CBD has been gaining a lot of attention in the sports world lately, featuring in major publications like Runner’s World and Outside Magazine. More and more athletes are becoming curious about the potential CBD has to improve their performance and help them recover faster from intense workouts.CBD is the supplement of the moment, and everyone is wondering just how effective it is for athletes.
Athletes and competitors are always pushing their bodies. An athlete’s life is all about rigorous training, tough competition, and an optimally functioning body and mind. Athletes across the world work very hard to prepare for their sports events, but they often run into roadblocks such as injuries, pain, and even mental hindrances.
CBD could offer multiple therapeutic applications that are especially useful to athletes and is, therefore, a promising addition to any athlete’s health and wellness regime. In this article, we are going to explore how CBD could improve your sports performance.
CBD and Athletic Performance
Most of us are probably familiar with the infamous “runner’s high.” It’s that magical feeling of hard-earned bliss and fulfillment that you feel after an intense bout of exercise.
Believe it or not, this euphoria is not caused entirely by endorphins – anandamide also plays a part. Anandamide is a fatty acid neurotransmitter that is almost identical to THC. After a workout, anandamide is detectable at elevated levels.
But what exactly is anandamide? It’s the “bliss chemical” naturally produced by the body and is responsible for feelings of euphoria, relaxation, well-being, and pain relief. CBD directly increases the amount of anandamide in the body, which results in increased benefits and decreased side effects.
Using CBD could help to improve sports performance in a number of ways. Here are a few of the benefits that CBD offers, specifically for athletes.
The importance of focus and attention in sports is a no-brainer. Some sports stars take pre-workout supplements containing high amounts of caffeine to improve focus. CBD could also help to enhance focus by reducing stress and anxiety.
Anxiety causes difficulties for all those affected but is especially detrimental to athletes. Anxiety can have a negative impact on decision-making skills, attention, and self-confidence, all of which are important for optimal athletic performance.
Athletes could experience anxiety due to fear of performing poorly, the pressure to perform well, fear of injury, and career uncertainty, among other things. Fortunately, CBD is known for its anti-anxiety properties.
CBD interacts with various receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that regulate anxiety and fear and has been shown to hinder the fear response. Using CBD can help athletes to suppress the amount of anxiety they feel, which may indirectly improve overall performance.
Pain and Inflammation Relief
Studies have discovered that CBD is effective for reducing pain, including stiff joints, as well as musculoskeletal pain from exercise. The pain that athletes feel when their muscles are fatigued is typically caused by microscopic muscle tears and inflammation.
Research also suggests that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that play a role in pain management. CBD may be very useful for reducing inflammation and better preparing the body for another workout.
Help with Injuries
Recovering from an injury and entering back into the game often takes a lot of time and rehab, but your own body may make this process even more difficult.
The inflammatory response that occurs alongside injury and helps immobilize the affected part of the body is often excessive. This can cause muscle atrophy and increased susceptibility to further injury. This is why athletes try to reduce swelling when possible.
Reducing inflammation is one of the most well-known properties of CBD, making it particularly useful for athletes recovering from both minor and major injuries. Depending on what type of injury you have, CBD could either be taken orally or directly applied to the affected area of the body by means of a CBD topical. Less inflammation means less pain, and hopefully, less time in rehab.
A good night’s sleep and lots of rest are crucial for good sports performance and recovery. Sleep offers the body a chance to regenerate and repair damaged muscle fibers. Research also shows that CBD helps to moderate sleep routines, thereby improving sleep quality and duration.
Boost to the Immune System
We can’t think of anything worse than training and for a big sports event for months or even years, and then falling sick right before the big game. CBD is a great way to boost the immune system.
Not only is CBD helpful during the event or big game, but it can also help to keep you healthy during training, especially in the winter months when you are more likely to fall ill. This is because CBD is high in antioxidants, which lower the risk of infection, and are also excellent for heart health.
Help to Control Weight and Appetite
CBD is great for curbing the appetite and helping to control weight. As an athlete, putting the best foods and supplements into the body is important to increase longevity and enhance performance. If you battle to stick to a diet or want to shed some weight before a big event, CBD can help.
While THC is known for inducing the infamous “munchies,” CBD has proven to do the opposite. It’s great for slowing down the appetite and will also help to keep you feeling fuller for longer. It may also improve insulin function, which leaves you feeling great after you eat, and minimizes the risk of overeating.
CBD and Post-Workout Recovery
As an athlete, the body is subjected to high impact, injury, wear and tear, and fatigue. After a long day of training or at the end of a long event, these effects can be felt intensely and may impact performance thereafter.
Athletes and competitors are continuously pushing their bodies. But, it’s important to realize that the body also needs to recover properly. Whether you’re a pro athlete, weekend warrior, or regular gym-goer, recovery is vital to avoid injuries and ensure maximum performance.
After long practice sessions and workouts, it’s completely normal for athletes to experience swelling and pain in their muscles. Athletes have been consuming NSAIDs and opioids for decades to help relieve pain. However, these medications are more dangerous than they are beneficial.
CBD offers an alternative, safe, natural, and effective way for athletes to deal with everyday wear-and-tear that they experience in their bodies. CBD has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that can help athletes to perform at their best consistently.
Final Thoughts on CBD and Athletic Performance
CBD is taking the sports industry by storm, offering a new and effective way for athletes to optimize performance. It could mark a turning point in how athletes recover from training and ensure that they are performing at their best.
There is still a lot to learn about how CBD works and how it can best be used by athletes. However, research thus far suggests that CBD offers quite a few benefits that can be especially useful for athletes.