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The Best Supplements for Exercise

Like it or not, health and fitness go hand-in-hand. And of course, both are fundamental parts of life. Currently in America and across the globe, humans regularly struggle with their health and fitness. Thankfully though, there is an easy (ok, somewhat easy) antidote to combating many health problems and it’s called getting fit. Yeah, you heard me, getting fit. If you’re feeling motivated to start a fitness routine, consider using some of the best supplements for exercise to improve your journey.

The Big Picture

When it comes to exercise and fitness, let’s put some things into perspective:

  • Your heart is the strongest muscle in your body
  • The average person walks ~70,000 miles in their lifetime
  • Just 10 minutes of exercise a day has tangible health benefits 
  • Your body burns an extra 50 calories for every pound of muscle gained
  • People who exercise an hour a day are 40 percent less likely to die prematurely

Natural recovery-boosters

In this article, we’ll take a close look at three different recovery-boosting substances: CBD, essential oils, and adaptogenic mushrooms.

CBD 101

CBD in tincture form with a cannabis leaf.

CBD isn’t just for health problems anymore. 

You’ve probably heard about all the benefits of CBD. From helping combat sleeping problems to helping your pet keep calm and carry on, CBD is known for helping consumers (and their fur friends) chill out. However, CBD is so much more than you can imagine. In fact, thousands of fitness enthusiasts swear by it.

According to the National Library of Medicine, “The use of cannabidiol (CBD) among athletes is becoming extensive and frequent.”

In other words, CBD’s underlying effects don’t just magically stop at preventing health problems or addressing biochemical blindspots. The compound’s activation of the endocannabinoid system likely also helps athletes get faster and stronger than ever before.

CBD is one of the best supplements for exercise and these are some of the best CBD benefits for physical recovery and relief:

  • Relaxes muscles, which alleviates muscle tension and spasm
  • Reduces mild inflammation, preventing damage to surrounding healthy muscle
  • Supports sleep, which aids muscle fiber regeneration
  • Helps prevent pain
  • Supports faster recovery between workouts or following injury
  • Improves consistency with training routines due to reduced pain and downtime

As one of the best supplements for exercise, CBD’s value in the fitness space will only continue to expand.

Adding CBD to your workout routine

Woman swimming after taking CBD as one of the best supplements for exercise.

Firstly, are you familiar with one of CBD’s biggest benefits? Its potential ability to reduce inflammation. If your parents are praising CBD for the pain relief they experience, this anti-inflammatory effect is probably why

However, if you’re an athlete, things get even more exciting. For you, inflammation means slower recovery from workouts, replete with lingering muscle soreness, and annoying aches and pains. 

In the past, you may have resorted to conventional NSAIDs if placed in this situation. Yet the evidence is out: NSAIDs reduce inflammation too much. A little bit of inflammation is actually good for recovery; it signals to the immune system that damaged tissues need to heal. 

CBD, one of the best supplements for exercise, is different than pharmaceutical alternatives. It doesn’t eliminate inflammation entirely. Instead, it may help the body’s naturally produced endocannabinoids lower inflammation — but only if and when such action is needed. These gentle reductions equate to less pain, a healthier immune system, and improved recovery. 

Stress and CBD

Additionally, it’s important to note that CBD does something even more important than reducing inflammation — something that often gets overlooked — it reduces stress. 

Why’s that so important? Because exercise itself is a type of stress. Good stress, sure . . . but still stress. Like any other stressor, an intense workout is a challenge the body needs to adapt to and overcome. This sort of adaptation isn’t always easy. It requires carefully balancing a slew of different hormones in order to gradually grow stronger and stronger. In a very real sense, one has to fight the weaker points of their biology in order to get fitter. 

A hormone called cortisol is especially tough to overcome and yet CBD might provide the perfect solution. CBD’s ability to lower cortisol is so clear, in fact, that scientists have known this since at least 1993. 

Reductions in cortisol may help you feel calmer, happier, and just better in general. It may also help you sleep! Good thing, because sleep itself is pretty good for your fitness levels.

How to use CBD for exercise

Woman meditating and doing yoga thanks to using CBD for exercise.

Ready to take your fitness to a new level? If so, you wouldn’t be alone — so is your endocannabinoid system.

It’s true: endocannabinoid systems can actually motivate us to exercise. The system produces greater amounts of endocannabinoids after a tough workout, after all — you probably know this phenomenon by the term “runner’s high.”

With that said, let’s take a closer look.

  • CBD could be tremendously valuable as a pre-workout: CBD may increase the proportion of fat one burns for fuel, giving the athlete lasting energy and (potentially) improved body composition. Endurance athletes or those new to fitness routines may find themselves with more gas in the tank during workouts.
  • Post-workout performance gains are available, too: As we said, CBD powerfully lowers cortisol. Given that cortisol’s nature is catabolic (i.e., it promotes breakdown), it’s reasonable to think that CBD could set the stage for muscle gains. 
  • Pro athletes seem to agree, too: There’s something to cannabinoids. While CBD hasn’t made it into the sports science lab yet, it’s sure being tested on the battleground with pro athletes.

For example, take a look at PGA-tour golfer Bubba Watson. He may have been skeptical of CBD at first, but that didn’t stop him from becoming a full-fledged advocate. Today he takes CBD for recovery, stress management, and sleep. 

Extreme sports athletes stand to benefit, too. Just last month UFC fighter Nate Diaz smoked a CBD joint in front of fans at an open workout. Within the sport, Diaz is not alone, though. According to UFC president Dana White, “For people who deal with chronic pain, CBD is groundbreaking.”

Could the pros know something we don’t? If you want to improve your fitness and exercise, there’s nothing stopping you from joining them by using some of the best supplements for exercise.

Essential oils

One of the best supplements for exercise is essential oils.

Going beyond CBD oil, other oils are some of the best supplements for exercise. Welcome to the magical world of essential oils!

First and foremost, most essential oils have powerful anti-inflammatory effects that make them perfect for boosting fitness and improving workout recovery. Secondly, using essential oils for exercise and fitness can also help boost physical endurance. And finally, check out these specific essential oils for exercise:

  • Bergamot: One of the best supplements for exercise and balancing the central nervous system, bergamot will help you feel your best when you’re pounding the pavement and working up a sweat.
  • Eucalyptus: Freshly invigorating, eucalyptus is a natural decongestant and also helps boost energy levels while clearing brain fog. Try adding this essential oil to your routine for an extra pick-me-up.
  • Lemongrass: Citrusy and invigorating, this is one of the best supplements for exercise because it will help you clear your mind and engage your senses. This essential oil is helpful before a game of pickleball or an early morning barre class.
  • Orange: Known for producing positive and happy vibes, orange essential oils can help reduce anxiety and increase in heart rate.
  • Peppermint: Great for boosting moods, peppermint essential oils also work well to regulate your breathing during exercise. Use peppermint essential oils before you head out for an evening run or a weekend bike ride.

Plus, it has to be said, while essential oils possess their own unique benefits — research has shown that they can also amplify the benefits of CBD too.  


Mushrooms growing on a log before they are turned into one of the best supplements for exercise.

Adaptogenic mushrooms have some of the most powerful fitness-enhancing effects of any natural substance — making it one of the best supplements for exercise. After all, adaptogenic mushrooms can increase muscular endurance, shorten recovery times, and promote full-body oxygenation. 

Once comprehensive review study put it this way: “More than 130 medicinal functions are thought to be produced by medicinal mushrooms (MMs) and fungi, including antitumor, immunomodulating, antioxidant, radical scavenging, cardiovascular, antihypercholesterolemic, antiviral, antibacterial, antiparasitic, antifungal, detoxification, hepatoprotective, antidiabetic, and other effects.”

Long story short, ‘shrooms just may become your fitness plan’s best friend. 

Start your exercise journey today

Fitness and exercise is for everyone. No matter what anyone tells you — it’s for every type of body and everybody. Don’t be afraid to try some of these best supplements for exercise — I can’t wait to see how it improves your daily fitness routine.