CBD & Athletic Performance: Recover Faster, Go Harder
Are sore, achy muscles, pain, or performance anxiety slowing you down? If there were a safer way to manage chronic sports pains than by using NSAIDs and opioids, would you consider it?
CBD is an all-natural anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving compound with powerful, relaxing properties found primarily in the Hemp plant. In this article, you’ll learn about how it could boost your athletic potential and enhance your quality of life today!
What is CBD? It’s a compound produced within the mature, resinous flowers of female hemp plants with numerous health benefits. Short for cannabidiol, CBD is just one of over 120+ naturally occurring hemp compounds being for their therapeutic potential.
Is CBD like Marijuana? CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical, meaning it doesn’t induce the intoxicating “high” or hallucinogenic effects associated with THC and marijuana.
Is CBD safe? CBD has one of the highest safety profiles of any therapeutic substance, with little to no adverse side effects. It exerts no clinical signs of dependence or addiction and has been shown to have numerous benefits and highly therapeutic potential in a number of health conditions.
Keep reading to learn why CBD is perfect for any type of athlete who is looking to rest deeper, recover faster, and train harder!
CBD for Athletes
Training is hard work and dedicated athletes understand how important it is to help the body manage its impact on the body.
One of the best ways to help a tired body recover is by lowering post-performance inflammation and pain, helping to boost the recovery process.
However, many of the substances used by athletes today to achieve better recovery results have harsh side effects, ultimately reducing athletic potential and health in general.
Many athletes have traditionally turned to NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Ibuprofen or Aspirin, and for serious injuries, they are often prescribed opioid-based painkillers.
Risks of Traditional Athletic Supplements
Scientific studies have revealed that NSAIDs cause horrific side effects to the gastrointestinal organs, as well as increase the risks of stroke or heart attack. Furthermore, NSAIDs lose their effectiveness rather quickly, leading to the need for higher dosages that exponentially increases the risks of side effects.
Ultimately, the lack of NSAID effectiveness results in overusing NSAIDs for an extended period of time, increased health risks, and reduced athletic potential.
In the case of opioid-based painkillers, I think it goes without saying that these types of drugs are very dangerous. By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of the epidemic of overdose deaths and addiction plaguing the USA.
Opioids are often very effective and needed, but they also have huge drawbacks that should be considered by athletes seeking long-lasting relief from chronic pain.
Furthermore, studies indicate that opioid-based medicines aren’t always effective for everyone, or at treating all types of pain. Chronic pain and neuropathic pain are two common types of pain experienced by athletes that opioids are often unable to treat effectively.
Similarly to NSAIDs, opioids also quickly lose effectiveness, leading to unsafe dosages being taken for extended periods of time. This is too often the path by which athletes become addicted to painkillers, needing more and more to ease the stressful symptoms of chronic pain and inflammation.
Now, let’s take a look at the benefits of CBD in relation to traditional methods of boosting the recovery process.
The Endocannabinoid System
CBD has scientifically validated benefits to health that are perfect for athletes who want to recover faster and go harder. Before we show you how CBD can enhance athletic potential, let us briefly explain a little on biology and CBD.
Research shows that CBD improves the tone and activity of what’s known as the endocannabinoid system. According to studies, this system is intimately correlated to nearly every aspect of how the body balances health and wellness, especially muscle growth and stamina.
CBD boosts endocannabinoid signaling, which assists in the regulation of the body’s primary homeostatic systems including,
- Digestive system
- Sleep and wake regulation
- Stress response
- Pain perception
- And more
Studies have also shown that CBD enhances endocannabinoid system activity by inhibiting specific metabolic enzymes that degrade cannabinoids, and also by targeting certain neuro-receptors responsible for various functions in the body including,
- Cannabinoid receptors
- Vanilloid receptors
- Serotonin receptors
- Dopamine receptors
- And others
Extensive investigation has identified many ways in which CBD acts in humans, however further research is still warranted to help researchers continue narrowing down the specific pathways of CBD’s benefits.
CBD Optimizes Athletic Potential, Research Shows
A recent scientific paper published by Frontier Science is nothing short of groundbreaking, and the implications of its findings for athletes and CBD are profound!
According to the lead researcher and author, Lawrence M. Schwartz, faculty of the Department of Biology at the Morrill Science center at the University of Massachusetts –
“Cannabidiol (CBD) plays an important role to enhance in a completely natural way the increase of myonuclei and prevent any damage to muscle and tendon which leads to degenerative and aging processes by inhibiting the COX-2 pathway and regulates cortisol levels (“stress hormones”) during and after work-out.”
His new research shows that extra nuclei gained during exercise persist even after a muscle shrinks due to disease or aging – and can be mobilized rapidly to facilitate bigger gains on retraining.
According to Schwartz, since the World Anti-Doping Agency lifted its ban on CBD, many fitness professionals and athletes use CBD as the staple for their high-performance fitness regimens to build muscle and boost stamina.
25% of people struggle to achieve deep REM sleep, he says. However, with the support of CBD, regular deep REM sleep can be achieved to augment protein synthesis for building muscle tissue at the most optimum time – when growth inhibiting cortisol levels are at a minimum.
Chronic inflammation, pain, and stress on the body can inhibit muscle growth, Schwartz writes. “According to a 2018 Brazilian study, CBD works directly with the endocannabinoid system to interfere with cortisol secretion, a biological stress compound.”
He also says that this effect can impede the breakdown of muscle mass and help athletes to build more muscle.
However, one aspect of CBD and muscle health that benefits athletes greatly that Schwartz neglected though is the compound’s anti-spastic properties that can help reduce cramps and other types of sports injuries.
Studies show that cannabidiol has incredibly powerful natural, muscle relaxing properties that can benefit not only athletes, but also people with severe musculoskeletal conditions such as MS.
Learn More With Millie CBD
To briefly recap what we’ve learned in this article about CBD’s benefits for athletes:
- Increases time spent in deep REM, optimizing muscle growth and recovery
- Pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties
- Natural, muscle relaxing properties
- Calming, anti-anxiety and anti-depressant like effects
- Enhances cognitive performance under stress or related to injury
In conclusion, CBD helps athletes relax deeper, sleep better, and recover faster, enhancing performance and improving factors related to overall health and wellness.
If there were ever a group that could benefit from using CBD, it’s definitely athletes and recreationally active people. With better, faster recovery, and an optimized and balanced endocannabinoid system, you too can get back to the top of your game with CBD.
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