Friday, July 19, 2024

The Truth About Marijuana And Muscle Mass

A lot of time is spent in the guy working on chest and legs…but what about marijuana and muscle mass?

When you are young, it is easier to work out and look good. But if you are into competing or just want to look great, it still take discipline, diet and determination. As you age, you have to focus on it even more, but is using a little weed every now and then undermining your efforts?  What is the truth about marijuana and muscle mass.

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The good news is, all a man has to do is fix his diet and dedicate time to cardio and strength training, and he can get himself back into fighting shape. You can’t turn back the clock, but you can wind it up again. In fact, many fitness conscious men claim to be in the best condition of their lives around middle age. It takes a lot of work to reach the goal though. After all, the body of an older male just doesn’t respond and recover like it did when 20. Which is a key reason men, especially older ones, have to be careful not to do anything that can destroy their gains. 

want to get fit in 2018 cannabis can help
Photo by Brodie Vissers via Burst

Marijuana is legal to over 50% of the population. And it is starting a new heathly “ish” trend by having people drink less and consume more.  The beer companies are the first to feel the pain, but with Gen Z really slowing up on drinking, more changes are coming. Since cannabis can help with a workout, more fitness-minded people are open to adding it to the routine. Some athletes swear it makes workouts more productive, some use it as part of their recovery process (to combat inflammation), and others just do it because it is fun, relaxing and doesn’t come with the mega-calorie count of alcoholic beverages.

As men age, there can be a drop in testosterone, the male sex hormone produced in the testes and adrenal glands. If testosterone levels drop, it makes it difficult to build lean muscle mass, maintain bone density and create an Insta worthy chiseled physique. Avoiding things like alcohol and fatty foods can help keep testosterone in check. So can lifting heavy weights. There is some research out there, however, suggests consuming marijuana might be harmful to testosterone levels.

Photo by Flickr user ThoroughlyReviewed

But what is the marijuana and muscle mass. Can the herb, something with therapeutic properties, really sabotage your fitness goal?  Research has not given an answer. But it does seem light or moderate use is harmless toward your muscle goal. Heavier yes may have an impact, but more research needs to be done.

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A study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology says it could: “Cannabinoid administration acutely alters multiple hormonal systems, including the suppression of the gonadal steroids, growth hormone, prolactin, and thyroid hormone and the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis,” researchers wrote. This means marijuana users might have a tougher time keeping the testosterone levels needed to get ripped. But researchers admit that “the effects in humans have been inconsistent,” and they believe “tolerance” may even play a role. 

Photo by Greg Roebuck

Other studies have found heavy marijuana use can lead to dramatic reductions in testosterone, while some have shown otherwise. One study indicated testosterone levels decrease after consuming weed, but those levels seem to return to normal after 24 hours. All in all the ill-effects of marijuana on testosterone remain a mystery. Still, it is more likely a man will harm his testosterone production with a junk food dieand a lack of exercise rather than smoking a moderate amount of marijuana.  

RELATED: Smoking Marijuana Before Exercises Can Increase Workout Productivity

Men in their forties trying to get back into shape should consult with a doctor and have their testosterone levels checked. There are many replacement therapies available for men. It is important to be forthright with your healthcare provider about any marijuana use, as treatment may need to be altered to account for this variable. There’s a chance it won’t matter to them at all.  

If you are worried about marijuana destroying your gains, don’t. With the proper focus on eating right and a consistent workout regimen, your body should respond positively, with or without pot.


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