CBD has become so mainstream that it’s commonly found in gym bags worldwide. As scientists confirm various health benefits of CBD, more and more athletes are turning to CBD products. But this leads to questions about when to take CBD for the most effective workout.
While I wouldn’t call myself a gym rat, I try to keep a workout routine. I started using CBD over a year ago to see how it’ll affect my workout regimen. I also checked the studies done on the topic and consulted with a personal trainer. Here’s everything you should know about using CBD before a workout.
- CBD is a compound from the cannabis sativa plant.
- CBD can give several benefits to athletes when taken before a workout.
- Athletes must use CBD products with less than 0.3% THC.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the two main compounds found in the cannabis plant. The other main chemical compound is THC, known for its intoxicating properties. Unlike THC, CBD isn’t intoxicating, which means it won’t make you feel high.
CBD products became legal under the 2018 Farm Bill as long as they are hemp-derived and contain less than 0.3% THC.
CBD products can contain three kinds of CBD:
- Full-spectrum CBD — Contains all substances from the cannabis plant, including THC.
- Broad-spectrum CBD — Contains all substances from the cannabis plant but no THC.
- CBD isolate — Only contains CBD.
There are various kinds of CBD products. You can choose between CBD oil, vape, cream, lotion, gummies, capsules, and more. You can even find other types of dietary supplements that improve blood flow and nutritional products like muscle booster pills.
Current research shows CBD can help with inflammation, heart health, cancer symptoms, anxiety, and more.
Professional athletes commonly use CBD to help with sleep issues, prevent or ease muscle soreness and have a better workout.
How Can CBD Help Athletes and Fitness?
Here’s how CBD can help athletes and fitness:
- Lowers inflammation, which provides muscle pain relief.
- Helps with stress management and anxiety and aids better sleep.
- Helps athletes have better focus and endurance.
- Helps with swelling, soreness, muscle spasms, and fitness-related injuries.
Overall, CBD helps athletes have better performance and a faster and smoother post-workout recovery. Many athletes struggle with past injuries, chronic pain, or joint pain because of daily workouts. CBD is a great pain reliever that helps these conditions.
Moreover, CBD is known to promote better sleep. If you take CBD oil in the evening, you’ll feel drowsy and fall asleep easily. A good night’s sleep is crucial for recovery. Your body can heal, recharge, and burn fat.
By providing pain management, relaxation, and better sleep, CBD helps athletes have better workouts, which means they can build muscle mass, prevent injuries, and stay in good shape.
Taking CBD Pre-Workout
If you like to work out in the morning, then you know how important it is to have a good night’s sleep. Taking CBD oil just before going to sleep reduces REM sleep and improves NREM sleep, which is the deep kind. This way, you’ll feel recovered from the previous day’s activities. You’ll feel restful, and it’ll be easier to reach your workout targets.
Lower Stress and Anxiety
You need focus, coordination, and balance to do exercise reps. Anxiety ruins this. If your body feels under stress, it needs more time to adapt to the workout. This means you spend more energy and have poor results.
Moreover, stressed muscles increase muscle soreness and pain and limit your workout gains. Stress and anxiety can impact your body’s balance. Your body feels off, and you can’t work out effectively.
CBD reduces anxiety and helps your body feel at ease. For example, CBD can ease muscle tension, especially between the shoulders, back, and neck. You’ll have better balance, and the movements will be easier.
Also, many athletes suffer from nerves before a competition. We all feel the pressure to succeed in whatever we do. CBD can also help with this by reducing stress-related behaviors.
Better Focus and Endurance
I talked about how CBD relaxes your body, so it can perform better. But it also aids brain performance by improving your energy and focus.
CBD will help you do more for longer. You’ll have better vision and can make faster, more accurate moves.
Other Benefits of CBD for Pre Workout
There are several other ways CBD helps pre-workout:
- Reduced muscle tension — If you have muscle tension when working out or muscle soreness, CBD oil can help. It ensures your muscles are ready for a workout. It widens blood vessels which means there’s good blood flow. This reduces muscle tension and cuts the time for warm-up.
- Reduce inflammation — You’ll have delayed onset muscle soreness, and better muscle recovery if you use CBD.
- More energy — Many athletes rely on caffeine to get an energy kick. But caffeine can cause dehydration and a post-caffeine crash. CBD is more holistic, and you’ll have energy throughout the day.
CBD and the Sports Industry
Nowadays, athletes are increasingly using CBD products, which made organizations re-evaluate how they classify this substance.
Since the 2018 Farm Bill came into effect, CBD has been taken off the list of prohibited substances.
Also, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from the list of forbidden drugs. As long as CBD oil you use has less than 0.3% THC, it’s allowed for all athletes, including those participating in the Olympics.
Should You Take CBD Before a Workout?
There are several benefits to taking CBD before a workout. It binds the endocannabinoid receptors and influences the central nervous system. CBD can lower inflammation, help with stress and pain management, and help athletes have better focus and endurance.
Start with a small CBD dose to see how it affects your body and increase as needed. Finally, make sure only to use CBD products with less than 0.3% THC, as those are legal, and you won’t get in trouble with the regulating bodies.
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