CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabis compound that has many health benefits but does not make people feel "high". Athletes and fitness enthusiasts are starting to incorporate CBD supplements into their daily routine.
In regards to fitness, it helps with muscle growth, quality sleep, and recovery. In this article, we are going to fully breakdown cannabidiol and its effects on the human body in regards to fitness.
Building muscle and improving protein synthesis
CBD aids in muscle building and recovery by regulating homeostasis in the human body. It has anti-catabolic properties that regulate cortisol levels which leads to an increase in muscle growth and protein synthesis.
Reducing catabolic hormones
Hormones, known as catabolic hormones, cause a breakdown of muscle tissue. Cortisol is the hormone that is the culprit of breaking down muscle tissue because it reduces protein synthesis actively prevents tissue growth.
Cortisol can have a negative impact on muscles, but it does provide some important benefits. Cortisol helps the liver remove toxins from the body, and help regulate blood sugar levels in the immune system. So at natural levels, cortisol is beneficial which is why CBD comes into play. CBD can help maintain a healthy cortisol balance.
Cortisol levels fluctuate throughout the day, and they’re typically at their highest when stressed. High intensity workouts cause a lot of physical stress which increases the cortisol levels. The high amount of catabolic hormone can cause high blood pressure and eat up muscle tissue which negates the purpose of working out and building muscle.
Heightened cortisol limits muscle growth and reduces protein synthesis. CBD promotes muscle growth by interfering with cortisol secretion in the human body.
The key to muscle building is to keep your cortisol levels balanced before and during a workout. Drinking pre-workout or taking a caffeine supplement can spike your cortisol levels before a workout.
CBD is caffeine free, and a natural supplement that can help people build more muscle by slowing down the breakdown of muscle.
Relaxing muscles and building stamina
Everyone is familiar with the term "runner’s high" that occur from long workouts. It is said that this feeling comes from endorphins, but a recent study shows that the endocannabinoid system is actually the one to thank.
The endocannabinoid system is crucial for two main aspects of a runner’s high . So that euphoric sensation that gives you the stamina to get through your cardio focused workout is actually a rush of anandamide, the natural endocannabinoid compound regulated by CBD.
Taking CBD before a long cardio workout can help put your body and mind at ease. It works with the human body to increase energy levels, regulate breathing, relax muscles, reduce cramps (anti-inflammatory), and balance dopamine levels resulting in smoother movement. This is all important for someone trying to get a good pump in or for someone doing long periods of cardiovascular activity.
Improved workout recovery
CBD aids in workout recovery. It also improves quality of sleep and aids in inflammation which makes it a perfect post workout supplement.
Why you should take CBD after a workout
Body builders, athletes, fitness junkies, all need to recover after a long difficult workout. They may even take anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen to speed up the process. Although it is suggested to let your body recover on its own, some people like athletes and bodybuilders may not have a choice. CBD is widely known for its anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory effects which is why it is now being used as a supplement for post-workout.
CBD has anti-inflammatory properties
Rigorous workouts like weight training, HIIT, or long cardio workouts take a toll on a person's body. They cause damage to the body’s muscles and tissues, then inflammation occurs and triggers the repairing process.
Too much inflammation can occur when there is not enough rest in between workouts and leads to excessive muscle damage and poor workouts. It can also lead to exercise injuries.
Athletes and bodybuilders turn to many solutions like ice baths, eating antioxidant-containing foods, and supplements like CBD. It is known to reduce inflammation and has become a common post-workout supplement to aid recovery.
Improving quality of sleep
Research suggests that CBD has potential for the treatment of insomnia . Although the research is not sports or exercise related, many people already use CBD as a sleeping aid. A good night sleep is important for everyone, but it is crucial for the fitness community. Sleep helps a person build muscle, a person’s body needs enough rest in order to work properly.
When a person doesn’t get enough rest then their body cannot burn off energy the right way. There are sleep medications out in the market, but some may have addictive effects. CBD is a natural supplement that works with the body’s endocannabinoid system and regulates its own natural chemicals. Urbul's vegan hemp gummies with melatonin contain CBD and melatonin to improve your quality of sleep tremendously.
CBD has amazing potential fitness/health benefits and is recommended for pre and post workout. Anyone looking to build muscle, get better sleep, and have better workouts should look into the benefits of cannabinoids as a dietary supplement.
CBD is still new, but it is gaining popularity every day, so consult with your doctor to see if cannabinoid supplementation is a good option for you.
How to include CBD in your daily routine
CBD binds to receptors in the human body’s Endocannabinoid system (ECS). To reach these receptors, CBD is often infused in food, oil, creams, or in vape juice. For a full breakdown of the pros and cons of each ingestion method, read our "Best ways to take CBD" article. We recommend adding CBD to your post workout stack to aid with recovery. Our tinctures provide a quick and easy way to ingest CBD while our pod system allows you to vape CBD on the go.
As you can see, supplementing with CBD is perfect if your goals are to build muscle, improve sleep, and ultimately live a healthier life. To start, cannabidiol lowers cortisol levels in your body essentially aiding with protein synthesis and muscle growth. Supplementing CBD also helps improve quality of sleep which is an often overlooked factor in proper recovery.
Cannabinoids have taken the health and wellness market by storm as of recent and we’re glad to see other industries incorporate CBD. You can read our "What is CBD?" article if you want to learn more and to give it a try yourself.
- "CBD works directly with the endocannabinoid system to interfere with cortisol secretion." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8257923
- "The endocannabinoid system is crucial for two main aspects of a runner’s high." https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/112/42/13105.full.pdf
- "Research suggests that CBD has potential for the treatment of insomnia." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28349316