The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will not only go down in history because of the coronavirus or for including surfing or skateboarding as new disciplines. They are the first games in which athletes have been allowed to use cannabidiol, better known as CBD, a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, to improve their sports performance because of its benefits.
Many professional athletes have since claimed the use of CBD to recover their bodies after competitions or training. Boxer Mike Tyson, MMA fighter Nate Diaz, skateboarders Tony Hawk and Andy Macdonald; snowboarder Greta Gaines; and soccer player Megan Rapinoe. In Spain, surfer Aritz Aranburu, allergic to ibuprofen, resorts to this natural remedy when he needs to give his body a break.
Athletes often push their bodies. But, to get the best results, their body must also recover properly. Recovery is crucial whether the athlete is a regular in the gym or a professional athlete. It helps prevent injury and ensures maximum performance.
That’s why many athletes are looking for solutions that can help them improve their post-workout recovery. One of the exciting options for athletes is CBD and its benefits to athletes. This article will shed light on CBD as a recovery tool in sports and athletics. You’ll see why many athletes add CBD to their daily regimen.
UNDERSTAND HOW CBD BENEFITS HELPS ATHLETES
CBD, also called cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring chemical found in cannabis plants. The World Health Organization recognizes that CBD is non-toxic, non-addictive, and generally safe. The evidence for the benefits of using CBD is still at an early stage. But they are beginning to accumulate with more than 11,000 medical and scientific studies published. How can CBD help athletes during training and competitive performance?
A study published in the journal Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry shows that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and plays a role in pain management. It can be beneficial after an intense training session. The pain or soreness that athletes feel when their muscles are fatigued is often the result of microscopic muscle tears and inflammation. This micro tear is an integral part of muscle growth because it allows the body to increase its strength by increasing muscle size. CBD can help reduce this inflammation and better prepare the body for another workout.
Also, when a muscle becomes sore, it can signal that the body needs to restrict muscle contraction. This is a defense mechanism to prevent muscle damage. Although this response is natural and ordinarily healthy, it can be detrimental to athletic performance. By helping to moderate the signals sent by the body, CBD oil can manage the body’s reactions to muscle tightness, muscle tension, and cramps.
A good night’s sleep and adequate rest are essential for recovery and good athletic performance. Sleep allows the body to regenerate and repair damaged muscle fibers. CBD research studies also demonstrate that it helps moderate sleep routines to improve sleep quality and duration.
The importance of concentration and attention when playing sports is evident. Some people take caffeine supplements before working out to improve their focus. But CBD can also help improve concentration by reducing stress and anxiety. CBD has been shown to have anti-anxiety properties that moderate the body’s reaction to stress. This is important because the body can perceive intense muscular effort during a workout as a sign of stress and trigger the production of cortisol, which signals the body to reduce protein synthesis. Fortunately, CBD can increase the presence of chemicals such as serotonin to help manage the body’s reactions to stress.
BENEFITS OF CBD BEFORE AND AFTER TRAINING
After an intense workout or workout, you may feel tired, sore, or even nauseous. Many people in this situation can swallow two or three ibuprofen or drink a few beers to relax, and they find it suitable.
However, you may not realize that NSAIDs like ibuprofen and Aleve can be extremely dangerous, especially when used regularly. If deaths due to toxic effects of NSAID drugs were tabulated separately, these drug toxicities would be the 15th most common cause of death in the United States.
Therefore, we suggest athletes stick with a more potent, less toxic, natural cannabinoid like CBD because of its benefits. In this guide, we’ll help you understand the benefits of CBD as a recovery tool and how to leverage it into your post-workout regimen.
Now you might be thinking, “I just had a great workout, my head is clear, the last thing I want to do is get high,” You don’t have to – you can reap the therapeutic benefits of CBD cannabis without psychoactivity.
How is it possible? Simply put, the beauty of CBD.
CBD as a pre-workout supplement
If you’re a fitness enthusiast, you’re probably familiar with pre-workout supplements, often marketed for people looking for an energy boost before hitting the gym.
The problem with these products is that they are often loaded with caffeine and other stimulants, and synthetic ingredients whose effects are poorly understood. All that caffeine can cause a crash (the last thing you need when trying to push your limits in the gym or on the track), and these additives can cause unwanted side effects.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get the stimulating effects of a pre-workout without the added stimulants?
There is a multitude of ways to consume CBD as a pre-workout supplement. CBD tinctures can be dropped in sublingually (under the tongue) and take effect quickly, but CBD can also be vaporized or dabbed as CBD vape oil or 99% pure isolate, respectively.
A slower but longer-acting option is also available in CBD capsule form. They take about 45 minutes to take effect. However, their effects last for up to 8 hours, which is perfect for endurance exercise or a big event like a marathon or 10k run. CBD can offer the benefits of a pre-workout supplement without the negatives: its anti-inflammatory properties can help prepare your muscles for the intense activity ahead, helping you lift those extra 10 pounds or make an extra effort on the treadmill. Its mood-elevating properties also help prepare you for a workout by reducing stress and allowing your mind to relax in preparation for your gym session.
CBD as a post-workout supplement
There are several ways to take CBD after your workout. If you’re like most of us, you’re looking for quick relief after leaving the gym.
This is best accomplished by vaping CBD oil, which is absorbed into the tissues of the lungs and the bloodstream, so it takes effect within moments. Another option with a similar start is to dab CBD isolate.
You can also smoke CBD-rich flowers (choose an indica strain for maximum relaxation and anti-inflammatory benefits) if you wish.
If you prefer not to inhale your CBD, you can also take it orally in the form of CBD tinctures or capsules. These forms take a bit longer to kick off — around 15 minutes for tinctures and closer to 45 for softgels — but their effects are strong and long-lasting, between 6 and 8 a.m.
If you’ve been going hard at the gym, it might make sense to pair a more immediate form, like vaping, with a more long-lasting form, like CBD capsules. This will help relieve the immediate pain and exhaustion you feel while counteracting inflammation over a more extended period, helping you recover faster and feel stronger faster.
If you need localized relief after an injury or strain, a topical CBD balm can work wonders. The CBD in topicals works to fight inflammation at the surface level, while your systemic CBD (like softgels or vape) works from within to relieve internal inflammation. Use both CBD products together for maximum benefit, effectiveness, especially if an athlete injures themself after an intense workout.
CBD AND THE OLYMPIC GAMES
For the first time in the 125-year history of the Olympic Games, elite athletes were allowed to incorporate CBD products during their training in preparation for competing against the world at Tokyo 2020.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), an organization that monitors and fights drug use at the Olympic Games, announced in 2018 that this substance had been removed from its list of prohibited substances. In 2020 this change came into force.
Marijuana contains more than 80 identified components; one is CBD which lacks the effects of the well-known cannabinoid THC. By itself, it is not intoxicating, but it adds a sedative quality to THC if combined, even slowing down the elimination rate of THC in the body.
For this reason, the AMA warns: “Athletes should be aware that some CBD products extracted from cannabis plants may also contain THC, which could lead to a positive result,” it warned four years ago.
The news was a revolution, and now, the use of this substance is increasing among athletes, as the component of cannabis that does not get people ”high.” Elite athletes can incorporate natural CBD products benefits into their most rigorous training programs to prepare for the Olympics and compete at the highest level.
In general, CBD has analgesic effects against pain and is anti-inflammatory. Athletes who already use CBD do so as an aid for muscle recovery (decreasing times) and to stay on top by improving physical performance. In addition, it has medical use to relieve anxiety, insomnia, nausea, seizures and inhibit cancer cells’ growth.
To understand it more simply: athletes have found in the properties of CBD ways to relieve pain, replace ibuprofen (which produces more side effects in the body), suppress the urge to vomit, and help reduce soreness after exercise physical.