A large part of people who are immersed in the world of fitness and are very serious about building muscle mass, spend an enormous amount of time, energy, and above all money to try to reach their goal.
They tend to be very disciplined people and pay special attention to detail when it comes to their physique, from the frequency of their meals to the smallest detail in terms of the calories in them.
But no matter how disciplined they are, they are still human and it is normal that under so much stress they look for ways to relax from time to time.
Now that weed is legal in several U.S. states, hundreds of athletes and fitness personalities have begun to seek it out for recreational purposes, to relax, and to clear their minds.
Not before asking questions like: Does weed kill gains? Does weed affect my performance? Will weed make me stronger?
This has led great researchers and experts to debunk several myths about marijuana, while at the same time putting an end to the stereotype of the lazy stoner who lives in his parent’s basement.
You’re probably here because you also want to have the answer to those questions and know how weed can benefit or harm your fitness.
So… let’s not waste time and get to it!
Effects of Weed On Your Hormones
The American Academy of Family Physicians conducted a study where they showed that a group of men who used weed for a prolonged period of time had a reduction in testosterone by at least 44% compared to men who did not use marijuana.
Which in part means that weed does kill gains. If only we were to take that study as the basis for our research.
However, this is not the case. We have obtained many more studies that cast doubt on this finding, because they analyzed a group of chronic weed users for much longer periods of time, without finding any effect on testosterone levels!
Even so, it is very important to be very careful with the levels of THC we consume if we don’t want the weed to kill the gains.
Studies have shown that THC was the main cause of the decrease in growth hormone (responsible for helping us to have more muscle mass).
In addition, it is well known that THC is stored in fat cells and if you are preparing for a competition, burning fat can intoxicate you while increasing THC levels in the blood.
This could easily disqualify you from competition!
Metabolic Effects Caused By Smoking Weed
We have previously discussed how marijuana can manipulate our metabolism, making us feel hungry even if we have just eaten.
The evidence shows that this will clearly depend from individual to individual, however, those who are affected by this side effect may also come to feel the smells of food more intensely.
And this is something to be very careful about so that weed doesn’t kill your gains. Although marijuana does not lower your metabolism, it will significantly increase your appetite and desire for high-fat and high-carbohydrate foods.
Pros and Cons of Using Weed for Fitness
Consuming marijuana affects reaction time, making us a little slower than normal, but it can also result in better tissue oxygenation, as it acts as a vasodilator.
Therefore, it is clear that the consumption of weed (as with everything in this life) has its negative and positive aspects for fitness and we explain them all below:
Benefits of weed
- Improves sleep: THC has the characteristic ability to induce sleep and we all know the importance of a good night’s sleep for overall fitness.
- Relieves pain: The herb has anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve all types of pain, including chronic and acute pain.
- Improves muscle spasms: Cannabis has shown positive results in the treatment of muscle spasms, which can certainly be beneficial for those suffering from multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. But also for those who practice sports, helping in muscle recovery!
Risks of weed
- Increases the likelihood of depression: Prolonged cannabis use can dramatically increase the likelihood of depression, which can be detrimental to fitness, as it decreases motivation and causes many other physical side effects.
- Increases the likelihood of a heart attack: Marijuana tends to increase our heart rate, which combined with a history of heart problems and exercise, can be fatal to our health. Before starting any exercise regimen you should consult your doctor!
- It damages your lungs: All athletes know that healthy lungs are essential for good physical performance. Marijuana smoke, like tobacco smoke, can damage your lungs and prevent you from giving 100% in your physical activities.
Pro athletes Who Smoke Weed
Thanks to the popularity and legality of cannabis in the country in recent years, many things have changed. There are now hundreds of world-class professional athletes who use weed and still remain at the top of the world.
If you’re one of those wondering: Does weed kill gains?, here’s a short list of professional athletes who may change your mind:
- Conor McGregor: The 33-year-old UFC champion has smoked marijuana joints in public on countless occasions. He also has his own line of cannabis-based recovery products.
- Calvin Johnson: A member of the NFL Hall of Fame, he has admitted in many interviews that he smoked cannabis after most games. He currently has his own marijuana business.
- Megan Rapinoe: The U.S. women’s soccer star is an ambassador and customer of her twin sister’s CBD brand. She uses CBD gels and oils for muscle recovery.
- Randy Moss: This NFL star was one of the first major sports stars to publicly admit to using marijuana after his games. And he did it while he was in the prime of his career!
Does smoking affect muscle growth?
Some studies indicate that smoking damages the muscles and weakens them in the process by preventing the blood vessels from supplying the necessary oxygen and nutrients. However, there is no 100% credible source for this.
Can bodybuilders smoke?
There are many bodybuilders who smoke marijuana without problems, even big stars of mixed martial arts do it and are ambassadors of its benefits.
Does weed make you stronger?
There is no evidence that marijuana use makes you stronger, bigger or faster. Cannabis is not a muscle or performance enhancer, but it does have characteristics to help you relax your muscles.
Based on the information obtained from the various studies conducted, it is difficult to answer the question does weed kill gains? We have already seen that most of the research comes to the conclusion that the hormonal systems of people who use cannabis are not affected.
Even so, there is a possibility that smoking weed could increase the amount of estrogen and body fat in our bodies, which would clearly reduce athletic performance.
That said, for a person who prepares their meals carefully and works hard daily in the gym to achieve the body of their dreams, total abstinence from marijuana is the best option.