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CBD Benefits for Athletes

cbd for athletes

From amateurs to professionals, athletes across the spectrum endure excessive and intense training.

Developing a routine filled with conditioning, training, and discipline are the main ingredients for athletes to be at the top of their game.

This is why athletes often rely on healthy diets, rest, and supplements to sustain strength and endurance. And while some supplements help deliver much-needed vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc., not all supplements live up to the hype.

It’s important to do your research when looking at supplements, especially those that claim to help with weight loss, muscle gain, improved endurance, speed, and flexibility.

With that said, CBD products made from reputable companies do in fact live up to the claims that both scientists and anecdotal evidence have reported. More importantly, they are perfect for athletes of all ages and levels.

5 CBD Oil Benefits for Athletes

1. Anxiety and stress

Athletic performance can take its toll on both professional and amateur athletes. One common complaint before any performance is anxiety. Often times, to calm the nerves or reduce panic, athletes turn to antidepressants for relief.

These drugs are filled with harmful side effects and must be taken long term before any relief is found.

However, multiple studies have shown CBD to reduce anxiety and stress in both animals and humans [1,2].

What’s more, researchers found CBD to significantly interfere with the secretion of cortisol –– the main stress hormone in our body.

This interference not only balances out hormones, but it also helps reduce stress and anxiety when cortisol levels are too high [3].

2. Nausea and Spasms

Athletes experience spasms for a number of reasons. Spasms of any kind are painful and can be brought on with little to no warning. They’re often caused by dehydration, chronic pain, disease, and other conditions.

Yet, in several scientific studies, researchers found that CBD reduces pain and inflammation, two major contributors of spasms.

Unfortunately, the intensity of spasms can often cause nausea and vomiting. Yet, several studies have shown CBD to prevent nausea in a number of animal models [4].

3. Restful Sleep and Energy

It’s absolutely crucial for athletes to get restful sleep. When we sleep, our muscles, organs, mind, and major systems within the body can heal, which ultimately gives us more energy while we’re awake.

But when there’s little to no sleep taking place, the body falls apart. Scientific and anecdotal evidence shows CBD to be a powerful sleep aid for those battling with insomnia and irregular sleep patterns.

CBD is known to calm the mind, relax the body, and balance out hormones that regulate our ability to fall asleep and stay asleep [5].

4. Weight Loss and Normal Appetite

Athletes are held to a higher physical standard when it comes to a healthy weight and diet. Bingeing on processed snacks will effectively catch up to them if these poor habits persist.

For this reason, athletes are often put on high-quality diets filled with antioxidants and health-promoting nutrients. Surprisingly, supplementing with CBD has shown to break down fat cells by stimulating the protein genes within the body [6,7].

CBD also helps regulate the endocannabinoid system (ECS) by balancing out serotonin and dopamine levels, which can lead to unhealthy cravings and poor bingeful habits when they’re out of balance [8].

5. Bone Growth

Bone injury is a possibility for any athlete. Thankfully, however, research shows that our body’s CB2 receptor cells are highly receptive to CBD. These cells are found throughout the body and in our bone tissue cells.

Supplementing with CBD has shown to strengthen bone health while preventing bone loss [9,10].

CBD Oil for Pain

Constant training and conditioning take a toll on the body, and the most common complaint of any athlete is pain.

Athletes often struggle with muscle spasms, achy joints, soreness, cramping, and a burning sensation. While more athletes turn to CBD as a natural pain reliever, others continue consuming over-the-counter drugs such as Ibuprofen, Tylenol, and Aspirin.

NFL offensive tackle, Eugene Monroe, was the first NFL player to advocate for legalizing medical marijuana and announced his personal consumption of CBD for pain relief.

He stated that his pain from football has to be managed in some way, and resorting to painkillers produce possible addictive behaviors and substance abuse.

He said, “Managing [pain] with pills was slowly killing me. Now I’m able to function and be extremely efficient by figuring out how to use different formulations of cannabis [11].”

So the question is, how is CBD different and how does it help reduce pain?

How to Use CBD Oil for Pain

To understand how to use CBD oil for pain, it’s important to know that each person contains a system known as the Endocannabinoid system (ECS).

This system is made of receptor cells that communicate and maintain a homeostatic balance within our body.

In fact, our receptor cells are found all throughout our body, from our central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract to our immune system and peripheral nervous system.

The ECS is responsible for regulating our digestion, sleep, mood, reproduction, appetite, perception of pain, memory, immunity, temperature, motor control, and pleasure.

However, if an issue arises within the ECS, our homeostasis is no longer in balance and we can develop problems like inflammation, pain, nausea, stress, anxiety, and insomnia.

Our body naturally produces endocannabinoids such as Anandamide and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2AG). These two endogenous cannabinoids are not only vital to our immune, mental, and overall health, they’re also the only endocannabinoids that scientists currently know of.

Researcher Dr. Ethan Russo suggested, from a 2004 study, that some people suffering from multiple health issues, diseases, and conditions may, in fact, have an endocannabinoid deficiency.

As a result of this deficiency, Dr. Ethan Russo also suggests that phytocannabinoid medicines, such as CBD, may help treat a number of unwanted negative health conditions [12].

CBD helps relieve pain by preserving anandamide otherwise known as the “bliss molecule”.

Unfortunately, this bliss molecule is short lived. Anandamide is first discharged by neurons and then is very quickly broken down within our body. It’s within this endocannabinoid that inflammation, appetite, mood, and perception of pain, are regulated.

In a normal, healthy body, the breakdown of anandamide is not an issue, but when there’s an endocannabinoid deficiency, our whole system is thrown off and we’re left with excessive inflammation, which produces chronic pain, anxiety, and so on.

Fortunately, when CBD is consumed, it prevents anandamide from breaking down too fast, by binding to the proteins that help break it down in the first place.

The longer anandamide stays in the system, the more the ECS can regulate our body back into a homeostatic balance.

So, what are some of the best ways athletes can incorporate CBD into their exercise routines?

  • CBD oil and tinctures –– designed for sublingual intake or used in baked goods
  • CBD edibles –– designed for oral consumption
  • CBD spray –– designed for sublingual intake
  • CBD topicals and muscle rubs –– applied on the surface of the skin. CBD topicals in particular work best for workout recovery and repair

CBD Muscle Rub

CBD infused topicals are a safe and convenient way to get CBD working in problematic areas in the body. While some say applying a CBD infused topical is best after a workout, experts encourage to apply as needed.

For example: When you massage CBD muscle rubs, salves, or topicals on an injured or sore part of the body, CBD and other cannabinoids tell the rest of your body there’s an imbalance going on and it needs more attention. This, in turn, helps regulate homeostasis throughout the body.

According to sports medicine doctor and executive medical director of the Hoag Orthopedic Institute in California, Dr. Alan Beyer, CBD salves and muscle rubs help greatly for injuries related to exercise and weightlifting. He stated, "CBD penetrates transdermally to reduce inflammation in the injured tissues" [13].

CBD and Fitness

When it comes to fitness and exercising, endorphins play a huge role. The discovery of endorphins occurred in the 1970s when scientists began researching how heroin and morphine act within our body.  

Endorphins are neurochemicals in our body that make us feel good. They’re also our body’s natural pain reliever; without them, we’d constantly be in a state of discomfort. Drugs like heroin, and even painkillers, mimic how endorphins act within the body, which causes more harm to our natural endorphins by stifling them all together.

Surprisingly, endorphins are produced in a number of ways: laughing, meditation, eating chocolate, and exercise.

Long periods of intense exercise can cause the body to undergo a tremendous amount of stress which activates endorphins, allowing us to push a little further. Amazingly, these stress responders help reduce pain.

However, there is a fine line between pushing yourself too far to activate these stress responders and activating too much stress that causes severe damage, which leaves you feeling irritated and in an unblissful mood.

This is why many athletes are turning to CBD. While painkillers and over-the-counter drugs may help relieve pain, CBD helps control and balance our natural endorphins, without causing a negative dependency as synthetic drugs can.

CBD and Inflammation

We had the pleasure of meeting Desean Jackson who told us about the importance of recovery time to an athletes game.

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Ever get sore while working out? Are muscle aches and pain holding you back from living your best life? Top athletes revealed how important recovery time is to their game. We bet it's the same for all of you active, on-the-go individuals! • Our Nonnie's Nectar salve is a topical rub offered in a high potent strength - 1000mg You can choose from a calming lavendar/vanilla or restorative lavendar/eucalyptus. 🌿 • Huge thank you to DeSean Jackson @0ne0fone for showing love to Nonnie's Nectar. Wishing you a great off-season! 🏈 • #HempCBD #HempCBDHeals #AthletesOnTheGo #HempCBDLife #ActiveLifestyle #MadeinUSA 🇺🇸 #Hemp #OrganicHemp #FullSpectrumHemp #HighEndHemp #NotAllHempIsCreatedEqual #HempExtract #HempCBD #HempHeals #HempTincture #HempSalve #HempSoftGels #HempGummies #HempWellness #HempLifestyle #HempLife #CelebChoice #HempisHot 🔥

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Any activity from biking, swimming, dancing, hiking, running, walking and especially more rigorous ones like weightlifting, bodybuilding, etc., all cause damage to the muscles and tissues in our body.

When the muscle and tissue are damaged two things happen: Inflammation sets in, and aches and pains soon follow. Inflammation primarily comes in two forms: chronic and acute.

Although inflammation is usually associated with pain, it’s also our body’s way to repair itself. When the tissue and muscle are damaged, inflammation sets in and triggers a repair process.

It’s through this repair process that the muscles and tissues grow back stronger allowing them to be more fit. But too much inflammation may contribute to excessive muscle damage.

This is why many athletes take precautionary measures to prevent excessive inflammation by eating foods full of antioxidants as well as taking supplements. Some even do ice baths to reduce inflammation, while others rely on NSAIDs to recover from achy joints and muscles.

NSAIDs have a tremendous amount of side effects and can cause more harm than good with prolonged use.

However, studies have shown CBD to be a powerful anti-inflammatory. According to a 2016 review in the FASEB Journal, cannabinoids such as CBD respond to inflammation through mechanisms much differently than how NSAIDs act on inflammation.

The review also concluded that cannabinoids like CBD don’t produce harmful side effects associated with drugs that are in clinical use today [14].

Other studies show that CBD helps reduce pain and inflammation in people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, as well as mice with spinal cord injury.

Even Hector Lopez, M.D., C.S.C.S., a consultant for professional athletes and advisor at CV Sciences, said, “Ingesting hemp-derived CBD regulates a healthy inflammatory response that encourages muscle, tendon, bone, and overall connective tissue remodeling and adaptation.”

CBD Oil and Exercise

Exercise is crucial for improving our overall health. A minimum of 30 minutes of exercise a day can prevent a number of ailments, such as diabetes, insomnia, certain cancers, depression, heart disease, and even mental health issues [15].

Exercise improves strength, flexibility, and a healthy weight. Those who struggle adding exercise to their routine may benefit greatly from CBD, as it reduces inflammation and pain, and promotes muscle growth.

Although only anecdotal reports are available regarding CBD and exercise, the reports are compelling.

To date, a number of professional athletes say they consume CBD on a daily basis, including:

  • Leonard Marshall - NFL defensive end
  • Derrick Morgan - NFL linebacker
  • Eugene Monroe - NFL offensive tackle
  • Nate Diaz - MMA fighter
  • Chris Camozzi - MMA fighter

These professional athletes use CBD to help with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) caused by concussions, chronic inflammation, severe joint and bone injuries, and chronic pain [16].

CBD and Weightlifting 

CBD can help people who lift weights in many ways:

Improves a balanced appetite

CBD helps regulate a metabolic rate in the body by communicating when the body feels hungry and when it’s full. This allows the body to supply more energy and improve blood sugar. Without a regulated metabolic rate, the body struggles to achieve the desired physique that most weightlifters and bodybuilders work towards.

Promotes an energetic boost to pre-workout

In one study, researchers noticed that CBD increased dopamine levels in the hypothalamus: a small part of the brain that releases hormones. This increase of dopamine concluded that CBD is wake-inducing when taken in smaller amounts during the day [17,18].

Weightlifting requires a tremendous amount of energy, and although caffeine is often associated with wake-inducing energy, it’s side effects include unwanted jitters and, at times, anxiety. CBD reduces anxiety while promoting wake-inducing energy and mental stamina. Consider incorporating CBD into your pre-workout routine.

Reduces inflammation and pain

CBD is a powerful analgesic (pain reliever). Weightlifting and bodybuilding take a toll on the body. Muscle damage and strain often produce inflammation and pain. Incorporating CBD into these strenuous workouts helps the body recover faster and helps reduce inflammation and pain [19].

CBD and Pre-Workout

Anxiety and nervousness can play a huge role for regular and professional athletes as well as participants in weightlifting and fitness competitions. The amount of CBD you take will affect how well or how poorly you perform during your workout.

As mentioned before, CBD in small amounts can be taken to help induce alertness and energy. But what makes this medicinal plant so effective is that it does help relieve anxiety.

Athletes face anxiety before and after performances and workout routines. Struggling with anxiety can be debilitating which can ruin mental focus, causing mistakes that may result in injury or strain.

Multiple studies indicate that CBD helps reduce stress and anxiety in both human and animal models.

CBD and Workout Recovery

After a rigorous workout, athletes are often left to nurse their inflamed joints and muscles back to health.

And depending on how damaged the muscles and joints are after a workout, recovery time may take days or even weeks.  

However, consuming CBD helps the body repair faster by:

  •            Bringing oxygen into the muscles and joints
  •            Reducing inflammation
  •            Relieving pain
  •            Promoting with cell regeneration

In addition to workout recovery, rest is often encouraged to all athletes, as it allows the body to relax and repair. Consuming CBD helps to relax the body and promotes restful sleep.

From athletes to people occasionally working out or staying active, we’re all dealing with something when we involve our muscles, joints, bones, and overall body. While it’s true that CBD is in no way a cure-all, it does contain anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that definitely help make physical activities more enjoyable and achievable.

To try Nonnie's CDB products for yourself, shop here. 

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