What Happens When You Workout High?
What Science Says About Working Out High
In early 2019, Power Plant, the first-ever " fitness and wellness center," will open in California, offering mild pot edibles to members. We spoke to cofounder and ex- Kyle Kingsbury, then had expert Nicholas Edwards, director of exercise-medicine integration at (where else?) the University of Colorado School of Medicine, share his—i.e., science's—side.
How does weed boost training?
The athlete:"It's easier to get into the zone and quiet my mind if I consume before a workout. I've also used it to help mitigate pain from fights. We all have some kind of discomfort that bothers us regularly—the plant is a natural pain reliever."
The science:"Some claim they can 'go forever'—kind of true since the mind is in an altered state and could autopilot. (Helpful if endurance isn't your strong suit.) But using cannabis to cover upphysicalpain can lead to injury."
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Is one form of cannabis better than another?
The athlete:"I like vaping or using edibles that contain cannabidiol, the plant part that's not psychoactive (I don't get super high). It has anti-inflammatory benefits, so my muscles are less tight and sore."
The science:"Any type of inhalant, regardless of form, will limit the amount of oxygen the body can take in and push to the muscles. If you limit oxygen from the start, you limit how hard you can work out."
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Are there any negative side effects?
The athlete:"You have to experiment to find the right amount for you, which is easier now that cannabis is regulated. Once I trained with it enough, any potential side effects, like issues with munchies or motivation, went away." (Squeeze in quickie workouts with Women's Health!)
The science:"Data shows that folks who use before or during a workout have a higher risk for injury and burning muscle mass than those who don't. Everyone reacts differently, so you don't really know until you try it."[Editor's note: Legally.]
This article was originally published in the November 2019 issue ofWomen's Health, on newsstands now.
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