Whenever we talk about the rising popularity of CBD among athletes, there’s always a strong focus on this compound’s innate ability to promote weight loss and regulate your appetite.
The same can be said for Omega 3 polyunsaturated acids, which are also extremely popular among fitness enthusiasts and essential to body composition. Omega 3 can also help with the regulation of your appetite, primarily because it plays a key role in any healthy eating plan.
The benefits of both CBD and Omega go far beyond weight loss, however, and we’ll explore this further in the article below.
How CBD and Omega Work Together to Manage Weight Loss
In many ways, there’s little to connect CBD (cannabidiol) and Omega 3. After all, the former is a natural compound that is derived from hemp, while it works within the body’s endocannabinoid system to manage various bodily functions and responses.
In contrast, Omega 3 fatty acids are often sourced naturally within food, with two particularly beneficial strains (EPA and DHA) found in certain types of freshwater fish. Alpha-linolenic acid (or ALA to you and me) is also found in plant sources such as nuts and seeds, with these elements essential to bodily function and capable of delivering huge health benefits.
In fact, they must be present in the human diet as they cannot be sourced elsewhere, particularly in the case of EPA and DHA.
Central components of healthy fat loss and improved body composition, studies have also proven that the consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids triggers a rise in lean body mass over a period of time.
Despite these core, organic differences, however, CBD and Omega 3 boast a host of natural characteristics that complement each other and promote healthy weight loss in humans. So, while they work in entirely different ways, they dovetail well and can help to regulate bodily responses in a safe and effective manner.
The combination of Omega 3 fatty acids and CBD supplements can trigger a far more diverse range of health and wellbeing benefits, however, particularly when consumed as part of a balanced diet. We’ll discuss some of these below, while appraising the unique ways in which Omega 3 and CBD can help to create healthier lifestyles.
Mental Health and Cognitive Function
If you’ve ever doubted the prevalence of anxiety among UK residents, you may want to think again.
After all, there were an estimated 8.2 million cases of anxiety reported in the UK alone back in 2013, with women twice as likely to be diagnosed with associated disorders as men.
Interestingly, both CBD and Omega 3 can help to regulate the symptoms of anxiety in the human mind, with the latter having been tested in a number of clinical trials.
According to one study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, the process of supplementing your diet with fish oils helps to reduce adrenal activation, which is typically triggered by high levels of stress.
More specifically, the 2005 study found that respondents functioned better and showcased lower susceptibility to the symptoms of anxiety while consuming Omega 3 supplements during controlled trials. Conversely, respondents that took lower levels of Omega 3 (and less pointedly, Omega 6) were more impulsive and prone to depression, making them capable of managing stressful situations.
The reason for this is simple, as those who experience anxiety and depression tend to have low levels of EPA and DHA in their blood. As these are the two most prominent fatty acids in Omega 3 supplements, they can organically correct this imbalance through continued consumption.
In the case of CBD, this compound can alleviate the symptoms of anxiety by working in tandem with the CB1 receptor located in the brain. This receptor is one of many tiny proteins attached to cells throughout the body, which receive chemical signals from various stimuli and help to control bodily responses.
CBD interacts with these receptors to manage certain responses, and in this instance it minimises the release of serotonin signals to the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in mental health, with low levels indicative of depression and anxiety.
CBD subsequently works as an entirely safe and natural serotonin inhibitor, helping to restore your mental equilibrium over time. In this respect, it replicates the functionality of synthesised drugs such as Prozac, but is far safer and less likely to trigger any unwanted side-effects.
When it comes to maintaining your general level of health, it’s also interesting to note how Omega 3 and CBD work together to create a balanced and fully functional endocannabinoid system.
In fact, according to a study published in Nature Neuroscience back in 2011, it’s apparent that the consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids also plays a pivotal role in maintaining the endocannabinoid system and optimising the impact of CBD supplements.
The key takeaway here was that a sustained Omega 3 deficiency significantly diminishes endocannabinoid-mediated functions, triggering poorer levels of general health and a host of associated conditions.
This includes depression, as the endocannabinoids located in the prelimbic prefrontal cortex and accumbens can lose functionality when there is a deficiency of Omega 3 fatty acids.
Not only this, but a sustained lack of exposure to these essential acids also caused numerous CB receptors to uncouple from their effector G proteins, further undermining the endocannabinoid system and its core functionality.
Last, but by no means least, the dietary induced reduction of CB receptor functionality also impacted significantly on mood-controlling structures within the brain.
This correlated directly with impaired emotional behaviour in respondents, causing a decline in mental wellbeing over time.
Even on a fundamental level, the combination of Omega 3 and CBD supplements help to maintain the health of your CB receptors, while also repairing damaged receptors and synthesising important cannabinoids within the body.
The importance of this should not be ignored, while it also highlights how these two elements can be combined to achieve a far healthier lifestyle.
Sporting Performance and Recovery
On a final note, it’s important to note that the consumption of Omega 3 and CBD can also offer significant benefits pertaining to sporting performance and recovery.
This along, with the positive impact on weight management, is the primary reason by these supplements have been embraced by competitive athletes across a host of physical disciplines.
Earlier in the piece, we discussed how individuals who regularly consumed Omega 3 fatty acids were less susceptible to mental conditions such as anxiety and stress. This is an important consideration for competitive athletes, who regularly have to deal with performance-related stress and the pressure associated with competition.
The consumption of CBD oil builds on this, thanks primarily to its ability to naturally reduce cortisol levels in the human form. In one particular study, CBD was fund to interfere in the secretion of cortisol, which in turn reduced stress levels in respondents and improved their response in the type of pressurised situations that athletes often find themselves in.
During competition, it’s also important that athletes are able to benefit from consistent and healthy sleep cycles. Fortunately, the consumption of CBD can also help with this, with this compound capable of activating and effectively regulating the same adenosine receptors as caffeine.
As a result, it has the potential to minimise day time sleepiness and create an alert mental state during periods of competition, while also improving the depth and the quality of sleep during the evening. This is an athletes dream (if you’ll pardon the pun), and can significant long-term benefits for competitors.
Omega 3 can also serve as an ergogenic aid to training and performance, largely as it’s capable of creating an increased supply of blood to muscles and oxygen to the heart even during intensive workouts.
Similarly, Omega 3 is also proven to improve the lung function of athletes both during and after intensive training or competition. Given this and the presence of an improved airflow, respondents were able to showcase greater endurance and maintain a high level of performance for longer.
At this point, it makes sense to discuss how Omega 3 and CBD can help athletes to recover physically following high-intensity workouts or performances.
We’ve already touched on how Omega 3 is capable of improving blood flow, and one of the ways in which it achieves this is to work as an effective anti-inflammatory agent.
This also has the potential to minimise post-training soreness and swelling, enabling athletes to recover quicker and optimise the impact of individual workouts.
It achieves this by redressing an imbalance of fatty acids in the body, which can trigger a physiologic shift into an inflammatory state. Omega 3 works as a powerful precursor to naturally occurring hormones, reducing inflammation and aiding recovery in the process.
In contrast, CBD works closely with the CB2 receptors associated with the body’s immune system, minimising the impact of inflammation as it occurs. Remember, inflammation is the body’s natural response to harmful cells and pathogens, and in this respect CBD can regulate the physical response before chronic symptoms present themselves.
This was explored further by a 2011 study, which proved that CBD was extremely effective when minimising the impact of oxidative stress on organs and muscles. This is considered to be a significant trigger for inflammation, so the potential of CBD as a preventative treatment is hard to ignore.
The Last Word
While there’s no doubt that CBD and Omega 3 boast entirely different compositions and work in alternative ways, they complement each other superbly and can be combined to deliver a range of physical and mental benefits.
Not only this, but Omega 3 fatty acids are also capable of enhancing the performance of the endocannabinoid system, synthesising essentially cannabinoids and optimising the impact of CBD in the process.
With this in mind, it’s clear that both Omega 3 and CBD should be used to supplement a balanced and healthy diet, particularly if you’re a fitness enthusiast or a high-performance athlete.