You may have noticed a slew of current and former professional athletes recently endorsing CBD products, but the benefits of CBD could also help the average athlete both pre and post-workout. The World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its prohibited substances list in September 2018. Although there are few peer-reviewed studies on the pre and post-workout benefits of CBD, there are plenty of athlete testimonials to support it.
Pre-Workout Benefits A 2017 study, published in the journal JCI Insight, gave CBD to healthy volunteers at the University of Nottingham and Oxford University. The findings showed that high amounts of CBD helped reduce blood pressure and heart in the volunteers. The study conclusion was also echoed by a 2012 research project, published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, which focused on in vitro animal subjects. However, researchers noted the animals given CBD also showed increase blood flow to key areas of the brain and heart. What does this mean for athletes? Increased blood flow, combined with decreased heart rate and blood pressure, translates to longer training sessions without feeling the impact of extended aerobic activity.
Post-Workout Benefits Many athletes have also begun turning to use CBD after their workouts in a bid to enhance recovery. One of the benefits of CBD is promoting restful sleep, which is essential as deep sleep is the most optimal time for the body to build muscle tissue. A preliminary study, published last September in the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, found that participants given CBD had a noticeable decrease in cortisol levels in their blood. Because cortisol is a hormone that hinders tissue growth and reduces protein synthesis, the study suggests that CBD might both slow the breakdown of muscle mass and help athletes increase muscle. A 2009 study from the journal Future Medicinal Chemistry also suggested that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that could be beneficial in post-workout recovery.
Incorporate CBD Into Your Workout There are no research studies that suggest whether CBD is more beneficial before or after your workout, or that suggest exact amounts of CBD to take pre or post–workout. If you are considering this, we recommend starting with a small serving of CBD either before or after your workout to start and adjusting as needed.