Getting in shape and partaking in physical activities can take its toll on the human body. This is especially true with competitive sports. CBD may be just the thing athletes and fitness buffs need to not only relieve some some of the aches and pains that come with sports, but to help achieve peak performance and maybe even avoid injury.
Many athletes now use CBD oil for a variety of reasons. Of course, the most common reason given is to reduce the inflammation and pain that come with a hard workout or rough day on the field or court. But this isn’t the only benefit reported by athletes who use CBD oil.
More and more sports celebrities, coaches, and medical professionals who treat sports injuries are speaking out about the potential benefits of CBD oil for athletes. They’re pointing to not only pain reduction, but other immediate benefits such as increasing focus and energy and reducing anxiety. There is also excitement about some potential long-term benefits such as helping to build stronger bones and a healthier heart.
Football players are especially susceptible to painful, and sometimes debilitating injuries. The use of opiates and anti-inflammatories is commonplace in the NFL as well as other pro sports organizations. Currently our nation is in the midst of an opiod crisis and finding alternative and safer methods of treating pain is critical.
Many NFL players are now urging the league to do more research into CBD’s ability to not only reduce pain and inflammation but to help prevent and treat head injuries.
Let’s take a brief look at some of these potential benefits that CBD oil might have to offer for athletes.
Reduced Performance Anxiety
Reducing anxiety is the number one reason given for using CBD oil. Many athletes claim that CBD helps to reduce the performance anxiety which is sometimes felt before or during a sporting event. In fact, CBD is thought to reduce anxiety by stimulating and helping to regulate the effects of neurotransmitters which are naturally produced by the body. One of these is an endocannabinoid called anandamide. Anandamide is thought to play a key role in regulating the production and uptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Known as the “bliss” molecule, serotonin is often credited for helping athletes get “in the zone.” It’s also known to be responsible for an effect called runner’s high — a euphoric feeling that can result from extended periods of exercise.
Most pain due to partaking in sports is due to inflammation. CBD is widely known to act as an anti-inflammatory. Reduce inflammation, and you reduce pain. CBD also interacts with neurotransmitters and receptors involved in regulating pain response including opioid receptors. As we mentioned, the use of dangerous and addictive opioids is rampant in professional sports. CBD oil has been shown to be far safer than opioids.
Increased Focus and “Flow”
CBD oil does not cause a high, but it is known to enhance mood and increase focus. Many athletes also claim that it helps them achieve what they call a state of “flow” in which their reactions become seemingly automatic. Athletes who use CBD oil before partaking in sports often claim to have a clearer head and are able to think and respond faster.
Sleep and Relaxation
Getting good sleep is an important component in achieving peak performance. It makes the mind sharper and increases energy. CBD has been shown in studies to have the ability to regulate sleeping patterns. CBD oil may not only help people sleep better at night, but also to help them have more energy and alertness during the day.
Nausea is a common side effect of a good, hard workout. CBD oil has been shown to not only be effective for treating nausea, but studies have reported that it’s more effective for treating nausea than pharmaceutical medications such as phenothiazines (e.g., Stemetil) or antihistamines (e.g., Dramamine).
Increased Blood Flow
Good blood flow is critical for achieving peak performance. Blood flow brings oxygen to muscles and helps to remove toxic metabolites. CBD has been shown to activate adenosine receptors. Adenosine helps to regulate blood flow.
A broken bone can not only put an athlete on the bench for months, it can also potentially end a career. Having strong bones, and healing quickly from fractures are both critical to athletes. CBD oil has been shown in studies to help strengthen bones, prevent fractures, and reduce healing time. CBD oil has even been shown in studies to slow the onset of osteoporosis — a disease which weakens bones and makes them more brittle.
As you can see, CBD might provide a number of potential benefits for athletes, not only to help them achieve peak performance, but to reduce potential damage to the body as a result of stress, to heal injuries, and to reduce the need for dangerous prescription painkillers.
Don’t just take our word for it. At the start of 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) acknowledged the benefits of CBD oil and officially removed it from its list of banned substances. Thanks to that decision, thousands of athletes are now allowed use CBD without the fear of consequences.
And finally, former defensive end, Ebenezer Ekuban, in an interview with The Washington Post said, “I think in due time, the NFL is going to realize that CBD is not a performance-enhancing drug. If anything, it helps with anxiety, helps with concentration, and it helps with pain.”