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What is NEAT and Why Is It Important?

How to Burn More Calories Using NEAT

By now, most of us are aware that weight loss is for the most part a simple balancing act between calories in and calories out. To lose weight, we need to be in a calorie deficit, which means consuming fewer calories than you burn. This sounds straightforward, but it can be a daunting prospect when you consider that the average RDA of calories is around 2500 for men and 2000 for women. After all, how are we supposed to burn over 2000 calories a day?! 

Fortunately, our bodies burn a lot of calories naturally, because we burn calories whenever we use energy. And as we know, our bodies use energy for almost every single function and activity we perform, including sleeping, breathing and digesting food! 

Of course, movement also uses energy, and it’s the movement of our bodies when we exercise that we most commonly associate with calories and fat loss. However, all physical activity actually helps to burn calories. This is where NEAT comes in. Read on to discover how NEAT could be the simple secret to weight loss.  

What is it?

NEAT – or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis – is all of the physical activity you do throughout the day that you wouldn’t typically class as exercise. In any normal day it could include:

  • Standing up 
  • Walking 
  • Cleaning 
  • Cooking 
  • Fidgeting 
  • Going up and down the stairs 
  • Carrying items 

All of these physical actions, however easy or short in duration, take energy to complete and therefore use calories. 

Why is NEAT important?

If you’re interested in losing or maintaining your weight, NEAT is important because it can help you to burn additional calories. You won’t burn hundreds in one half-hour session as you might with a run or a HIIT class, but a few calories here and there can soon add up. 

For example, according to one Harvard University study, the average person can burn anything between 120 to 222 calories in just 30 minutes of walking, depending on the person’s weight and the speed of their walk. This may not seem like a huge amount on its own, but over the course of a week this is anything between 840 to 1554 calories burned.

If you’re looking to maintain your weight, this could mean you can enjoy that weekend takeaway or daily chocolatey treat guilt-free. Or, if you’re looking to lose weight, you can combine this additional activity with a healthy diet to reach your calorie deficit. 

Another reason why NEAT is so important is because of an enzyme called Lipoprotein lipase (LPL). LPL plays a vital role in helping your body to convert fat to energy, and research shows that too being too sedentary can affect LPL levels. Therefore, moving more often throughout the day can keep LPL levels stable and help your body burn fat more effectively. 

Finally, one of the reasons that NEAT is so important for your fitness journey is that you don’t really realise you’re doing it. We all know how difficult it can be to stay motivated and focused in the gym, and so anything you can do to improve your health and fitness without feeling like you’re pushing too hard can only be a good thing. 

How to add more NEAT to your day. 

So, it’s an easy way to burn calories, lose weight and stay in shape. But how can you ensure you’re packing enough NEAT activity into your day? Here are some simple tips you can follow to increase your low-effort physical movement.

  1. Ditch the car

If you have a short journey to make, consider walking or cycling there rather than hopping in your car or catching the bus. Not only will this increase your NEAT activity for the day, but it’s also kinder to the environment. It could even save you money on petrol or bus fare! 

  1. Get friends involved

Often when we catch up with friends or family we do so over dinner, or a drink in the pub. To add more movement to your day – and avoid the calories associated with that alcoholic beverage – you could suggest getting together for a dog walk or shopping trip. Remember to pack your CBD-infused sports drink to keep you hydrated!

  1. Run more errands

Speaking of shopping, popping to the local shop could be a good habit to get into. While we often tend to save errands such as trips to the post office or local supermarket for one dedicated morning when we’re out in the car, adding some of these little jobs to your day-to-day routine are a great way to get your steps up. As more and more of us are working from home, it’s a much better use of your lunch break than sitting in front of the TV. 

  1. Get off your feet

Did you know that even standing still uses more energy than sitting down? Make an effort to stay on your feet for longer during the day, whether it’s at a stand-up desk or simply while you wait for your dinner to cook. 

  1. Keep it tidy

If household chores are something you usually pass onto your partner or kids, you could be missing out on some easy NEAT activities. Hoovering, dusting, carrying laundry and even just simply moving through the house tidying things away will all keep you active. Get into the habit of doing more little jobs each day. 

  1. Choose the active option

Each day we’re presented with choices that give us the chance to add more NEAT without even realising it. Whether it’s taking the stairs over the lift, carrying a basket rather than pushing a trolley or getting off the bus one stop early, learn to look out for small tweaks you can make that will get you moving more. 

  1. Start tracking yourself

Many people find that fitness trackers or smart watches help them increase their NEAT. Many of these devices have pedometers built in and signals that will remind you throughout the day if you’re not close to hitting your step target. Some will also have features that can prompt you to stand or move around once an hour, which can be a great reminder when you’re busy with work. 

While making the conscious effort to add more NEAT activity to your daily routine may seem tricky at first, these small changes will soon become a habit. The more that you get used to being active, the easier your workouts will also seem in time. For more advice on healthy eating and exercise, take a look at our Blog

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Should You Hire an Online Personal Trainer?

Pros and Cons of Online PTs

If you’re interested in taking your fitness to the next level, you might have considered enlisting the help of a professional. Personal trainers have been around for a long time, but in recent years there has been an influx in PTs offering their services virtually. But is an online personal trainer really as effective as one you meet in real life? Is there a cost difference? And how do you make sure you get the most from the service? 

These are all common questions for people thinking about going virtual with their training. We’ve outlined the pros and cons of hiring an online PT, and what you need to bear in mind when looking for one. 

Read on to find out whether an online personal trainer may be right for you. 

Firstly, how do online personal trainers work?

How exactly virtual personal trainers work will vary:

  • Some will still offer live one-to-one sessions where they coach you through a workout over video chat
  • Others will send you workout plans by email and check in with you by text or Whatsapp. 
  • Others will work over social media, uploading workouts to Instagram that you can either follow along with or complete in your own time. 

There are also options to work with a dedicated online PT one-on-one, or join a group programme. 

Benefits of working with an online personal trainer.

There are numerous reasons that you might choose to work with a virtual PT over one you meet in person. These include: 

Cost 

Hiring a personal trainer can be expensive, and most people see it as a luxury. This is especially true if you’re meeting your PT in the gym – which is often how clients meet trainers – and so are also paying a membership fee on top of your session cost. In contrast, online trainers often end up being a more affordable option. They usually charge less, as they don’t need to cover travel expenses and can typically manage more clients, and they give you the option to work out from home. 

Confidence

If you struggle with your confidence when working out, you’re not alone. The idea of having all eyes on you as you workout with a trainer on the gym floor can be a daunting one, so working out from the comfort of your own home can be a great way to build confidence. People who feel shy around new people often also find it easier communicating with a trainer when they’re not face to face.

Accountability

Many people are happy working out at home on their own, but like having somebody else to keep them in check. Most online PTs will include weigh-ins and other progress checks as part of your course, which can help keep you focused on your goals.This can be particularly useful if you’re failing to see progress from the gym and could do with a helping hand to stop you slacking. 

Convenience

One of the main reasons people choose online personal trainers is the convenience. If you have a busy schedule, don’t drive or live somewhere rural then physically getting to the gym for a session can sometimes be enough of a barrier. 

Choosing a virtual PT often gives you the convenience of choosing when and where you work out. If last minute dinner plans with a friend pop up, it’s much easier to rearrange yourself than it is with a trainer you had booked a session with. Also, you can work out wherever you have internet connection, meaning work trips or holidays don’t need to get in the way of your regime. 

Downsides to working with an online PT. 

So, online trainers typically cost less, are less pressure and are easier to fit into your schedule – but are they right for everyone? The answer here is probably no. Having a PT that you never see in person might not be the right choice for you if:

You’re completely new to exercise

One of the benefits of working out with a trainer in person is that they can check your form, which is how you complete each exercise. If you’ve never done certain moves before then this can be essential to make sure you’re doing them right and not risking injury. This is particularly important if weight training is a part of the plan they create for you, as unsupervised lifting and squats could prove dangerous. 

You struggle with motivation

As mentioned, online personal trainers are often the low-pressure choice. You have all of the expertise of a professional passed onto you, but it’s up to you to make sure you actually complete the workout and put 100% effort in. This can be where the problem comes in. For some people, the temptation to slack off is too strong without someone physically standing next to them, coaching them as they go. 

Choosing a trainer who offers live sessions over video calls can be a good solution, as they should be able to keep you motivated better than a pre-recorded or written workout. You could als take a look at our advice on how to stay focused while exercising.

Your diet is still bad

As the saying goes, ‘you can’t out-train a bad diet’. Unfortunately, no personal trainer – whether online or in person – is going to get you the results you want if you’re not also being careful with your nutrition. If this sounds like something you might struggle with, look for an online PT who also provides meal plans and other nutritional support. And remember, our blog is also packed with healthy snack ideas and workout supplement guides.

How to find an online PT

If you’ve decided that an online trainer is the right choice for you, there are a number of ways you can track one down. A quick search on Google or social media will likely bring up lots of options, but follow these tips to make sure you pick one well suited to you: 

Look at their other clients’ progress pictures. 

Do they typically work with clients that are similar to you (in age, body shape, goals)? And if so, would you be happy achieving the results that their clients have? 

Make sure your training styles match.

All PTs should be able to help you lose weight and get in shape, but if your goals are specific then make sure your trainer shares that passion or expertise. For example, if you’re hoping to enter weightlifting competitions, you will need an online PT with experience in that field. 

Double check you’re happy with the level of communication.

If you know you’re going to need a lot of support then a trainer who checks in with you just once a week may not be the right fit. Similarly, it might not be fair on your trainer if you’re constantly messaging them with questions that fall outside of what you’ve paid for. Before signing up, make sure you’re both clear on how many times per week you’ll speak and what the rules are around out-of-hours communication. 

Finally…

It’s important to remember that no personal trainer – online or otherwise – can do the work for you. It’s therefore vital that whatever your goals, you’re committed to keeping up with your workouts even on the days when you’re not having a PT session. As mentioned, diet will also be key on your fitness journey. Ensure you’re clued up on all of the other things you can do to improve your health that an online personal trainer can’t help with, so that when you do meet up with the professional you’re getting the most out of your time together. 

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Workout Hacks – 9 Things to Pack in Your Gym Bag

Your Ultimate Gym Bag Packing List

When people first start working out, they’re often surprised to learn that having a good workout is rarely just about the effort you put in during the session. In fact, there are plenty of things that can affect your workout long before you even pull into the gym car park. It could be forgetting to wash a fresh set of gym clothes, sleeping through your alarm or missing the slot to book onto your spin class. 

Some of these things you won’t have any control over, but some you definitely do – and it’s all in the prep-work. As the saying goes, ‘By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail’. One of the things you can do to set yourself up for a great session is packing your gym bag well in advance. If you take your time to get your kit ready – ideally the night before – then you’ll avoid a lot of the classic pitfalls. 

Of course there are the obvious things you’ll need, such as trainers and a towel. But what about the little extras that you might not think of? The things that might not seem important, but that can actually make or break a session? 

We’ve put together a list of 9 ‘essential non-essentials’ that will make your trip to the gym a lot easier. Follow these gym hacks for a more organised bag and smoother workout. 

  1. Spare Earphones

If you’re hitting the gym without a workout buddy, then the chances are you’re going to want a motivating playlist to get you through. However, having your tunes of choice ready to go is only half the battle, as you’ll likely know if you’ve ever turned up with headphones that are either dead or broken. Nothing kills your session as quickly as boredom, so make sure you avoid this pitfall by always having a spare pair in your gym bag. 

It can also be a good idea to have a set that is either Bluetooth-enabled or has a universal lead. This way, if your phone dies during the session you can hopefully connect to the cardio machines or TV. 

  1. Sunglasses Case

Lots of us like to get our workouts in either before or after work. One problem with this can be getting changed, and specifically keeping your accessories or grooming products together. For women, this can lead to lost jewellery and hair ties, while men could find their watch getting scratched when bungled into the locker.

A glasses case is the perfect size for stashing these small items when you change out of your work outfit. Keep one in your gym bag for those rushed days and make sure you never lose another earring. 

  1. Flip Flops

Depending on your gym, communal showers can be a grim experience. Pack a cheap pair of flip flops in your kit bag so that when the time comes to hit the shower, you’re not worrying about walking barefoot through everyone else’s dirty water. 

  1. Travel Size Toiletries

On the topic of showers, products offered within them really varies from gym to gym. Some will have dispensers filled with great quality shampoo, conditioner and body wash free for all – while in others, you might be lucky to find a suspiciously old bar of soap.

Most people prefer to take their own toiletries with them if they need to shower at the gym, but this isn’t always the most practical choice. First of all they’re bulky, secondly they’re easy to forget and finally, you risk annoying whoever you live with if you’re constantly taking the shampoo on the move with you!

Travel-sized minis designed for holidays are therefore the perfect gym hack. Keep these in your gym bag permanently rather than packing and unpacking, and simply replace them as you need. We recommend including a mini shower gel and deodorant as a standard, but travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, toothpaste and perfume/aftershave are also great additions to your gym bag. 

  1. A Sports Drink

Even when armed with the best intentions, a lack of focus or energy when you get to the gym can ruin a workout before it begins. Packing a sports drink in your gym bag guarantees that no matter how busy your work day was, you can give yourself a bit of a boost to get through your workout. Our CBD-infused drinks are the ultimate gym hack. They give you the glucose you need for energy, replace electrolytes lost through sweat and give you all of the additional benefits of CBD oil

CBD also has plenty of benefits for sports recovery, so having a bottle in your gym bag to enjoy after your session is a great idea if you have a busy day ahead. 

  1. A Snack

It’s a good idea to have a couple of emergency snacks in your kit for those occasions when you need something more substantial than a drink alone. If you’re heading to the gym straight from work and need something to tide you over until your evening meal, an energy bar or piece of fruit are perfect. Or, if you’re doing a heavy weights session and want to get your protein in as soon as possible, a protein bar or shake is the ideal gym bag addition, 

  1. Makeup Wipes

Working out with makeup on is generally regarded as a no-go unless you want clogged pores. So, if you’re coming to the gym after a busy day then a pack of wipes in your bag is a great idea. And this isn’t just a tip for women. If you’re heading home to shower after your workout then men and women will both benefit from quickly freshening up with a wipe before leaving the gym. 

Wipes are also a great gym bag hack in case there are any spillages or dirt in your kit. Give your shoes, phone or sports bottle a quick wipe down and you’re ready to go. 

  1. Talcum Powder or Baking Soda

If you’re worried about your gym bag starting to smell a little funky, this tip is for you. Prevent your sweaty trainers from getting too musty by shaking a little bit of powder into them post-workout. The powder soaks up excess moisture and odour, keeping your footwear fresh. Scented talcum powder is great for this, but baking soda has been found to work just as well. 

  1. Zip-Lock Plastic Bags

On the subject of sweaty workout gear, this final hack is a must for those hitting the gym before work. If you hate the thought of your damp clothes sitting in your bag all day, pack some small air-tight plastic bags (the ones sold for freezing food are perfect, and come in a variety of sizes). 

When you get changed after your session, pack your worn top into one of these bags so that it’s kept separate from the other items in your kit. Not only will it stop your gym bag from getting a musty smell, but it’s also easy to find when unpacking so you can throw your worn bits straight into the wash. 
For more hints and tips on all things exercise, take a look at our Blog.

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7 Reasons You’re Not Seeing Progress From Your Training

You’re hitting the gym regularly, watching what you eat and have an end goal in mind. However, you don’t seem to be getting any closer to it. This scenario is a common one, but it’s tough. Feeling like you’re not making any progress in your fitness journey can be extremely demotivating, and is one of the main reasons that people give up. 

But before you cancel your gym membership, it’s a good idea to look into why this is happening. Whatever your goal is – be it weight loss, muscle definition, or performance-based – there are numerous reasons why you might not be seeing progress. We’ve outlined some of the most common causes below, so read on to find out whether one of these things could be hindering your progress – and how to fix it if so. 

You’re Training Without a Plan

It may sound obvious, but it’s going to be impossible to spot your progression if you don’t know what you’re progressing towards. Goals are essential before starting on any kind of workout plan, as they give you something measurable that you can work at. These can include long-term goals – for example, losing 5% body fat – as well as short-term goals, such as increasing the amount you bench press. 

Once you know what your goals are, you can create a plan on how you’re going to get there. This doesn’t have to be overly complex or professional (though a personal trainer could definitely help put this together for you); something as simple as knowing how many sessions you’re going to do per week and what you’re training in each session is enough to give your workouts a structure. 

Your Diet’s Letting You Down

As the saying goes, you can’t out-train a bad diet. You could be smashing gym sessions multiple times a week, but if you’re filling your body with the wrong types of food you could be undoing all of your hard work. 

One way that your diet could be getting in the way of your progress is if you’re continuing to eat too many calories and not reaching the deficit you need to lose weight. Another could be a diet that hasn’t got the right balance of macronutrients for your goals. For example, if you’re not getting enough protein then you’re unlikely to see the progression in your muscles that you would like to. 

Make sure you’re complementing the hard work you’re putting in at the gym by fuelling the body with the right nutrients too. Our blog posts on healthy snack ideas before a workout and supplements for weight training can help you learn what you need for your specific goals. 

You’re Not Pushing Yourself Enough

Not every workout you do needs to leave you sweating and gasping for breath. However, if you’re never breaking a sweat or struggling to complete a set then you’re likely not pushing yourself hard enough. And in turn, this means that you won’t see any progress. By only sticking to exercises you’re comfortable with, you’ll likely only maintain your current weight and fitness level. 

Muscles only grow once they’ve gone through the tearing and repairing process, and your cardio fitness will only get better the harder your system gets used to working. To see progress, you need to make sure you’re increasing the intensity of your workout regularly. This can be done by adding extra reps, increasing your weights, adding another kilometre to your run, trying to beat your fastest time – whatever makes your workout that bit harder, make sure you’re constantly adding it in. 

… Or You’re Pushing Yourself Too Far

On the flipside to the above, you need to be careful not to push yourself so far that you cause more harm than good. By jumping in to an exercise you’re not ready for, you risk hindering your progress in a worse way. 

For example, if you try to squat with a weight you’re not ready for, you’ll likely find that you lose good form as you strain to bring yourself up. Not only is this a waste of a workout as you’re not hitting the correct muscle groups, but you could also risk injuring yourself and keeping yourself out of the gym while you recover. 

While it’s important to keep progressing with your weights or times, keep increases small and manageable. 

You Haven’t Found the Right Exercise Style For You

We’re all built differently, and what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. A big part of this can be mental, as progression often relies on staying motivated and enjoying what you’re doing. If you find cardio boring, then you’re unlikely to put the time in that you need to progress and lose weight. You may find strength training more enjoyable, and therefore stick to a routine better with that. 

This can also be physical. There is some evidence to suggest that some of us may be ‘non-responders’ – meaning our fitness simply doesn’t improve with particular exercise styles. Studies into non-responders found that while a third of people saw no benefit from cycling, they did see improvements when they switched to interval training. Similarly, people whose fitness didn’t improve from interval training did respond better to cycling. If you feel you’re not making any progress in the programme you’re currently on, try a new class to see whether you would benefit from a different type of training.

You’re Not Doing Enough NEAT

If your goal is to lose weight then you likely know the importance of a calorie deficit. However, if you’re hitting the gym three times a week but have a sedentary lifestyle for the other four days, you may still struggle to hit your weekly calorie goals. 

An easy change you can make to improve your progress is by adding in more NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis). This is the energy you use through normal, day-to-day activity. Adding in more of these activities on your rest days can ensure you’re still burning calories when you’re not in the gym. 

Things such as walking to the shop rather than driving, taking the stairs rather than the lift and giving your house a spring clean can all help use up excess energy. 

Your Expectations Are Too High

Finally, one reason you might not be seeing progress from your efforts is because you’re simply expecting too much, too soon. Changing your body or your fitness does take time, and you won’t see results overnight. Train yourself to spot small signs of progression, such as being able to add an extra rep or shave 30 seconds off your running time. These small wins will keep you motivated until you start to see the physical results of your hard work. 

Similarly, it’s a good idea to use various metrics to measure your progress. A lot of people feel disappointed when the scales don’t show they’re losing pounds, but there can be numerous reasons for your weight not changing. Instead, taking measurements or photos can be a better way to monitor how your body is changing. 

Ultimately, it’s important to trust the process. Know that as long as you’re eating right, pushing yourself physically and staying consistent then you will see results eventually. 

For more advice on tips on all things fitness, visit our Blog.

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Healthy Snack Ideas for Before a Workout

What to Eat Before a Workout: Snack Ideas 

There’s a lot of focus on what food you should consume after a workout, but did you know that what you eat before can be just as important? Food is fuel for your workout, and so getting the right combination of nutrients before you hit the gym can result in more energy, better focus and ultimately you hitting your goals more quickly. 

Many experts recommend eating a complete, nutritious meal 2-3 hours before a workout. But we know this isn’t always possible. Whether you’re working out first thing in the morning or squeezing a quick gym class in on your lunch break, there are days where you won’t have time to prep and eat a well balanced meal. 

Luckily, even a small snack half an hour before your session can help give you the energy boost you need. However, not all snacks are created equal. Eating something too sugary, such as a chocolate bar, before hitting the gym floor could ruin your workout if it causes your blood sugar to drop. Similarly, eating something too stodgy too close to your session could sit heavily in your stomach, making you feel sluggish.

So what should you be eating? This can vary, depending on your workout goals and the type of exercise you’re going to be doing. However, there are some key foods that you can’t go wrong with, due to the nutrients you need. 

So, what nutrients do you need before a workout?

The main macronutrients you’re going to need before starting any kind of exercise are: 

  • Carbohydrates – these are going to be your body’s main source of energy to power through the exercise. During intense workouts, our bodies use our glycogen stores as fuel. Many athletes are known to ‘carb load’ in the week before a big bout of exercise (such as a half marathon), which involves eating a larger portion of carbs each day to ensure the stores are well-stocked. 
  • Protein – this is essential for muscle synthesis (the process whereby your muscles repair and grow after intense exercise). Protein is often associated with post-workout recovery, but getting the macronutrient into your body as soon as possible will help your muscles perform better during the workout, too. 

Most pre-workout meals and snacks should be a healthy mix of proteins and carbs. Fats can be included into the mix for some low-intensity exercises, but really these are the two main macronutrients we should focus on. 

But what snacks are the best, and do the ratios matter? Read on to find out. 

Snack ideas for a weightlifting workout

If your goal is to build muscle, then ideally your snack should contain an equal amount of protein and carbohydrate. As mentioned, the protein is ideal for improving muscle synthesis, while carbs will give you the energy you need to push through those gruelling sets. 

As building muscle often requires you to be eating more calories than usual, you don’t have to worry too much about whether your snack is adding too many calories on top of your meals. Since weight training improves your body’s resting metabolism, you’ll be burning calories long after the session is over anyway.

Some good ideas include: 

  • Lean chicken or turkey, with a small portion of brown rice or wholewheat pasta
  • Egg whites on top of a slice of whole wheat bread
  • A protein shake, with added oats or maybe a banana
  • Oats topped with a handful of nuts, or a sliced up banana

Of course, a lot of these snacks involve some prep work beforehand. If you’re in a rush then protein ‘snack packs’ made up of chicken or nuts can be a great alternative. 

Snack ideas for cardio or fat burning workouts

Many people don’t realise that the Supplements Needed for Cardio Workouts are actually very similar to those needed for weight training. However, if your goal with cardio workouts is to burn fat and ultimately lose weight, then you’ll need to treat your pre-workout meal slightly differently. 

After all, there’s no point loading up with unnecessary calories right before a cardio workout where you’re going to try to burn them. Ultimately, this could impact that all-important calorie deficit.

When planning your snacks, it’s therefore more important to think about lower-calorie versions of snacks. You really just need enough energy to give you a little boost before you hit the treadmill or spin class. Some good ideas here are: 

  • An apple with some peanut butter
  • Greek yoghurt with a handful of nuts
  • A simple piece of fruit, such as a whole banana
  • Crackers with a thin slice of lean meat 
  • A fruit smoothie

Snacks to avoid before hitting the gym

So now you know what you should be grabbing for your gym bag, but are there any foods you definitely shouldn’t be reaching for? The answer here is yes, unless you want to seriously disrupt your workout.

As mentioned, anything too sugary or processed needs to be avoided as it could lead to a crash. Similarly, anything deep fried or too fatty could be detrimental as it could make your stomach cramp, or cause uncomfortable bloating. 

But there are also a lot of otherwise ‘healthy’ foods that you need to avoid too. Generally, the main culprit here is fibre. High-fibre foods are often digested quite quickly through the body, which can lead to gas during your workout. In worst-case scenarios, you could even end up having to cut your workout short to take a trip to the bathroom!

Snacks to leave until after your workout include: 

  • Beans
  • Cereals 
  • Green veg such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower
  • White bread
  • Potatoes

Anything too spicy should also be avoided – after all, nobody needs heartburn ruining their training!

What about drinks?

One of the most important things to remember before your workout is that hydration is key. As we lose sweat during our workouts, it’s essential that we replace these lost fluids with water or a sports drink. 

Our CBD-infused sports drinks are ideal for enjoying along with your pre-workout snack, and also for taking into the gym with you. You can enjoy all of the benefits of a normal sports drink – hydration, electrolytes and a dose of carbs – alongside the additional Recovery Benefits of CBD

Whatever snack you opt for, make sure you’re washing it down with plenty of hydrating liquids to reap the full benefits. And don’t forget to keep sipping during your workout too. 

To conclude…

With the right combination of food and water, you can head into the gym ready to smash your session. For more information on food and supplements to take in before, during and after your workout, visit our Blog.

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Are Gym Buddies A Good Idea?

Pros and Cons of Having a Gym Buddy

Everyone’s approach to fitness is different. Some people like to work out first thing in the morning, others late at night. Some thrive off a few long sessions a week, while some like to do shorter workouts more frequently. And one of the big things people differ on is working out alone versus working out with others. 

Having someone else by your side can be a big motivator, which is why group classes at the gym are so popular. But if classes aren’t your thing, you might find having just one other person to work out with a big help. 

Read on to discover the pros and cons of having a gym partner, and how to make sure you’re a good buddy if you choose to go down that route. 

Reasons for Working Out With a Friend

Accountability – It’s a scene we’ve all experienced: you’re planning to get an evening workout in but then you get home late from work, it’s cold outside and there’s a comfy sofa calling your name. If you’re working out alone, it’s all too easy to change your plans and skip the gym. However, if you’re planning to meet a friend at the gym then you’re much less likely to cancel. 

Knowing that you’re letting someone else down is often much worse than just cancelling yourself, and so you’ll find yourself keeping to your workout schedule much better if you have a buddy. 

Motivation – During those gruelling moments of a workout, it can be a huge help to have someone else there to keep you going. Whether it’s finishing an uphill sprint or squeezing in a few more sets, some words of encouragement can really go a long way. Being able to do the same for your workout partner also helps you to share in their successes, and reaching your goals together can give you both a great boost.

Confidence – Have you ever avoided a new piece of equipment because you’re not sure how it works? Or worry that people are watching you when you go for a run? If so then having a friend with you can help you get over these nerves and build up your confidence. 

It’s completely normal to find new places and activities a bit scary, but doing it for the first time with someone else makes you less anxious that it’s all eyes on you. It’s especially useful if you can pick a gym buddy who already knows their way around and can show you the ropes. 

Spotting and Partner Exercises – There are also a few practical reasons for going to the gym with a partner. If you’re weight training then having someone else to spot you can help you reach new goals and personal bests. If you’re doing circuits, HIIT or cardio, you can keep the workout fun and fresh with partner exercises. From passing a medicine ball to wheelbarrow push-ups, there are plenty of mutually-beneficial moves you can do to mix it up. 

Time Management – Keeping on top of all of your commitments is hard. When you have work, family responsibilities, a social life and fitness to juggle, it’s normal for something to get dropped. Many people therefore find that catching up with a friend while working out is a great way to kill two birds with one stone, and makes the most of precious free time. If socialising usually involves eating and drinking, moving your friendship dates to the gym can also be a great way to stay on track. 

Fun – Most importantly, a workout buddy should make going to the gym more fun. Whether it’s the sense of community you get from a class or the laughs from catching up with a friend, the additional social interaction can give your mood a boost. Teamed with the endorphins you get from exercising, you can end up really looking forward to your workouts, rather than just enduring them. 

Workout Buddy Pitfalls to Avoid

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why a gym buddy is a good idea. However, there are also some potential problems to consider before you commit yourself to regular sessions with a friend. 

Distraction – Having someone to chat to between sets can be both good and bad. If your gym buddy is especially talkative, it could actually end up distracting you from getting your best work done. Your workouts should usually involve some tough moments where you struggle to hold a conversation, whether that’s from lifting heavy or doing an intense bit of cardio. Having someone there who wants your full attention could then lead to you not putting your all in. 

Long Sessions – A practical thing to consider is whether you actually have the time to workout with a buddy. While you can sometimes get away with exercising at the same time, a lot of your session may involve you taking it in turns on equipment or to spot each other. Their workout is just as important as yours, and so part of being a good gym buddy is also helping then in all the ways they help you. In theory, this could double the time that you spend in the gym, which can make the sessions more difficult to fit into a busy week.

Different Goals – It’s unlikely that you’ll have exactly the same fitness goals as your workout partner, but if they differ enormously then you could have a problem. For example, if you’re focused on building muscle but they want to burn fat, you could end up in the weights room while they’re just interested in the treadmill. This either means changing your regimes to suit each other, or just spending time in different areas of the gym, which eliminates the point of going together. 

The partnership could also be a problem if you’re at very different levels of ability. Having someone more experienced than you can be a great motivator and they can show you the ropes; but working out with someone who barely breaks a sweat doing your exercises could end up being disheartening. Similarly, you need to be careful to go at your own pace and not push yourself too far, too soon. 

Tips for Being a Good Gym Buddy

As you can see, there are pros and cons of having a gym buddy. The important thing to remember is that variety is key – so you may find that one or two sessions a week with a friend and one or two solo is actually what works best for you. 

If you decide to partner up, there are a few key things to remember in order to be a good gym buddy. These are: 

Be Consistent –  Once you’ve agreed on a time to work out, avoid canceling or being late unless absolutely necessary. 

Watch Their Progress – We all know how demotivating it can be when you’re slogging out in the gym and not seeing results. However, these changes are normally easier to see in others than in yourself. Remind your buddy of the progress they’re making in their time, weight or even form. Help them to see the changes that you’ve witnessed over your sessions 

Stay Positive – You might be having a bad day, but try not to bring that to the workout session and bring your partner’s mood down too. 

Keep the Focus – Chatting can be a great way to make the time go quicker, but try to avoid any conversations that are too heavy or distracting. If you haven’t seen your friend for a while, maybe meet for a coffee beforehand to get any big conversations out of the way before the workout.

Don’t Compare – You and your buddy are likely at different stages of your journeys, so try not to focus too much on the detail of who managed to lift heavier or run faster. A little healthy competition can be a great motivator, but remember that you should ultimately only be competing with yourself. 


For more health and fitness tips, visit our Blog.

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Best Workout Supplements for Women

What Workout Supplements Do Women Need? 

Around ten to twenty years ago, it was common to see a clear gender split in the gym. Weightlifting was seen as a predominantly male activity, while women were usually found on the cardio machines or taking part in group classes. 

Thankfully, the fitness industry has changed a lot. Thanks to better education and a host of female fitness influencers online, women are now as comfortable on the squat rack as they are on the treadmill. Many women have now moved away from weight loss as the sole goal of their workouts, and instead are also interested in building muscle and improving strength. 

For many men and women, fitness goals are now aligned and everyone understands the importance of strength training and diets. However, that’s not to say that both genders can work out in the exact same way. In fact, there are a number of biological differences that mean women’s bodies respond differently to men’s, even if they were to do the exact same workouts. 

How Do Men and Women’s Workouts Differ? 

There are several factors that affect how women train compared to their male gym buddies. These include: 

  • Hormones – men naturally have higher levels of testosterone, while women have higher levels of oestrogen. Testosterone is the hormone associated with building muscle, which means men usually find it easier to gain muscle mass than women do. In contrast, oestrogen can lead to the build-up of fat cells because these are needed for women to reproduce. 
  • Fat Loss – because of the levels of oestrogen in their bodies, women often struggle to lose fat as quickly as men do. Even when on strict diets and plans, they’re often left with more stubborn areas of fat than men. 
  • Metabolism – more muscle mass usually leads to a faster resting metabolism (which is essentially how much energy your body uses when not exercising), which means that men naturally burn more calories than women. Without this muscle mass, women’s metabolisms are often slower and so macronutrients such as carbohydrates can take longer to burn through.
  • Recovery – anecdotally, many females report suffering more from DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), which can mean that it takes them longer to get back into the gym after a heavy workout. If this is the case, then men can also typically fit in more workouts per week than women.

All of these factors combine to mean that theoretically speaking, men can find it easier to lose weight and get into shape. This means that if a woman in the gym has similar goals to a man, she will likely need to approach the workout differently. This could be in regards to the length of her gym sessions, the frequency, and the number of sets and reps she completes.

As to be expected, diet will also need to be considered. This is where supplements come in, as they provide an easy way for people to ensure they’re getting the right blend of nutrients and vitamins into their body. 

Do Women Need Different Supplements? 

The short answer for this is no – but the quantity of the supplement is likely to be different for women. Generally speaking, supplements that are designed to improve performance in the gym should work for both men and women if their goals are similar. However, some supplements could actually end up hindering a woman’s progress if some tweaks aren’t made. 

A good example of this is protein. Some protein powders aimed at the general male market can have upwards of 300 calories per scoop, and so for men taking two scoops a day, this is an extra 600 calories on top of their usual food. For a man with a lot of muscle mass, whose resting metabolism is good, this isn’t usually a problem. 

However, for a woman who is more naturally prone to weight gain, lacks muscle mass and has a slower metabolism, those extra calories could be a much bigger problem. She could fail to hit her calorie deficit and in turn not be able to burn fat as effectively. This is why many protein powders aimed at women come in a ‘diet’ format, where one scoop only equates to around 100 calories. This way, they get the benefits of protein without the added calorie intake.

Best Supplements for Women 

As mentioned, most dietary supplements on the market can be taken by both men and women. However, some that are particularly beneficial for women include: 

  • Caffeine – caffeine is commonly used in pre-workout mixes to increase energy and improve focus during workouts. This is helpful for both sexes, but considering women may have to work for a longer time before seeing progression, it can be especially helpful to get them through gruelling sessions
  • ‘Fat Burners’ – these supplements usually contain several different thermogenic ingredients such as caffeine and green tea extract. They essentially aim to help the body burn more calories by reducing appetite, boosting energy and increasing the temperature of the body. As women struggle more than men with stubborn fat cells, many find an additional supplement like this beneficial
  • CBD – as mentioned, women can be more prone to DOMS and recovery problems than men. So, while both genders can benefit from the calming, anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis oil, women in particular may be interested in the benefits of CBD on sports recovery. Taking a CBD supplement could mean that they can increase the frequency of their workouts, and ultimately reach their goals more quickly. Also, as our CBD-infused sports drinks are low calorie, they won’t prohibit women’s progress by adding unnecessary fats into the diet. 

While it may be true that men are predisposed to seeing faster results from workouts, there’s no reason for women not to progress at a great pace. By making small tweaks to diet and approaching workouts in a slightly different way, women can work with their bodies to shed fat and build muscle. 

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The A-Z of Workout Supplements

Workout Supplements: An A-Z Guide

We all know that nutrition is vital when it comes to your overall physical health. What you put into your body is even more important than what exercises you do with it, and as the saying goes: you can’t out-train a bad diet. 

For many of us though, it’s hard to get all of the nutrients we need with our diet alone. Even someone following a traditionally ‘healthy’ diet is unlikely to hit the recommended daily amounts of every vitamin, mineral and macronutrient we need for optimum health. As soon as you factor in different dietary requirements such as vegetarianism, veganism or food allergies, this challenge can be even greater.

In addition to this, there are some minerals and vitamins that are actually hard to find in everyday foods, but can be hugely beneficial to your health and fitness. 

This is where supplements come in. 

Most of us are familiar with supplements for vitamin C, iron and omega 3. But if you’re interested in supplements to help with your training, you might feel like you don’t know where to begin. There’s a huge range of supplements that can help with workouts, so we’ve put together this A-Z guide of some of the best-known, as well as the more obscure. 

What types of exercise are supplements needed for? 

While supplements aren’t vital when working out, many people find that adding them into their (healthy!) diets can improve their performance in a number of ways. Supplements are most commonly associated with weight training, as a number of them help with repairing torn muscles and helping to grow muscle mass. However, supplements for cardio training can also be hugely beneficial for helping you keep focus, stay energised and recover more quickly.

If you’re interested in introducing workout supplements to your regime, here’s everything you need to know…

A-Z of Supplements

BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids)

Why they’re important: BCAAs are a type of amino acid that naturally occurs in our muscles. They’re thought to be key for muscle growth, and can also reduce the impact of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, meaning people can get back to their workouts more quickly. 

Where they’re normally found: chicken, fish, beef, eggs, lentil, nuts, whole wheat, brown rice, soy proteins.

How to take the supplement: people with restricted diets, such as vegetarians or vegans, can struggle to get as many BCAAs in their diet through food alone. Supplements come mainly as flavoured powders that are mixed with water and can be taken during or after a workout.  

Caffeine

Why it’s important: one of the main challenges people face when it comes to workout is a lack of mental energy or focus. This can be particularly true for endurance exercises, such as long runs, or for people who are trying to fit their gym sessions in after busy days. 

Where it’s normally found: coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks and bars

How to take the supplement: caffeine-only supplements typically come in capsule form, however for exercise, many people get their caffeine via a pre-workout mix. These typically contain a mix of supplements, of which caffeine is usually key. 

Carbohydrates

Why they’re important: carbs are our bodies’ main source of energy, and are especially important for cardio training. It would be almost impossible to complete a sustained cardio workout, such as a long run or cycle, once carbohydrate sources have depleted.

Where they’re normally found: bread, rice, fruit, legumes, sweets, some vegetables

How to take the supplement: athletes usually add carbs to their diets via products such as energy gels or bars that can be taken before and during a workout.

CBD

Why it’s important: CBD oil, or cannabidiol, is a relatively new supplement that is associated with a wide range of beneficial effects. These are thought to include reduced inflammation, stress management and improved focus – all of which can be beneficial for both cardio and weight training.  

Where it’s normally found: CBD is naturally found in the cannabis plant, but must be grown from industrial hemp and have only trace levels of THC (the psychoactive compound also found in cannabis) to be legal in the UK 

How to take the supplement: people take CBD in a number of ways, including capsules, e-liquid and oils. However our CBD-infused sports drinks are the ideal way to take in the supplement when working out, thanks to the great taste and other benefits. 

Creatine

Why it’s important: creatine is naturally found in our bodies and is associated with providing energy to our muscles, decreasing protein breakdown and improving strength.

Where it’s normally found: beef, chicken, eggs, fish

How to take the supplement: creatine is typically taken in capsule or powder form. It commonly appears in pre-workout mixes alongside caffeine. 

Glutamine

Why it’s important: glutamine is another amino acid naturally found in our bodies. It’s associated with decreasing muscle breakdown and also helping the immune system

Where it’s normally found: beef, chicken, fish, milk, cheese, beans, carrots

How to take the supplement: glutamine is typically used as a post-workout, and is sometimes even taken as an overnight recovery aid. It can be taken on its own in a capsule or powder formula.

Protein

Why it’s important: protein is one of the key macronutrients needed in our diet, and is mostly associated with muscle recovery and multiple growth

Where it’s normally found: lean meats, chicken, eggs, nuts, cheese, milk, beans

How to take the supplement: protein is probably the most popular supplement that people take. Typically, protein powder is used to create a shake, though bars are also popular.

Nitric Oxide

Why it’s important: this naturally-occurring molecule is associated with a few key processes, including dilating blood vessels. This can be important for people who are weight training because it ultimately allows more oxygen and nutrients to reach the muscles, helping with energy during the workout and recovery afterwards. 

Where it’s normally found: Nitric Oxide can’t be ingested in the same was as other supplements on this list; instead, ‘boosters’ contain amino acids that are converted to Nitric Oxide in the body

How to take the supplement: Nitric Oxide boosters are typically taken in capsule format. 

ZMA

Why it’s important: ZMA is actually a combination of three key minerals: zinc, magnesium aspartate and vitamin B6. Many people are naturally low in these minerals, but they can have a number of post-recovery benefits including helping with sleep and stabilising hormones. 

Where it’s normally found: cereals, milk, meat (zinc), fish, liver, potatoes and fruits (vitamin B6) 

How to take the supplement: ZMAs are usually taken before bed due to some associated drowsiness, and come in capsule form.


For more workout tips, take a look at our blog.

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How to Maintain Focus During a Workout

Tips for Staying Focused During a Workout

Working out takes a lot of commitment. Whether you’re training for something big – such as a marathon or bodybuilding competition – or just working on gradually improving yourself, it’s vital that you stay focused and motivated. However, that’s not always as easy as it sounds. 

If you find yourself regularly losing focus, spending more time on your phone than on your set, or cutting your workout short because you lose enthusiasm, you’re unlikely to see the progression you want. Learning how to maintain focus during a workout will help you improve physically, and drive you towards smashing your goals. 

Firstly, why do you lose focus during exercise?

There are plenty of reasons why you might lose interest at the gym or doing cardio, and figuring out what triggers your concentration lapses can be beneficial in helping you combat it. Popular reasons include:

  • Repetition – you’re growing bored of the same routine, run route or scenery
  • Timing – you’re exercising at a time when you’re in a rush to get somewhere else, such as to work or home for dinner
  • Stress – you have a lot on your mind due to personal reasons, and struggle to focus on the task at hand
  • Distractions – you’re receiving a lot of text messages, or having a lot of people speak to you
  • Hunger – you haven’t fuelled your body for working out properly and your energy is flagging

Thankfully, most of these things can be overcome by making small tweaks to your routine. Things such as making sure you’ve eaten, are relaxed and are in a good headspace will all help enormously. However, if you’re still struggling with focus when you’re feeling good, the following ideas might just help.

7 Ways to Improve Focus During a Workout

Try something new

As mentioned, boredom and repetition can be some of the main reasons you’re struggling to concentrate on your workout. Make sure you mix up your workout as much as you can to give your mind something new to focus on. If you’re using a new machine or trying a new exercise, your mind will be so busy adjusting to the new sensations that it won’t have time to get bored.  

This doesn’t necessarily mean making huge changes to your actual exercise if you’re on a strict plan. Something as simple as trying a new running route or heading to a different room of the gym could be all it takes to hit refresh on your concentration. 

Give your mind something to focus on 

Many people swear by having headphones with them when they work out, and we understand why. Having music pumping into your ears can be a great way to zone out and get on with the task at hand. However, make sure you’re giving yourself something fresh to listen to once in a while so you don’t get bored. 

If your favourite artist releases a new album, wait until your workout to listen to it. If you usually work out to one genre, switch it up and try something new. Or, if you’re struggling on long runs, you could even try tuning into a podcast – many people find that listening to people talking and following a conversation helps keep their mind off the exercise. 

Add interval training

While a lot of people love them, many others find cardio sessions to be a slog, and struggle to keep focus. One way to stop your mind wandering – and ensure you still get an amazing cardio workout – is to add in some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) sessions. 

HIIT workouts typically involve short bursts of faster, more intense exercise that typically last 20-40 seconds before moving back to a steadier pace. You either need to set a timer or keep an eye on the clock to time your intervals, which gives you something to focus on. Plus, you’ll be working so hard during the intense bursts that you won’t have time to think about anything other than your breathing!

Use the right supplements

Many people who exercise a lot like to take pre-workout supplements, which usually contain high doses of caffeine. These give an increased burst of energy and can also help to keep the mind focused. However, some of the ingredients in the pre-workouts can produce side effects that users don’t like, such as tingly skin, headaches or water retention. Some people find that a simple cup of coffee provides all of the caffeine boost that they need.

Another supplement that’s growing in popularity is CBD. It’s suggested that CBD oil, derived from hemp plants, could help to maintain focus and increase energy. Early research suggests that the compound can relieve things such as anxiety, which could also help people keep a clear mind. Our sports drinks contain 10mg of CBD, which absorbs into the body more quickly than it would via a capsule because it’s in fluid form. Have one of these as part of your pre-workout routine and you could enjoy a more focused, productive session. 

Remove any distractions

You might head to the gym with the best intentions, but find that once you’re there you have a lot of distractions. Ensure that you stay focused on your goals by removing these where possible. 

Switching your phone to Airplane Mode will mean you won’t stop to check messages, or be tempted to open any social media apps. If you usually train with a partner and spend too much time talking, think about training alone for some of your sessions. And if you always end up distracted by what other people are doing, try going to the gym or for runs at quieter times when there’s less going on around you.

Make a plan for your workout

If you struggle to stay focused during your workout, then one of the worst things you can do is start exercising without a plan. This makes it all too easy to keep changing your mind, or waste time in between sets while you try to decide what to do next. 

Knowing exactly what machine or exercise you’re going to move on to next will help you to stay in the rhythm of your workout. Similarly, if you’re out for a run then knowing your route will help to give you an end goal. Without planning this in advance, you’re more likely to get lost, or end up cutting your run short early by turning back. 

Push yourself to go further

Finally, one of the best tips to maintain your focus during a workout is to make sure you’re pushing yourself. Boredom often kicks in when you’re feeling comfortable and no longer challenging your body or mind. 

Ensure you are regularly doing what you can to keep your system working hard: add a bit more weight, try to run a bit faster, or go a bit further. Feeling the burn in this way will help to keep your mind sharp, and the endorphins you release by overcoming a challenge will also keep you motivated to do it all over again. 


For more information on supplements and training, take a look at our blog.

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5 Ways Athletes Use CBD When Training

How Athletes Take CBD

Without a doubt, one of the most exciting new supplement trends in the sports and fitness world at the moment is CBD. Also known as cannabidiol, the hemp-derived compound has been hailed by many as a wonder remedy that can help with everything from stress management to appetite control. 

These positive side effects obviously appeal to people from all walks of life. There is a growing body of research that suggests CBD oil could help people with a range of conditions, such as epilepsy, diabetes and skin conditions. However, some of the reported benefits also make CBD oil especially interesting for people in the fitness industry. 

In fact, athletes are one of the core groups that support CBD, with many well-known faces openly talking about how they use the supplement. These include the Diaz brothers from the MMA world, rugby players Dominc Day and George Kruis and former NFL player Terrell Davies. You can read more about these celebrity fans in our list of 11 Famous Athletes Who Publicly Advocate CBD, or read on to discover how these athletes use CBD when training.  

Firstly, are athletes allowed to use CBD?

One of the main concerns for fitness enthusiasts before they explore CBD is whether it’s allowed – both within the law, and more specifically by various sporting regulators. Cannabidiol is a natural substance found in hemp and cannabis plants, and so many people understandably worry about whether or not it’s legal.  

Thankfully, the answer is yes. In the UK, CBD oil is completely legal as long as it’s pure cannabidiol. Pure CBD is defined as cannabidiol that’s derived from EU-approved industrial hemp, which contains less than 0.2% THC. THC is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis, and is what produces the ‘high’ effect when cannabis is smoked or ingested. As long as there aren’t any levels of THC alongside the cannabidiol then the positive effects of CBD can be enjoyed within the law. 

In the sporting industry, CBD has also managed to shake off its association with cannabis. Since January 2018, the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) has removed it from its list of prohibited substances. This means that it’s safe to use in professional sporting competitions, and won’t be regarded as performance-enhancing. 

How do athletes use CBD? 

There is a huge range of CBD oil products available on the market, from vaping e-liquids and gummies to infused tea bags and even lip balms. This means that how and when athletes use CBD can vary. 

  1. CBD for Pain Relief

One of the main ways that athletes use cannabidiol is as a pain reliever. Whether you’re working out recreationally or involved at a professional level, pain can get in the way of performance. This might be as simple as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (or DOMS), which are the post-workout aches that make it impossible to train for a few days. Or, it could be something more serious such as a sprain or old injury that resurfaces. 

Traditionally, opiates have been prescribed by doctors to relieve pain, especially in the US. Drugs such as fentanyl and codeine are often given to athletes at a professional level, despite their highly addictive properties. In the UK, athletes are more likely to rely on anti-inflammatories such as Ibuprofen, but even these have a number of negative side effects when taken in the long-term. 

CBD oil is thought by many to be a natural form of pain relief due to how it helps the endocannabinoid system (or ECS) ensure signals are sent to the brain correctly – including the signals that produce chemicals linked to happiness and wellness. 

There are a number of ways that athletes can use CBD for pain relief, such as taking vitamins, using CBD oil drops or even with infused massage oils and balms. 


2. CBD for Stress Management

Like many other people in the world, athletes are susceptible to anxiety and stress in their day-to-day lives. However, they often also suffer from additional stresses if they play a professional sport or compete at a high level. ‘Match day nerves’ can seriously affect mood, sleep and concentration – all of which could ultimately impact on performance. 

CBD oil has been known to help alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety, helping people to feel more calm and relaxed. Again, this is largely due to how it reacts in the ECS to make levels of serotonin more potent. 

In addition to this, many people also report that CBD helps them to get a better night’s sleep. Its impact is thought to be two-fold: first, it helps people get to sleep more quickly; and secondly, it helps people have a deeper sleep once they do drop off. For people who often spend the night before a competition or match awake and worrying, this can be a crucial benefit. 

Athletes will often use the same CBD oil products for stress management as they do pain relief. However, other products that could be particularly suited for this type of use also include infused teas or even e-liquid for vaping. Both of these products mimic ways in which people often manage their stress anyway, making them popular alternatives. 

3. CBD to Maintain Focus When Training

The above outline the ways in which athletes may use CBD ahead of a workout, but did you know that it can also be enjoyed during a session? One of the reasons that athletes may choose to do this is for improved focus. This can be particularly useful when training for a big event, when long endurance exercises or repetitive sessions can cause boredom to set in. 

While research around the topic is in its early stages, there is some evidence to suggest that CBD oil can improve concentration. Athletes can therefore stay focused on the task at hand, maintain good form and complete their session feeling good. 

Not all CBD products are appropriate to take in this way, as they would either get in the way of training, or take too long to enter the system. CBD-infused sports drinks, however, are ideal for this as they fit so naturally into a workout. They also provide the same benefits as other sports drinks, such as improved hydration and replacing lost electrolytes.

4. CBD for Post-Workout Recovery

Athletes use many different supplements to help with their recovery post-workout. These include things such as protein to rebuild and repair muscles, and BCAAs to help with muscle soreness. However, CBD oil is increasingly becoming a popular post-workout supplement.  

This is mainly due to the anti-inflammatory properties that are associated with cannabidiol. Inflammation is a natural part of the recovery process after a body has been pushed physically, however too much inflammation can cause pain and even lead to some long-term health problems. 

CBD can suppress inflammation, meaning that athletes’ muscles can recover more quickly after an intense workout. Not only could this mean less pain and discomfort, but it could also mean a reduced number of rest days needed between intense workout sessions.

Athletes enjoying our infused sports drink during a workout will continue to enjoy the benefits of CBD after their session has finished, or they can choose to save the drink until they have finished. Other popular products for people using CBD post-workout include massage oils that can be applied topically to problem areas of the body. 

5. CBD for Appetite Control

Finally, many athletes also use CBD oil for its associations with weight management. Many people have reported having a reduced appetite when using the supplement, which can be helpful for people who need to maintain a strict diet. By removing the temptation to snack or eat unhealthy foods, athletes can focus on foods that nourish them and fuel their workouts. 

Popular products for athletes looking to use CBD in this way include ones that they can add into their diet as a substitute for a snack. Infused teas and coffees work particularly well, and can reduce the chances of late-night eating. 

How to Get Started with CBD

If you’re a professional or semi-professional athlete, or just someone who is looking to take your fitness more seriously, then CBD may be something you’re interested in exploring. The following tips are recommended for getting started with cannabidiol:

  • Ensure you only buy CBD oil products from legitimate, reputable companies such as Endo Sport
  • Start with small doses of the compound to see how CBD effects you – the 10mg in our sports drinks are a great amount for people new to the compound
  • Choose products that fit in well with your lifestyle, such as drinks or supplements

You can also find a lot of helpful articles on fitness and CBD in our Blog.