Athletes are no strangers to using a variety of supplements for enhancing their performance. Stimulants, steroids, protein powders, BCAAs, there are so many products that can help you give you that extra edge. Lately, CBD products have gained a lot of attention in the sports world for being featured in major publications like Outside Magazine and Runner’s World. With this, more and more athletes are curious as to how CBD can help them recover and perform better. In this article, we will understand how CBD and athletic performance go hand in hand.
Is CBD Actually Effective & Is It Safe?
There are no enough studies to claim a no-doubt statement that CBD is beneficial for improving an athlete’s performance. But in the studies that have been done, there are promising and positive results for athletes who use CBD. Moreover, there have been zero pieces of evidence that CBD does any harm to the body. The best part is that overdosing of CBD is not a health hazard and it does not have any side effects so you won’t feel “high” like with TCH. If you are worried about CBD giving you any major disease in the future or that it will make you lose that next match, then you can let that worry go.
How Can CBD Help Athletes?
#1: CBD May Reduce Pain
Inflammation is the biggest barrier for any athlete. According to a study in 2010, cannabinoids are potent anti-inflammatory agents. It can fight inflammation and stave off soreness without leaving any side effects.
Traditionally inflammatory pain is treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil (ibuprofen) or Aleve. However, long term use of such drugs is extremely detrimental to your health as they have been tied to heart attacks, kidney damage, gastrointestinal bleeding, strokes and more. CBD, on the other hand, is considered to be a better treatment for inflammatory pain.
#2: CBD May Help With Game-day Stress
Everyone gets a little (or somewhat extra) stressed before the big game or event. Even when not diagnosed with anxiety disorders, athletes may feel some emotional and mental strain. If not addressed, it can anchor around your neck, weighing you down and holding you back from performing your best.
CBD is most touted for its ability to reduce stress. Studies claim that CBD can activate 5-HT1A receptors in the brain that results in an antidepressant-like effect. It has also shown to reduce cortisol levels, the hormone that produces stress in your brain.
#3: CBD May Speed Recovery & Reduce Fatigue
Think of your metabolic state after a tough workout or exhaustive game. Body temperature is high, cortisol levels are through the roof, muscle proteins have broken down and stored sugar in the form of glycogen is almost depleted. This is not a kind of balance your body should be in. Beneficiary plants like CBD can help correct such imbalances. Being rich in antioxidants, CBD helps reduce oxidative damage so that your body can get back in action faster.
#4: CBD May Stimulate The Immune System
There have been so many cases where athletes trained for months and months before the big day just to fall sick right before it was time to perform. CBD oil can help you strengthen your immune system. The reason for this is that CBD is high in antioxidants, which are known to fight the free radicals that can weaken your immune system.
#5: CBD Might Help Curb Appetite & Lose Weight
Diet and weight management are as important as physical training for athletes. According to a study, adults who use or have used CBD tend to weigh less than non-users. The study also suggests that CBD itself may help with weight loss through alterations in our fat cells. Not only does it help with weight management, but it has also shown to reduce appetite and to increase the feeling of fullness. It has been found to improve insulin function, which helps you feel great after you eat.
#6: CBD Might Help You Get A Good Night’s Sleep
There is a reason why elite athletes sleep a lot. More sleep = more recovery time for tired muscles. A sound sleep of at least 7 to 8 hours is vital for someone who’s been training hard. Poor sleep can hinder both athletic recovery and performance. Rodger Federer had once said, “If I don’t sleep 11 to 12 hours per day, it’s not right.”
Usually, the root of sleep problems is associated with anxiety and stress. Fortunately, CBD can help you out with that. CBD is shown to reduce lower stress hormones like cortisol that could otherwise interfere with regular sleep cycles.
Is CBD Legal?
Yes, CBD is permitted by the World Anti-Doping Agency as well as the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. In 2018, both the agencies removed CBD from the list of prohibited substances. However, it is important to note that other cannabinoids, such as THC and synthetic cannabinoids, still remain prohibited.
The only way to get pure CBD is to make sure that you consume CBD that do not contain any “tagalong” compounds from the Cannabis plant; it should be 100% pure CBD. If you are a professional athlete competing at a high level, then its best to get check the official regulations of your competition.
Professional Athletes Have Already Started Using CBD
- Caleb Marshall – Dancer, coach and an online fitness trainer uses CBD to alleviate anxiety and soothe soreness
- Terrell Davis, NFL - A former running back for the Denver Broncos uses CBD to reduce inflammation in knees and joints. He says that his career would have been longer if he had had access to CBD earlier.
- Ricky Williams, NFL - A medical cannabis advocate used CBD to cope with anxiety.
- Derrick Morgan, NFL, started looking into cannabidiol to help after reading about a concussion-caused brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) that is common within NFL players.
- Nate Diaz, MMA fighter used CBD for healing and dealing with inflammation
- Eugene Monroe, NFL is a CBD activist who is passionate about stopping the over-prescription of addictive opioids to athletes.
- Liz Letchford, Tonal trainer and San Francisco-based fitness icon use CBD for reducing inflammation and soothing stress.
How Can Athletes Use CBD?
There are different forms of CBD products and the consumption method is usually a matter of preference or convenience. You can ingest it through capsules, pills, oil and even gummies. There are topical creams, lotions, balms, and bath salts also available that provide quick relief. Most of the athletes use organic CBD oil for recovery and improving performance. You can buy CBD oil here.
The strength of the dosage are typically broken into 150-250 mg, 500-750 mg and 1000-2500 mg of CBD per dose. However, when it comes to dosage, there is no standard dose that delivers consistent results to everyone. It varies with each individual. We recommend starting with a lower dose and then work your way up (increase dosage every few days) to find a quantity that works best for you.
It’s Time To Give CBD A Try
A small yet ever-growing number of athletes have already discovered numerous benefits of CBD and its time for you to go out and try for yourself. You may experience that you are able to recover faster, sleep better, play harder and even play calmer.
If you still have any questions relating to CBD, comment below and I would happily answer them.