout, it is particularly beneficial for a specific few types of people, including the following:
- People who occasionally experience nerves before a workout or athletic performance
- People with occasional stress who might want a confidence boost before working out
- People who are limited for time and need to maximize their workout
How to Use CBD Before a Workout
There are several ways to use CBD to ensure maximum efficiency in delivering the intended results of your workout.
If you are looking to achieve improved sleep ahead of a big workout, CBD capsules before you go to bed might be a good option. If it’s improved performance and reduced muscle tension you’re seeking, taking CBD chewables like mints could help if taken a little while before you’re due to start your activity.
When considering which products to use, you should also look at the absorption rates and opt for a product with high absorption. Because CBD is naturally lipophilic, so it is more able to be dissolved in oils. But then it isn’t easily absorbed by your water-based body which can mean over 90% of the CBD you take can be discarded and unused.
NextEvo Naturals’ SmartSorbTM technology, however, has been developed to improve the bioavailability of CBD, ensuring more CBD starts to get into your system in as little as ten minutes. By turning hemp-derived CBD into a water-soluble emulsion, our products can give you 4x the amount of CBD in oil based formulations, therefore enabling you to take less but absorb more in a shorter amount of time.
How Can CBD Help After a Workout?
While CBD can have positive effects before a workout, it’s also been known to improve experiences following a workout:
Aids Muscle Recovery
Your muscles can really take a hammering during a workout, which can result in muscle tension and DOMS. This is because exercise causes damage via microscopic tears across our muscles, which in turn can cause discomfort and inflammation. The body then produces an immune response to speed up a repair, often resulting in further discomfort. However, there is some anecdotal evidence that suggests CBD can help to aid muscle recovery when taken after a workout, due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
When recovering from intense or difficult workouts, a recent study has shown that CBD can help soften the DOMS and the accompanying discomfort and immobility that naturally occur after a workout.
Additionally, a Frontiers in Psychology study found that CBD boosted exercise recovery thanks to its neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties.
If using CBD to aid muscle and exercise recovery is a particular topic of interest, this article tells you everything you need to know.
When recovering from a workout, you will often experience reduced mobility alongside muscle soreness, particularly with intense workouts or competitive sports. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD has been shown to speed up recovery time after a workout and therefore promote better mobility.
Who Should Use CBD After a Workout?
Using CBD after a workout can help almost anyone looking to aid their recovery process and ensure they remain fit enough to continue physical activity. However, it might be even more beneficial for specific groups of people including:
- People prone to muscle inflammation, post-workout soreness, or limited mobility
- People who need to relax quicker after being pumped up for a workout
- People who work out late at night and need a good night’s rest after a big session
How to Use CBD After a Workout?
There are several ways to use CBD after a workout to gain the desired effects.
CBD is also known to have relaxation properties which can be particularly beneficial if you’re keen to wind down after a big workout or athletic performance, especially if you’ve been competing. In this case, look for a CBD with proven absorption data because not all CBD brands have the same bioavailability.
Should I Take CBD Before or After a Workout?
Deciding whether to take CBD before or after a workout will largely depend on your desired outcome.
If you want to use CBD to enhance your workout, reduce stress and improve sleep ahead of an intense session, taking CBD before you work out is the best option.
If however, you want to aid and speed up your recovery process, then taking CBD after a workout will better help you achieve the intended results.
Of course, you might choose to take a combination approach, using CBD before and after your workouts to achieve different results. Always remember to be mindful of your dosage though, especially if you choose to use CBD multiple times in a day to support you both before and after a workout.
How Much CBD Should I Take Before or After a Workout?
While there has been some research into CBD usage and dosages, there is no conclusive evidence that states how much CBD should be taken to achieve a specific result.
Each person will react differently to CBD, and therefore dosage is personal to everyone. If you’re new to taking CBD, or you’ve not used it in your workout regimen before, we’d recommend starting with a small dose and then building up until you reach the desired effect.
The amount of CBD you take will also depend on the way you are ingesting it, so always check the dosage on the product and read the packaging label before you take it.
Is CBD a Performance-Enhancing Substance?
CBD can affect people in different ways depending on the product used, its efficacy, the dosage, and of course a person’s tolerance and body reaction. While some feel that CBD can help them to perform on a higher level for their workout, it has not been scientifically proven that this is the case.
In line with this, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has removed CBD from its list of banned substances because it has not been proven to be a performance stimulant or enhancer.
However, competitive sportspeople in particular are encouraged to be cautious when using CBD products as some may contain traceable levels of THC, which remains on the banned substance list.
Potential Side Effects &; Interactions
Just like any supplement, there can be some side effects when taking CBD. However, generally speaking, it’s well tolerated amongst most groups of people and has a good safety review according to the World Health Organization.
It is up to the person using CBD to assess the benefits and drawbacks of taking the supplement, alongside considering any side effects that could occur. Potential side effects of CBD can include fatigue, light-headedness, appetite changes, dry mouth, and diarrhea. Some people may never experience any of these side effects while others could get them to a limited degree or even severely.
There is some evidence to suggest that CBD can interact with other medications, so it’s important to talk with your doctor or pharmacist before trying CBD. If you decide to use CBD as a workout supplement, either before or after a workout, you must understand any potential health risks or side effects before determining a safe dose with your healthcare professional.
Choosing CBD Products
Once you’ve decided to use CBD in your workout regimen, it’s important to do your research when it comes to finding the right products. The CBD market is huge right now, and there are a lot of choices out there, but not all products are as they seem.
Some labels on products may claim pure CBD, but what you get may be much less which can have an impact on your dosage and desired effect. A recent study found that just 31% of CBD products sold online contained the levels of CBD that were claimed.
When shopping for CBD products, you need to ensure the science behind any formula you look at is reliable. Just because a product “contains CBD” doesn’t mean your body can access that CBD and use it to an advantage.
Additionally, some products can even contain significant amounts of THC, which is the psychoactive cannabinoid you’ll likely not be looking for if you’re simply using CBD as a workout supplement.
Trustworthy brands will always publish their lab test results to avoid health risks, pointing out exactly how much CBD you can expect to ingest when you use their products. At NextEvo Naturals, for example, we developed SmartSorb Technology with our team of scientists and doctors to make CBD work with your body and ensure more can be absorbed. This means you can experience the benefits of CBD without taking more than your body needs.
While some CBD research has shown positive effects for athletes both before and after a workout, there is still much research to be done to fully understand CBD’s relationship with exercise. What is clear is that the increased acceptance of CBD is opening new doors in wellness and enabling us to better support our bodies’ everyday functions.
Like any new ingredient in the health space, it’s important to take a close look at the products you choose to ensure the quality and efficacy stated is also what is in the product. Learn more about CBD in our comprehensive guide to make sure you’re fully armed with information before you go shopping.
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