Taking CBD before a workout sounds like it could be a mistake. After all, don’t most people take CBD because they find it helps them relax in one way or another?
But several new CBD products are showing that combining CBD with other ingredients – including caffeine – can be just the hit of combined energy and relaxation you need to maximize your workout performance. Even if you were feeling a bit tired or run-down before you started.
Because taking regular exercise and getting in shape requires a lot of energy and dedication. And especially when gyms and other exercise possibilities have been slashed by the pandemic for the last year or more, it can feel like an uphill struggle.
So, can taking CBD oil before or after your workout help solve the problem?
What is CBD?
To the uninitiated, CBD stands for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is a type of organic compound known as a cannabinoid. It is chiefly harvested from cannabis plants – specifically, the sub-type of cannabis called hemp.
Hemp has been used by humans for industrial purposes – largely creating fabrics and the like – for thousands of years. It contains little or none of the other well-known cannabinoid in cannabis – THC, tetrahydrocannabinol – also known as the one that gets you “high”.
As it cannot get you “high” or have any other psychoactive effect, isolated CBD has become the darling of the well-being industry. These days, you can find it in everything from edible gummies to fizzy pops to coffee.
People around the world add CBD to their diets for all kinds of reasons. Most people say they use it because they find it helps them relax.
How does taking CBD before a workout help?
The standard reason that most people resist the idea of working out is fatigue. Sometimes life is too busy. But it broadly usually boils down to being too tired to face another cardio or weights session.
There is also the intimidation factor. There are many people who say they feel “watched” when they enter a gym. Whether there really are some gym hawks who are going to be judging your performance or not, being relaxed enough to perform at your best is important.
In both cases, athletes who use CBD before working out say there is an argument to be made for cannabidiol. But not usually alone. The relaxing effects of CBD are usually paired in pre-workout products with stimulants like a hefty shot of caffeine, found in most energy drinks as well as coffee.
The combination of stimulant and relaxants gives you energy while combating the jittery feeling that caffeine on its own can produce. Another common addition is L-arginine, a compound thought to enhance blood flow to the muscles.
How many milligrams of CBD should I take before workout?
There isn’t a hard-and-fast amount for this. However, many CBD workout products on the market contain around 20 milligrams of CBD.
It’s important to remember though that everyone is affected by CBD differently. This means you can’t simply ask a question like, “how much CBD should I take to relax?” If you have a higher tolerance, you may need more to experience a noticeable effect. If your tolerance is lower, that same amount may feel like a large dose to you.
Your tolerance can be affected by all kinds of things, including your body weight and whether you have much experience with using cannabidiol. If you’ve never tried CBD before or after a workout, it might be best to start with a small dose and work up to see if you get the effect you need. It will be best if you start with a product like CBD tincture, which can be easily dosed in drops, or with edibles like CBD gummies which have a set amount of milligrams in each gummy.
What about CBD post-workout?
Taking CBD before you workout is actually a pretty new phenomenon. Taking CBD after a workout though has been much more common for years.
Many athletes say that CBD helps post-workout recovery, arguing that it reduces strained and overworked muscles and generally helps them relax. This may help them get back to peak performance for their next session sooner.
What other steps can improve my workout?
As well as experimenting with CBD before or after your workout, there are many sensible steps you can take to improve. In particular, there are several ways to maximize your willingness and dedication to your workout regime:
1) Be realistic
Setting sky-high goals and then failing to meet them is the way that the huge numbers of people instantly fail and put themselves off taking any exercise at all.
Watching that fitness person online do an easy fifty reps of something can be inspiring. Failing to manage five when you expect to be able to instantly do the same, crushing. Also, are you really going to get up at 7 am before work every day to get that epic run in?
Probably not. But you don’t have to. The most important part of any workout schedule is to do what works for you. Make sure you do it well. And make sure it is something you can stick to. Regularity and practice will be what counts in the end.
It’s easy to distract yourself if you don’t really want to go and work out in the first place. The phone is the biggest distraction for most people. The constant barrage of messages, texts, emails, news flashes…
Turn it off. Most people would benefit from turning their phone off, putting it on silent, or hiding it in a different room for a while every day anyway. Switch on airplane mode if you need to so you can focus on what you’re doing.
3) Go with a friend
If you know someone that works out too, why not go to the gym with them? If not, a workout group or class can be a great way to make sure that you hit the gym or get out for that run if you struggle to do so if left to your own devices.
Using some CBD oil post-workout to help with recovery and building some into your pre-workout routine to get you relaxed yet ready to rock can work wonders. But so can being around a few like-minded, proactive individuals.