Being an athlete is a full-time, whole-body job. From regular training to carefully-controlled diets, athletes’ bodies work like well-oiler machines.
As well as diet, many sportspeople take advantage of the vast range of supplements available; from simple vitamins to complex amino acids, everyone’s looking for that extra something.
The latest supplement to draw attention is CBD; more commonly used for its relaxation properties, it can also be used to boost performance and aid recovery. And now that it is no longer prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency, its use is coming in for increased interest.
How? Here are just five of the ways CBD can boost athletic performance.
While CBD is more often known for being a mental relaxant, it can also work on muscles too.
Physical stress on muscles, caused by exercise, can result in increased oxidative damage, which may harm performance and slow recovery, leading to mental and physical fatigue.
By reducing this damage, CBD can help athletes recover faster and perform better, thus improving mental and physical health along the way.
As anyone who has ever overdone it at the gym can attest, exercise, particularly strenuous, can cause pain. This is partly due to inflammation, which leads to prolonged soreness and delayed recovery.
One of the most well-known and widely researched uses of CBD oil is for pain relief and muscular recovery.
This is due to the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps the human body maintain a state of balance and stability known as homeostasis.
The body produces endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system. Studies have shown that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters.
The last thing any athlete needs is stage fright. CBD is proven to help with anxiety and low mood, boosting levels of serotonin in the brain.
Being at the top of your game isn’t just about physical fitness; being mentally healthy is important too, so anything that boosts mood can also boost performance.
Sleep it off
It’s well known that sleep aids recovery, whether that’s from a common cold or tired muscles. Studies have shown that there are CBD receptors in the part of the brain responsible for maintaining sleep cycles, and research has found that activating those receptors with the use of CBD can help induce sleep.
However, in certain quantities, it can also promote mental alertness, so it’s always worth further research before adding any supplements.
Keep it lean
While cannabis has long had a reputation for provoking ‘the munchies’, CBD alone can help with weight loss. Put simply, it can help turn bad fat, which is stored by the body and leads to weight gain, into good fat, which isn’t.
So, simply adding CBD to the diet can boost metabolism and lower BMI – ideal for anyone looking to improve their sporting prowess.
And there we have it. Far from the image of a spaced-out stoner, CBD can actually be used by athletes at all levels to boost performance, aid recovery and lose weight.
No wonder so many elite athletes are getting in on the act…
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