CBD products are an interesting new development in both the healthcare and supplement spheres. For years, states like California have allowed the use of Cannabis products as an aid for people with serious conditions such as cancer and PTSD as alternatives to more traditional pharmaceuticals that have unwanted side effects and in some cases are not very effective.
The medicinal effects of CBD oil have been known to mankind for a long time but it is only in recent years now that more specific research and development has been done.
The actual benefits differ based on which cannabinoids are used and only recently have products appeared that segmented these properties by developing specific CBD products that produce no psychoactive effects.
The use of CBD for an athlete can have many useful applications that most people don’t think about. With any physical activity there is wear and tear on the body. With competitive sports there is a level of stress and anxiety that even though can be helpful in the moment, can also affect concentration if it is not dealt with properly.
Increased cognitive ability
The single most important factor when it comes to concentration, is getting enough healthy and restful sleep. If an athlete is well rested, the amount of stress they can endure increases along with their ability to push themselves physically and menatally. Healthy natural sleep is the best way to recharge in preparation for what the next day will bring.
One of the most dedicated triathletes Jerrod Shoemaker once said, “Sleep is half my training”. Regardless of the sport, letting the mind and body rest is the final and crucial step in any day’s training. To this end, CBD products offer a natural homeopathic aid that is more potent than other natural remedies like Valerian root or Chamomile yet without the potential dangers and side effects of prescription sleep aids.
One of the most significant areas of athletic performance that sleep can impact is reaction time. When the brain is depleted of adequate amount of REM sleep (less than 6 hours a night), the effects on reaction time and coordination can actually be comparable to having a .05 BAC (blood alcohol content).
Essentially competing on a poor night’s sleep is like trying to compete with a couple beers worth of alcohol in the system.
Work out pain relief
After intense physical workouts and competition, a common problem is muscle pain and the inflammation of joints. Post workout soreness especially in joints is partially caused by the immune system reacting. CBD binds to certain receptors that create a slight suppression of the immune system and causes a significant reduction in both the severity and duration of soreness.
The pain relief of CBD combined with its ability to quiet the nervous system in general and help achieve more restful sleep which gives the body an opportunity to regenerate and prepare for another day of physical activity.
Positive influence on sleep cycle
It is believed that CBD acts on how the brain processes the neurotransmitter Adenosine. CBD affects the levels of Adenosine throughout the night which helps the brain slow down to achieve sleep, and the initial higher levels of the neurotransmitter coincide with the brain’s ability to break down carbohydrates for energy generation.
As the metabolic process helps the body regenerate and prepare for the next day, lower levels of Adenosine cause the mind and body to wake up.
This is why CBD is so useful in making sleep more efficient as an athlete is more likely to get the full 8 hour sleep cycle that is required and decreases the likelihood of REM sleep interruptions which can disrupt the regenerative process.
A proper diet is another essential part of athletic training. From the boxer training intensively for a Golden Gloves or professional title match, to the dedicated runner preparing for a marathon, loading the body with proper caloric intake and proteins is an integral process for any athlete.
To this end CBD can also offer an advantage as part of it’s stress relieving property acts on the digestive tract.
Stress and anxiety affect appetite which can unbalance an athlete’s carefully planned diet. A major benefit of CBD is that it soothes the mind and the central nervous system which in term has a positive influence on digestion and efficient processing of an athletes diet. In addition to this CBD tends to increase the overall appetite which can be very beneficial for athletes who have a high intake diet.
After athletic career
Many athletes that train hard throughout a competitive career find that later on they pay a price for years of placing stress on their muscles and joints. Depending on the sport this could be anything from a recurrent sprain to arthritis in hands, knees and elbows. CBD can have an immediate impact on this type of pain and can avoid the dangers of pharmaceutical drugs that would otherwise be used to treat it.
For years, the go to method for chronic pain conditions and old sports injuries was to prescribe opiates or other narcotic pain killers. This course of treatment has potential dangers that can be much worse than the pain they treat. Opiates have a very high potential for physical dependence and abuse as well as to decrease in effectiveness as tolerance builds over time.
CBD avoids a lot of the potential dangers that prescription drugs pose. CBD products have no known long term side effects and can be effective in treating the mind and body of aging athletes. When a long athletic career starts slowing down or comes to a close, this change can be rather stressful as it might feel like something is missing.
With the aid of CBD, the transition from professional athlete to simply an active lifestyle may be easier. Between the reduction in stress and treatment of chronic pain and inflammation without having to resort to pharmaceuticals allow for the maintenance of a healthy and active lifestyle.
CBD has multiple areas of positive influence on the current and former athlete. Reduction of both mental and physical stress, longer and more regenerative sleep, and a means to help maintain a consistent dietary plan and all with no need to risk side effects of traditional pharmaceuticals.
In summary CBD should be a welcome addition to any regimen for those that seek to push themselves in the field of athletics.