Athletes put their bodies through a lot and regularly push themselves to the limit. Whether you are a professional athlete or like to stay active as a hobby, you will know the importance of proper rest and recovery. Alongside hydration and nutrition, rest and recovery are some of the most important tools at an athlete’s disposal.
Exercise puts the muscles in the body under tension, which causes small tears in the fibres. When this happens, the body triggers an inflammatory response to deal with the perceived injury. As a result, the muscle is repaired and becomes stronger than it was before. And this is how muscle growth and development happen.
If you are training regularly, it’s important to be able to recover quickly, as this will minimise the risk of injury. There are many ways to recover after a gruelling workout, including stretching, hot and cold therapy and compression. And a growing number of athletes are also adding CBD to their daily routine.
This blog will explore the science behind muscle soreness, how CBD might help athletes, and the best way to take CBD for muscle recovery.
CBD for athletes
CBD is a compound extracted from the cannabis plant. It is thought to offer many benefits for the human body and, more specifically, for the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a complex network of receptors, neurotransmitters and enzymes present in all living things. It is a cell signalling system, which basically means that it sends messages between different types of cells.
The main function of the ECS is to maintain homeostasis, which is a state of balance. It achieves this by triggering processes related to everything from appetite control to inflammatory response. CBD supports the ECS by inhibiting the release of an enzyme that breaks down anandamide, an important endocannabinoid produced in the body.
With more anandamide available, the body can function as it should. Since the ECS is responsible for regulating processes such as inflammation response, pain response, appetite, sleep patterns, learning, memory, immune response and temperature control, there is hope that supporting this system could provide widespread benefits.
For athletes, the most interesting part of the ECS is its influence on inflammation. Since all muscle soreness results from inflammation, controlling this could be the key to better recovery and improved athletic performance.
What is DOMS?
DOMS stands for delayed onset muscle soreness, which is the name for what happens a few days after intense exercise. DOMS is different to the pain and fatigue felt immediately after an intense workout, and it typically shows up two days after working out.
DOMS is characterised by muscle soreness, stiffness, reduced mobility and even weakness. It is triggered by eccentric exercises, which train the muscle in a lengthened movement.
DOMS is caused by muscle strain and usually isn’t anything to worry about. Still, it can hamper your progression if you cannot continue training or enjoy active recovery in the days following a workout.
How can CBD help with muscle recovery?
Taking CBD before or after a workout could help to support the ECS, which might offer some benefits for regulating the inflammatory response following a workout. How you take CBD will also greatly impact how effective it is for your post-workout recovery routine.
Good rest is essential for effective recovery, so CBD could offer additional benefits by supporting the ECS to maintain optimal sleep patterns. And since an increased sense of drowsiness is one of the most common side effects of taking CBD, it could also help you drop off to sleep, even when sore muscles keep you awake.
What is the best CBD for muscle recovery?
There are many different ways to add CBD to your daily routine to support muscle recovery. Rather than treating CBD as an occasional tool to help with recovery, try to see it as a daily supplement.
Taking it every day helps to support your ECS and enables the anandamide to build up in your system for optimum results. Here are some of the most popular ways to take CBD for muscle recovery.
How do you use CBD balm for muscle recovery?
A CBD balm is a simple and effective way to support your muscles after a workout. Sports recovery balms will usually have heating or warming ingredients to help boost the anti-inflammatory effects.
Cooling balms like our Amore Sport CBD Muscle Balm with Wintergreen will deliver a deep cooling sensation to the affected area. Massaging the affected area will also help to improve muscle recovery and prevent soreness.
How do you use CBD oil for muscle recovery?
CBD can be used daily to help support an active lifestyle. We recommend choosing a flavoured CBD oil, as the natural flavouring of CBD can be off-putting for many people. You can either use the CBD drops under your tongue or add them to a post-workout protein shake.
How do you use CBD gummies for muscle recovery?
CBD gummies are a simple and tasty way to get a consistent dose of CBD. They’re also great for athletes as they can provide easy access to energy at the start of a workout. You may have heard of athletes using pre-workout, which can include sugar or caffeine sources.
CBD gummies offer similar benefits, except they also deliver a dose of CBD. You could use this before, during or after a workout to help support your body through recovery.
What is the best time to take CBD for recovery?
This really depends on the type of CBD you are taking and your goals. With a CBD balm, you could apply this to aching muscles after a workout once the DOMS has set in.
With CBD oil, you don’t have to wait for the pain to start before you take it. In fact, it would be more beneficial to take this as a daily supplement rather than waiting for the muscle soreness to begin.
And with CBD gummies, you might like to use this as a pre-workout supplement to help deliver an easily accessible source of glucose at the start of your workout.
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