If you are into sports, athletics, or fitness, you may be curious if CBD can help with athletic performance or recovery. With the exploding market of CBD products, everyone from millennials, to senior citizens to pet owners, are trying CBD. The market has grown tremendously because of new research on its potential health benefits for all kinds of things. As many people want to use more natural products, it’s no surprise that athletes have taken an interest in CBD as well.
More and more professional athletes are turning to CBD as a natural pain reliever
CBD is now available in all fifty states. Fitness enthusiasts, bodybuilders, and professional athletes are adding CBD to their workout regimen to see if it will help them with performance and the aches and pains that come from training.
Athletes push their bodies harder than the typical person. Because of the high demands athletes put on their bodies, they may have more issues with pain and inflammation. You may have heard the expression, “no pain, no gain.” Athletes feel this more than ever.
Cyclist Floyd Landis knows this all too well. After winning the Tour De France in 2006, he was disqualified because of his use of performance-enhancing drugs. The athlete, and founder of Floyd’s Fine Cannabis, discussed the issue of pain, opiate use, and CBD with the Washington Post.
“Oftentimes, what limits athletes’ progression in sports is pain,” he said. As an athlete, he was never introduced to CBD, but he was exposed to opiates. Now he uses CBD daily to treat his pain and says that CBD helped him to wean off of opiates.
CBD as a Sports Supplement
If you run, lift weights, or play sports, you may take supplements already to enhance your performance or to speed up muscle growth. Supplements like fish oil, protein powders, BCAAs are often used to aid in muscle repair and recovery after workouts.
Can CBD help with muscle growth and recovery?
We are seeing breakthroughs in CBD research every day, but we don’t have data to sufficiently say if CBD will help you recover faster from a workout. What we do know is that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, and inflammation is part of the muscle recovery process.
When you work out, it causes microscopic damage to your muscle fibers. Your muscles grow when the fibers recover and repair. Inflammation is what makes this happen. When your body is damaged, the inflammatory response increases blood circulation to the damaged areas in an effort to repair the damaged fibers. This can cause swelling, pain, and muscle soreness.
CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory and works with your body’s endocannabinoid system to reduce inflammation, and subsequently pain. Because of CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties, sports medicine doctors speculate that it could be beneficial in promoting recovery and healing in damaged muscles. While we don’t have enough evidence to say this conclusively, a study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine, suggests that CBD has numerous potential benefits for athletes including, “psychological, biological, physiological effects.”
Athletic Recovery and Sleep
Another way that CBD may help athletes is by helping them sleep. Researchers, including the American Sleep Association, have begun to research the benefits of CBD for sleep, and their research suggests that it may improve sleep.
When you think of sports, sleep is probably not the first thing to come to mind, but sleep is critical to muscle recovery. The endocannabinoid system is believed to help regulate sleep, mood, and appetite. While sleep may not be the primary reason athletes are interested in CBD, sleep, quality sleep is more important for athletes. Sleep is when the body repairs itself and muscle growth happens.