Whether you’re a road runner or a gym bunny, you’re sure to be familiar with sore, aching muscles after working out. But why are our muscles sore after exercising, regardless of how fit we are? And why is it always worse the day after? Unfortunately, it’s part and parcel of keeping fit and healthy. But luckily, we may have a solution for you - we may be able to use CBD for muscle recovery!
But, before we dive into using CBD for muscle recovery, we need to take a quick look at why your muscles are sore in the first place.
Why are we sore after a trip to the gym?
Without getting too scientific, our muscles are made up of microscopic protein fibres. When we exercise these fibres stretch and can tear slightly. That burning sensation in your quads as you run up a steep hill? It’s just microscopic tears forming in your muscle fibres. No wonder it burns, right?
It sounds extreme but don’t worry, it’s completely normal. Your body responds quickly to repair the damage but to do this the muscles often become inflamed, swollen, and sore.
To repair these micro-traumas, your body forms new muscle protein strands. They’re known as myofibrils, and they’re usually larger in thickness and number. This is what we see as muscle growth - pretty cool right?
By forming new, bulkier protein strands, the body tries to prevent the same muscle damage from occurring again, if the exercise is repeated. But this often causes delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). That’s why it often hurts more the day after.
Now you know why you’re wincing as you scale the stairs the morning after beating your personal best.
Using CBD for muscle recovery: How does it work?
Now we know why our muscles ache after a workout, how can we help speed up the muscle recovery process? Well, that’s where CBD might come in handy.
Many high-performance athletes are turning to CBD to help them recover faster. Why? A faster recovery means that you can hit the gym again sooner and you can continue training. Let’s take a closer look at why CBD and muscle recovery go hand in hand.
Relaxes the muscles
One of the main characteristics of delayed onset muscle soreness is muscle tension. Muscles can become tight and stiff after a strenuous workout, and this can often contribute to the pain.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD might help relieve this tightness. Many fitness fans opt for CBD topical balms and gels to replace traditional muscle relaxants.
Although more clinical studies are needed, CBD could potentially be used as an alternative to other powerful drugs which are known for their significant risk of side effects.
Some studies (like this one), indicate that the topical application of CBD may help to reduce pain. In the case of this particular study, researchers found that patients who received a transdermal application of CBD oil experienced a significant reduction in intense pain and sharp pain sensations.
Therefore, you may be able to use CBD for muscle recovery by reducing those pesky post-run aches and pains. By eliminating the delayed onset muscle soreness, you'll be free to get back out on the road again.
According to a study published in 2019, CBD can help to reduce inflammation in the body. Experts found that CBD interacts with one of the systems in our body that controls natural bodily functions like our immune responses.
This system is known as the endocannabinoid system and researchers believe that it’s responsible for maintaining everything from our appetite to our sleep cycle.
This particular study demonstrated that CBD may help to ease swelling and the associated discomfort. Therefore, it may be beneficial to use CBD for muscle recovery, particularly if you’re hitting the gym hard.
Poko Recovery Cooling Balm
Inflammation is often associated with pain, swelling, heat, and redness. This is why many fitness fanatics opt for ice baths. Of course, that’s not everyone’s cup of tea, so a cooling balm might be a slightly better option. Cooling balms can help to relax the muscles, easing stiffness, and pain. Think of it as a mini ice pack for your muscles!
By combining the soothing effects of a cooling balm, with the calming effects of CBD, you could be match-fit in no time. And, luckily for you, we’ve done just that.
Infused with 500 mg of CBD, alongside a range of natural coolants, this balm is sure to melt aches and pains away in no time. That means that it's the perfect way to use CBD for muscle recovery.
By choosing a CBD topical cream or balm, you can deliver the active ingredient directly to the affected area, through the skin. This means that the CBD extract can target the affected muscles directly, providing swift relief.
To take our recovery balm to the next level, we’ve chosen to include menthol extract too. Menthol has long been used as a cooling agent to relieve muscle and joint pain.
We’re not entirely sure how it works yet, but experts believe that menthol activates cold-sensing nerves on the skin. This makes the area feel cold, without actually dropping in temperature. It provides the soothing, almost numbing sensation that can come in handy if you’re experiencing stiff or sore muscles.
Ice Ice Baby
Ice packs are often used to help reduce swelling and tight, painful muscles. However, they can be a bit of a nightmare. If you’re at the office, and your hamstrings are hurting; let’s face it, you probably don’t have an ice pack at the ready. But, you can have a pot of Recovery Cooling Balm in your bag!
Instead of fussing about with bags of half-melted vegetables, you can simply slather on some cooling balm and massage it into the affected area. Our balm will melt away the discomfort, so your frozen peas can stay safely in the freezer.
Our cooling balm is suitable for use up to 3 times a day, so you can keep the pain at bay throughout the day. We recommend taking a generous helping of the balm and massage it into the affected muscle area. This will help the balm absorb into the skin quickly and the massage action will help to relax the muscles further.
Applying ice packs to the skin for long periods of time can damage the skin over time, that’s why it’s recommended to apply the pack for periods of 20 minutes at a time. Alternatively, you can opt for a cooling balm that’s less hassle and provides longer-lasting relief.
Using CBD for muscle recovery isn't just for runners
Although our cooling balm works beautifully to help boost muscle recovery after running, you can use it anywhere on the body. You can use CBD for gym recovery, regardless of your workout of choice.
If you’re a fan of weight lifting, you can even use it to calm troublesome triceps. Alternatively, you can massage some into the muscles of your shoulders and neck to help ease tension, if you’ve had a stressful day.
Because it’s a Poko product, you know that it’s packed with skin-loving ingredients too. We used a range of natural ingredients to create this luxurious balm that will help to keep your skin smooth and supple, whilst getting you back up and running (without the wincing).
Both research studies and anecdotal evidence seem to support the use of CBD for muscle recovery. It’s no wonder so many fitness fanatics and high-performance athletes are using hemp oil for muscle recovery by incorporating CBD products into their daily routines.
CBD muscle balms and topicals are a wonderful way to direct the active ingredient to the affected area, offering fast and effective relief.
Choosing a balm that uses natural cooling agents, like menthol, in conjunction with powerful CBD can be a real game-changer. Both plant extracts work in harmony with each other to provide cooling and calming effects.
Feel like your routine needs a bit more heat? Or perhaps some invigoration? Why not try the other balms in our Poko Recovery Balm collection.