“Higher, faster, stronger” – the main mantra of the professional, amateur or recreational athlete, wherever they may be. Athletes in sport often put themselves under tremendous stress, even during training in order to strive for increased performance. And this can of course lead to various pains and soreness. To improve sports performance and relieve pain more safely, a growing number of athletes and fitness enthusiasts are turning to cannabidiol (CBD). Athletes are looking to take advantage of the potential health benefits of CBD. But does using CBD in sports really help improve performance and recovery for athletes?
Cannabinoids from the cannabis plant are known to provide therapeutic benefits without the side effects associated with other chemical drugs. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, or even opioids such as Tramadol often appeal to athletes. The side effects of NSAIDs can range from digestive problems to high blood pressure. In addition, there are other risks (such as potential addiction) associated with the use of opioids. And none of these side-effects are desirable for any athlete.
So, could adding CBD oil into your lifestyle improve your muscle recovery and performance? Which CBD product is best for you? In this article, we’ll have a look at these points and look at the benefits of CBD – read on to know more!
How could CBD help you work out better?
Cannabidiol or CBD is one of the active ingredients in the cannabis plant that offers many health benefits due to its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Let’s take a look at what the science says about CBD and its fitness benefits.
1. CBD in sports could help with inflammation and pain relief:
According to research, CBD could have positive effects on body inflammation. CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can help reduce inflammation – the body’s natural response to injury. Inflammation occurs as a result of external aggression (infection, trauma, burns, allergy…) or internal aggression (cancer cells). It is therefore a universal process of the body, and leads to an immune response in all cases.
CBD oil or CBD balm massages could alleviate musculoskeletal pain caused by intense exercise. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system which regulates pain, sleep, appetite and metabolism. The most common musculoskeletal disorders are lower back pains, neck pains, carpal tunnel syndrome, shoulder and elbow pains… A European survey on working conditions showed that musculoskeletal disorders are the top two health problems faced by workers, with back pain in first place (44% of workers).
2. CBD might contribute to better sleep:
After intense exercise and heavy workouts, it can become difficult for an athlete to get a good, recuperative night’s sleep. However, CBD can be helpful for athletes to reduce the symptoms of sleep disorders. Psychological sleep disorders (dyssomnia) are often related to emotional stress, a change in the sleep environment, or the use of alcohol or certain medications. Overexertion of the body is a potential sleep disorder, with a need for significant recovery. Sleep disorders can be a major detriment to the quality of life and well-being of athletes.
– Reducing stress
– Improving muscle relaxation
– Alleviating muscle pain
3. CBD in sports could support muscle recovery:
After a strong workout, our muscles are filled with lactate. And it’s this build-up of lactic acid that causes muscle soreness and makes it difficult to walk the next morning.
Muscle recovery is an active process because it is important to drink well to re-oxygenate the muscles before and after a major effort. It is also essential to eat well in order to recover the energy used during exercise. Eat carbohydrates (starchy foods, vegetables, cereals) as well as amino acids (contained in proteins). In addition, a rest of 48 hours is necessary between each exercise for a muscle to recover: this rest associated with a massage of the muscles is an essential recovery step for the body. The beneficial effects of Swiss CBD oil are ideal to help soothe your muscles.
Finally, the most central recovery step is sleep: muscle and tissue recovery occurs during sleep, with muscle fibers regenerating during this time. So, more sleep combined with the anti-inflammatory effects of Swiss CBD oil could make this hemp-derived compound a great ally for better muscle recovery.
4. CBD could ease stress and anxiety:
If you tend to get anxious before games or competitions, when you’re trying to achieve a new one-rep-max (one-repetition-maximum or the maximum amount of weight you can carry for one repetition of a given exercise), or when you’re hitting a black diamond bike trail (which expresses the difficulty level of a mountain bike trail) , the cannabidiol oil effects could help calm your nerves and give you the confidence to take on your next big challenge.
CBD may indeed reduce anxiety and stress by lowering cortisol levels. Secreted by the adrenal glands, cortisol is the ultimate stress hormone. Physiologically, its level is higher in the morning when you wake up and lower at bedtime. In case of stress, the level of cortisol (cortisolemia) rises significantly to allow the body to manage this stress: this will consist for example in an increase of the glucose level to the brain. The problem with this body response to stress is that it limits the immune response (e.g. in case of inflammation): there is a drop in the efficiency of the immune system.
The body’s mineral balance can also be affected by hypercortisolaemia (acid-base balance), as well as the functioning of the mineralcorticoid receptors, which can lead to effects such as sodium retention and excessive excretion of potassium that are harmful to the body. In addition, cortisol causes great fatigue in the body, promotes weight gain (acts on blood sugar) and disrupts sleep. So if you feel your nerves are getting in the way of your athletic potential, CBD oil and topical products might be worth a try. Plants, through their relaxing properties, are indeed natural stress regulators.
What are the potential benefits of CBD for athletes?
A 2020 review on the benefits of using CBD in sports for athletes suggests that it could help soothe muscles which leads to reducing inflammation. A study by the NCBI suggests CBD is great for those looking for post-workout relief.
As a side note, a nice warm bath can also help relax muscles and prevent the risk of soreness or ice, used around a towel, can reduce inflammation. These are caused by the high strain and pressure on the muscles during training. It is also sometimes a sign that the muscles are getting stronger: as the muscle fibers repair themselves, the inflammation affects the nerves and causes pain. It is then important to relieve the pain.
The review notes that CBD could help in this process by:
– Protecting gastrointestinal damage – related to inflammation.
– Promoting healing of skeletal injuries.
– Relieving stress and anxiety.
– Boosting mental performance during physical activity.
If you’re looking for a product to help with post-workout muscle soreness or soreness, Swiss CBD oils and balms could provide the relief you need.
In addition to helping to relieve pain and thus prevent inflammation and soreness, CBD in sports could promote better muscle recovery by reducing stress and anxiety, harmful to the proper functioning of the body of the athlete. CBD by its soothing virtues could contribute to a better life balance and better sleep essential for any type of recovery.
Thanks to CBD, your muscles can be massaged effectively, which promotes muscle regeneration and muscle resistance to effort. In this way, the body of the sportsman is better prepared for light to intensive training, which has positive long-term effects such as the reduction of musculoskeletal disorders for example.