Muscular Recovery (Part 3 of 4)
The goal of working out (for a lot of us) is looking good and building strong, functional muscles. This means breaking down the muscles and letting them repair themselves to be bigger and stronger than they were. When the muscles are damaged, they become inflamed and tender to the touch. The goal is to give them enough rest until they are not inflamed and tender, and then break them down again.
“Okay,” you might think, “great, I got it. I’m gonna destroy myself in the gym every day!” Cuidado here Mr./Mrs. Gung-Ho. Overtraining actually can make you weaker, tired, depressed, and prone to injury and infections. A large part of overtraining is, once again, listening to your body. The time needed to recover properly is extremely individualized. This is based on muscle memory, old and new injuries, and genetics. Apart from giving muscles the time and nutrients they need to recover; the shape and consistency of the muscle is also important.
This means bodywork. The muscles should be long and smooth and the fibers are free of knots. The muscles are gliding smoothly in the fascia. Love your body, spend time and money on it. Take a lot of salt baths, stretch, get massages, and consider seeing a physical therapist if needed. This is one of the biggest separations between the pros and average gym warriors. The pros prioritize (and have access to) the bodywork they need.
Bodywork is very easy to neglect, and if we don’t fix problems as they arise, it can be extremely detrimental. For example, (from personal experience) I know that many aging athletes who played high impact sports suffered from hamstring tears, sprains, and pulls. If the hamstring is not restored properly and is weak, it can lead to further issues in the knees, hip, lower back, ankles and even on the bottom of the feet. The hamstring was used in this example because that’s my Achilles heel, but this can easily happen with any big muscle left untreated.
Cannabinoids and Muscular Recovery
This is one place where cannabinoids really shine. Using cannabinoids topically will help with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and the swelling that occurs because of it. CBD desensitizes sensory receptors that tell the brain, “Hey big boss, we got pain down here!” The brain responds with the first line of defense against pain, “Okay sensory receptors pipe down. Here’s some inflammation for you!” Taking CBD orally has been shown to help with overall inflammation, but spot-shooting sore muscles with a topical cannabinoid-based rub is a great way to deal with sore muscles.
Furthermore, using a topical cannabinoid-based analgesic in conjunction with other therapeutic methods to recover quicker will help. Dampening down the pain signal to the brain means that otherwise painful body work can be endured a little easier. Whether it is a deep tissue massage or a method of self-myofascial release, cannabinoids can be extremely effective in your regiment.
Application of Cannabinoids for Muscular Recovery – A good topical usually has more than just CBD. Always look for full spectrum hemp extract. Next, what are the other active ingredients? If you’re gonna take the time to rub it on, make sure there are other ingredients that will help in the cause. Arnica is good for inflammation. Menthol increases blood flow. Different essential oils help soothe muscles.
Regularly supplementing with a cannabinoid-based product that goes systemic, like a tincture, is a good way to combat full body inflammation. Additionally, because most of these products are liposoluble, topical application will yield only negligible (if any) systemic absorption. Therefore, you can spot-shot with a topical product while maintaining a systemic supplementation regime.