If you make physical activity a priority, you may already know how your overall health and wellness affect your athletic performance for better and for worse. Individuals who make extreme demands on their bodies often experience pain, inflammation, disrupted sleep, emotional stress, and aching muscles that need extensive recovery time.
Fortunately, products that feature cannabidiol (better known as CBD) can help you maintain a happier, healthier, and more functional physical and mental state, whether you just compete professionally or just play sports for fun. Check out the following four ways that CBD can help you improve your game.
1. Pain and Inflammation Management
Any physical activity that strains muscles or connective tissues creates inflammation as a side effect of the strengthening process. When you push muscle fibers beyond their normal capacity, they develop tiny tears. The body responds by producing painful inflammation as part of the healing process, making muscles bigger and stronger than before.
In both research studies and anecdotal experiences reported by athletes, CBD has shown the ability to reduce inflammation through its influence on endocannabinoid receptors in the brain and body. This effect could make it a useful alternative to anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen in your efforts to control acute inflammation.
Chronic pain conditions such as arthritis may hinder your efforts to train or compete. CBD has shown potential as a means of managing inflammatory pain in these conditions as well. A 2016 study on arthritic rats resulted in measurable reductions in both pain responses and joint swelling when administered in sufficient dosages.
2. Stress Control
Although stress hormones can sharpen your fight-or-flight reflexes, they can also do athletes more harm than good. Poorly managed stress can put you in a state of debilitating chronic fatigue that impairs your athletic performance. It can also cause digestive issues, headaches, and other disruptive symptoms.
CBD may help you get a better handle on stress by indirectly influencing the sympathetic nervous system, the system that sends you into fight-or-flight mode. Since the endocannabinoid system (ECS) interacts closely with the sympathetic nervous system, CBD's effects on the ECS may help to normalize your stress response.
3. Sleep Enhancement
Sleep plays a critical role in many physical and mental functions, from overnight tissue repair to daytime alertness and reflexes. However, concerns about an upcoming competition, combined with life's everyday stresses, may prevent you from getting the full, restful sleep you need to remain in top condition.
CBD has demonstrated an ability to promote more restful sleep. Researchers who administered doses of 40, 80, and 160 milligrams of CBD found that all three dosage levels improved sleep in study participants compared to a placebo.
Even if you have no worries about competition, you may still suffer from insomnia that interferes with your body's recovery processes. People with insomnia typically experience a nighttime increase in cortisol, the same hormone that promotes stress. CBD's power to reduce cortisol production may therefore help you sleep better.
4. Muscle Building Support
Your balance of muscle to body fat depends on many factors, including two metabolic processes known as anabolism and catabolism. When your body enters an anabolic state, it organizes molecules into larger, more complex structures, including muscle tissue. A catabolic state does the opposite, burning fat and muscle tissue for energy.
CBD won't put you into an anabolic state that puts muscle on, but it can help you avoid going into the catabolic state that takes muscle off. As a result, you may find it easier to retain the muscle that you built during training during those times when you need to give your muscles a much-needed rest.
New Leaf Organic Wellness can provide you with a variety of CBD products that can help you feel and function better, both in athletic training or competition and in your everyday life. Get started today by taking a look at our online catalog.