The latest buzzword in fitness circles is CBD. You may have seen it in your local health food shop, you may have seen it in your favorite coffee shop, or you may have been your favorite influencers talking about it on Instagram.
The reason the fitness community is so excited about this latest health food supplement is that it could help you with recovery. It is said to offer anti-inflammatory properties and is also a pain reliever. The theory is that it can be used after a workout to help your body heal faster and allow you to get back to your training. But is there any weight to this claim?
What exactly is CBD oil?
CBD stands for cannabidiol and it is a compound derived from the cannabis plant. Say “cannabis” and most people will run for the hills as they are concerned about breaking the law, or becoming an addict. The good news is that CBD is completely legal in most countries.
While CBD may be derived from the cannabis plant, it isn’t anything like marijuana. For starters, marijuana contains high levels of a compound called THC. This is another cannabinoid, like CBD, but THC is the psychoactive compound responsible for the “high” feeling. CBD cannot contain any THC for it to be legal, so you don’t need to worry about CBD making you feel goofy.
What are the main benefits of CBD oil?
Early studies into CBD are still ongoing, but the results appear promising. The most notable studies you might want to cast your eyes over are linked to the use of CBD as an anti-inflammatory and as a pain reliever.
In a study in rats, an oral solution of CBD helped to reduce sciatic nerve pain and inflammation. It has also been proven to reduce pain from surgical incision in rats. Scientists are also trying to determine if CBD can help with anxiety, depression, and insomnia. These are just some of the ongoing studies and this barely scratches the surface of what we can expect to see in the coming years.
How do you take CBD?
As with any trend, companies are quick to try to cash in. While some CBD products can be helpful, others are completely useless and little more than gimmicks. The most popular way to ingest CBD is in the form of CBD oils. These are placed in drops under the tongue and then swallowed. Another popular way is with a water-soluble drop. This offers more bioavailability as the body doesn’t have to break down the oil to access it.
You can also find CBD gummies and capsules, which offer a slow-release option. And finally, you can find CBD balms and salves. Some of the more useless CBD options include bath bombs and CBD water. These will often have such a low concentration that the effects become negligible.
Are there any side effects of CBD oil?
One of the biggest selling points of CBD oil is that there are very few negative side effects and it is impossible to overdose. Users can increase their dosage every day, working their way up until they find a level that suits them. And if you happen to take too much one day, the only side effects will be short-lived. They may include dry mouth, lightheadedness or drowsiness.
Another positive mark for CBD is that it is not habit-forming. And you won’t build up a resistance to it, so once you’ve found a dose that works for you, you won’t have to keep increasing it.
How does it help with workout recovery?
As mentioned above, early studies suggest that CBD can help to reduce inflammation and pain. These are two things that are key to workout recovery. Everyone knows that your recovery period is just as important as your workout. This is why we knock back protein shakes to help rebuild muscles. Or we might alternative hot and cold showers to help keep inflammation at bay.
With the arrival of CBD oil on the fitness scene, we could be looking at the latest post-workout recovery trend. It could be as simple as adding a few drops of CBD oil to your recovery shake. Or you might enjoy it before bed with a relaxing mug of peppermint tea.
How else can it benefit recovery?
Getting proper rest the night after an intense workout can be difficult, especially if you workout in the evening. Your body may be exhausted, but your mind is going a million miles per second as you deal with the adrenaline coursing through your veins. This is why CBD oil can be so beneficial. CBD can be used to help you wind down in the evening and could promote more restful sleep.
Sleep is essential to recovery as this is when your body rebuilds itself. You can drink all the creatine-enriched protein shakes in the world, but if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your workouts will suffer.
While there are no studies into the benefits of CBD as a post-workout recovery tool, anecdotal evidence from CBD users will tell you all you need to know. Conduct your research and decide if CBD could be the right choice to help you recover after a workout. It’s available online and over the counter in many health food shops. It could be the magic ingredient you’ve been looking for to supercharge your workouts.