Preliminary studies have backed many of CBD’s medicinal benefits. The cannabis-based compound has been touted as a viable treatment for anxiety, sleep, stress, and inflammation, among other things. But, you shouldn’t restrict CBD’s usage to treating illnesses. You can also utilize CBD improves athletic strength and performance.
Research suggests that CBD’s ability to fight inflammation may reduce muscle soreness. Moreover, as a sleep-aid, CBD may help overcome insomnia and improve recovery times. Cannabidiol’s ability to interact with your natural endocannabinoid system may provide many athletic benefits.
CBD Reduces Stress
One of the most important benefits of CBD for athletes in stress alleviation. Stress is one of the foremost contributors to mental and physical decline.
Many studies have shown that stress can cause various problems, from digestive issues to hormonal imbalances. And when this stress advances into a chronic stage, it becomes even more concerning, especially for individuals whose bread and butter are their health and well-being.
The best athletic programs are well rounded to adapt to physiological changes resulting from stress. They involve good nutrition, lots of rest, and hydration, among other things. Fortunately, CBD can act as another great addition to these body-replenishing activities.
Taking only 15-30 mg of CBD may help athletes expand their previous stress thresholds and push themselves to newer limits.
CBD acts as an Adaptogen
While the market is rife with adaptogens, such as mushrooms and oysters, CBD’s introduction to this collection is relatively new.
Adaptogens are non-toxic plant and herb sources that regulate many important functions in our bodies. From shielding our nervous system from neural damage to curbing neuroinflammation, adaptogens have important neuroprotective properties.
According to science, the best adaptogens are those that stimulate, without causing any side effects.
And that’s exactly why CBD is perfect for this role.
CBD’s unique safety profile and outstanding ability to activate the human endocannabinoid system to trigger adaptogenic activity make it perfect for boosting athletic performance.
As an adaptogen, CBD may also help athletes better adapt to their training. After an exhaustive workout, our metabolic state goes entirely out of control. Cortisol levels increase. Body temperature shoots up. Muscle proteins undergo rapid breakdown. Glycogen reserves deplete. In these circumstances, the body starts producing endocannabinoids in large amounts to expedite recovery, and adding CBD to the mix can further endocannabinoid activity and realign the body’s natural homeostasis a lot quicker.
Fascinatingly, researchers questioned whether CBD is consumable by professional athletes or not. Mainly because CBD stands toe-to-toe with the performance-enhancing properties of most drugs prohibited in professional sports, to take things up a notch, you can even take CBD with other adaptogens.
CBD acts as a Neuroprotective agent
The central nervous system is a complex-cell signaling system composed of our brain and spinal control. Its main function is to send signals throughout the human body via neurons. This means that the CNS activity is highest when nerve impulses are being transmitted and lowest when neurotransmission is the least.
Resistance sports, such as weight lifting, but a lot of stress on the CNS, overcharging its activity. When CNS is for too long, its initial excitatory input starts to decline rapidly. With this slump in fuel, power comes reduced strength and muscle contraction. This CNS burnout greatly reduces athletic ability to lift and perform at optimal levels. Ultimately, this leads to complete unresponsiveness to normal neural firing, which further exacerbates performance.
CBD can help this because it’s an excellent supplement for neurotransmission. Studies have shown that CBD may normalize the neural activity of synaptic neurotransmitters to harmonize neural signaling. The compound may also protect neurons from damage and help them retain their outer coverings (myelin sheaths).
CBD can be used as a Sleep Aid
One of the most noticeable effects most CBD users experience is analgesic. Anecdotal evidence suggests that many users have experienced improved sleep quality after the regular use of CBD oil. One study backs up this claim. 36% of participants of this study said CBD was very helpful in treating their sleep disorders.
As athletes need a lot of sleep to promote muscle recovery, CBD may help their cause. The cannabinoid may reduce stress hormones like cortisol and help realign sleep cycles.
Most experts recommend athletes to get at least 11 to 12 hours of daily sleep. CBD can help make sure that athletes meet these requirements.
CBD Helps Balance Circadian Rhythms
Endocannabinoid activity in our bodies fluctuates with time. It’s at its peak during morning hours, and at its lowest during the end of the day. This means the system’s functions are synchronized with the different times of the day.
A healthy circadian rhythm is an essential component in retaining top athletic performance. Although many factors contribute to poor sleep, such as blue light exposure and staying up at night, these rhythms remain an integral component of the discussion.
Many athletes cannot get the best out of their bodies because they have disturbed sleep-wake cycles. They feel lazy and unmotivated in crunch times and resort to caffeine, and other stimulates to pick up their spirits, which makes matters worse and leads to nervous system breakdown and adrenal stress.
But that’s probably beyond the scope of this article. More relevant is the fact that many athletes experience disturbances to their sleep-wake cycles. These athletes may feel lethargic when they should be energized (and vice versa) and turn to excessive use of coffee or other stimulants. Depending on such substances may lead to further adrenal stress or nervous system breakdown.
We’re thankful to say that there’s a more holistic option. Taking CBD regularly may promote a type of energy balance that works with one’s environment — not against it. Athletes can consider taking an additional 10-20 milligrams of CBD an hour or two before bed if sleep is a problem.
CBD Promotes Muscle Relaxation
Athletes expect exhaustion and fatigue after a grueling workout. Muscle soreness and cramps make it extremely difficult to walk, making even the simplest movements difficult to complete.
Thankfully, CBD can help in times like these. It is a potent muscle relaxant because it influences the activity of GABA-A receptors in the central nervous system. GABA-A is responsible for promoting muscle recovery, acting as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. When levels of this compound fall in the brain, muscle spasms and cramps often follow.
To avail CBD’s muscle relaxation benefits, start with low doses of CBD oil (5-10mg) and then gradually pick things up from there.