The use of cannabidiol (CBD) is a growing trend in the athletic world due to its documented benefits on muscle recovery, with athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike embracing its potential to help them push themselves further faster.
As more athletes turn to CBD for its recovery boosting benefits, new studies are beginning to explore its viability in enhancing overall athletic performance. With a growing body of research on this topic, it looks increasingly likely that CBD may become a mainstream supplement for athletes in the near future.
CBD’s success as a sports supplement has led to interest in its possible applications outside of athletic recovery; most notably as a viable pre-workout. In this post, we’ll discuss what CBD is, the purpose of pre-workouts, and how CBD can function as a pre-workout supplement.
What is CBD?
CBD is a compound found in the cannabis plant that’s been gaining traction in recent years due to its potential therapeutic benefits. CBD has been known to help with conditions such as anxiety, depression, chronic pain, insomnia, and even some skin conditions. Unlike its fellow primary cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (i.e. THC), CBD does not have any psychoactive effects, meaning it will not make you “high” or impair your coordination.
CBD works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is responsible for regulating many functions within the body, including sleep, mood, appetite, and pain. By interacting with ECS receptors in various parts of the body, CBD can help to reduce inflammation and provide relief from a variety of symptoms.
Popular forms of CBD
CBD can be consumed in various forms such as edibles, oils, tinctures, creams, and sprays. While CBD gummies are some of the most widely consumed edibles due to their discreet and convenient dosing format, CBD oils are the most versatile option.
CBD oil is available in three key formulations: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. Many consumers looking for high-strength CBD turn to full-spectrum oils, like these, for example, due to the amplified efficacy that comes from all the naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes working in concert via the Entourage Effect.
Broad-spectrum CBD doesn’t contain any THC but does retain its natural terpene profile. Meanwhile, Isolates are composed of nothing more than the actual CBD and its carrier oil.
CBD creams and sprays are increasingly popular go-tos for the localized treatment of muscular and joint pain. These delivery methods provide an easy way to get targeted relief for the affected area more quickly than edibles or oils.
The Purpose of Pre-Workouts
Pre-workout supplements are designed to help athletes get the most out of each workout session. They usually combine ingredients with stimulant and focus-enhancing properties.
Pre-workouts usually contain a variety of ingredients such as caffeine, amino acids, vitamins and minerals that work together to provide physical and cognitive benefits. The most common ingredients found in pre-workout products include caffeine for energy, beta-alanine for muscle endurance and strength, branched-chain amino acids (or BCAAs) to provide energy and reduce muscle fatigue, and some creatine to increase muscle size and power output.
Why CBD Might Work as a Pre-Workout Supplement
It’s rare for anyone to be starting a workout in peak form, with no nagging soreness or distracting non-gym related concerns on the mind. These are two of the primary reasons why many consumers turn to products marketed specifically as pre-workouts.
In the professional world, many athletes are beginning to explore CBD’s potential as both a recovery and pre-workout supplement because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These properties can help reduce muscle soreness and joint pain while helping facilitate better blood circulation, making it easier for athletes to recover from intense physical activity faster.
Pain and stiffness from even minor injuries are common limiting factors that can directly affect performance during strenuous physical activities like exercise. CBD may provide the pain relief needed to help you keep your mind on form rather than discomfort, and help you squeeze the most out of workouts.
While further research into CBD’s direct effect on focus is still ongoing, it’s been known to reduce anxiety, which can help you stay sharp even during those final reps. Research suggests that CBD’s ability to reduce anxiety, depression and stress may indirectly help you stay focused during workouts. Its natural calming effects may reduce cortisol(the stress hormone) production, which could significantly reduce recovery turnaround after strenuous exercise.
CBD provides several potential benefits as a pre-workout supplement and is worth considering if you’re looking for an entirely organic supplement to help you improve workout performance and get the most out of each session. However, it’s recommended that you consult with a doctor or health care provider before adding CBD to your pre-workout routine to avoid unwanted side effects.
A Promising Outlook
Overall, CBD presents an opportunity for athletes to find natural remedies to both performance and recovery issues. Its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties can help the athletically inclined to recover more quickly and maintain peak performance longer, with the added potential to improve focus and reduce symptoms of anxiety that can manifest at or around gametime (i.e. performance anxiety).
As CBD becomes increasingly popular as a recovery aid, it’s likely that ongoing research will produce a similar wealth of evidence backing the viability of CBD in other sport-related applications with time. Prospective users are encouraged to pay attention not only to news around current CBD research, but their own reactions and tolerance when experimenting with the cannabinoid personally.