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How Does CBD Help Athletes?

Athletes are always looking for ways to get that extra edge and stay ahead of the game.

Whether it’s training to lift heavier, move faster, or recover better, athletes are some of the most innovative people on the planet. With the demand for legal, non-harmful performance boosters ever on the rise, CBD has continued gaining popularity as an all-natural performance and recovery aid.

CBD (cannabidiol) is a therapeutic, non-psychoactive compound found in the hemp plant. It doesn’t impair brain function or motor coordination, and it won’t get you high or make you fail a drug test like some of cannabis’ other active compounds.

In medical circles, CBD is known for working within the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to correct imbalances and optimize mental and physical health. The ECS has “scouts” all over your brain and body in the form of cannabinoid (CB) receptors. These receptors help regulate a surprising amount of your inner systems and processes to keep everything running at peak performance.

 

Besides using CBD for pain management, quality sleep, and mental health, a growing number of athletes are using CBD to take their athletic performance and recovery to the next level

Here are 7 ways that studies have proven CBD can upgrade athlete’s performance.

1. MENTAL AND PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE

Mental Performance

CBD is known for its calming, grounding effects. It helps take the edge off your ‘fight or flight’ response to high-anxiety situations so you can stay in control of your reaction.

Your central nervous system (CNS) is covered with CB receptors. Although the exact mechanism is still unclear, evidence from many studies indicates that CBD helps manage anxiety and optimize focus.

CBD also has a beneficial balancing effect on your mood and hormones, which helps keep you calm, focused, and in control of your reactions.

Physical Performance

CBD has a powerful effect on your muscles, cardiovascular and muscular-skeletal systems, nerves, and recovery mechanisms.

  • CBD helps relax your muscles, nerves, and blood vessels so they can perform at their best: If you’ve ever been nervous and seen your hands shake or felt your jaw(TMJ) clench up, you know the effect anxiety can have on your muscles. The GABA protein, one of your nervous system’s most powerful inhibitory neurotransmitters, is in charge of combatting this effect. People who experience muscle spasms and cramps are often found with low levels of the GABA protein. There is evidence that CBD activates GABA-A receptors, which may explain some of its soothing effects on your muscles and soft tissue. These are the same receptors targeted by Benzos, the anti-anxiety and muscle relaxant pills.
  • Inflammation: CBD helps control inflammation levels, keeping your joints, blood vessels, and connective tissue healthy and pain-free.
  • Cardiovascular Health: CBD assists with vasorelaxation (relaxing your blood vessels) which helps manage blood pressure and your cardiovascular response to stress. CBD also influences the survival, death, migration, and platelet aggregation of white blood cells (keeps your blood cells healthy and protects them from damage).
  • Nerves: CBD helps the Endocannabinoid System keep your nervous system balanced and healthy. It limits inflammation, oxidative stress, and cellular dysfunction, which helps slow down nerve degeneration that causes pain and discomfort.
  • Metabolism and Appetite: CBD helps the Endocannabinoid System increase your body’s ability to burn calories while decreasing the availability of the proteins used to create fat cells. Basically, CBD helps your body turn “bad fat” into “good fat” and make more energy burning “good fat.” The better your body is at converting fat into energy, the healthier you’ll be, and the more you’ll be capable of.
  • Temperature Regulation: CBD can bind to and activate the G-protein receptor that regulates your body’s temperature, helping to keep your internal temperature regulating processes in balance.
  • Hormones: The Endocrine System (hormones) is regulated by the Endocannabinoid System. CBD helps everything maintain the proper balance, and also helps with the symptoms of hormonal imbalances, such as stress, anxiety, sleep issues, pain, and mood swings.

2. QUALITY SLEEP

Every athlete knows that one of the most important parts of the recovery process is quality sleep. Sleep allows your body to focus on recovering, rebuilding, and preparing for the next training session.

Growth hormone (GH) is essential to recovery, repairing muscle tears, and building lean muscle. GH peaks during deep sleep. The longer you stay in deep sleep cycles, the more GH your body secretes, and the better your muscles can recover.

Every athlete knows that one of the most important parts of the recovery process is quality sleep. Sleep allows your body to focus on recovering, rebuilding, and preparing for the next training session.

1. The part of your brain that controls your body’s inner clock is loaded with CB receptors. Their job seems to be to help optimize your sleep cycle.

2. CBD helps regulate anandamide levels, which regulate adenosine levels. Adenosine is a chemical that makes you sleepy.

3. Your pineal gland makes melatonin, another important sleep hormone. This gland seems to be regulated by your ECS via the gland’s many CB receptors.

Read this to learn more about how CBD helps with quality sleep and immune health.

3. PAIN MANAGEMENT

CBD has shown to be effective against both long and short term pain. It may even help keep short-term pain from becoming chronic.

This pain-relieving mechanism comes primarily from CBD telling your ECS to send an avalanche of anti-pain chemicals to your periaqueductal grey (PAG), a nucleus in your brain in charge of pain responses. These anti-pain chemicals, anandamide and 1-AG, are made by your body and usually have a short-lived effect.

To counter their short shelf life, CBD has also been seen to disable the enzymes that break them down (FAAH and MAGL). This helps promote a longer relief from pain.

Using CBD to raise these chemical levels in your PAG also seems to help keep your pain response from turning dysfunctional. There is evidence showing this mechanism may keep pain from becoming chronic.

There is so much incredible evidence and studies on CBD’s effect on pain. Read this article for more on pain management and CBD.

4. GUT HEALTH

Let’s be honest, if your gut problems come from overheating or dehydration, CBD probably isn’t the right treatment. But if you’re experiencing symptoms of colitis caused by intestinal inflammation, CBD can help.

Endurance athletes are especially prone to gut problems. Massive post-marathon questionnaires show that most runners report some kind of gut issue, and almost half say that symptoms like nausea affect their performance.

Studies show CBD and other cannabinoids have been shown to help with colitis symptoms. They do this by attacking the source of the problem, the inflammatory response in the gut. Once gut balance has been restored, the symptoms melt away.

CBD also helps the Endocannabinoid System regulate your gut/brain connection, gut mobility and permeability, digestion, appetite, metabolism, inflammation, immune response, stress and anxiety, and pain management, all of which contribute to a healthy gut.

5. JOINT INFLAMMATION

There’s a lot of evidence that CBD can combat your overall levels of joint inflammation, thereby reducing ‘creakiness’ and pain.

Joint inflammation tends to be a self-perpetuating cycle. When you damage the tissue in one of your joints, the sensitized nerve endings activate a local immune system response that releases lubricating fluid and pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Although this is meant to protect against infections, those cytokines often get over-excited and stimulate a larger immune system response, which produces more cytokines, and a cycle of inflammation escalation is born.

You can break the cycle by rubbing CBD into the skin of an inflamed joint. Applying CBD topically can help desensitize the local nerve endings, signaling to your immune system that things are under control and no more inflammation is needed. Taking CBD internally helps with further inflammation control and pain management, as well as bone density and overall health.

6. CORTISOL CONTROL

When your body is under stress, it’s not able to focus on building muscle.

Training is a form of physical stress. During a hard workout, your adrenal glands pump cortisol into your veins to help you deal with the stress. But while it’s great for stress, cortisol is catabolic – it breaks down proteins and inhibits growth.

Under normal circumstances, cortisol levels rise and fall as part of your daily hormonal cycle. But if you’re overtraining or have other sources of stress in your life, your cortisol levels can run away and take your gains with them.

CBD is an expert in bringing things in your body back into balance. This includes managing your cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and keeping your hormone levels in check. Studies indicate CBD may interfere directly with cortisol secretion. CBD also controls a number of other anti-stress hormones like anandamide, which help keep cortisol in check.

7. TRAINING TRAUMA

If you’ve had accidents or injuries during training, CBD can help erase the trauma your mind associates with that activity.

This study shows regular CBD doses help to remove the negative emotions related to traumatic events, in the long-term, taking the painful emotions out of memories helps people break out of unwanted memory loops and PTSD and give you a clean slate.

If you’ve had accidents or injuries during training, CBD can help erase the trauma your mind associates with that activity.

Your Endocannabinoid System (ECS) helps regulate the fear pathways produced by your amygdala. CBD can help your ECS activate selective inhibitory effects to delete the fearful conditioning created by your traumatic memories.

Your Endocannabinoid System (ECS) helps regulate the fear pathways produced by your amygdala. CBD can help your ECS activate selective inhibitory effects to delete the fearful conditioning created by your traumatic memories.

CONCLUSION

Athletes can use CBD in both pre-training and post-training situations to optimize their physical and mental performance. CBD’s value as a therapeutic agent for pain management, quality sleep, mental health, and overall well being is firmly grounded in science. There is a growing body of evidence of its use for proactive purposes as well.

Besides the athlete-specific benefits listed in this article, there are also a lot of general health benefits that CBD offers. These include brain health, immune function, mood, memory, focus, energy, and many more.

Our Nano-Amplified CBD products are thoroughly researched and use the top extraction and quality control processes. We’re obsessed with providing our customers with the best products on the market and helping them experience amazing results from incorporating CBD products into their daily life.

If you’d like to give them a try and experience these amazing results first hand, hop over to our shop page to grab some today.

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