Why are So Many Athletes Turning to CBD?
The use of CBD in sports is increasing on a regular basis. Several recent studies have shown that it has some powerful effects on the human body, and for athletes, that could mean some real performance gains. So, are athletes even considering this option, and if so, why?
Wait, Isn’t CBD Illegal?
CBD was actually part of the list of prohibited substances in the world of sports for decades. In 2018, however, the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from that list because it may have some very beneficial effects on the body. Because it’s incredibly difficult to extract just the CBD from a cannabis plant – most extracts contain a number of cannabinoid substances – most athletes choose to refrain from use directly before the competition, so they are not subject to anti-doping penalty. While CBD in and of itself is not illegal in most competitions, some of the additional ingredients it contains are, so the distinction matters.
Understanding the Potential Power of CBD
What pushes athletes to consider CBD? There are actually a number of different benefits that some have experienced. Better immune system performance is one. Some studies have found that CBD has helped athletes to strengthen their immune system. That translates to one thing in the world of sports – better performance on a more frequent basis. Athletes often have trouble recovering from illness because training is a strain on the body. This benefit, however, has many athletes suggesting that CBD could make the body more resistant to stress and more likely to recover faster when an illness occurs.
Another benefit some have experienced is a reduction in anxiety. Prior to a match, a meet, or a competition, anxiety is often high for many athletes. Intense training and continual exercise makes that even tougher to cope with because athletes experience so much physical exhaustion. Some, however, report that CBD helps to suppress many of those anxious feelings, which can allow an athlete to compete without the negativity hindering their overall performance.
Faster recovery times has been the focus of other studies of athletes using CBD. Some have reported that those in training experience far faster recoveries than others thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. That can mean that athletes have the ability to train for much longer periods of time at faster paces.
One aspect of recovery for many athletes is pain, and some have found that after a particularly difficult training session, it is possible to relieve pain with CBD muscle relief creams. That may mean that muscle strains developed during tougher training periods don’t hold athletes back as they continue to work through and develop their powers a bit more.
Sleep and relaxation is essential for better athletic performance, and some studies have found that athletes who use CBD on a regular basis find they are able to achieve deeper levels of sleep for longer periods of time while taking CBD. Because sleep translates to energy for athletes, it is possible that CBD may mean they can achieve optimum performance thanks to the ability to relax and allow the body to repair itself over a sleep cycle.
Weight gain is a often a concern for athletes, and many have turned to CBD to help manage that problem. Some have said that ingesting CBD helps to take away any hunger you feel. For athletes like boxers, body builders, and wrestlers, every ounce matters, and those who have used it have suggested that it can help keep weight gain to a minimum, helping to eliminate one of the primary drivers of weight gain – hunger.
Muscle gains translate to raw power no matter what the sport, and some athletes have suggested that when they take CBD, it can help to expand muscle mass much faster than other supplements. When you take into account the other reported benefits, though, this one make sense, as if CBD can help prevent inflammation and enhance the recovery process, better muscle mass gains would only make sense with it too!
Are There Reasons Athletes Shouldn’t Consider CBD?
Athletes who are interested in achieving the results others have with CBD should always discuss this add-on with their trainers first. Additionally, athletes who take medications on a regular basis or have other medical conditions should absolutely discuss the use of CBD with a doctor, as the way medications are broken down in the body could interfere with the way CBD works. In most cases, though, CBD is a great option for athletes to consider as they work to achieve serious performance gains. With many different ways to use and apply it, there are some very real options in the CBD market for athletes, and ones many will want to consider immediately.