With new records being set and broken every day, today’s athletes continuously strive for a competitive advantage to help set them ahead of their pack.
Even the average Joe is always looking to push it to a new personal best. Some opt for non-traditional methods of conditioning like acupuncture, hypobaric chambers and even leech therapy, where others keep it a little more traditional with a solid diet, regular massages and plenty of rest.
No matter the routine, almost all athletes take some sort of supplement, and in most cases many supplements. After all, they’re accomplishing super human things almost daily. Add to this the financial influence on performance and it only makes sense that every athlete would want to maximize their edge in almost any way possible.
We’ve seen the extremes that some pros will go to but thankfully we have newer supplements now and extreme results can still be accomplished without having to push it so far.
The Fitness Athlete’s Needs
When you think of an athlete, even your typical gym or running buddy athlete, you think of someone who’s working hard, sometimes to the point of exhaustion, depletion or even discomfort. Not everyone takes it to maximum intensity every single day like that but it’s still a fact the more active an individual is the higher their nutritional and wellness needs are too.
Whole food sources are always your best bet for replenishment, but again, we’re talking about taking it a step above and beyond for wellness and longevity. Our everyday athlete is typically interested in the supplements that can be used to recover faster, heal stronger, optimize nutrient intake, feel better and even rest better.
We’re talking about longevity here and giving our body what it needs to be better tomorrow based on what it went through today. Even light physical activity can start to take a toll on the body so it’s always important to condition wisely and recover properly
A Trending Option
An interesting play recently trending in fitness has been CBD, a non-psycho element of the cannabis plant. Let’s take a quick break from fitness and supplements and briefly discuss marijuana. No, we’re not talking about getting high here but regarding cannabis, there are many elements, or cannabinoids, that make up the plant. Each packs a potent array of properties and you may have heard of the most infamous one: THC.
THC is most famous for producing a high and while it can be abused recreationally it still carries its own benefits with regards to health and wellness. The second most popular cannabinoid within cannabis is CBD, or cannabidiol. There are over 100 cannabinoids that make up cannabis and each cannabis strain contains different ratios of each cannabinoid creating a limitless amount of cannabinoid profiles.
For example, you can have low THC high CBD, vice versa or even THC free. This is important because through basic genetics we’re able to breed plants rich in specific cannabinoids based on our bodies’ needs. That’s right, our bodies’ NEEDS. It’s been argued our bodies need cannabinoids. It’s a known fact they’re found naturally in breast milk meant for crucial infant development and all healthy humans have what’s called an endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is a system of receptors specifically designed to interact with cannabinoids. Why would humans have systems of receptors designed to interact with cannabinoids if there wasn’t a human need to interact with them in the first place?
Now back to fitness – remember we’re looking for something that packs an array of benefits and revitalizes the body before, during and especially after putting it through strenuous activity. CBD fits that description and while its benefits are proven, there’s still occasional reluctance to fully integrate it into normalcy, mainly due to its association with the cannabis plant.
At the time of writing, marijuana remains federally illegal. However, the 2018 Farm Bill is scheduled to be enacted in less than a week making it legal for US farmers to begin producing agricultural hemp, the starting material needed to make CBD.
At the state level over half of the US has supported legalization of some form of marijuana, so the road to acceptance seems to be getting a lot faster with each voting term.
We’ve even seen monster athlete endorsements in the CBD industry, even bigger business plays and also a viral amount of personal consumption just for balance and wellness.
In fact, top professional athletes like UFC champion Rose Namajunes have been partnering with brands like CW Hemp to help with their inflammation and recovery after training sessions.
At the professional level we’re also starting to see tolerance in the NBA and most notably CBD has been removed from the banned substances list in the International Olympics.
Why So Much Buzz?
CBD has a reputation has for being beneficial but what exactly can it aid with and how? Well, let’s start with recovery.
A large part of an athlete’s ability to recover will depend on how much they need to recover from. When the body has a strenuous day it becomes stimulated and in most cases inflamed. Inflammation is the cause of pain and sometimes even injury or restriction. CBD can aide in workout recovery.
You would think that one concerned with wellness and longevity would be keeping any eye on things like inflammation and the wise already are. A recent study found that both CBD and THC act as natural anti-inflammatory aids to assist with pain, swelling and ultimately recovery time.
Another crucial aspect to recovery is rest, or sleep. CBD shines here in more applications than just fitness. A study published in 2017 showed signs that it was used to aid in sleep on patients with insomnia and sleep apnea and it also provided relief from nightmares associated with PTSD. Naturally, if it can improve sleep quality in people with existing conditions just imagine what it could do for a healthy individual just looking to induce a deeper state of rest.
In my opinion rest is most important because it can lead to a higher quality of life in so many other areas of our day. An example of this would be with appetite. Just being well rested creates a routine or cycle for the body including its metabolism and this makes adhering to a regiment easier, thus more effective.
Pain relief, anti-inflammation and deeper recovery are powerful punches to pack into an all-natural herbal remedy but there are even more benefits experienced from CBD. The studies are out there to support this and quite frankly they’re starting to pile up.
Ways to Consume
You don’t HAVE TO smoke cannabis in order to experience relief from CBD. Nowadays you can find all kinds of CBD relief treats like gummies, mints, teas, energy drinks… You name it.
There are also therapeutic ways to enjoy CBD as a topical, vapor or tincture. And CBD is 100% safe for animals as well so it’s not uncommon to find entire pet lines available when shopping around.
We’ve only discussed CBD from a fitness and wellness prospective but there’s still a whole medical side of CBD that has revealed very promising findings in the fields of cancer, epilepsy, eczema, eating disorders and more.
Also, CBD is just one of over one hundred cannabinoids that comprise the cannabis plant. Perhaps the most beneficial one along with its ideal extraction method, consumption method and application have yet to be discovered.
Now that regulation is loosening up, society is becoming more vocal and supportive and the studies keep showing both positive benefits and minimal negative side effects from CBD, so we could see additional progress in cannabis and CBD research.
For most people, giving CBD a try may not be a bad idea but as always, you’ll want to consult with a physician to determine your candidacy.