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CBD oil case study

One of the new trends lately is CBD oil which is a derivative of the cannabis plant that most people associate with marijuana.  If you look closely on the shelves of some of your grocery stores or even your favorite coffee shop you will find CBD infused items all over the place.  Curiosity got the cat, so I will try.

CBD is traditionally used to help people with certain DSM diagnoses that will relieve anxiety, pain, some movement disorders, and cognition.  The stuff that you buy in the store is without THC unless otherwise noted.  THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that creates the “high” effect.  So basically once you tell someone about CBD, you will also have to explain to them that there isn’t THC.  Potential side effects were listed, but the only ones that caught my eye was malaise and weakness.

As far as I know I don’t have any psychoactive issues.  I’m not trying to treat a self diagnosed version of anxiety or anything like that.  Believe it or not I personally have a difficult time falling asleep especially on Sunday night.  Whether it is because I stay up too late on Saturday night combined with the sleeping in that I sometimes do on Sunday morning, or if it is because I stay up mind racing with the things I need to get done at work the next day I will lay in bed restless.  I have a number of clients who have been taking CBD oil because someone told them that it may be good so I decided I would give it a try.

CBD
Dropper of CBD oil

Day 1

I actually woke up 40 minutes before my alarm went off after 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  I felt wide awake and ready to go.  I hadn’t fallen asleep and stayed asleep like that for a while so that was refreshing.

Day 2

I fell asleep relatively quick this night, however, I worked late and had a late dinner so there was no waking up earlier than the alarm.  I actually resented my alarm going off and felt a little groggy until the afternoon.  Sleep quality was still really good.

Day 3

I worked even later on Tuesday night and had a really late dinner.  Not ideal, but it is my reality.  I woke up around 4 a.m. briefly, but made it back to sleep no problem.  I tallied about 6 hours of sleep and was pretty groggy all day Wednesday until the late afternoon.

Day 4

I fell asleep relatively quickly again.  I did wake up in the middle of the night again, but that may be a result of drinking too much water later on in the day.  My motivation to get things done in the afternoon dropped significantly until about 3 p.m., but remain pretty groggy.  Work ended around 6 p.m. and I was able to go home and relax which was welcoming.

Day 5

I had Friday off so I was able to get an extra hour of sleep followed by a relaxing morning.  I could take my time getting my morning tea without any pressing deadlines.  I was able to sit down and write a little and go out to run some errands and felt much better with the extra rest.  I did go to a Celtics game that evening with some work colleagues, but felt normal.

Celtics Game
Pretty awesome seats

In conclusion, the week trial revealed to me that maybe on Sunday night it is a good idea to get some CBD in for the sleep aid.  All-in-all it did feel better than taking melatonin all week, anecdotally.  I will most likely continue to use it especially on those Sunday nights.

 

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New Year, Simple Start

It’s that time of year again.  Everyone is planning on doing the right thing and the gyms are starting to pick up.  Almost everyone you speak to is on the “keto diet” as of the first of the new year.  So many great intentions, so little sustainability.  Here’s a quick reference guide for the new year.

Diet

The word diet is more a statement of what you consistently consume as opposed to the 8 week fix that you’re about to embark on.  Instead of jumping on the bandwagon of the newest fad diet that will inevitably fail, choose the healthy option.  What exactly is the healthy option?  The technical answer is that it depends on a host of information that is impossible to answer in one generic blog post.  But, it is possible to give a generic outline that you can plug and play with. The following is  a simple cheat sheet that you can use that is a heck more sustainable that getting extreme.

For Ladies

To maintain your current bodyweight/body fat consume roughly 1 palm size portion of lean protein, 1 fist portion of veggies, 1 handful of starchy carbs, and 1 thumb of healthy fats/oils.  To drop bodyweight/body fat simply cut out some of the starches.

For the fellas

Double what the ladies consume.

For a more detailed list of healthy foods and complete food composition, check out Precision Nutrition’s website.

Sleep

Whatever you do, get appropriate amounts of sleep.  This isn’t always possible if you have newborns or crappy neighbors, but ultimately you should be able to your sleep pretty regularly.  I’ve made mention of this in the past with an entire article, but the jist of the information is that in order to progress you need your sleep.  There are a number of sleep aids out there.  Melatonin seems to be the simplest choice, but now CBD is jumping into the mix.  If you’ve read my material before and you’re still looking at your phone in bed before trying to sleep, why?  Blue light emission from your phone/tv/tablet/computer can inhibit melatonin production in your body for up to two hours.

Exercise

If you are currently working with a professional, continue to do so.  Who couldn’t benefit from someone else pushing you and tracking your information.  Anything or anyone that promises to get a quick fix is just looking to get your money.  There is no magic pill here.

We can break exercise down into a number of different categories, however, resistance training and some sort of conditioning work are the most effective at achieving your goals.  There are certain populations that need to be careful about what they do and how they do it, but the evidence is pretty clear that exercise seems to positively impact everything.  Doing yard work and house work does not constitute exercise.  Walking does not constitute exercise unless you were unable to walk prior to starting a walking program.  Including upper body pushes and pulls, as well as lower body hip hinging and knee dominant work (squats) are a good starting point.

In conclusion, start to implement these simple tasks into your daily routine and you’ll find that your goals will start to come to fruition.  Seeking out a qualified individual who has experience in not just the exercise aspect of well-being, but in the entire performance envelope will be greatly beneficial.  This way you can have all of this information monitored.  Looking for an exercise physiologist or exercise scientist degree and an appropriate certification is usually a good place to start.

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Quick Comment About Sleep

Today is a short post serving more as an addendum to the pool of recovery that we have already dipped our toe into.

Previously, I wrote about how sleep is such a vital component to the recovery process.  I was writing it from a perspective of athlete or performance without really thinking too much about how it also impacts aesthetics.

Sure, if you’re not getting enough sleep following a training session or day, it will take you longer before you’re able to go at 100% efficiency again.  Sure, if you’re not getting enough sleep you’re going to be crabby and probably make a lot of your coworkers/friends a little bothered.  You’re physiology will be a little off because you weren’t able to clear out all the gunk from your CSF.  Common knowledge now that we revisited the idea, right?

Now consider this scenario.  An individual works out 3-4 times per week expending a stupid amount of energy.  They eat mostly whole foods because they’re allegedly allergic to refined sugars and any gluten containing product.  They supplement with BCAAs, hydrolyzed cross-flowed microfiltrated isolate whey protein, organic greens, wild salmon oil, etc.  But they still have a beer gut? How?

They neglected to say that they sleep 3-5 hours a night on average.  That doesn’t really create a great internal situation for your hormone profile.  Cortisol (stress hormone) has received such a negative rep in the physiology world mostly for good reason.  It is necessary, however, in excess can be your own worst enemy.  High cortisol levels can be the result of high stress because you work 5 jobs totaling over 100 hours of work per week–stupid student loans.  You need to make yourself dinner and attempt to go grocery shopping.  Make appearances at family/friends/athletic events.  Even if you did get a perfect 8 hours of sleep per night (56 hours a week) with the 100 hour work week, that leaves you 14 hours to accomplish the other things.  Something has to give and it’s usually sleep.

Boom! Increased cortisol levels.  Not to mention the accompanying stress that tags with all this madness.  Feedback loop says: more cortisol.  Unmanageable levels and you’re left with a petit beer gut even though you haven’t consumed a carbohydrate in about 5 years.  What the what??

Get rid of one of the jobs (as long as you can pay your bills) and start getting some sleep.  Eight hours is recommended but some people need more, some less.  You’re body will thank you, and you’re results in the gym/practice facility will get exponentially better.

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Guest Post: Celebrating Rest Days

This is a guest post being copied with permission from the original author Jill Simon.  Jill recently finished an internship here at Young Performance and has some really great insight on recovery, training, and nutrition.  I urge you to check out her blog at jillsimonblog.wordpress.com. 

We build muscle when we rest. We know this. Too much stress is bad for our bodies. We know this too. So why is there such a culture in the fitness world surrounding #thegrind”, “#nodaysoff”, and “#teamnosleep”?

I don’t have a good answer for that. But maybe we can work to promote change so that we don’t need to ask this question. We can promote recovery as an essential component to progress. We can remind ourselves, our peers, and our clients that without rest, we inhibit growth and can even cause fatigue and burnout. We can celebrate our rest days, guilt free. We can avoid labeling these days as being lazy or as cheating, which create a negative stigma around recovery days. And that’s just unfair. After all, didn’t we just agree that rest days are necessary for positive growth? Plus let’s be real, every once in a while, it feels amazing to binge watch an entire season of Game of Thrones in one day.

If you’re going to post about your #dailygrind, I challenge you to also post about your #restday and bask in its glory. Show the world what your favorite ways to improve are in all forms: in the gym, in the kitchen, and on the couch. Enjoy taking the elevator, instead of the stairs on your rest days, and don’t feel guilty for taking that 2-hour nap—your body will thank you for it.