As more awareness is created towards fitness and a healthy lifestyle, the fitness industry has come up with plenty of supplements to make the fitness journey easier and more beneficial. Strongmen, athletes, bodybuilders and crossfitters are increasingly taking supplements to not only build strength and muscles but also deal with muscle soreness and stiffness after an intense workout session.
While a post-workout regimen including carbs and proteins is essential and effective, lately, CBD has increasingly taken fame for its counter effects against muscle soreness and stiffness post-workout.
Like every other supplement, one needs to investigate what CBD is, how it works and how useful it can be for bodybuilders and fitness. This article can give you insights and complete guidance on CBD and bodybuilding and how it fits in the lifestyle of an Indian bodybuilder.
What is CBD?
CBD or endocannabinoid is a compound extracted from the cannabis plant. It interacts with the neuroreceptors of the endocannabinoid system in our body to bring balance to our body. For instance, CBD interacts with receptors like CB1 and CB2 to reduce inflammation, reduce stress, relieve acute and chronic pain, regulate sleep patterns, hunger and appetite and also help in losing weight.
CBD has other benefits like dealing with arthritis pain, reducing epileptic symptoms, dealing with symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, helping treat depression, anxiety, PTSD and more. Lately, CBD has been used by many bodybuilders to build muscle and reduce body fat by using CBD regularly in various forms.
How does CBD help to Build Muscle?
Muscle building does not happen overnight, nor is it a simple process. A bodybuilder goes through months of training, with strict dietary habits, and a regular sleep pattern for the hard work in the gyms to show effect. Many bodybuilders find it challenging to cope with the strenuous requirements needed for bodybuilders to gain enough muscle the healthy way.
CBD is a healthy supplement that can be taken regularly post-workout in many forms that can aid muscle building. Here are some ways how taking CBD can help bodybuilders gain more muscle mass and see significant results.
Faster muscle recovery
There are many factors that can result in muscle soreness. An increase in weight, an increase in workout intensity or volume, or muscle-building intensity-boosters like drop sets or giant sets can lead to microscopic damage to the muscles. This results in sore or stiff muscles, which can be painful and also demotivating one from continuing their fitness journey.
CBD is known to be effective against such inflammation by nature. They can effectively fight against the inflammation without harming the gains, accelerating muscle recovery post-workout.
Good sleep and rest are essential for the body to rebuild and heal damaged muscles. Inadequate sleep can hinder protein synthesis which can be harmful to your gains. Sleep also improves the performance of the respiratory and immune systems while regulating stress and growth hormones.
Many studies have shown that CBD relaxes the body and helps in regulating the sleep cycle. Using CBD to enhance one’s sleep quality can make muscle recovery faster and improve other factors contributing to bodybuilding.
Lower stress & anxiety
The stress hormone, cortisol, is elevated when one is not in a relaxed state. Cortisol is considered the number one enemy of bodybuilding as it slows down muscle growth. CBD can greatly reduce stress levels in a person and make them feel calm and relaxed which ultimately reduces cortisol production in the body.
Moreover, CBD was found to have anti-catabolic properties, which induce the production of anabolic hormones. These hormones are responsible for increasing muscle mass and counter the effects of catabolic hormones which break down muscle mass. CBD’s anti-catabolic properties increase protein synthesis and speed up muscle growth aiding in the bodybuilding process.
CBD has the ability to increase leptin levels in the brain. The leptin compound is responsible for making one feel full. This can help reduce body fat content, thereby increasing muscle mass. This can come in handy for bodybuilders to stay away from unhealthy cravings and high-calorie foods that can lead to an increase in body fat content and hinder their bodybuilding process.
Boosted energy levels
CBD has a way of reducing blood sugar levels by affecting insulin levels. This can come in handy during workouts where the body burns more glucose and prevents it from converting into fat cells.
Also, with increased quality of sleep, one can experience elevated energy levels, allowing them to work out more and get better results with improved performance while lifting weights, doing cardio, etc.
Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and other chronic inflammations are part and parcel of an intense workout session. This can kill your gains. DOMS can also result in sore, stiff or burning sensations in the muscles, decreasing performance, and energy levels and overall hindering the bodybuilding process. DOMS can be avoided or reduced greatly with the help of CBD. CBD helps fight back inflammation and also deals with chronic pain and reduces DOMS symptoms and its ill effects.
How to Take CBD for Muscle Recovery?
Many bodybuilders prefer taking CBD oil post-workout and after a few hours. 2-3 drops of CBD are placed sublingually and are absorbed into the sublingual glands. The CBD oil is usually taken with protein supplements.
Many others prefer taking CBD as a capsule or as gummies like multivitamins every day. This not only helps them deal with chronic pain with regular consumption but also helps them regulate their sleep pattern, regulate eating habits and food intake and increase energy levels.
CBD ointments, balms, and gels are also used by some topically on areas with a bone or muscle injury to reduce pain and also decrease the inflammation in the localized area. While this can help for short term relief, consuming CBD in the form of oils, capsules or gummies regularly can have long term benefits for bodybuilding.
CBD is a great supplement that bodybuilders can use to improve their performance and see results faster. It can help in recovery and enhance other factors aiding in bodybuilding like sleeping and eating patterns.
Before beginning to take CBD for bodybuilding, make sure to consult a professional for clarity on how much CBD to consume and determine a suitable form of CBD to consume for you.