CBD for Athletes: A Growing Trend

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Whether you’re a cyclist, a runner, or just love a good workout, your training puts a lot of stress on your body with positive and negative effects. If that stress is often energizing and enhancing performances, it will high-likely come with downsides over time.
Repetitive efforts and heavy training can easily lead to injuries such as muscle pull, strain or tendinitis, all causing significant pain… With most current pain management options not being sustainable for everyone, more and more athletes are now using CBD as a daily supplement.

What exactly is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally-occurring compound found in hemp and cannabis plants, which has recently gained popularity due to its numerous health benefits. One of the important advantages of CBD is that unlike tetrahydrocannibinol (THC) found in the cannabis plant, CBD is non-psychoactive, and does not produce the euphoric, mild-altering “high.” That said, it’s very important to dissociate hemp CBD from marijuana CBD. Recently, hemp-derived CBD has been exponentially gaining popularity as a health supplement for athletes due to its extensive therapeutic uses and benefits.

A ride through the athlete journey

While athletes and sport specialists are always monitoring trends around medication and new health supplements, CBD supplement industry has grown exponentially over the past few years. Let’s take a look at how and why some athletes have decided to introduce CBD in their sport journey:

1. Exercise-induced inflammation

Inflammation is a condition which is often experienced by professional athletes. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are typically prescribed to athletes for inflammation, but their frequent use can increase the risk of gastrointestinal ulcers and bleeding, heart attack and kidney disease. As a result, some athletes have stopped using those and many have limited their consumption due to side effects. In contrast, CBD is a great health supplement for post-exercise recovery and overall wellness.

2. Game day anxiety 

Athletes often experience performance anxiety due to the stress arising from the pressure to succeed. Fear and anxiety are normal, adaptive responses which are essential to coping with stress. However, excessive or persistent anxiety may hinder athletic performance.
However, most medications currently prescribed to treat anxiety usually result in drowsiness and mild to moderate sedative effects, which can seriously interfere with athletic performance. On the other hand, CBD is a daily supplement that won’t leave you with this feeling of being tired or exhausted after using it.

3. Lack of focus

No need to mention how important focus is in most sports. Athletes perform best when they’re fully and consistently focused on the action during a training or a sport competition.
Many people introduced CBD into their night-time routine to feel an overall sense of relaxation and reduce anxiety/stress in their sport routine. And less anxiety means more focus for athletes as it’s easy to become distracted and struggle to focus back onto their sport.

4. Relaxation and sleep support 

A good night’s sleep is essential for good performance and sport recovery. The body repairs itself during sleep, and maintains and regenerates muscle fibers and other tissues. Sleep is also very important for brain health and memory formation. Post-exercise insomnia affects a lot of athletes, especially after long workouts or sport events, and lack of sleep can stand in the way of tissue regeneration and optimal athletic performance.
Unfortunately, traditional prescription medications for insomnia often have undesirable side effects such as reducing concentration.