Should I Take CBD Before or After a Workout?
It’s no secret by now that a couple of drops of pure CBD oil in your morning coffee will leave you reaping a whole host of health and wellness benefits. Its calming properties that help keep stress and anxiety at bay, improve skin health, reduce inflammation, and improve concentration are sure to set you up right for your day ahead.
But there’s one benefit of CBD that you may not have considered, and that’s its impact on your workout routine. That’s right – studies have shown that CBD offers a number of physiological, biochemical and psychological effects that have the potential to benefit athletes. And you don’t have to be the next Usain Bolt to bask in the glory of its success!
Join us as we explain how using CBD oil before or after a workout can have a positive impact on your fitness.
How to Use CBD Pre-Workout
1. As a Sleeping Aid
If you’re the type to pack your gym bag and lay out your activewear the night before, you’re in luck. CBD can easily be incorporated in your bedtime hot chocolate and work its magic by the time you wake up ready for your workout the following morning.
Why? Good Hemp’s pure CBD oil is beneficial as a sleep aid, which is also prime time for the body to repair itself for the day ahead.
As we sleep, our body gets to work restoring our immune, nervous, skeletal and muscular systems, which are vital for maintaining our mood, memory, cognitive and other important functions. All of this contributes to ensuring that we’ll be optimally prepared for a workout the following day.
CBD has been shown to reduce the amount of time spent in REM sleep and increase the amount of time in NREM Stage 3 , otherwise known as deep sleep. During deep sleep, the brain, body temperature and heart rate fall, as the brain is using less energy in this state, promoting a better night’s rest overall.
2. To Combat Anxiety & Arousal
Besides being physically prepared to exercise to the best of our ability, we should be mentally and emotionally prepared too. Anxiety and arousal are a key issue in sport psychology , specifically related to physical and technical performance. In a sport setting, arousal is often linked to anxiety, and this negative emotional state can increase muscle tension, affect coordination, and in some cases, cause sweating and nausea. This means you’ll be more likely to take your eye off the ball, literally.
Using CBD before your workout can significantly help to lessen the effects of anxiety and reduce blood pressure, allowing you to bring your A-game from the word go.
CBD For Muscle Recovery After a Workout
1. To Relieve Muscle Soreness
Whether you’re a novice exerciser, or someone who gets their reps in regularly, you’ll almost always find yourself subject to post-workout soreness and inflammations. But that doesn’t mean your DOMS – that’s short for delayed onset muscle soreness – should determine your entire routine.
Recent studies have shown that CBD oil can help relieve delayed onset muscle soreness and exercise induced muscle damage , which naturally occurs after physical activity due to microscopic damage to muscle fibres , since its healing properties are known to reduce muscle pain, bodily aches and inflammation. Whether taken orally or topically , CBD offers a more natural form of relief than many other products such as protein supplements or Tiger Balm.
So does that mean that just a few drops of CBD oil in our post-workout smoothie will have you skipping back to the gym 24 hours after leg day? Well… yes! Maybe not skipping , exactly, but your muscles will be feeling miles better than if you had simply suffered in silence.
2. To Promote Mobility
Further scientific studies around CBD oil and its pharmacological effects reveal that this magical compound can also promote mobility in people with Multiple Sclerosis – whose symptoms often lead to reduced physical activity and functional mobility. According to a study in Frontiers In Neuorology , this is because CBD is “anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiemetic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective.”
Lotions and potions aside, every little helps when it comes to recovery, so we’ve highlighted some easy post-workout recovery hacks you can try to help you hit the ground running time and time again, without any unwanted setbacks!
Why Choose Good Hemp CBD Oil?
Call us biased, but there’s a bundle of reasons why we believe Good Hemp’s CBD oil is the best in the business. Our range of oils use CBD isolate, which means it only contains CBD and no other cannabinoids, such as its psychoactive cousin THC. Its purity means it avoids the hallucinogenic compound of the cannabis plant, so you can drop it like it’s hot and reap the benefits without getting high!
While we’re on the subject, Good Hemp promotes 100% natural and eco-conscious products, since we’re planning to save the world and all.
That means that all of our products are made without chemical additives or any other nasties you might find in other varieties of CBD oil on the market.
As we’ve explored, there are plenty of different ways you can take CBD oil before and after your workout. Whether you prefer a few drops of the stuff in your pre-workout coffee, whizzed into a healthy smoothie, or even baked into a gooey chocolate and macadamia protein loaf , you’ll find a CBD-based post-workout treat worth sweating for!
Discover our top-selling CBD oil products and start gearing up for those gym gains today.
CBD and Bodybuilding [Can It ACTUALLY Be Beneficial?]
In a world filled with testosterone, protein shakes, and a myriad of supplements, is there room for one more? Can CBD work for bodybuilding? Judging by the various infomercials marketing weird and occasionally wonderful ways to build muscle, the answer is a definite ‘YES.’ The size of the health and fitness industry means it’s no surprise that CBD and bodybuilding are a potential match.
This article explores the evidence that suggests CBD could help improve your rate of muscle growth. It also delves into other possible benefits for bodybuilding, including faster recovery time and decreased post-workout pain.
Is CBD Good for Bodybuilding?
Those who use CBD for bodybuilding believe it helps them in a wide variety of ways. That a growing number of gym-goers want to try cannabidiol is no shock. After all, it is an industry notorious for selling an array of supplements. Some, like creatine, are backed by science. Others are utterly ridiculous with no apparent benefit other than the bank balance of the creators.
For those seeking an edge, bodybuilding and CBD is a combination that makes sense. Unlike THC, the intoxicating compound in cannabis, CBD does not produce a ‘high.’ It impacts the cannabinoid receptors found in the human body and brain. The primary receptors are CB1 and CB2.
Although CBD doesn’t directly bind to receptors like THC, it has an indirect effect. This appears to provide users with an array of benefits. From a bodybuilding point of view, the most salient are recovery from workouts, better energy levels, and improved sleep.
At present, it is much easier to find CBD than THC. In the United States, both remain on the list of controlled substances. The issue with CBD is confusing because it comes from the hemp plant as well as from marijuana. The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the list of controlled substances, but not CBD. In general, it is easy to find, but a handful of states, such as Idaho, make it tricky.
Does CBD Build Muscle?
In bodybuilding circles, any supplement capable of helping boost muscle mass is snapped up by eager gym rats. There is a suggestion that CBD can help with the muscle-building process.
First and foremost, be wary of any brand that makes health claims concerning cannabidiol. The FDA has clearly outlined that such an action is illegal. Vendors can’t make any medical claims or say CBD cures or treats any condition. It doesn’t matter whether there is compelling evidence.
Even if CBD does not directly build muscle, it could have an array of benefits that pave the way for an individual to increase their muscle mass. Think about it: If you could recover faster, you could complete more workouts overall. Through this process, you would likely benefit from a higher level of muscle. No ingredient or product in the world helps you gain muscle without also working hard!
CBD may offer an alternative to anti-catabolic products, which are taken to reduce muscle loss.
Those familiar with bodybuilding have probably heard of anabolic and anti-catabolic supplements. Catabolic hormones cause muscle loss. As the name suggests, anti-catabolic products reduce the production of catabolic hormones. Anabolic supplements boost the production of anabolic hormones. This particular process helps protein synthesis and leads to faster muscle growth.
CBD doesn’t replace anabolic products. However, it potentially offers an alternative to anti-catabolic ones. Remember, CBD connects with the CB receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). It could help regulate the body’s metabolism and appetite.
Why Do Bodybuilders Take CBD?
There are many potential benefits for bodybuilders that use CBD. However, one of the most crucial is the impact of CBD on inflammation. The inflammatory process involves swelling, pain, heat, redness, and loss of function. It is an essential immune response that can keep us protected from harmful microorganisms.
Bodybuilders need acute inflammation. It is a short-lived process that helps kill foreign bodies. After it achieves this process, the antibodies change gears and remove residue while repairing damaged cells. If you have ever trained hard, you will experience the pain of this form of inflammation. Though it hurts like hell, it is a good thing!
What you don’t want is chronic inflammation because it causes muscle breakdown. It can persist for months or longer without the necessary immune response to shut it down. As well as damaging muscle growth, chronic inflammation contributes to various diseases such as arthritis and Alzheimer’s.
Now that we have examined some of the claims, let’s see what the science says.
CBD and Muscle Growth – What Does the Research Say?
Realistically, the best oil for muscle growth probably won’t directly boost your muscle mass. However, CBD could have a significant indirect impact.
High cortisol levels can slow down muscle growth. If you produce a lot of this stress hormone, you will find that it hurts your muscle-building exploits. CBD potentially reduces the level of stress a person feels. As a result, you benefit from a lower rate of cortisol production.
A relatively old study published in the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research revealed something interesting. It found that CBD possessed anti-catabolic properties that helped it regulate the body’s hormone levels. In volunteers who used CBD oil, cortisol levels were kept at bay. This process allowed for enhanced muscle growth and protein synthesis throughout weight training.
The anti-catabolic properties of CBD could also lead to the slower breakdown of muscle mass. Once again, this could result in trainees building a greater level of muscle. However, this study only featured a small sample size and involved 300mg to 600mg doses of CBD. Most people consume less than 50mg a day.
CBD Oil and Bodybuilding – More Research into Its Benefits
There are many other ways in which CBD is beneficial for bodybuilding. This includes:
- Faster muscle recovery
- Improved sleep
- Lower stress & anxiety
- Weight management
- Boosted energy levels
- Decreased DOMS
There’s little doubt that CBD oil and natural bodybuilding is a dynamic duo. Anyone who has weight trained for a considerable period knows that all of the above are key components of better and more consistent workouts.
As it happens, there is research available that indicates CBD helps with everything just mentioned. Let’s take a look.
Faster Muscle Recovery
Remember, chronic inflammation hinders muscle recovery and can kill your gains. Fortunately, it appears as if CBD could help with post-workout inflammation, thus helping the body recover faster from an intense workout.
The standard way to tackle chronic inflammation is through NSAIDs. A 2017 study by Lilja et al. found that high doses of anti-inflammatory drugs can inhibit muscle growth. CBD, on the other hand, could help reduce chronic inflammation without hindering the muscle-building process. Cannabinoids are strong anti-inflammatory agents. CBD, in particular, has a distinct way of interacting with the ECS that could help reduce inflammation.
A review of over 130 studies by Rudroff and Sosnoff, published in Frontiers in Neurology in 2018, found something interesting. It discovered that CBD could reduce inflammation in the body, improve mobility, and reduce pain in patients with multiple sclerosis. The reviewers said CBD was “Anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, antiemetic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective.”
The body needs sleep to rebuild and heal the muscle tears associated with weightlifting. If you don’t get enough rest, your body has problems synthesizing protein into muscle. Sleep impacts almost every tissue in the body, including breathing, the immune system, and growth & stress hormones.
A Swiss study published in Pharmaceuticals in 2012 compared CBD with nitrazepam. The researchers found that a 160mg dose of CBD increased the volunteers’ sleep duration.
Lower Stress & Anxiety
The enemy of muscle building, cortisol, also comes to the fore when we’re stressed. Symptoms include low concentration, anxiety, and low self-esteem. We’ve already outlined how CBD could help reduce cortisol levels, and research shows it can reduce anxiety.
A 2019 study, published in The Permanente Journal, looked at over 100 adults with anxiety or sleep problems. Ultimately, the final sample included 72 adults. Almost 80% of them reported decreased anxiety scores after using CBD for a month. Their rate of anxiety remained low throughout the three-month study.
It is the ultimate sports supp…
Those who are serious about bodybuilding also try to keep their body fat percentage down. It so happens that CBD could help with weight loss. A study published in Nature found that CBD potentially increases the levels of leptin in the brain. Leptin is the hormone associated with making us feel full.
With higher leptin levels, you are less likely to feel cravings for unhealthy, high-calorie foods that can prevent you from reaching your ideal body fat level.
Boosted Energy Levels
It is tough to do a great workout when you feel sluggish. CBD could help by regulating the blood sugar levels in your body. This, in turn, impacts the level of insulin you produce. By maintaining a lower insulin level, the body burns more glucose into energy rather than converting it to fat. As well as seeing better muscle-building results, you may also enjoy having more ‘zip’ in your workouts.
We’ve already mentioned research that shows how CBD could help improve sleep duration which, of course, impacts energy levels throughout the day. Also, a 2014 study found that CBD could act as a wake-promoting agent in some people.
If you’ve ever felt pain that lasts for several days after an intense workout, you’ve experienced the joy of Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). You will likely feel this burning sensation 12-24 hours after training. While it is part and parcel of the process for some lifters, others might decide that their DOMS is too painful to train for a few days.
However, CBD could help reduce the soreness you feel after a tough session. A review of studies published in 2008 found that CBD could help alleviate chronic pain. A growing number of bodybuilders claim that using cannabidiol helps their DOMS dissipate faster, and helps get them back in the gym quickly.
Now that you can see the benefits of CBD oil for bodybuilding, let’s look at the professionals that use it.
Bodybuilders Using CBD
- Lee Priest:Born Lee Andre McCutcheon, this Australian bodybuilder competed in the International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB). There, he won a multitude of titles over a career that spanned almost two decades. Priest has recently spoken out over how CBD has proven more beneficial to him than opioids.
- Joey Swoll: Joey Sergo is a leader in the fitness industry and has featured in numerous fitness and bodybuilding magazines. These days, he offers online coaching, but only for serious trainees. One look at his physique suggests that he employs a brutal training regime of his own. He is another big name in the fitness industry that apparently uses and endorses CBD for recovery.
- Dave Palumbo: As well as competing in various competitions, Palumbo was the Editor-in-Chief of Muscular Development magazine. He also founded RxMuscle.com and owns Species Nutrition. Again, he seemingly believes cannabidiol can help bodybuilders in their recovery phases.
How to Use CBD When Bodybuilding
The Frontiers in Neurology study in 2018 stated that high doses of up to 1,500mg of CBD per day and chronic use are tolerated by humans. However, CBD oil is relatively expensive, and you don’t need to use a huge amount. If you are a cannabidiol novice, you should use between 1mg and 6mg of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight daily. This means a 180-pound bodybuilder should use between 18mg and 108mg per day.
Yet, most experts recommend beginning with a maximum of 10mg a day to see how CBD affects you. As for timing, most trainees are happy to use it directly after a session.
Many CBD experts suggest starting at a serving of 10mg per day; however, bodybuilders may find themselves needing more.
You have the option of consuming CBD oils or edibles. Some people prefer to vape the substance because it potentially has a faster effect and higher bioavailability.
If you’re using CBD for muscle soreness, you should consider investing in topicals such as a cream. Rub the CBD cream into any parts of the body that feel sore, and gauge the effects.
Final Thoughts on CBD Bodybuilding
In the end, there is unquestionably a positive link between CBD and bodybuilding. Unfortunately, the cannabinoid is not federally legal in the United States. This is one of the reasons why there is relatively little clinical research into it at present. Until researchers can perform unencumbered tests, it is difficult to see the FDA change its stance.
Fortunately, its use is widely accepted, and those who want to use CBD for bodybuilding shouldn’t find it too hard to locate. There are dozens of reputable brands that offer the cannabinoid. Possible benefits include lower stress, better sleep, and reduced inflammation. It is the latter that has the most considerable interest for individuals looking to build muscle.
If you want to give it a try, there are many options, including edibles, tinctures, and topicals. It is best if you begin with a small amount to see how your body reacts. Gradually increase how much you take until you are happy with the outcome.
5 CBD Oil Products Fitness Trainers Swear By
From San Diego to New York City, trainers share their tried-and-true CBD tinctures and lotions.
Thanks to recent legal developments, just about everyone is hyping CBD these days, especially as a tool to recover from tough workouts. CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of the 100-plus chemical compounds found in the cannabis sativa plant, and it shares a lot of the same anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and analgesic benefits as THC, except it doesn’t get you high — or arrested.
What it does do is interact with specific receptors in your brain, which can affect your mood and how you perceive pain. In a good way, of course, as 42 percent of CBD users have reported giving up traditional medications like Tylenol or prescription drugs like Vicodin in favor of CBD, and 80 percent of those people said they found the products to be “very or extremely effective.” Plus, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its list of banned substances in January, allowing competitive athletes to start using it for recovery.
CBD comes from the hemp and marijuana species of the cannabis plant; when it’s extracted and diluted with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil, you get CBD oil, which you can now find infused in everything from gummies and oils to massage creams, chocolates, coffee, beauty balms and bath bombs. FYI: Hemp-derived CBD is legal at a federal level, but marijuana-derived CBD is subject to more complicated state laws and regulations. If you live in one of the 10 states where cannabis is legal for medical and recreational use — Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont or Washington — you’re in the clear either way
Between the boom in CBD products and the fact that research is still ongoing (the FDA has actually issued a warning against CBD products that promise unrealistic results), it’s hard to know where to start. So we turned to the trainers who make a living studying and schooling others in the best recovery practices. Here are their best CBD recs.
Xwerks CBD Oil
Kevin Moore, CSCS, a Bradenton, Florida-based personal trainer, swears by Xwerks CBD Oil. “It checks all the boxes from my research on what to look for in a quality CBD oil: full spectrum, C02 extraction to maintain purity and potency, no additives or preservatives and their third-party lab results are always updated,” he says. Compared to other CBD oils, Moore says Xwerks had more of effect with less of a dose, too.
Moore tends to take one to two servings with his final protein shake before bed. “I sleep incredibly soundly and at a much higher quality (according to my tracking on Whoop) when I take it versus when I don’t,” he says. “If all it did was improve my sleep, it would be well worth it, especially given the impact of sleep on recovery, but I also notice a decrease in the general aches that come along with heavy training and, frankly, age.”
Resilience CBD Sports Cream
Over the past year, Matt Pippin, CSCS, owner of Pippin Performance in San Diego, has been using CBD oils himself and recommending them to his athletes for recovery. “What I look for in a CBD oil is quality and effectiveness,” he says. “One study found that over 70 percent of the CBD products contained more or less CBD than listed on the label or contain other elements that aren’t labeled. That’s a huge problem!” His brand of choice, Resilience, has high quality control standards. “They put all of their products through third-party testing and print a barcode on the bottom of their products that verifies the testing so you can go on their website, plug in the code, and see for yourself what’s in the product,” he says.
Pippin recommends applying the brand’s CBD Sports Cream or CBD Body Lotion to your hips, shoulders, spine and anything else that might be a little tender or beat up; using CBD topically may help with reducing inflammation and pain. The more you recover today, the harder you can train tomorrow, Pippin says.
Nature’s Root Cannabidiol Rich Hemp Oil Tinctures
Cannabis and CBD have been a huge part of NASM-certified personal trainer and athlete Heather DeRose‘s personal training and coaching. “CBD is an amazing tool for personal trainers to help get their clients out of pain and able to get their bodies moving for overall health and wellness,” says DeRose, who has held group fitness classes where participants consume cannabis products before, during or afterward.
When it comes to her training and running, DeRose tries to consume 10 to 30 milligrams of CBD a day — typically through recovery smoothies. “It’s delicious and convenient and aids in inflammation, especially after training sessions,” she explains. DeRose chooses Nature’s Root cannabis tinctures because they don’t separate or have a strong oily aftertaste. Pro tip: the cherry blossom tincture tastes great in smoothies with cherries, and the orange spritz works wonders in her cocoa protein smoothies.
BKLYN CBD Chill Time Drops
As a trainer at Tone House (one of New York City’s toughest gyms), Adrian Williams knows going all-out on recovery is just as important as doing that in the gym. And since he often finds himself doing his own training after he’s done with all his clients, he takes BKLYN CBD Chill Time Drops to come down from that workout high.
“I usually take drops at the end of the day as a way to simmer down when I come home,” he explains. “After you work out at night, it’s probably one of the best things you can do to offset the high heart rate and blood pressure of intense exercise, as well as the anxiety of a long day.” As the drops are taken sublingually, they enter the bloodstream quickly and the effects are almost instantaneous, he says. “It makes me feel calm and clear, without that post-workout crash sensation.”
Green Roads Soothing CBD Topical Cream
Meghan Takacs, a trainer at New York City’s exclusive Performix House, is an avid runner and USA Track and Field-certified coach who says CBD is crucial for her performance. “As a runner, I deal with hamstring and calf fatigue,” she says. “I like the topical cream because it specifically goes after muscle pain relief in a targeted area, pinpointing the muscle fatigue and soreness; I typically apply it the night after a hard workout. I find it easier to use than drops or edibles because it serves a sole purpose — muscle pain, a lot like amino acids.”
And while there are a lot of topical CBD creams out there, she opts for Green Roads because it’s all natural. “The CBD is only extracted from hemp,” she explains. “They also use CBD oil CO2 extraction, which extracts the purest form (solvent-free). It acts a lot like Performix’s ISO BCAAs, which has an extended release, specifically to muscles that require recovery.”
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