5 Ways CBD Can Benefit Athletes

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CBD, the mega-cannabinoid said to tame inflammation, rid anxiety, give us an energy boost, and so much more, is now being sought after by professional athletes.

The therapeutic cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant (more formally regarded as cannabidiol), interacts with our body’s Endocannabinoid System, or ECS, full of naturally-occurring cannabinoids, to keep us at peak levels of health. This coupling provides balance and harmony so we can live our best lives yet.

While CBD products can help anyone – yes, literally anyone – improve their health and wellbeing, athletes can benefit from the supplement in a special way, as their overactive lifestyles are next-level compared to the rest of us whose “intense” workouts consist of a 60-minute indoor cycling class.

Professional athletes (including those of us with a particularly overactive lifestyle) are turning to CBD for both a pre-workout boost and post-workout recovery. NFL players and Olympic champions may be in perfect shape, but all of that running and pumping iron wears on the body’s organs, muscle tissue, and joints, which means it needs repairing afterward.

Enter CBD!

Here are 5 ways CBD can benefit athletic performance:

CBD Offers an Instant Energy Boost Pre-Workout

While many people take CBD to get a better night’s rest or calm their nerves before speaking in public, CBD is actually an incredible supplement for energy. In the same way caffeine from a cup of coffee or protein shake will allow athletes to work harder and longer, CBD works in a similar manner, but without the jitters, the crash or the caffeine headache.

Taking CBD in this manner results in a more effective workout.

CBD Stimulates Athletes’ Appetites

Remember the ECS mentioned earlier? When an overly active individual takes CBD, many good things happen. Your mind becomes clearer, you feel better prepared to take on the day and your gut health improves significantly.
Athletes like powerlifters and MMA fighters have demanding eating regimens. What athletes are finding out is that CBD encourages them to take in more calories than they might have otherwise, helping to restore energy burned off and provide better mental clarity.

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CBD increases the levels of two key hunger-regulation hormones – ghrelin and leptin – without significantly altering insulin levels, making the cannabinoid a choice substance for fitness fanatics who need to keep their meals and snacking in constant check.

CBD Tames Inflammation From Sore Muscles

When you’re tearing your muscle tissue down regularly, your body is going to yell at you. In this case, in the form of inflamed and painful muscle strains. For professional athletes, this is just another day at the office so to speak, and moreover, for athletes switching sports, they begin using muscles they haven’t utilized in years, making their bodies constantly inflamed.

Thankfully, CBD contains both anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. Causes of muscle spasms in athletes include muscle strains, dehydration, and damage or trauma to the nerves or spinal cord. CBD has the ability to reduce or prevent muscle spasms completely.

CBD Aids in Pain Management For Sports-Related Injuries

After an intense workout or training session, you will most likely feel tired, worn out, sore, and even nauseous. While we have been accustomed to popping an Advil like it’s nothing when we feel a joint stiffening or muscle strain, over-the-counter drugs like Ibuprofen and Aleve are actually extremely dangerous, especially if you take them regularly.

For this reason, it’s suggested athletes stick to a more powerful, less toxic and naturally occuring substance, like CBD, to help with the pain. Athletes can use CBD topically or orally to reduce or relieve their pain.

How does it work? CBD interacts with serotonin and vanilloid receptors in the brain, which affect mood and the perception of pain.

CBD Helps with Post-Workout Recovery

Pain and post-workout recovery tend to go hand in hand with professional football, basketball, and baseball players. And if that pain isn’t addressed, the lingering pain over time from the wear and tear on the human body can get bad enough that it prevents athletes from engaging in physical activity at all.

In addition to CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects, the healing compound is also known for reducing both chronic and neuropathic pain.

A major part of an athlete’s job is to keep their head in the game – how many times have we heard that? – on the court or field, and in life. Athletes, just like the rest of society, suffer from periods of anxiety throughout their careers, often stemming from fierce competition, fears around injury recovery, and common pre-game angst.

CBD’s wildly popular anti-anxiety properties could prove necessary in the sports world for this reason.

TAKEAWAYS

  • For any athlete that trains hard, CBD may be your – and your muscles’ – saving grace
  • CBD is a natural pain-reliever that helps to alleviate pain during and after exercise. Athletes can take CBD directly following their workouts to continue managing pain from achy muscles, either orally or topically
  • CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that offers protection for the body’s heart, lungs and brain during and after workouts and injuries athletic professionals commonly face
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