You may be familiar with the adrenaline rush and pride in finishing an amazing workout routine, hitting a new milestone, or having an amazing game day; only to wake up the next morning with seemingly all of your muscles agonizingly protesting your big win.
Sore muscles are actually a vital part of the recovery process, but knowing that doesn’t make the physical effects any more pleasant.
If you are looking for a way to aid your body in the natural recovery process, CBD might just become your new favorite part of your post-workout routine.
Why Is Muscle Recovery Important?
When you exercise–especially if engaging in an intense or new type of movement–you are actually exposing your muscles to stress that can cause micro-damages to your muscle fibers.
As a result, the affected muscles can become swollen, and the immune system will get to work on healing the damage. This healing process correlates with the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) that plagues us in the days following those stellar workouts.
But the healing process is also what leads to muscles becoming stronger over time. Without the muscle damage and subsequent support from the immune system, you wouldn’t build the strength and stamina that leads you to progress over time.
This is also why rest days are so important–it gives your muscles the chance to recover and undergo repair before sustaining another round of micro-damage.
But if sore muscles are interfering with your everyday activities or keeping you out of the game for much longer than you’d like, CBD may be an ideal option to support your muscle recovery in a way that feels good for you.
What Is CBD?
CBD is the main phytocannabinoid found in the hemp plant. As CBD is similar to the endocannabinoids our bodies naturally produce to help regulate a number of body processes ranging from mood to sleep to pain response, CBD can actually work within the body’s endocannabinoid system (the ECS) to help the ECS maintain a normal range of body function.
When taken after a workout, CBD can help support the ECS in its existing role in muscle recovery.
How Can CBD Aid in Muscle Recovery?
CBD is thought to support the recovery process by partnering with endocannabinoids already at play in the immune system and beyond.
Endocannabinoids are able to bind with cannabinoid receptors within immune cells to support recovery as needed. With its natural soothing properties, CBD can help your muscles recover and heal as they should, so you can get back out to crushing your next set of goals.
Soothes Sore Muscles
When DOMS is keeping you from enjoying your rest days, CBD can help provide temporary ease.
Endocannabinoids can bind with CB receptors directly within sore and tense muscles to bring relief to any sense of discomfort. To further support the endocannabinoids’ efforts in soothing tired muscles undergoing repair, CBD can be applied topically directly to the source of discomfort.
Supports Sleep Quality
There is nothing like a sound sleep after a tough workout. Why? Because our brains require less energy when we sleep, the body typically uses our sleeping hours to recenter and repair, balancing whatever is out of whack and focusing in on any part of the body that requires attention.
A deep sleep is the ideal time for the body to power through muscle recovery.
Our hormone levels also shift when we sleep, with the production of the stress hormone cortisol decreasing and the production of insulin growth factor–which encourages healthy muscle growth–increasing. The immune system can also hyper-focus on the muscles in need during sleep, as more energy is available to support that task.
So, the more deep sleep you can get the night after working out, the more your muscles will recover and the quicker you can move past the soreness and back out to your exercise routine. And by promoting relaxation in the mind and body, CBD can help ease you into a deep and restful sleepwhere the recovery process can take place full-speed ahead.
How Much CBD Should I Use in My Workout Routine ?
For muscle recovery, a typical dose of CBD ranges from one to six mg of CBD per every ten pounds of body weight.
If you are new to CBD, it is best to start small and work your way up until you find the right fit. Try starting out with five to ten mg, and then increasing your dose by another five to ten mg every week until you can feel the desired results.
What Type of CBD Should I Use for Muscle Recovery?
When it comes to supporting those tired muscles, you’ve got some options. Let's check out a few of the different ways you can use different types of CBD to soothe sore muscles and brighten your post-workout mood:
- Sublingual CBD oils: A few drops of CBD oil held under the tongue can be easily absorbed into the bloodstream where it can get to work soothing discomfort throughout the body within 15 to 30 minutes. Perfect for right after a workout to support muscle recovery, or even before a workout to get that soothing train out of the station!
- CBD oils mixed in food or drink: Water-soluble CBD powder added to your post-workout smoothie or mix in with a nut butter you can snack on to refuel. If you’re not a fan of CBD’s natural flavor, this is a great way to get the muscle support you’re craving without that extra earthiness lingering on your tongue. When consumed with food, the CBD can take 30 minutes to an hour to take effect, but thankfully water-soluble CBD is more easily absorbed by the body so you’ll still feel full effects!
- CBD gummies: Refreshing and supportive, a few CBD gummies before bed the night after a touch workout can help clear the mind and promote restfulness, helping you drift into a deeper sleep during which the muscle recovery process can take place.
- CBD protein powder: Protein is essential for building and strengthening muscles. Taking CBD protein powder after an intense workout can help your body regain vital nutrients while kick-starting the recovery process
- Topical CBD oil: A CBD roll-on can be applied directly on sore muscles as soon as you feel that post-workout stiffness, even sooner if this ain’t your first rodeo and you know where you’re going to hurt. Because topicals aren’t absorbed into the bloodstream, the effects of the CBD can take effect almost immediately, and you can reapply the roll-on as needed throughout the day. They can even be used in tandem with consumable CBD products. These are ideal to have on hand the day or two after a workout!
While our muscles need to rest and recover between workouts, sore muscles shouldn’t ruin your days off or keep you out of the game for too many days at a time. If your recovery process needs a little beefing up, incorporating CBD may help!