CBD is becoming more and more popular for its seemingly infinite health benefits. The recent discovery that high quality CBD can benefit both body and mind has triggered an interest in the potential possibilities that this relatively new product may carry. Fitness fanatics are no exception, and CBD is playing a part in gyms and workout routines too. The effects of CBD on Cortisol levels and stamina have even further expanded the ever-growing list of attributes which make this product so unique. Whether you’re a professional athlete, a fitness enthusiast, busy parent or just plain curious, CBD can assist with your daily goals. As muscle development and recovery are key factors in general well-being, adopting habits that focus on healthy muscles will naturally give better results from your workout while helping you to feel generally well.
CBD AND CORTISOL
Cortisol is a hormone that is released by the adrenal gland, which reacts to stress levels. This is a natural occurrence which dates back to prehistoric times when man relied upon “stress hormones” to give them the adrenaline they needed to get out of a life threatening situation. These days, our stress hormones are still present, but kick in under different types of stress. We no longer require the adrenaline to outrun a wild animal for example, but our brain reacts in the same way when faced with a tough decision or intensive exercise. Our cortisol levels are naturally highest in the morning, dwindling throughout the day to the lowest level at night. While cortisol provides necessary benefits such as regulating blood sugar levels and therefore stabilising moods and memory, an excess of the hormone can cause a decrease in muscle growth. Taken at the right time, CBD can help maintain a healthy balance of the hormone to ensure muscle growth is achieved without compromising on the benefits that normal levels of cortisol provide.
HOW DOES CBD AFFECT CORTISOL?
CBD affects cortisol levels in a number of ways:
As mentioned earlier, cortisol levels change throughout the day. This is why muscle recovery is most effective at night, when levels of the hormone are at their lowest. Getting a good night's sleep is therefore imperative to achieving the muscle mass of your dreams (as it were). CBD can support regular deep REM sleep, assisting your body in getting the rest it needs to recover those muscles.
REDUCED MUSCLE BREAKDOWN
CBD also works directly with your endocannabinoid system to manipulate cortisol levels, reducing the breakdown of muscle mass and therefore gaining more from each workout. Some people also buy CBD oil for pain, and it can help to alleviate the general aches and pains caused by a tough workout. You may require a slightly higher CBD dosage for pain than for recovery.
BALANCING THE MIND
The effects of CBD on the mind are already pretty well-known, with many people reaching for CBD to deal with anxiety, stress and depression. By balancing the cortisol hormone, CBD can work to balance moods that can often be affected by over-training due to the fluctuation in hormones this can create. Testosterone levels are naturally increased during a weight-lifting session and this is the hormone responsible for muscle growth. As the weight lifting exercise causes stress by raising the heart-rate and tearing the muscles, cortisol levels are also increased as your body’s natural response to the situation. In fact, any workout is a form of physical stress and will therefore release the cortisol hormone, which can result in the breakdown of muscle mass and lessen the results you’re getting.
Using pre and post workout supplements can therefore provide a balance in cortisol levels and aid in the growth, maintenance and recovery of muscle mass – making your workout more beneficial.
CBD AND STAMINA
Higher stamina levels will naturally allow you to push harder for longer and get better results. If your goals are important to you then stamina will be, too. You will be familiar with that feeling of endorphins as you get your second wind during a workout. You’ll know to keep going until you get that rush -”The runner’s high” - because when it comes, you’ll get a far more rewarding workout. Recent research has shown that this high is in fact caused by anandamide, which is a natural endocannabinoid compound. Taking CBD helps to regulate this via your endocannabinoid system, causing higher stamina and increased energy levels.
As well as an increase in stamina, breathing is regulated and muscle cramps are reduced thanks to the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD. Dopamine; a chemical that is usually triggered by good things happening, is released at just the right levels. Dopamine also promotes balance and smoother movement.
BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
Stamina is also affected by blood sugar levels and maintaining a good balance of blood sugar levels can result in increased stamina. This means that diet plays an important role in any fitness regime and what you eat will go hand in hand with how you perform. CBD also contains blood sugar level regulating properties, which can complement a healthy diet and exercise routine to give balance to blood sugar levels and maximise your stamina and energy levels. Well regulated blood sugar levels can also affect how much fat your body stores, and less fat means more muscle! You don't need to buy the strongest CBD oil for sale to benefit from the effects on blood sugar levels; small doses will make a big difference.
SHOULD I ADD CBD TO MY WORKOUT?
Absolutely. A combination of increased stamina, reduced cortisol, regulated blood sugar and general good health make CBD the perfect companion to your routine, and go hand in hand with the medical benefits of CBD. Whether you engage in heavy activity or you just want to keep fit, muscle growth is essential to burning fat and general exercise every day helps to maintain a healthy heart. The strength you choose will depend upon you, the individual and your own circumstances so research is important when choosing the right CBD for you. Opting for a high quality brand with a high percentage of CBD per ml is a good starting point; research and trial and error will get you the perfect product for you. When to take your CBD for optimal results will again depend on your own circumstances; when you usually workout, how much stress you put your body through and what else you do during the day will all impact what’s right for you. Do your research, check the time of day against cortisol levels and you’ll find the right balance for you.
Consider using CBD creams and balms for external treatment of inflammation and pain to really maximise the results of your workout!
WHERE CAN I BUY CBD?
After reading about the benefits that CBD can have on your fitness routine, you may be wondering where to start. Good quality oils can be sourced from reputable retailers. Take care to double check that you're buying from a reliable, responsible retailer who is registered with a regulatory body.