Should you Take CBD Oil Before and After Exercising?
Exercise plays an important role in maintaining our health. Its vast benefits range from contributing to protection against chronic diseases to boosting energy and moods. Although exercise is great for our bodies, it can take a toll on them too. It's just as important for your bodies to go through the process of recovery after a training session. This will not only help your muscles heal but also get stronger.
That's where Cannabidiol (CBD) comes in. The non-psychoactive derivative from the Cannabis Sativa plant contains therapeutic properties that can help your muscles recover after exercising. And the better your recovery, the better your next workout could be.
But not only is it good as a post-workout treatment, CBD can also be used as a pre-workout booster. Read on to find out how you can get the best out of your training with CBD, whether you take it before or after exercising.
What happens to your body when you exercise?
Exercise triggers different responses for different processes in the body. Some processes are stimulated while others are inhibited. For example, during exercise, the body's hormone production is affected. Endorphins, the chemicals responsible for elevating your mood, are stimulated while adrenaline and cortisol, the stress hormones, are inhibited. So exercise can help you relax and destress.
Another set of processes that are affected by exercise includes the processes that occur in the cardiovascular, respiratory and digestive systems. The first two are stimulated to increase blood supply to the brain and muscles, whereas the digestive system is inhibited because its need for blood is less urgent at that moment.
An increase in blood supply results in an increase in oxygen levels. This makes you more alert but also blocks pain signals depending on how intense and how long your workout is. This is why recovery is important after training.
After exercise, the body goes into a recovery phase. It works to get everything back into a state of balance, or homeostasis, prioritising blood supply and energy where it's most needed. In trying to get the body back to its pre-exercise state, there could be some overcompensation and levels of certain systems can go lower than normal, for instance, blood pressure.
The muscles also experience changes during and after exercise. As they work against resistance, tiny microscopic tears occur in the muscle tissues. This is completely normal, but severe tears can result in injuries. The tears cause disruption in the muscles' cells and so during the recovery phase, cells from other parts of the body come rushing to help repair the disruption.
As the cells bind together, they form new muscle protein strands which then make the muscle stronger to prevent damage again in the future. As you work the muscle more, more protein strands are built, and the muscle gets stronger, as well as more visible. This process also aids in reducing any pain you may feel after exercising, thus returning the body, as much as possible, back to a balanced state.
How can CBD help before exercise?
Although there is still ongoing research around the use of CBD, it has been increasingly used for its many therapeutic benefits. You can add CBD to your pre-workout routine to possibly enhance it as it has the following benefits when exercising:
- Decreases stress and anxiety
CBD increases the release of Serotonin, a neurotransmitter which helps you feel less stressed and anxious. If you're relaxed, you're more likely to enjoy your workout and concentrate and focus better. This could enhance your overall performance.
- Boosts mood and concentration
Sometimes, you can feel unmotivated to work out. CBD can help boost your mood so that you're more inclined to exercise. It works with your body's mood regulators to relieve anxiety and promote feelings of more energy, happiness and wellbeing. CBD can help increase blood flow, which will increase the delivery of oxygen, a key component for cells in creating energy for the body.
- Helps with pain management and relief
Certain conditions can hold people back from working out even though doing so will help ease the symptoms. For example osteoarthritis patients may face pain in their joints but still need to exercise in order to strengthen them. So to help remedy the pain before they begin their workout, they could take CBD. It's been noted that the compound reduces inflammation and pain associated with it and a review shows promise of CBD as a treatment for joint diseases.
How can CBD help after exercise?
CBD has shown in studies to aid the body in keeping a state of balance. With this in mind, it has the potential benefits of assisting in creating balance after exercise through:
- Reducing Inflammation and helping muscles heal
Since exercise can cause lesions in the muscle tissues, CBD can help improve their rate of recovery. Studies have shown that CBD contains healing and anti-inflammatory properties. If muscles are able to recover better, they'll get stronger and you'll be able to build more muscle over time.
- Improving sleep
A good night's sleep can improve your performance when exercising because the body is well rested and rejuvenated. CBD has shown that it can improve sleep and treat insomnia. Preliminary research indicated that 66.7% of patients had improved sleep with the use of CBD. Most of the body's recovery also takes place while sleeping, so a better sleep could result in better recovery. This along with CBD's anti-inflammatory properties can result in an enhanced performance.
How can I take CBD to enhance my workout?
CBD can be used in the form of oils or tinctures, edibles such as gummies and topical creams. Dosing for CBD will differ depending on the individual so it's best to start with the lowest dose possible and then increase slowly if needed.
CBD Oils and edibles could be ideal for reducing anxiety before a workout and increasing sleep post-workout. They can also be used if you need a slightly higher concentration for more severe muscle pain. But a topical cream could be ideal for applying to sore muscles to reduce inflammation.
The bottom line
Research is still underway to fully understand the total therapeutic benefits of CBD, but it's promising. It could help you recover better and faster, as well as boost your mood and motivate you to exercise. It's likely that there'll be more ways to incorporate it into your daily life, but for now, why not try it to enhance your workouts? Remember to consult a medical professional first if you choose to do so.