It is common knowledge that marijuana can alleviate pain, decrease nausea, and improve overall mood, but did you ever consider it as a pre-workout supplement? More and more athletes are turning to marijuana as studies prove that it’s actually healthy for you, especially as an athlete facing many day-long training sessions. Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps, two Olympic champions, have both admitting to using marijuana in their training. In fact, their turning to methods that don’t harm the lungs, such as vaporizing, energy bars, and edibles. Lankford Jackson (NASM CPT, PES), a fitness professional at San Diego’s ICSP Fitness, says it’s an outstanding “supplement” for adding lean body mass, as well as an excellent means of aiding the body’s overall recovery from a workout. In fact, it’s the best supplement out there!”. Here are five reasons why you should get high before a workout.
1. Marijuana Raises Your Metabolism
Marijuana is known to speed up metabolisms, in order to ensure a fat-burning boost so that you can practically shed the weight. On the other hand, it tricks your brain into thinking it’s hungry, allowing for bulk ups before a lifting session. According to a study recorded in Men’s Journal: “The compounds THCV and cannabidiol found in marijuana may help raise metabolism, speed fat loss and lower cholesterol.” A recent study that focused on obesity within a Canadian population found that people who smoked marijuana had lower BMIs (Body Mass Indexes), as well as demonstrated lower insulin levels. This means that the smokers were not only carrying less fat but processed sugars at a healthier rate. Smokers are also 0 percent less likely to suffer from Type 2 (or adult-onset) diabetes, which can lead to obesity. Basically, a Sativa strain before a workout can help you lose those extra inches off your waist. Or, if you’re trying to bulk up, an Indica strain can give you the munchies, and allow you to carbo-load before a lifting session.
2. Weed Reduces Anxiety and Helps Keep You in the Zone
As crazy as it sounds, weed is the key ingredient to getting you pumped up before a session. After smoking, marijuana helps you feel more heightened, alert, while at the same time reduces the stress of the gym and the anxiety of comparing yourself to others. It is also known to keep you completely focused. Keith Humphreys, a Stanford Medical School professor, said “We have cannabinoid receptors throughout our brains, and when the THC hits those receptors, it triggers a system that reduces anxiety. That you would feel more aggressive is a natural reaction to the drug.” Marijuana is also known to release the chemical dopamine, which helps regulate the brain’s activity. In fact, in a recent lab study where subjects are given high doses of marijuana for several weeks, it was proven that there was no decrease in motivation or productivity. In fact quite the opposite happened; subjects were more alert, focused, and in the zone, due to the strong link between dopamine and the CB-21/CB-2 cannabinoid receptors in the brain.
3. Cannabis Helps Our Muscles Recover
There’s a reason Medical Marijuana is used for cancer patients; because it helps relieve muscular pain. According to Outside Magazine correspondent Gordy Megroz, doing squats while high made him less sore. Additionally, it made him better at skiing because the falls wouldn’t hurt as much. Smoking marijuana is much safer and minor compared to the harsh side effects of opiate narcotics, analgesics, muscle relaxants, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) typically prescribed for sports injuries Smoking weed means the end of muscle soreness. Now, instead of having to skip a day because of soreness, you can get high and workout again. More exercise means a fitter and toned body!
4. Pot Can Make You Better at Sports
In an interview with Men’s Journal, Clifford Drusinsky, a Colorado gym owner who casually holds sessions where everyone gets high, said “Marijuana relaxes me and allows me to go into a controlled, meditational place. When I get high, I train smarter and focus on form.” Marijuana is known to distort perceptions, and can decrease perceptions of pain. Reducing perceptions of pain can improve performance in high contact sports such as rugby, football, and lacrosse. One runner reported that “If I don’t smoke before a run, I’m constantly thinking about the miles and how much further I have to go, rather than just enjoying the experience.” More and more athletes are turning to marijuana as a way to relax them before a stressful game. NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been chiefing for years. The basketball player has a prescription for the drug, which he uses to treat nausea inducing migraines that have been disturbing him for decades.
5. Weed Has a Similar Chemical Effect as Exercise
There’s a reason why people call it “getting high.” Studies have shown that weed can trigger a similar effect to runners high, by activating the same parts of the brain as exercising. According to Wellspring, “the endocannabinoid system is responsible for easing our pain, controlling our appetite, relieving our stress, influencing our mood, and even regulating our memory.” Smoking weed can also increase a smoker’s energy expenditure, by increasing your heart rate and blood pressure for hours on end. It’s no wonder Robin Williams joked that “the only way it’s a performance-enhancing drug is if there’s a big f—ing Hershey bar at the end of the run,” right?
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