This article by Madeleine Taylor was originally published on SundayScaries.
Everyone’s talking about CBD. So, what gives? Well, quite a lot actually. Far from just being the health, well-being, and fitness fad of the moment, this natural oil has plenty of proven benefits going for it. Like the fact that there’s scientific proof that it’s anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety, great for your immune system, and can even reduce pain.
Now, to add to these benefits, a study has found that using CBD while working out can also help speed up recovery times.
More CBD, less stiffness, less soreness
Catabolic hormones are responsible for breaking down muscle tissue. When you’re looking to increase muscle mass and improve muscle tone, driving down your levels of catabolic hormones (including cortisol) is essential.
Excessive cortisol impairs protein synthesis and proactively works against tissue growth. When cortisol levels are too high, even the hardest hitting of workouts could bring about little in the way of muscle improvement. On the flip side, cortisol is pivotal to protecting the liver and removing toxins (which is why cortisol is still needed by the body, despite its negative effects).
CBD oil can play a central role in helping your body hold onto a natural cortisol balance. According to Stuart Titus, president and CEO of Medical Marijuana, Inc., the study “actually mentions very specifically that the non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD are more preferable to use because you can give larger doses without any of the intoxicating or negative side effects.”
A solid night’s sleep before hitting the gym
Your body recovers best (and fastest) while asleep, which CBD oil can help with too. Looking at the biology of it, CBD oil engages CB2 receptors in the limbic and paralimbic regions of the brain. These serve as the “control centers” of the endocannabinoid system (the system that’s responsible for regulating sleep and mood).
CBD has been found to aid regular REM sleep (the deep, dreamy kind of sleep), which is exactly when optimum recovery time takes place.
Up your stamina with a rush of anandamide
Ever heard of runner’s high? If you’ve not been lucky enough to experience this euphoric feeling while working out, allow us to fill you in. Some think that it’s nothing more than a myth. But actually, there’s plenty of research out there that proves the existence of this phenomenon.
Runner’s high can be experienced after any long, hard workout that gets the adrenaline pumping. For decades, it was thought that the release of endorphins was responsible for the effect, but more recently a study has shown that it is the endocannabinoid system that is behind runner’s high or, more specifically, a flood of anandamide, which is an endocannabinoid compound. And guess what naturally regulates this compound? Yeah, that would be CBD oil.
Up your stamina x2 with regulated blood sugar levels
Last (but by no means least) we need to talk about blood sugar levels. Get these wrong with an imbalanced diet, and you’re going to be grappling with energy dips as you attempt to put in a reasonable gym performance.
Now, here’s something interesting: While a carefully considered diet is absolutely essential to your blood sugar levels, chronic inflammation (which many athletes struggle with) can be a cause of insulin resistance (the hormone that regulates blood sugar).
Three years ago, research into this area found something staggering—that CBD could potentially be used to treat diabetes. This study reported findings that the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol not only aided chronic inflammation but also improved the body’s metabolism. This ranks among one of the most impressive benefits of CBD yet. And research into this natural resource is really only in its infancy.
So, CBD. It’s believed to aid stamina, regulate cortisol and blood sugars, and support you as you work your way to runner’s high.
As an athlete, CBD oil is almost as essential to pack into your gym bag as your sweatpants and sneakers.