If there’s one alternative medicine that’s been taking the world by storm over the last few years, it’s CBD oil.
Many people are using CBD oils for a range of different conditions – from chronic pain to mental health problems to epilepsy. But did you know that it could also help with workout recovery?
In this post, we’ll be looking at using CBD oil to aid recovery after working out, and asking: should you really believe the hype?
What is CBD oil?
First, a brief introduction to CBD oil. There are still lots of people out there who don’t know very much about CBD oil, its origins, and its effects — which has led to many misconceptions about its use.
CBD refers to cannabidiol — a chemical compound that is found in the cannabis plant.
Cannabis contains over 100 of these chemical compounds (known collectively as cannabinoids) that affect the body in different ways. One such compound is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) — the psychoactive chemical compound that we associate with smoking marijuana and getting ‘stoned’.
However, CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, which means it doesn’t affect the brain’s function. Instead, it is thought to have a range of health benefits for the user, including aiding workout recovery.
Below are some of the ways that CBD oil is supposed to improve workout recovery:
Helping with inflammation
Whether you’re aiming to double the the size of your arms or training for a marathon, CBD can help with muscle inflammation and soreness.
It doesn’t matter how fit you are — if you push yourself during a workout, it’s easy to feel stiff, sore and achy the next day. This feeling can even last for up to five days too, affecting your training plan.
This is called DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) and is a result of microscopic damage to your muscle fibres caused during your workout. Your muscles then become inflamed as they try to recover.
CBD oil has anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s believed to aid this recovery by reducing inflammation and soothing your sore muscles. The research on this isn’t extensive, but many users have noticed a reduction in the severity of muscle inflammation post workouts. It’s even thought to help with joint inflammation, which is great if you’ve just had a heavy lift day.
For some people, CBD products are a better alternative to using traditional anti-inflammatories.
Reducing your downtime between workouts
CBD oil could help to reduce your downtime between workouts.
This is because CBD is thought to promote healthy cell homeostasis (a stable internal environment which your body needs to run as smoothly as it can).
So as well as reducing muscle soreness and inflammation, CBD might be the answer to getting your body back to running at full capacity quicker.
Reducing your downtime means that you can get back on that training horse and spend more time working out. This is really handy if you’re trying to stick to a tight fitness schedule or have an imminent goal to meet (like you’re entering a competition next month).
Maintaining a strong fitness regime isn’t the only thing that’s going to get you to your goal.
It’s important to balance working out with rest — and most importantly, quality sleep (which keeps you feeling refreshed and energised for your next workout). Missing out on sleep can really impact performance and recovery, so it’s important to get those eight hours that you really need.
CBD oil is a popular treatment for sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep deprivation, so if you’re struggling to sleep and recover between workouts, then you might want to check it out.
The reasons behind why CBD works well for aiding good sleep are still being researched, but it’s thought to be down to the way CBD works — by interacting with receptors in our body.
CBD activates these receptors to carry out their normal jobs more effectively and improve body functions — such as decreasing pain and inflammation, and regulating sleep patterns and quality.
How do you use (and buy) CBD oil for workout recovery?
CBD comes in all sorts of oral forms, such as tablets or capsules and even chewy sweets. It can also be bought simply as oil, which you can take by placing a few drops under your tongue.
The most popular forms of CBD oil for workout recovery, however, are CBD-infused creams, balms and roll-on sticks. Unlike the types we’ve mentioned above, CBD creams and balms are rubbed on to the affected muscles or joints to alleviate soreness and inflammation. This is a good option if you want to target specific areas. They tend to produce a numbing, tingling sensation when applied.
It’s pretty easy to buy CBD oil online from a variety of CBD suppliers (such as Sol CBD). You just need to decide which type you would prefer to help with workout recovery. And if in doubt, check with your doctor first before you start using CBD.
If you’re wondering whether you should believe the hype when it comes to using CBD oil for workout recovery, then we would say yes.
Of course, research is still being done on the full effects of CBD, but many people — including professional athletes — use CBD products to treat muscle inflammation and soreness, and reduce downtime in their workout regime.
With pretty much non-existent side effects, it’s easy enough to test CBD out and incorporate it into your workout recovery for a few weeks. If it doesn’t work for you, you can simply stop. And if it does work, then you’ve just taken helped your workout recovery massively.