How do you feel after finishing a stellar workout? If you’re like most of us, you feel great as your brain releases dopamine and adrenaline moves through your body.
However, shortly after a workout, you may feel worn out and low energy. And in the coming days, the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can creep in, making every step you take a chore— even if it does help you build muscle.
So, how can you help your body most effectively during post-workout recovery? And can CBD support restoring balance in your muscle tissue after intense exercise?
Let The Brothers Apothecary guide you through a post-workout routine that will keep you coming back for more.
What Should You Do Post-Workout?
When you work out, your body uses a hefty amount of stored fuel, and your muscles undergo a decent amount of strain. The grams of protein, grams of carbs, and other nutrients you fueled your body with beforehand are getting put to good use.
Luckily, you can take several easy steps post-workout to refuel your body and support your muscles to reduce soreness, injury, and energy crashes.
Hydrate and Replenish Electrolytes
As you exercise, you shed water and electrolytes through your sweat. Because both of these substances are vital for maintaining normal body function, you want to make sure you drink plenty of fluids and replenish your electrolytes shortly after a workout, and continue drinking water throughout the day.
You can find electrolytes in fruit and veggies, white meat and poultry, and coconut water.
Stretching before a workout can help loosen the body and avoid injury, but stretching post-workout is essential too.
You wouldn’t be the first if you tend to skip post-workout stretches. But, as tempting as it is to lay down and purposefully not move after a tough workout, a proper cool-down is vital to supporting the body after intense exercise.
Taking a few minutes to stretch after exercising helps your heart rate return to normal in a sustained and healthy way after a period of high blood flow. This process is vital for your heart health.
Stretching right after a workout can also help reduce lactic acid that builds up during periods of vigorous movement. While lactic acid buildup can contribute to sore muscles, stretching helps lower their effect.
Stretching also helps improve muscle flexibility and can lower strain or tension in the muscles and joints. Your body will thank you for the reduced soreness in the coming days!
Get Your Protein On
Post-workout nutrition is essential for proper muscle protein synthesis and strength. As a macronutrient, protein is a necessary energy source that the body requires to carry out vital functions.
Protein helps build and maintain muscle mass, aids in muscle repair, and supports the immune system. Your muscles also use up their glycogen stores during intense workouts.
Glycogen is a source of fuel the body relies on, and it needs to be replenished post-workout. If the muscles run out of glycogen during a workout, protein in the muscles will be broken down to serve as a backup fuel, prolonging the recovery process.
The good news is that consuming protein (along with carbohydrates) in a post-workout snack or post-workout meal in the form of a full meal or a protein powder smoothie can help restore glycogen levels, limit muscle protein breakdown, and support muscle recovery.
Whey protein, chicken, a turkey sandwich, fresh salmon, or some greek yogurt are all great protein sources. Pair these with healthy carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice, whole-grain bread, or a banana for optimal nutrition.
Rest Your Muscles
When you exercise, you are putting stress on muscles that lead to micro-damages in your muscle fibers. Your muscles need time to rest so the immune system can heal the damage.
This process of repair is what ultimately leads your muscles to grow stronger. If you don’t give your muscles time to rest between workouts, you won’t build the muscle strength needed to progress over time.
What Are the Benefits of CBD Post-Workout?
Following the steps above, using CBD post-workout can further support the recovery process. Here are some of the most common benefits of CBD post-workout.
Relief From Muscle Discomfort
While muscle soreness is a sign that your immune system is doing its job, CBD can help provide temporary relief from the physical discomfort as needed.
A topical CBD like the Pain Away Roller can be applied directly to your well-loved muscles when the soreness kicks in to support localized discomfort. Massaging the oil into the skin will help the CBD connect with cannabinoid receptors in nearby muscles, and the relief can kick in within minutes.
CBD teas, gummies, or capsules can also help provide temporary full-body support when easing tension and reducing discomfort post-workout.
Support for Muscle Repair
CBD can help speed up the duration of the muscle repair process by supporting the immune system and promoting sleep.
Sleep is when the bulk of muscle recovery occurs, as the body can focus more energy on repairing when the brain is resting. The body also produces less of the stress hormone cortisol and more of the Insulin Growth Factor hormone, supporting healthy muscle growth.
By improving your sleep quality, CBD can also help improve your muscle recovery.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD can support muscle recovery post-workout by working within the endocannabinoid system.
Plant-based cannabinoids like CBD work within the body because they are chemically similar to cannabinoids that we produce, called endocannabinoids. Both phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids can work within the body’s endocannabinoid system.
The ECS helps maintain homeostasis by regulating many essential body functions, including appetite, discomfort, mood, and sleep.
During muscle repair, endocannabinoids can bind to cannabinoid receptors within swollen and sore muscles to help ease tension and provide relief. Endocannabinoids can bind with cannabinoid receptors found within immune cells to support recovery as needed. The naturally soothing properties of CBD can help support the endocannabinoids at the source of discomfort.
And by promoting relaxation and deep sleep, taking CBD the night after a workout can also help provide the body with more restful sleep, which means more time to devote to muscle repair and recovery.
How Long Does It Take for Muscle To Recover?
Depending on the intensity of your workout, it can take your muscles between 24 hours and several days to recover. While CBD can help speed up the recovery process by enhancing your sleep quality and supporting your immune system when tending to sore muscles, make sure to still listen to your body and rest as needed!
The Bottom Line
There are several ways to help your body recover from a workout, and incorporating CBD can provide even more benefits.
Whether you are adding drops of CBD oil to your protein and carbohydrate-based snack, using CBD protein powder, or sipping a cup of CBD tea before bed, The Brothers Apothecary is excited to help you find the best CBD products for your post-workout routine.
The Effectiveness of Post-exercise Stretching in Short-Term and Delayed Recovery of Strength, Range of Motion and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials | Frontiers in Physiology