When you picture someone smoking weed, a person cranking out reps in the gym is probably the last thing you’d think of. But some triathletes, bodybuilders, and marathon runners say it helps them focus and reduce anxiety. Here’s what’s really going on when you workout high.
As PictureFit explains in this video from his YouTube channel, most research points to marijuana being anything but a performance-enhancing drug. You’ll probably exhaust faster, have less endurance, and you’ll elevate your heart rate and blood pressure to a potentially discomforting level. And the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana can reduce stress and pain sensations. That can be a good thing in some situations, but not when you’re lifting heavy stuff at the gym. Why? Many of the early indicators of injury are discomfort and joint pain, so you might not notice when something’s wrong until it’s too late. Plus, marijuana impairs your coordination and reaction time — both things you need during an intense workout.
It’s not all bad, though. It might be possible to increase the sensation of your “runner’s high” if you were to smoke a bit before you run. And marijuana acts as a vasodilator, widening your arteries to improve blood flow and deliver nutrients to your muscles more easily, possibly reducing soreness. Basically, it’s not going to improve your performance — and maybe make it worse — but it might improve your enjoyment of the exercise itself. Still, it can be dangerous, so it’s probably not a good idea.
What Happens When You Workout High? [YouTube]