By Andrew Carruthers, Editor-In-Chief.
Whether you’re a full blown pro, an aspiring newbie or someone who just likes to relieve a bit of stress in the gym or on the track, you’re probably always on the look out for something to help give you an extra boost, relieve more stress or simply just make your life better. With the recent legalisation of CBD products and influencers all over social media pushing so many different products, you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about.
What is CBD oil?
CBD stands for Cannabidiol and it is one of the many compounds found in the well-known cannabis plant. Unlike it’s close friend Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC as it is known to many, CBD doesn’t make you high. What CBD does do though is offer a variety of health benefits, including the following:
- Reduces pain and inflammation.
- Relieves anti-psychotic effects to treat people with schizophrenia and other disorders.
- Reduces symptoms of various anxiety disorders.
- Fights cancer.
- Treats nausea and vomiting.
- Treats epilepsy and other neurological disorders.
- Lowers the incidence of diabetes.
- Promotes positive cardiovascular health.
By this time you’re starting to get a picture of why people are turning to CBD oil as a daily supplement. But what does this have to do with bodybuilding, performance and muscle gain?
CBD and Bodybuilding.
Recent studies have shown that the ways in which CBD oil benefit bodybuilding and fitness-conscious individuals is very promising. Here they are!
Bodybuilders and Fitness-conscious individuals are always trying to figure out how they can grow more muscle and research shows that CBD has anti-catabolic properties. This means that CBD can slow down the breakdown of muscle and help athletes to build even more muscle.How does it do this? It does this by decreasing the amount of catabolic hormones (like cortisol – the stress hormone) that are present in the body.
In addition to lowering catabolic hormone levels, CBD can indirectly boost muscle growth by improving stamina. The more time spent lifting without muscle becoming fatigued, means you’ll see results sooner from your hard work. Studies have also suggested that CBD will work best for muscle building enthusiasts if you also avoid caffeine and pre-workout supplements. Caffeine is known to increase cortisol levels, so whilst using CBD, limit the amount of coffee and pre-workout for best results.
Research shows that CBD can also be beneficial to people who are trying to lose weight. CBD has been found to regulate blood sugar levels and when blood sugar is regulated, the pancreas produces fewer fat-storing hormones. It’s in the this blood sugar regulated state that we are able to burn the most fat as energy. As we have mentioned before, CBD also helps lower cortisol levels. When cortisol levels aren’t regulated then your chances of burning fat are lowered and your chances of storing fat increase. CBD has also been found to suppress the appetite meaning that your craving for unhealthy, calorie-dense foods in minimised and you’ll be able to reach your weight loss goals more successfully.
Better Muscle Recovery
Recovering from a gruelling workout is of paramount importance. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties which assist in faster recovery times. Over the counter products such as anti-inflammatories and ibuprofen have been shown to cause damage to liver and digestive organs when taken in excess. CBD has none of these dangerous side effects.
It goes without saying that sleep is one of the most important parts of our day when it comes to muscle growth and recovery. It’s when we sleep that our bodies do the most of the recovery processes. If you’re not sleeping, you’re not growing and recovery slows down to a halt until such time as your body can get enough rest. Insufficient sleep can also cause weight gain. CBD can help you get back on track with sleep because it regulates the hormones that signal time for sleep and time for wakefulness. CBD also does this without any habit-forming properties that come with traditional sleep aids.
Reduces Anxiety and Stress
CBD helps improve sleep quality because it can reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety – two very serious enemies of good quality sleep. CBD can also be used to help naturally relieve pre-competition anxiety for bodybuilders and other athletes.
Treat and Prevent Brain Injuries
Last but not least, CBD has also shown to have the potential to treat and prevent traumatic brain injuries. This is groundbreaking, especially for athletes who are involved in contact sports like MMA.
It’s clear to see that there are many ways in which CBD oil is beneficial to bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts – from assisting in the muscle building process to aiding in recovery. The fact that CBD oil helps curb cravings alone is already a huge step in the right direction for people wanting get into great shape and not have to fight their way through a diet.