For any athlete looking to improve, there’s a new supplement on the market that offers unique benefits for athletes: CBD.
Thanks to how CBD impacts the body, it may help to boost performance, speed up recovery, and reduce pain.
Read on to learn more about how you can use CBD to improve your performance and your health.
Why Athletes Should Use CBD
When you work out, you put stress on your body to encourage it to grow. By breaking down muscle fibers, you allow them to grow back, stronger and faster than they were before.
But anyone who has ever pushed themselves hard when training knows that this process comes with difficulties. If you push too hard, recovery can take you out of the game for days at a time, and injuries are even harder to bounce back from.
Even when you’re physically at your best, if your energy levels are low or you feel stressed or depressed, it can tough to perform well. At its extreme, fatigue, depression, or anxiety can keep you from getting out of the house, stifling your growth altogether.
Fortunately, nutritional supplements exist that can help us take on all these challenges and be the best that we can be. The newest performance-enhancing natural supplement to hit the market is CBD.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant that offers impressive advantages for human health. CBD has been found to:
- Fight inflammation
- Combat oxidative damage
- Improve mood
- Reduce stress
- Enhance blood flow
- Protect brain health and function
- Relieve pain
With such a long list of potential benefits, it’s no wonder that more and more athletes are adding CBD to their supplement regimen. Read on to learn about the five major advantages athletes supplementing with CBD experience.
1. CBD May Speed Recovery and Fight Fatigue
When you work out, you put stress on your body to encourage it to grow. This physical stress results in increased oxidative damage, too much of which can harm performance and slow recovery. What’s more, it can lead to mental and physical fatigue.
By reducing oxidative damage, CBD may help athletes recover faster and perform better. The faster we recover, the more we can work out and the better we’ll feel when we do.
2. CBD Might Help to Reduce Pain
Inflammatory pain is the most common pain that athletes experience. This is the type of pain that occurs when you work your muscles to their max or when you injure yourself. Inflammatory pain is traditionally treated with over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil (ibuprofen) or Aleve.
Unfortunately, long-term use of NSAIDs is incredibly detrimental to your health. Excessive use of these painkillers has been tied to heart attacks, strokes, gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney damage, and more.
Researchers are beginning to examine the potential of using CBD as a safer treatment for inflammatory pain. Animal studies have found CBD to effectively reduce this type of pain, and if the same holds true for humans, CBD could work as a safer alternative to NSAIDs.
3. CBD Can Promote an Optimal Mood
Most of us have struggled at one time or another with stress, anxiety, or depression. All three of these can deter us from leaving the house and getting active. Even when we push through these emotions, they can wreak havoc on how well we perform.
If you find that pre-game jitters, anxiety, or a depressed mood negatively impact your athletic prowess, CBD may provide relief.
4. CBD Might Help You Get a Good Night’s Sleep
If you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep throughout the night, or sleeping for a full 8 hours, you may be suffering from insomnia.
Poor sleep hinders athletic recovery and performance. We need a full 8 hours for our bodies to heal after a strenuous workout. Plus, when we don’t sleep enough, we won’t be able to give it our all the following day.
If your sleep troubles come from pain, anxiety, or another condition that CBD can help, it may also help you sleep better. But for healthy individuals, limited research suggests that CBD can promote wakefulness.
Try CBD out for yourself if you have sleep troubles to see whether you find improvement. These and other studies suggest that CBD may serve those with conditions that make sleep harder, but not healthy individuals.
5. CBD Could Help You Lose Weight
One study of more than 4,000 adults found that those who use, or have used, marijuana, tend to weigh less than non-users. While this study only outlines the link between whole-plant cannabis use and weight, new research suggests that CBD itself may promote weight loss through alterations in our fat cells.
The idea that all fat is “bad” and leads to weight gain is a common misconception. Humans have two types of fat cells: brown and white. White fat is our “bad” fat that leads to excess fat storage and weight gain. But you can actually change how your fat cells work by turning this white fat into brown fat. Research suggests that the higher your quantities of brown fat, the lower your BMI is likely to be.
CBD increases the browning of adipose tissue, per the findings of a preliminary study. Simply by taking CBD, you may find weight loss easier.
Professional Athletes Are Already Using CBD
With how new CBD is to the supplement market, there is still a lot of research that needs to be done before we can know exactly what to expect. Fortunately, a lot of people around the world are using CBD and sharing their experiences.
Andrew Talansky, a former pro cyclist and triathlete, has touted CBD oil for its benefits following a hip flexor injury. In Outside magazine, Talansky was quoted as saying,
“I took it for a couple of weeks, and there was a noticeable difference immediately. And it wasn’t just that my hip was feeling better. I was less anxious, and I was sleeping better.”
Multiple NFL players too have shared their CBD success stories. Titan’s linebacker Derrick Morgan regularly uses CBD in hopes of preserving his brain and protecting it from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). With the devastating news stories that come out far too often about a football player suffering from CTE, some athletes want to be proactive.
These are just two of countless stories of top athletes using CBD for pain relief and to promote optimal health. More are sure to surface as an increasing number of athletes are allowed to use CBD.
Up until 2017, the World Anti-Doping Agency had CBD on their prohibited substances list, and other organizations are slowly coming around to allowing the use of this powerful health-promoting compound.
How Can I Use CBD to Boost My Performance?
Now that you understand why CBD is one of the hottest supplements for athletes, you’re probably wondering how best to add CBD into your daily routine.
There are two things that you want to consider: what kind of CBD to take, and how you should take it.
Use Full Spectrum Hemp Oil
When purchasing CBD to boost athletic performance, it’s best to look for a full-spectrum CBD oil, also known as full spectrum hemp oil. Full spectrum CBD oil comes from hemp plants and includes not only CBD, but other healthful plant compounds that work alongside CBD to provide an even more powerful effect.
As for what type of product to use, tinctures (dropper bottles with CBD in a carrier oil) and capsules are best. They contain the fewest filler ingredients and are easy to dose properly.
How Much CBD to Take
There is no standard dosage for CBD. Your ideal dose will depend on your physiology and your primary purpose for using CBD. Start with the lowest dose suggested on the product that you purchase, and slowly work your way up over time (increase your dosage every few days) until you find the quantity that works best for you.
It’s Time to Give CBD a Try
Now that you know how CBD can benefit athletes, it’s time for you to go out and see how CBD benefits you. You may find that you recover faster or play harder—you may even enjoy less pain after working out or a boost in your mood and energy levels. There are many ways that a CBD supplement can help to enhance your performance.