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From reducing anxiety to improving sleep quality to relieving pain, Cannabidiol (or CBD) is making headlines on all the ways it can benefit your life. But did you know CBD may also be able to help you achieve your health and fitness goals?

While specific studies examining CBD and exercise performance have yet to be conducted, current research suggests a plausible positive link between the two. A natural anti-inflammatory, CBD is gaining popularity amongst athletes and fitness enthusiasts. And in 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its list of banned substances. Here’s why CBD may be beneficial for promoting quick muscle recovery and pain relief from exercise.

Is CBD Safe Before Exercising?

its minimal side effects and non-addictive nature.

CBD for Muscle Recovery

Exercise, especially an intense workout, causes microscopic tears in the muscles. These tears naturally cause inflammation, triggering the body’s repair process for creating stronger muscles. However, muscle soreness and stiffness are also frequently experienced.

ny workout, especially a rigorous one, causes microscopic damage to the body’s muscles and tissues, explains Dr. Alan Beyer, sports medicine doctor and executive medical director of the Hoag Orthopedic Institute in California. It’s this inflammation that triggers the body’s repair processes, allowing tissues to grow back stronger and fitter. However, too much inflammation left unchecked can contribute to excessive muscle damage and poor workout results. Inflammation is also a hallmark of exercise injuries including strains and sprains, he says. For this reason, exercisers commonly integrate anti-inflammatory measures – such as eating antioxidant-containing foods and taking ice baths – into their workout routines to aid the workout process. They also try to curb achy muscles and joints through the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, Beyer says.

And CBD’s benefits are helpful for the average person’s workout, too. The natural inflammation that happens in the body after a workout can be difficult to overcome. The use of CBD—which is available in topical creams, capsules, sprays, and more—can help curb increased stiffness and soreness following workouts, allowing for greater flexibility and prime condition the next day.

That’s a good thing, experts say. After all, exercising without proper recovery risks counteracting the positive benefits of physical activity completely. Research has shown that overtraining can lead to poorer athletic performance, higher blood pressure, poor sleep, digestive issues and even mood problems like depression. What’s more, neglecting any one area of fitness can hold you back from achieving your goals: Building strength without range of motion, for example, can lead to a pulled muscle on your next heavy lift, while increasing flexibility without building strength renders you unstable in daily life.

How to Use CBD Post-Workout

Tinctures, soft gels, infused balms and topicals, edibles, vape pens. CBD is available in a wide of forms.

Beyond oils and oral supplements, CBD is often sold in infused balms, lotions, capsules, edibles, vape pens, and more. Basically, you just need to decide if you’d like to ingest it or rub it on for relief.

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