A lot of us love exercise… and some of us are less than fond of it. No matter your stance, though, effective workout recovery maximizes the benefits that exercise offers. Now we’re finding that cannabis compounds may help to further improve our recovery.
What are the cornerstones of recovery?
Although there are genetic components that allow individuals to recover differently from one another, there are a few things we ALL have to do in order to recover. These are all important, so pay no attention to the order of the list.
Water is beyond important. Obviously. It’s a prerequisite for life itself, and it does more than anything else we ingest to support homeostasis. It actually facilitates every known metabolic function in our bodies. If you can commit to one change in your life that makes your exercise regimen a bit easier on your body, take the time to figure out how much water your body needs on a daily basis.
A well-balanced diet can make or break your program. Not only does it fuel the body for the tasks ahead, but it also plays a giant role in rebuilding structures like muscle fibers that are broken down when we physically exert ourselves.
Depending on what sport you do and at what level you do it, your body will demand different quantities of necessary ingredients: a unique balance of macro nutrients (proteins, fats, carbs) and micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals). Do you need lots of complex carbs in your diet? Are you a competitive strongman that needs over 10,000 calories per day to perform at your best? Or do you just need to add some Ceylon cinnamon to your diet to optimize your body’s nutrient uptake?
A yogi and an Olympic sprinter will have different needs, so be sure to research what other athletes do to optimize their diet for your sport. Your body will thank you for it and the motivation you’ll get from improved performance will be a huge perk.
Without sleep, you won’t be making much progress in your exercise program at all. Your brain and body can’t recuperate properly unless they get adequate rest, particularly REM sleep and stage 4 sleep. People have differing sleep requirements, but not many people can get away with fewer than 6 hours of sleep per night without some form of cognitive or physical deficit in their day-to-day life, let alone exercise.
When you drink enough water, eat the right food, and get adequate sleep, what else might help your workout recovery?
We’ll start by saying this. You have an endocannabinoid system. It helps maintain your body’s homeostatic functions when cannabinoids stimulate its receptors. Your body makes its own cannabinoids as well (endocannabinoids). That being said, the endocannabinoids that your body produces on its own are often not sufficient, so supplementing cannabinoids makes perfect sense.
The endocannabinoid 2-AG, for instance, has a lot on its plate. Among other functions, it helps with immune function, pain, and inflammation. CBD has been shown to imitate 2-AG, so if your body’s 2-AG is depleted, in theory CBD would pick up the slack and aid in those functions. It’s also been shown to have greater antioxidant effects than vitamin C and D, as enumerated in the article What You Need to Know About Using Cannabis for Workout Recovery. So for individuals who frequently suffer from inflammation due to exercise, CBD can be a great adjunct to a normal recovery routine. And that’s only one cannabinoid of well over 100!
Try using full-spectrum hemp extract like ours in addition to your post workout routine for a few weeks and see if it doesn’t make a difference for you. It doesn’t just have CBD, but also trace amounts of CBC, CBG, THC, etc.
Take note: If you are a competitive athlete in any sports federation that drug tests, using any product with even trace amounts of THC can result in a failed drug test… Even topical products. This also applies to individuals who have to drug test for any reason, not just for sport.
The bottom line
We all need exercise of some form to be healthy. It doesn’t matter if you’re an ultra-marathon runner, or if you do a calisthenics routine in a pool for 15 minutes every other day. Proper recovery maximizes the benefit of this exercise for our bodies. It also makes us progressively more effective at said exercise, resulting in greater motivation and enjoyment when we physically exert ourselves. So take some time for self care and find what recovery routine works best for your body and your sport. Future you will thank the here-and-now you for the rewards.