A bodybuilder swapped alcohol for weed to sleep better and avoid drinking calories. She said it helped her win her first competition.

A woman poses in a blue bikini for a bodybuilding competition.

Rosie Mattio

  • Marketing firm owner Rosie Mattio loves fitness, and entered her first bodybuilding competition this year.

  • To train, she had to cut her calories. She got rid of alcohol and used cannabis at social gatherings.

  • Mattio found she could sleep better and relieve muscle aches with cannabis, and won her competition.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

For the past seven years, Rosie Mattio has dedicated her free time to fitness. Six days a week, she wakes up at 4:30 to lift weights and go for a run, all while balancing time with her four daughters and work at her marketing company.

In January, she decided to experiment with cannabis while training for a bodybuilding competition, and the results paid off. 40-year-old Mattio won her competition in Florida and told Insider she credits swapping out alcohol for cannabis for helping her get there.

Anecdotal reports from athletes and exercise lovers suggest cannabis can boost workout performance because it helps the brain hyper-focus and make mundane tasks more fun, Dr. Jordan Tishler, an internal medicine physician and the president of the Association of Cannabis Specialists, previously told Insider.

Desperate for more sleep to fuel workouts, Mattio tried cannabis sleep gummies

At first, Mattio, who works with cannabis clients in her work running a public relations firm, turned to cannabis as a sleep aid.

She noticed the less she ate as part of her training diet, the more trouble she had staying asleep. One night, she popped a gummy from the brand Incredibles (which she represents) in her mouth and slept through the night.

That was the confirmation Mattio needed to incorporate cannabis in other forms, including a topical for sore muscles and drinking cannabis beverages instead of alcoholic beverages.

Mattio couldn’t give up bread, so she swapped vodka for cannabis seltzer

Mattio said she tends to eat healthy, but used to enjoy cocktails with friends, clients, and to unwind at the end of the day.

When her bodybuilding trainer said she had to count her nutrients and calories more closely for the competition, Mattio decided alcohol’s empty calories had to go.

“When my calories are so low and I’m so hungry, I want to eat an oatmeal, I want to eat toast, I want to eat bread. You need the energy to train. I don’t want to use my carbohydrates up on a vodka,” Mattio told Insider.

At the same time, Mattio felt empty-handed when she would meet with clients or friends for an after-work drink. She turned to Cann, a fizzy drink with 2 milligrams of THC, the intoxicating chemical compound in cannabis.

Mattio also works with the brand Select, so she tried their squeeze pouches, which contain 5 milligrams of THC. She said the discreet packaging allowed her to carry it in her purse to the bar, where she mixed it with seltzer water over ice.

Eliminating hangovers was one unintended but welcome effect of the switch from alcohol to cannabis, said Mattio.

“I don’t think I would have been able to have any quality of life throughout this competition [without cannabis],” she said.

Now, Mattio is training to run the New York City Marathon in November, and says cannabis remains a part of her routine.

Read the original article on Insider

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