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Marijuana And Bodybuilding: Does Weed Affect Muscle Growth?
Is there any negative connection between marijuana and bodybuilding? Does smoking pot in moderation have any direct physical effects on the body’s muscle building and fat burning processes?
I’m not here to advocate that anyone smoke or not smoke pot, and my only goal here is to give the objective facts as I see them. Also keep in mind that we’re specifically discussing bodybuilding and marjiuana here and nothing else. Whatever other health effects it may or may not have are beyond the scope of this post.
The main areas of concern when it comes to weed and bodybuilding revolve around levels of important hormones such as testosterone, growth hormone and estrogen.
However, the current research that is available (references below) simply does not show any significant, long-lasting effects as a result of marijuana consumption.
Testosterone: All we see here are short term decreases that return to baseline fairly quickly, and even when test levels do drop, they still stay within the normal range. Heavy ongoing use may be a different issue, but moderate use should not be an issue in this area.
Growth Hormone: Decreases only occur when very large doses of pure THC are given. One study actually showed an increase in growth hormone levels as a result of smoking two joints.
Estrogen: The results here are mixed, with some studies showing negative effects and others showing no effect. However, very large doses were used in the studies indicating that only heavy, frequent use would likely be a problem if at all.
From a direct physical standpoint, I currently don’t see any evidence to indicate that moderate marjiuana consumption would have any direct negative effect on your ability to build muscle or lose fat.
Heavy frequent use may be another issue, but even then the research is inconclusive.
The only situation where marijuana and bodybuilding would overlap is if it causes behavioural changes in you that then carry over to your fitness goals, such as over-eating or skipping workouts. In that case, obviously there would be consequences.
However, if all else remains equal (training, nutrition, supplementation etc.), weed and bodybuilding don’t seem to be connected in any measurable way from a pure physical standpoint.
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