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CBD and Fitness

To understand how CBD is believed to impact workouts, it’s important to recognize what CBD is. Short for cannabidiol, CBD is one of more than 100 compounds called cannabinoids contained in cannabis. Similar in structure to endocannabinoids, which the body naturally produces (and may be responsible for runner’s high), cannabinoids are most well-known for their help with decreasing depression, anxiety, insomnia, and pain.

However, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, not all of cannabis’s cannabinoids cause a psychoactive effect or “high,” CBD counteracts these effects and may trigger multiple health benefits. The most intriguing advantage for exercisers is reduced inflammation.

“Any workout, especially a rigorous one, causes microscopic damage to the body’s muscles and tissues”, explains Dr. Alan Beyer, sports medicine doctor and executive medical director of the Hoag Orthopedic Institute in California. “It’s this inflammation that triggers the body’s repair processes, allowing tissues to grow back stronger and fitter. However, too much inflammation left unchecked can contribute to excessive muscle damage and poor workout results. Inflammation is also a hallmark of exercise injuries including strains and sprains”, he says.

For this reason, exercisers commonly integrate anti-inflammatory measures – such as eating antioxidant-containing foods and taking ice baths – into their workout routines to aid the workout process. They may also try to curb achy muscles and joints through the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, like ibuprofen.

While studies currently debate exactly when exercisers should try to curb inflammation and when they should just let the body recover on its own, they also suggest that CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound. For example, a 2018 review published in Frontiers in Neurology concluded that CBD is an effective way of improving pain and mobility in patients with multiple sclerosis since it reduces inflammation.

“CBD for exercise-induced inflammation is absolutely the next big area we need to explore,” says Thorsten Rudroff, an exercise scientist and director of the Integrative Neurophysiology Laboratory at Colorado State University, and the Frontiers in Neurology study co-author. “However, most of what we know about CBD and exercise is based on anecdotal reports,” he says. “There’s basically no research on the topic. We need to investigate CBD’s effects on inflammatory biomarkers [compounds like C-reactive protein in the body that occur with inflammation] in athletes and exercise recovery.”

He explains that he has seen a dramatic increase in the number of older adults and collegiate and professional athletes consuming CBD edibles and oils. By taking them immediately after exercise, they aim to recover quickly and effectively. Some believe that CBD reduces the body’s tendency to break down tissues and promotes muscle growth.

Meanwhile, Beyer posits that CBD is most promising as a way to help patients recover from exercise-related injuries. He often recommends that his patients apply CBD salves to the injured area.

“CBD penetrates transdermally to reduce inflammation in the injured tissues,” Beyer explains, noting that overuse of NSAIDs, especially in conjunction with exercise, can damage the kidneys. For example, in a 2017 Emergency Medical Journal studying ultramarathoners, those who took ibuprofen every four hours during a 50-mile race were about 18 percent more likely to finish the race with acute kidney damage.

While some people are looking into the research, others are experiencing the effects of CBD first hand. Workout enthusiast are interested on how this supplement can help on a regular basis.

CBD is quickly becoming a vital part of many workout routines. In capsule or oil form, CBD is an important part of any holistic health and wellness routine. Whether you’re a professional athlete, amateur jogger or busy mom, this beneficial supplement made from hemp can help. Whatever style of fitness regimen you prefer, muscle development and muscle recovery play key roles in overall health and wellbeing.

Since the World Anti-Doping Agency lifted its ban on CBD, many fitness professionals and athletes use CBD as the staple for their high-performance fitness regimens to build muscle and boost stamina. CBD can do a lot of ‘good’ for the human body. That being said, it’s important to use the highest quality CBD from natural hemp oil, from a CBD supplier you can trust. Bargain priced “CBD” products frequently contain very little CBD content by volume. If you’re going to buy CBD oil, be sure it is 100% premium and pure from hemp.

CATABOLIC HORMONES PLAY A KEY ROLE IN BUILDING MUSCLE

Catabolic hormones are those in the body which cause a breakdown of muscle tissue. For athletes and others with the goal of increasing muscle mass and improving muscle tone, reducing the levels of catabolic hormones, such as cortisol, is imperative.

Cortisol is a hormone that reduces protein synthesis and actively prevents tissue growth. Excessive cortisol levels are usually the culprit when those who work out diligently fail to achieve the muscle building results they expected from their rigorous fitness routines.

A woman seen from behind holding a weight on her shoulders. Some top athletes are now working out with CBD. CBD oil can reduce the effects of anxiety and promote more restful sleep, all of which promote a better workout.

Some top athletes are now working out with CBD. CBD oil can reduce the effects of anxiety and promote more restful sleep, all of which promote a better workout.

The key to understanding cortisol’s negative effect on muscle-building is to recognize that cortisol levels fluctuate throughout the day. The hormone is secreted by the adrenal gland. Cortisol levels are usually higher in the morning, decreasing throughout the day, and at their lowest at night. This explains why muscle recovery happens most efficiently while we sleep.

Of course, cortisol does provide some important benefits, or the body wouldn’t produce it. Cortisol is instrumental in the liver, helping to remove toxins from the body. Cortisol has other roles in the immune system regulating blood sugar levels, and enhancing short-term memory. At natural levels, cortisol is quite beneficial and CBD oil can help maintain a healthy cortisol balance.

CBD’s ANTI-CATABOLIC PROPERTIES AND THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP

From research done on the Endocannabinoid System, we know that CBD oil consumed engages CB2 receptors in the limbic and paralimbic regions of the brain, the control centers of the Endocannabinoid System responsible for regulating sleep and mood. Nearly 25 percent of Americans struggle to achievedeep REM sleep. However, with the support of CBD, regular deep REM sleep can be achieved to augment protein synthesis for building muscle tissue at the most optimum time when growth inhibiting cortisol levels are at a minimum. This is one indirect way CBD helps to manage cortisol levels.

A preliminary study published in September by the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research suggests CBD works directly with the Endocannabinoid System to interfere with cortisol secretion as reported by the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, where subjects experienced a significant decrease in cortisol levels in their blood. This means that CBD can slow the breakdown of muscle mass and help athletes to build more muscle.

We know about CBD’s calming anti-anxiety and mood-regulating effects when working in natural harmony with our Endocannabinoid Systems. It’s easy to see how CBD’s multiple and very beneficial therapeutic effects, and its direct anti-catabolic action all combine to keep cortisol at the properly balanced levels to benefit our systems.

WHY HIGH-STRESS WORKOUTS AND OTHER STIMULANTS MAY BOOST CORTISOL LEVELS

Increasing levels of the hormone testosterone with intense periods of weight lifting is the well-known mechanism for building muscle mass, but the level of cortisol which also increases during an intense workout has the exact opposite effect.

Cortisol levels rise significantly in response to stress no matter what time of day or what the situation. That’s why the fitness community calls cortisol “the stress hormone.” An intense heavy workout routine is a source of physical stress. That’s in addition to the unavoidable day-to-day environmental stresses everyone experiences.

High intensity workouts can actually produce harmful stress hormones in the body. Working out with CBD may counteract some of these negative effects of intense exercise.

When cortisol levels soar in response to extreme workout stress, the high amount of the catabolic hormone can cause high blood pressure, lower bone density, and eat up muscle tissue negating the positive benefits of the workout. In the worst-case scenario, unregulated cortisol can cause the physical condition to nosedive. That’s the exact opposite result of what your fitness regimen is trying to achieve.

This is (unfortunately) similar to the effect that caffeine causes. It has been demonstrated that as little as 2-3 cups of coffee per day can cause cortisol levels to rise. However, CBD oil’s natural stimulating effects provide all the energy-boosting benefits without the jitters while maintaining cortisol at beneficial levels.

Pre- and post-workout CBD oil supplements can balance cortisol levels to let you optimize results from your workout time. But, as always with CBD, there is good news and more good news.

CBD BOOSTS STAMINA AND HELPS YOU ‘FIRE ON ALL CYLINDERS’

Stamina is something that each person desires for their workout or work day.

The most understood feeling of stamina is what we all know as the “runner’s high” that you can get from any long-form workout. For years, endorphins have gotten the credit for maintaining stamina through long, cardio-focused workouts. However, recent research has shown that the endocannabinoid system is the true generator of the legendary “runner’s high.” Findings show that it’s the rush of anandamide, the natural endocannabinoid compound regulated by CBD via the Endocannabinoid System, which deserves the credit for the sudden onset of the euphoric, pain-free, calm sensation.

Now within a CBD-optimized homeostasis where you are “firing on all cylinders,” stamina and energy levels are improved, breathing is well-regulated, and CBD’s anti-inflammatory action keeps muscles cramp-free while balancing dopamine at proper levels to promote smooth movement and balance. Some scientists refer to this homeostasis as “the Goldilocks Zone.” It’s that state in which mind, body, and spirit function together and everything is “just right.”

CBD BOOSTS STAMINA BY REGULATING BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS

The last key to building muscle and boosting stamina is maintenance of our blood sugar levels. Contrary to common belief, we can do this through more ways than just a balanced diet.

A runner is crouched on the starting line, ready to race on a track. Using CBD oil can actually boost stamina, which is just one of several benefits of working out with CBD.

Using CBD oil can actually boost stamina, which is just one of several benefits of working out with CBD.

Chronic inflammation has long been established as a cause of insulin resistance resulting in Type 2 diabetes. As reported by Diabetes.co.uk, the immune system, cell growth, sugar metabolism and heart function all also appear to prospectively benefit from CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties.

When blood sugar is regulated, less insulin is present and therefore less fat is stored. When less fat is stored, your body works in an anti-catabolic mode to help produce more muscle.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE WORKING OUT WITH CBD

CBD oil’s anti-catabolic properties are making it the most recommended supplement in fitness regimens where increasing muscle mass is a primary goal. CBD’s additional benefits for runners, yoga enthusiasts, professional athletes and more in the health and wellness world strongly suggests that this is not a fad, but a supplement that is becoming the norm. More and more people are beginning to second-guess western medicine and are looking for a more natural way to help fight disease and pain – and CBD is increasingly the answer.

CBD can be ingested in capsule form, oil form or topically as a cream. CBD creams and salves also have a place in the fitness industry for topical inflammation, pain relief and flexibility – three things that are key to a safe and successful workout. It’s important for each fitness enthusiast to research the different ways to leverage CBD’s benefits and test dosages to see what works best for your body. The future is bright with CBD.

Stop by CBD MED in Baytown today to discuss your fitness and health goals with one of our professional staff members. We are here to help educate and provide information about the health benefits of CBD.

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