Swallowing supplements is part of everyday life for workout fanatics. From energy bars to protein shakes and so much more, it gives them the added boost they need to achieve their fitness goals. However, more and more, people are confessing to consuming cannabis before their exercise routine, making marijuana the hottest new workout supplement. From bodybuilders to professional sportspeople, it seems near everyone is now using cannabis at the gym.
From bodybuilders to professional sportspeople, it seems near everyone is now using cannabis at the gym.
Marijuana is now one of the most used substances for fitness junkies across the United States. Proudly calling themselves “cannathletes,” they insist that pot improves their entire workout experience. A doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital and contributor to the Harvard Health Blog, Dr. Peter Grinspoon, puts this into some perspective for us:
“It is a weird phenomenon, but it is an increasingly common phenomenon. The fact that a lot of people are saying it helps them cannot be ignored.” – Dr. Peter Grinspoon
While the average American may associate weed with lazy days on the couch scoffing a pantry full of Doritos, different cannabis strains affect people differently. Sativa strains, in particular, can provide a much-needed dose of energy, while improving mental focus at the same time, both of which are highly valuable to anyone wanting to complete a workout successfully.
Furthermore, marijuana has powerful painkilling properties that can greatly diminish the burn people feel not only during hard exercise, but afterwards as well. This makes it possible for people to persevere and overcome barriers in their routines that they otherwise would not be able to do. Of course, this is all anecdotal evidence, but with so many people saying it, even scientists are now taking notice.
Effects of Cannabis on Exercise
Although research is scant in this area, the little there is seems to support this phenomenon well. Weed is now so popular in the fitness world that people are actually offering marijuana workout services. You can find cannabis yoga classes in most states where recreational of medical marijuana is legal, and California even hosts the 420 Games, where stoned participants compete in the activities amid much skunky sweat.
What does the science say? How exactly does weed help athletes?
· Pot Increases Metabolism
Research shows some strains of marijuana speed up metabolism. This makes it easier to shed weight, as it maintains the metabolism at a steady high that guarantees a fat-burning workout. In fact, it helps burn fat even when you are not exercising. It also tricks the brain into feeling hungry. This makes it easier for bodybuilders to bulk up before lifting sessions, as well as to swallow their six meals a day.
One study, published in Men’s Journal, suggests that, “The compounds THCV and cannabidiol found in marijuana may help raise metabolism, speed fat loss and lower cholesterol.” A more recent Canadian study, published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, delved into the metabolic effects of smoking pot. It found weed smokers with notably lower Body Mass Indexes, or BMIs, and lower insulin levels.
pot lovers are processing sugars at healthier rates than non-users, and that they carry significantly less fat too
This suggests that pot lovers are processing sugars at healthier rates than non-users, and that they carry significantly less fat too. They are also unlikely to develop Type 2, or adult-onset, diabetes, a known cause of obesity. Simplified, this means a Sativa strain taken before exercising can trim inches off waists, or for bulkers, an Indica strain will make you hungry and more able to load yourself on carbohydrates.
· Ganja Lowers Anxiety and Improves Stamina
Marijuana can motivate even the laziest of sods to get up and going. It will pump you up before a workout session, getting you there even on the longest, most stressful days. It heightens awareness, making one alert, while, at the same time, eliminating the stresses of gym and making you not care how well others look or perform. No more of the anxiety comparing yourself to them can cause.
It also focuses the mind, which boosts stamina. Professor at Stanford Medical School, Keith Humphreys, explained, “We have cannabinoid receptors throughout our brains, and when THC hits those receptors, it triggers a system that reduces anxiety. That you would feel more aggressive is a natural reaction to the drug.”
Pot also releases the feel-good chemical, dopamine. It regulates brain activity and, as shown in recent lab tests on subjects given high doses of weed for weeks, there is no decrease in productivity or motivation. In fact, the U.S. National Library of Medicine proves the opposite true: Subjects have more focus, alertness, and are “in the zone,” completing feats of stamina they would not achieve without it.
· Weed Aids Muscle Recovery
Cancer patients use medical marijuana in droves for a reason: The U.S. National Library of Medicine explains how it is a strong painkiller able to relieve even most chronic of muscular pain. Athletes swear that they can do more squats high than not, and they feel less pain. Accidents also do not hurt as much, and muscular burn becomes near insignificant. It also aids in the recovery of sore and damaged muscles.
Athletes typically treat sports-related injuries with some nasty, addictive drugs prescribed by their doctors. These include analgesics, opiates, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, or NSAIDs, and even muscle relaxants. Side effects are dangerous, potentially lethal. Weed is much safer and it is just as effective, if not more so.
Marijuana can greatly reduce muscle soreness associated with the buildup of lactic acid. Athletes experience notably less stiffness after an intense workout. Instead of spending days recovering from sore and stiff muscles, they are smoking a spliff and getting straight back into their fitness routines, without any pain or side effects.
· Herb Improves Performance
Colorado gym owner, Clifford Drusinsky, who frequently holds training sessions with stoned gym members, told Men’s Journal in an interview that, “Marijuana relaxes me and allows me to go into a controlled, meditational place. When I get high, I train smarter and focus on form.” Weed distorts perception, including perceptions of pain. This increases a person’s pain threshold.
In high contact sports especially, such as lacrosse, wrestling, football and rugby, not feeling pain allows players to continue playing, even performing better. One particular runner explained, “If I do not smoke before a run, I am constantly thinking about the miles and how much further I have to go, rather than just enjoying the experience.” Weed allows her to cover more miles without even realizing it.
According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, studies are underway to determine the effects of weed on athletic performance. Although still unclear, results do show some athletes performing well long after they would otherwise collapse. More and more, sportspeople are using cannabis to relax themselves so that they can narrow their focus into doing what they love. Logic dictates it must help.
Conclusion: Marijuana is the hottest new workout supplement
Getting high means just that. Several studies show that ganja can induce the same feelings of euphoria that exercising can, as it activates the same pathways in the brain as working out does. The endocannabinoid system has the job of easing pain, relieving stress, controlling appetite, influencing mood, and even affecting perception and memory, and cannabis regulates the endocannabinoid system.
Puffing a joint can increase the amount of energy you are able to expend, as it increases blood pressure and heart rate, and it does so for several hours at a time. It is no wonder that more and more sportspeople worldwide are turning to weed for help, supplementing even their other supplements for this powerful, miraculous plant.
As a writer for Pot Valet, a leading marijuana delivery company in California, John Levy does an exorbitant amount of research into the benefits of consuming pot. He dedicates his writing to educating people about how it can improve their lives and advocating for its legalization worldwide.
This is a guest post by John Levy. This post has been edited for syntax and grammar. The Law offices of Jay Leiderman is not responsible for the accuracy of the content herein or any opinions or ideas expressed herein. This post is for entertainment and literary value and is not intended as legal advice. This post does not establish an attorney-client relationship of any sort. If you have legal questions about ideas presented herein please contact a lawyer knowledgeable in this field of practice.