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Maximizing Your Workout With CBD: Benefits and Tips

 man working out

Picture this: you’re at the gym, gearing up for an intense workout. But instead of reaching for the same old pre-workout supplement, you decide to try something different: CBD.

CBD, derived from the hemp plant, is a non-psychoactive compound that has captured the attention of the health-conscious worldwide — and it may be the key to unlocking your fitness journey.

One of the primary mechanisms through which CBD may enhance performance is by reducing feelings of nervousness and stress.

Research has found that taking types of CBD before workouts may enhance your exercise routine and help you meet your fitness goals. And it’s available in a variety of safe and convenient forms, including CBD gummies, CBD water, CBD topicals and more.

Tie up your shoes, and let’s get started.

The Mechanisms of CBD

Whether you're a seasoned gym enthusiast or a fresh-faced fitness newbie, we all strive to maximize our workouts. And that's where CBD can come into the picture.

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a non-intoxicating compound derived from the Cannabis sativa L. plant. Now, before you jump to conclusions and envision a haze of smoke-filled gyms, let’s clarify a couple of things: CBD for athletes  is not the same as its cousin THC, the infamous psychoactive component of cannabis that gets you high. 

Rather, CBD is the golden child of the cannabis family, delivering a range of potential benefits without the euphoric side effects.

In fact, since 2018, CBD — or, more specifically, industrial hemp — has been legalized nationwide by the Farm Bill. The bill categorized hemp as any Cannabis sativa L.plant that contained 0.3% THC or less. As such, CBD shares the same qualities. 

In full-spectrum CBD, you’ll only find trace amounts of THC, while broad-spectrum and CBD isolate are devoid of it completely.

That said, to truly appreciate CBD's impact on maximizing your workout, we must first delve into the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Picture it as your body's very own command center, tasked with maintaining balance and harmony throughout your biological landscape. The ECS consists of:

  • Receptors
  • Enzymes
  • Endocannabinoids

      (Endocannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds that interact with the system.)

Now, here's where things get interesting: CBD acts as a sneaky agent within the ECS, stimulating receptors by mimicking endocannabinoids and encouraging a state of equilibrium. It's like a personal cheerleader, rallying the team to keep your body in tip-top shape. 

This interaction with the ECS is where CBD's potential lies in enhancing your workout experience.

CBD and Fitness Benefits

Let's start by delving into the ways CBD can elevate your performance. While research is still in its early stages, preliminary studies have shown promising results. One of the primary mechanisms through which CBD may enhance performance is by reducing feelings of nervousness and stress.

We all know that feeling of pre-workout jitters, the nervousness that can hinder our focus and sabotage our performance. But fear not, for CBD has a secret power — its anxiolytic properties. CBD can help reduce those racing thoughts and promote a sense of calmness, allowing you to enter the gym with a clear mind and laser-like focus. Say goodbye to pre-workout jitters and hello to a new level of mental clarity.

CBD may also boost your energy levels, as it may play a role in regulating certain hormones through its interaction with the ECS, allowing our bodies to use energy more effectively and efficiently. These hormones include:

  • Stress-inducing cortisol
  • Growth hormone
  • Estrogen

CBD may also play a role in the reduction of physical aches and swelling. We all know that feeling of post-workout soreness, when every muscle in our body seems to be screaming for relief. CBD may come to the rescue, assisting in muscle and joint repair. By incorporating CBD into your pre-workout routine, you may experience improved comfort during and after exercise. 

CBD and Workout Recovery

Now, let's shift our focus to the magic of CBD in the realm of  muscle recovery. It's during this crucial phase that our muscles repair and grow stronger, paving the way for improved performance over time. 

CBD may just be the missing piece of the puzzle to expedite your muscle recovery process. 

Intense exercise can lead to swelling and muscle soreness in our muscles and joints, causing muscle tension and delaying recovery. Fortunately, CBD can help speed up the recovery process by easing physical discomfort, allowing you to bounce back faster and get back into the game (or gym) quickly. 

But that's not all CBD has up its sleeve. 

Quality sleep is the unsung hero of recovery, and CBD may be its faithful companion. This is because CBD has shown promise in improving sleep quality by reducing stress and promoting relaxation. By incorporating CBD into your pre-workout routine, you may find yourself drifting off into dreamland with ease. And your body will thank you for the extra recovery boost.

How to Incorporate CBD Into Your Fitness Routine

Here are some tips and tricks to help you effectively incorporate CBD into your fitness regimen:

  • Choose high-quality CBD products – When it comes to CBD, quality matters. Look for reputable brands that provide third-party lab testing to ensure you're getting a top-notch CBD product that’s free from contaminants and accurately labeled.
  • Determine the right dosage – CBD affects individuals differently, so it's essential to find the right dosage for you. Start with a low dose and gradually increase it until you achieve the desired effects. If you're unsure, a healthcare professional familiar with CBD can guide you in determining the appropriate dosage.
  • Take it at the right time – Take CBD approximately 30 to 60 minutes before your workout session. This timing ensures that CBD has enough time to be absorbed and reach peak levels in your bloodstream when you start exercising. It's like giving your body a head start on the road to peak performance.
  • Experiment with different formats – CBD comes in various formats, each with its own unique flair. From hemp pills and oils to edibles and CBD topicals, the possibilities are endless. Experiment with different formats to find the one that best fits your lifestyle and preferences. Want fast-acting effects? Sublingual CBD oils or vaping may be your go-to. Prefer convenience? Capsules, edibles or CBD water might be more up your alley. The choice is yours, so get creative and find your perfect match.
  • Combine with other pre-workout rituals – CBD can be the star of the show, but it also plays well with others. Consider incorporating CBD into your existing pre-workout rituals, such as stretching, warming up and hydrating (possibly through CBD water). CBD can enhance the benefits of these rituals, creating a holistic and personalized pre-workout experience.

Will CBD Show Up on A Drug Test?

In the realm of sports, where every millisecond and ounce of strength counts, athletes must tread carefully when it comes to what they put into their bodies. With rigorous anti-doping regulations in place, the fear of failing a drug test can loom large. 

So, the question arises: Will CBD show up on the dreaded drug test radar?

To put your mind at ease, let's delve into the intricacies of drug testing and CBD. First and foremost, drug tests are primarily concerned with detecting substances that could enhance athletic performance, such as:

  • Anabolic steroids
  • Stimulants

CBD, on the other hand, is not considered a performance-enhancing drug. It's more like the peaceful warrior of the cannabis family, offering potential health benefits without providing an unfair advantage on the playing field.

However, as with most things in life, there's a catch. CBD products are not created equal. While pure CBD isolate should theoretically contain no traces of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, other CBD products may contain trace amounts of THC due to the extraction process. 

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), responsible for regulating substance use in sports, has established a threshold for THC, allowing a certain concentration in a professional athlete's system before it's deemed a violation: In a urine test, THC concentration cannot exceed 150 ng/mL.

The good news is that CBD products derived from hemp, rather than marijuana, tend to have lower THC levels. As previously touched on, hemp-derived CBD products are legally required to contain less than 0.3% THC in the United States, which significantly reduces the risk of triggering a positive drug test result.

When in doubt, communication is key. If you're a professional athlete subject to drug testing, consult with your coach, team physician or a trusted sports authority to ensure you're on the right track. They can provide valuable guidance and help you navigate the intricate landscape of anti-doping regulations.

Add Zebra CBD to Your Workout Routine

Workout enthusiasts and athletes understand that the realm of fitness supplements is vast, from pre and post-workout smoothies to performance-enhancing powders. That said, taking CBD before a workout may have similar effects.

CBD can enhance mental clarity, improve energy levels, reduce feelings of stress and may even assist in muscle and joint recovery after an intense workout session. If you’re ready to experience these potential benefits for yourself, choose Zebra CBD. Our line-up of high-quality, full-spectrum CBD online products contain a medley of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids that will deliver your desired effects through what’s called the entourage effect, meaning each component works synergistically to maximize the potential benefits.

Unlock the full potential of your fitness journey with Zebra CBD.


Men’s Health. How CBD Could Affect Your Workout.

WADA. WADA Executive Committee approves 2023 Prohibited List.

Co-founder of Copycat Copywriters, Adam has written for dozens of CBD and cannabis companies on a wide array of topics, including regulations, economics, farming practices and biochemistry.

About the Author

Adam Biederman Image

Adam Biederman

As co-founder and lead writer of Copycat Copywriters, one of Adam’s primary areas of expertise is within the budding CBD and cannabis space. He has written for dozens of CBD and cannabis companies, producing a collection of white papers, press releases, blog posts, articles and ebooks about a wide array of industry-related subjects, including regulations, economics, farming practices and biochemistry.

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