Whether you are an everyday athlete or a weekend warrior, muscle recovery after a workout is incredibly important. For athletes that want peak performance, they have to make sure that their bodies recover optimally so that they continuously improve. Weekend warriors also have to take their muscle recovery seriously since muscle soreness can keep them out of work on Monday.
CBD can do wonders for muscle recovery when it is a part of your post-workout routine. Let’s talk about how cannabidiol can help you improve your workouts.
Why Does My Body Hurt After a Workout?
When we exercise, we are causing microtears, tiny microscopic tears, in our muscles, which is the cause of the soreness and pain that often accompanies an intense workout. The body reacts to these microtears by breaking down the damaged muscle fibers and repairing the microtears by replicating new ones. This can cause mild to severe muscle soreness and inflammation.
The soreness and pain can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to develop in your muscles, and you can expect it to take up to five days to resolve itself. It takes so long for your body to become sore after working out because it takes some time for your body’s inflammatory response to build up enough inflammation in the muscle to catch your attention.
Although delayed onset muscle soreness can feel debilitating, it is important to remember that this pain and soreness are all a part of your body improving itself and that after the soreness fades, your muscles will be stronger and have more endurance.
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Does CBD Help with Muscle Recovery?
Yes! In fact, this is one of the main benefits of taking CBD as part of a workout routine. CBD helps your muscles relax and reduces inflammation. This improves recovery overall.
CBD can also help promote recovery in secondary ways. For example, some initial studies suggest that CBD can help improve sleep. Sleep is also a critical part of the recovery process, and people who don't get enough sleep often deal with longer recovery times because of this. So, by promoting sleep, some CBD products can help with muscle recovery in an entirely different yet just as important way.
How Can CBD Help After a Workout?
Cannabidiol, commonly simply called CBD, has been reported to have a wide array of potential benefits that can be extremely beneficial for those that need muscle relief and recovery. Here are some of our favorite reasons to take CBD after a workout.
It Reduces Inflammation
One of the reasons we love taking CBD after a workout is that it reduces inflammation, which is what the pain and soreness from delayed onset muscle soreness are caused by. If we can reduce the inflammation, we can reduce the length of time that we experience muscle pain and soreness or, in some cases, completely eliminate it.
CBD works on the endocannabinoid system by binding to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body. When the CBD binds to the CB2 receptors, they trigger a powerful anti-inflammatory response reducing the swelling and pain you experience after a strenuous workout.
It Relaxes the Muscles
Another great post-workout benefit that CBD brings is that it can help promote muscle relaxation. Studies have shown that CBD can slow down neurotransmitter release of neurotransmitters that can cause muscle rigidity. This can reduce any muscle spasms, cramping, and soreness that can occur due to delayed onset muscle soreness.
CBD also helps reduce stress and anxiety, which can significantly contribute to muscle tension. You may not know when you have pent-up stress, but you can feel your body relax as your anxieties melt away with a post-workout dose of CBD.
It Supports Good Quality Sleep
CBD can support good quality sleep, which is crucial for muscle recovery and getting over delayed onset muscle soreness and pain. When we enter REM sleep, the fourth stage of sleep, our bodies release growth hormones that repair the microtears our workouts have caused.
Taking CBD as a sleep aid can help someone fall asleep more quickly and easily, which can be an excellent way to knock out insomnia and help them enter REM sleep earlier and for longer periods.
It Reduces Pain
Taking a CBD dose right after a workout helps you avoid any pain before it starts and helps reduce any lingering acute muscle pains from your exercise routine. The endocannabinoid system is also responsible for how you feel pain. CBD can decrease the intensity of the pain signals going to your brain by inhibiting the production of the neurotransmitter glutamate. High levels of glutamate are associated with higher levels of pain.
Does CBD Make You Heal Faster?
Yes, in general, CBD can lead to faster healing times. On top of this, it typically leads to less severe pain during the healing process. This makes CBD lotions a great choice for helping with recovery.
However, even CBD can't work miracles. Don't expect it to fix major issues overnight. Instead, look for a general improvement in overall healing over time.
How Do You Take CBD for Muscle Recovery?
If you're taking CBD for muscle recovery, you can take it in a variety of different ways. You could take a CBD tincture straight or even mix it into your post-workout smoothie or protein shake. You could also use a topical treatment, like a CBD pain relief cream, to apply it directly to the muscles that are in pain or need to recover faster. You could even do something as simple as popping a CBD gummy.
There isn't enough evidence to definitively say one option is far better than the others, so just go with whichever one works best for you. You can even try different methods and see which helps you the most.
Is CBD Better for Before or After a Workout?
The benefits of using CBD alongside workouts mainly come from CBD's role in helping sore muscles recover faster. Since muscles get sore after a workout, this benefit is one to take advantage of after a workout.
However, there are still cases where it is helpful beforehand. If you tend to feel overly tired or worn out shortly into your workout, CBD could help. It may be able to push off these negative effects, allowing you to push yourself beyond your previous limits.
What Is the Best Cannabinoid for Muscle Recovery?
CBD and THC are two of the most important cannabinoids for muscle recovery. Both have the potential to help with this process in ways that work well with each other. Because of this, many people aim for a full-spectrum CBD product. So, a full-spectrum CBD tincture will generally perform better than something that contains CBD (full spectrum CBD oil) but lacks THC (as in broad spectrum CBD oil).
Does CBD Affect Muscle Growth?
CBD can lead to larger and better muscles. However, CBD itself doesn't necessarily impact stimulating muscle growth. This might seem counterintuitive, but it makes sense considering how exactly CBD helps with muscles.
CBD makes recovery easier and quicker. By doing so, it allows you to get back to working out faster, which allows for a more effective workout schedule. So, CBD isn't building the muscles but is giving you a better chance to build them. This ends up leading to better muscle growth.
Other Ways to Reduce Muscle Soreness and Pain
There are many things you can do to relieve your muscle soreness and pain while taking CBD. After every workout session, you should be taking the time to stretch and cool down properly. Stretching helps reduce muscle soreness, improve flexibility, and prevent injury, so make sure that you are taking the time to stretch before and after a workout.
If you put yourself through a particularly grueling workout, you may benefit from applying some ice to the areas you worked out. Icing your muscles after they have been through some intense activity helps to reduce the inflammation and the pain that comes with delayed onset muscle soreness.
Also, be sure to hydrate with plenty of water. 12-16 oz of filtered water before, during, and after is important. Post workout, give your muscles a boost with a good quality protein shake. You should be getting 1-1.5oz of protein per 2lbs of bodyweight in order to build those muscles you are trying to build.
Do you have some more questions about how CBD can help muscle recovery? Contact us here to ask us and we will be more than happy to answer.
CBD is a great addition to your post-workout routine and is easy to keep in your gym bag since it comes in easy-to-travel packages. If you have been suffering from pain and soreness after your workouts, try CBD to get that pep back in your step.
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