Exercise and Fitness
How CBD Oil is Helpful for Fitness & Sports Performance
by Kelsi Burley
Exercise puts a lot of stress on the body, and with increased performance comes the need for quick recovery and a way to deal with inflammation. CBD presents a number of benefits for athletes and fitness nerds, and this is due to the dozens of healing properties contained therein. For most fitness experts, having a recovery plan and a pain management treatment is critical to reaching peak performance, and CBD might be the ideal compound for maximizing performance.
Benefits of CBD for Athletes
When compared to common pain relievers such as ibuprofen, there is a risk of continued use, and for an athlete, this means risking performance levels and possibly getting hooked to opioids. In such a landscape, it makes sense that sports performers are looking for a natural, reliable pain reliever that also works as a performance booster. In case you’re looking to try CBD post-workout, here are 6 amazing benefits:
1) Reduces Stress Hormones Released through Physical Activity
This might come as a surprise for someone who’s new to exercise, but physical activity causes stress in the body, and following each workout session, you need a plan for recovery, otherwise the muscles get sore. When the body is working harder than usual, the adrenal glands release stress hormones like cortisol, and when stress hormones are released in high quantities in the blood, the muscles start to wear out. CBD reduces stress hormones and the anxiety that comes from sustaining a fight-or-flight state for extended periods.
2) Powerful Pain Reliever
Pain and inflammation are common side effects of exercise, but it shouldn’t interfere with a well-established workout routine.If your daily workout is causing you pain in the muscles, then failing to address the problem might eventually lead you to stop the workouts entirely. Taking CBD in any form will reduce pain sensitivity, speed up recovery, and in the long term, it prevents tissue damage especially during strength training.
The effect cannabidiol has on inflammation also means that minor workout injuries won’t lead to more serious conditions, and more importantly, you will be able to continue with your day-to-day training without jeopardizing your health. Use CBD oil or topicals infused with CBD to massage the muscles before and after workouts, and use it for the joints as well.
3) Muscle Spasms
Muscle spasms caused by pain and inflammation are treated indirectly when you start using CBD in your training. Keep in mind that CBD works within the natural endocannabinoid system (ECS), which means that nerve receptors responsible for muscle spasms can be targeted by engaging CB1 receptors. To learn more about cannabidiol in general, check out CBDCentral.com.
Stiff muscles and overexertion are common causes of spasms, and while there are severe conditions that cause spasms – such as Multiple Sclerosis –, most cases of muscle spasms are a result of dehydration, overexertion, and other effects of exercise. CBD works as a natural relaxant, meaning it can relax the muscles following a workout.
4) Improve Sleep Quality
Sleep quality is critical in fitness and sports performance; however, a strict exercise routine can lead to high stress levels and interfere with sleep quality. The problem is,the only way to keep up with exercise in the first place is to make sure you’re getting enough shut eye to give the body time to heal and recover. The body heals itself during sleep and failing to get at least 7 hours of sleep messes up with a number of essential processes including cell regeneration, muscle growth, and the immune system. So how does CBD help? It increases melatonin levels, which helps to balance the sleep/wake cycle; but aside from that, CBD also relaxes body and mind, and lowers stress levels. All these things lead to better sleep and better health.
5) Helps in Weight Management
You may have heard that CBD boosts appetite, and as an athlete or fitness enthusiast, this might sound counterproductive because who wants to get fat right? The truth is, cannabinoids such as CBD and THC do have some effect on appetite in general, but none of them actually make you gain weight. Cannabidiol can make it easier to manage weight through its action on CB2 brain receptors – which determine things like mood, appetite, sleep, etc. With a balanced hormone function, weight becomes much easier to manage.
It’s probably not the best thing to think of CBD as a weight loss magic pill, but if you’re struggling with food cravings, eating disorders, or just an out-of-whack appetite, then CBD might be useful in regulating some of the hormones involved, including balancing your metabolism.
6) Reduces Fears & Anxieties
Pro athletes know all about anxiety and fear, especially when competing at a high-stakes event. The good news is, taking CBD just an hour before an event has been shown to reduce anxiety significantly. This works for athletes when preparing for an event, but it can be used by anybody who experiences strong episodes of anxiety. What’s good about using CBD in this way is that it reduces stress levels while also boosting performance by relaxing muscles, encouraging oxygen supply, and enhancing mental focus to boost performance.
The Future of CBD in Sports
Athletes have been relying on over-the-counter non-steroidalanti-inflammation drugs(NSAIDs) for years, and research now shows that NSAIDs may not be as great as we once thought. Ultradistance runners in particular are advised to use other forms of treatment for pain and inflammation to reduce the chance of renal damage. But even for casual workouts, using NSAIDs can cause serious damage to your health over time.
Inflammation in the intestines is a major reason for endurance athletes dropping out of races, and CBD can help with GI distress so that performance isn’t affected. CBD can be ingested before an event, or taken as part of a daily training regimen as a way to stay in top shape. It doesn’t show up in blood tests, and it can be taken in the form of pills, capsules, or as an oil. It can also be infused into sports drinks and topical creams to be used in massaging the muscles after training. The value of CBD in sports cannot be understated, which is why we’re likely to see more of it being used in mainstream sports.
About the Author
As a nature/natural-living enthusiast and passionate researcher with ten years in the cannabis industry, Kelsi enjoys playing her part to educate the world on the benefits of alternative health and medication options