CBD for Athletes: 4 Major Benefits

Recently, CBD has become increasingly popular in the sports world, with mentions in well-known publications such as Outside Magazine and Runner’s World. So, it’s only natural that more and more athletes and people interested in fitness are wondering about CBD’s potential. This recent news has ignited many athletes to speak about their personal experiences with CBD for athletes.

CBD has a plethora of benefits for athletes and fitness buffs alike. By the end of this article, you’ll be convinced that it’s something that should become part of your daily routine.

CBD and Your Body

Did you know that CBD is only one of many cannabinoids naturally produced by hemp plants? Cannabinoids are unique compounds that can interact with your body’s special receptors. There are two types of receptors called CB1 and CB2, and according to studies, CB1 receptors are located in high numbers in certain areas of the brain. CB2 receptors are found in lower amounts throughout the body, but they are most concentrated in immune cells and some neurons.

In many ways, CBD and other cannabinoids mimic natural molecules produced by your body called endocannabinoids, therefore allowing them to interact with the receptors. Enzymes in your body can break down both cannabinoids and endocannabinoids. This gets rid of them after they’ve completed their task. Isn’t your body remarkable? So efficient!

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network that is comprised of endocannabinoids, CB1 and CB2 receptors, and enzymes that break down cannabinoids and endocannabinoids. Although it was only discovered in the early 1990s, this complex system is relatively new to medical researchers. If you’re not too familiar with it, don’t worry though – many people aren’t!

The ECS’s receptors are in your central and peripheral nervous systems, which means that CBD has the potential to positively affect many areas of your body. Nowadays, CBD is commonly used by athletes and people who live active lifestyles. Let’s explore the benefits of CBD for these groups of individuals.

4 Great Things About CBD 

No matter what field you’re playing in, dedication, passion and hard work always come first. Many successful athletes share certain qualities, such as resilience and composure under pressure. However, CBD is not a magical supplement that can take the place of these attributes. Although CBD has many great things, it will not make you invincible. In fact, more research is needed to investigate how CBD can help athletes specifically.

From the existing research, we’ve found some key benefits that will help you live an active lifestyle, whether you’re a top athlete or not. Now let’s explore those in more depth:

Help With Sleep Cycles

Many athletes require more sleep than the recommended amount of seven to nine hours for adults, as stated in an article from the International Journal of Sports Medicine. Even so, they usually sleep for no more than six and a half hours. Is this situation familiar to you? Why are sleep cycles being interrupted? Because of demanding training schedules, traveling, spending too much time looking at screens, and sleeplessness caused by stress and anxiety, among other problems.

Furthermore, the lack of sleep caused by training can have a snowball effect on performance. Research has shown that when sleep is made a priority, cognition, psychomotor vigilance, alertness, reaction times, mood and overall athletic ability are all improved. So if you’re an athlete who struggles with sleep issues, CBD might be worth trying.

Although taking CBD daily won’t make you get off your phone an hour before sleep like some experts suggest, it may help set the right internal tone for a good night’s sleep. Out of 72 adults studied, it was discovered that nearly 67 percent slept better when taking CBD. They fell asleep faster and had fewer periods of wakefulness during the night. This is most likely due to the role played by the ECS in regulating sleep. So CBD, combined with healthy, conscious habits, can help you achieve optimal performance.

Although more research is needed, it’s believed that the sleep-related benefits of CBD are partly due to the presence of CB1 receptors in the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a small part of your brain that contains groups of nerve cells controlling things like sleep, appetite, and temperature.

Researchers have found CB1 receptors, an integral part of your ECS, in the hypothalamus. In other words, if you’re sleeping better, you can be sure that your athletic abilities will improve as well.

Better Digestive and Gut Health

It’s been said by many professionals in the fields of nutrition and athletics that you won’t see results if your diet isn’t up to par. When you give your body the proper nutrients, it has everything it needs to perform at its best — and then recover afterwards.

Eating healthy and staying hydrated are great for your digestion, but if you want to ensure that everything is being properly digested and absorbed, you need to focus on gut health.

Most people don’t know this, but experts when discussing gut health are referring to your microbiota. This is the large group of microorganisms that live in your gastrointestinal tract numbering around 100 trillion! Even though it’s hard to monitor how all food affects your gut, around the clock, a zero- calorie diet is not possible, and is not the answer to gut health or body fitness. You can achieve a healthy gut with healthy, balanced dietary habits! Trying to restrict diet to improve this actually will have an adverse effect on immunity, metabolism and neurobehavioral. Eating a nutritious diet is what’s important for optimal gut health, which then impacts your overall physical wellbeing. Although our bodies usually function fairly well on their own, sometimes they need a little extra push to achieve top performance. This is where CBD comes in; by using it regularly, you may be able to see positive impacts on the gut.

The ECS has been shown to positively affect gastrointestinal processes by activating CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body. CBD has been researched for its therapeutic effects on inflammatory bowel diseases. By allowing the good gut bacteria to flourish, it creates a state of homeostasis within the body. The gut is also composed of muscles that can always benefit from the relaxing effects of CBD to keep movement and function consistent. Your gut health is directly linked to your performance and energy. A happy gut equals better digestion and a higher level of productivity.

Lowered Stress and Anxiety

When your body releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline in response to physical, mental or emotional pressure, that is called stress. All athletes feel physical, mental, and emotional pressure; it’s simply part of the game and the stakes of personal motivation.

If you’re dedicated to your personal training and fitness, at some point you’ve probably felt like you need to do more. Maybe lift more weight or run a longer distance. If you have a coach or mentor, they may be helping push you past your point of comfortability. But for many people, this stress turns into anxiety that lingers without any relief in sight.

Avoiding stress and anxiety now will only increase your risk of developing various disorders and health problems later on. If you’re an athlete or live an active lifestyle, then you know that taking care of your mind and emotions is just as important as physical wellness when it comes to staying sharp and ahead of the competition.

The anxiety and stress-relieving effects of CBD have been noted by many who take it, including Soul CBD customers. Moreover, the research completed in this area also points to favorable results. CBD, for example, has been investigated and displays potential to treat multiple anxiety disorders based on a review in the journal Neurotherapeutics. According to a Gallup poll, 20% of Americans use CBD to combat anxiety, and 5% use it to lower stress levels. When coping mechanisms are in place, strain and anxiousness won’t get in the way of optimal function.

Reduce Pain and Inflammation

There are many sources of pain and inflammation for athletes or those who train rigorously, but it’s understandable given the physical and mental labor that comes with training and competing.

There are a few different ways to address these issues, like eating right, staying hydrated and getting enough rest. As we’ve discussed, this involves reducing your stress levels and giving your muscles and body time to heal and recover. Additionally, it’s important to have a digestive system that functions well and, of course, get enough sleep!

If you want to maintain your current performance level or even improve, it’s important to address any pain and inflammation in your body. CBD can be helpful with this. Cannabidiol’s antioxidative and anti-inflammatory characteristics may protect against free radicals, reduce oxidative stress, and relieve inflammation-caused pain in the body.

CBD is not only effective for general pain relief, but it can also be used to target specific areas of the body. Topical solutions like rapid relief CBD creams are easy to use and may provide fast, localized relief from muscle pain and sore joints. 

Athletes Who Use CBD

Recently, several professional and retired athletes have spoken out in support of CBD use, which has led to increased interest in the topic. In fact, that might be why you’re reading this article!

CBD has become a popular source of relief for athletes, especially those who play contact sports and are prone to injuries. In a recent article, Men’s Health interviewed several athletes who have turned to CBD. These advocates include former NHL player Ryan VandenBussche and David Ahrens, a retired NFL linebacker.

Notable athletes MMA fighter Nate Diaz and NFL player Derrick Morgan both use CBD for various reasons. For Diaz, he uses it to help with inflammation in his muscles while Morgan takes it for a brain condition caused by repeated head trauma. These athletes are using CBD instead of prescription pills to manage the effects that sports have on their bodies, inspiring others like you to do the same.