The market is full of products which promise weight loss, muscle gain and recovery benefits, with glowing endorsements from all kinds of sportspeople. Here we explore what CBD has to offer.
From reducing risks of conditions such as heart disease to improving overall mood, getting the right amount and right kind of exercise provides numerous benefits for both physical and mental health.
With the likes of gyms, leisure centres and exercise classes closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us have resorted to home workouts for the first time and are looking for the perfect supplement to aid these sessions – could CBD be the one?
One of the most popular reasons for using CBD as part of your exercise routine is the effect it has on recovery and pain relief. Whether you’re suffering from a slight niggle or a long-term injury, the remedy has been proven to speed recovery and fight fatigue, with one study finding that by reducing oxidative damage – which is caused by physical stress – CBD can help us recover faster and perform better.
Topical CBD products such as creams can be particularly beneficial to those who are prone to joint pain, by providing highly targeted relief to ensure that those unavoidable twinges don’t negatively impact your overall workout.
In addition, CBD may also be effective in relieving muscular aches and soreness thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. A 2009 study into the effects of cannabinoids on the body found that they can suppress inflammatory response, leading to less tension in the area and, in turn, less of a break needed between your workouts.
One of the biggest pre-workout struggles is building enough motivation and momentum to get started and keep your routine going. While it hasn’t been shown to be a performance-enhancing product, the research into CBD’s effect on areas such as mental health and sleep quality leads us to believe that it can be a great supplement for breaking down mental barriers.
Several studies have linked CBD to overall improvement in mood, while it has also been well documented that the remedy can effectively ease symptoms of depression thanks to its positive effect on serotonin receptors in the brain. While CBD doesn’t necessarily boost these levels, its impact on the brain’s receptors may affect how we respond to the serotonin already in our systems.
Research backs up these claims, with a 2014 animal study finding that CBD’s effect on the receptors produced both antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects – both of which can be extremely helpful when gathering motivation to exercise.
Too tired for a workout? A review of studies in 2017 found that CBD “may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of insomnia”, meaning it’s likely to improve sleep quality, allowing us to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on a workout.
While research into certain areas is still ongoing, and it’s worth noting that effects will depend on external factors such as dosage, it would appear that CBD has several pre- and post-workout benefits.
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