As more and more people turn towards cannabidiol (CBD) to benefit from its therapeutic and health-enhancing properties, the potential correlation between CBD and sports performance has also come to light.
Presently, there are many CBD sports performance products available on the market designed specifically for elite and recreational athletes, both male and female.
Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound found in cannabis, CBD is not a ‘banned’ substance according to the World Anti-doping Agency since 2018. So today, we’ll discuss CBD’s potential impacts on enhancing your athletic performance.
CBD and Sports Performance
Generally speaking, CBD has various psychological, physiological, and biochemical effects that immensely benefit the body. That being said, these effects can also potentially aid sports performance.
However, research is still quite inconsistent, and most scientific data relates to animal studies instead of real-world evidence.
But, researchers are certain that our body can tolerate high amounts of CBD for prolonged times without any harmful side effects. This makes CBD a suitable and worth-considering candidate for improving sports performance.
Is CBD a Performance Enhancer?
While there is no clear answer to this question, CBD could be used as a performance enhancer because of some of its inherent benefits to the human body:
- Despite the lack of scientific studies, preliminary research investigating the effects of CBD on cardiovascular performance during exercise indicates that CBD could enhance mitochondrial activity (the organelle responsible for cell energy production), potentially increasing energy metabolism during a workout.
- CBD stimulates the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines and inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, reducing inflammation and relieving muscles after a strenuous workout.
- CBD decreases the accumulation of immune cells in damaged areas and encourages tissue regeneration and repair.
- CBD could be beneficial in decreasing the prolonged effects of repetitive concussions because of its neuro-protector properties and reduction in oxidative stress and inflammation.
Is There a Link between CBD and Sports Anxiety?
Sports performance anxiety (SPA) can be extremely damaging for athletes since it affects their sleep, appetite, overall mental well-being, and general performance.
Many clinical trials have evaluated CBD’s effects on stress, anxiety, paranoia, etc., and come up with positive findings, especially for ‘induced stress’ often experienced in public situations. This also highlights the possibility that CBD may help reduce sleep problems and improve sports performance.
Moreover, using CBD for sports along with behavioral therapies has great potential to manage pre-competition anxiety.
Can You Consume CBD Oil before Sport?
CBD oil can benefit athletes both before and after exercise.
Taking CBD before a workout can boost energy and ease the muscles to provide a more extensive and effective workout. And as mentioned above, taking CBD after a workout can help soothe injury and inflammation.
Hence, the decision to take CBD oil before or after sports depends on an individual’s exercise regime and ultimate fitness goals.
What is the CBD Dosage for Athletes?
The best method of taking CBD is in the form of CBD isolates – a tincture or a powdered capsule measured in milliliters or milligrams without a flavoring agent or filler. However, athletes looking to use CBD for managing muscular pain should ideally use a topical solution instead of an edible one. This is because topical solutions usually feature other ingredients along with CBD to provide more rapid relief.
The CBD dosage for athletes depends on various aspects, such as the method of ingestion, the extent of exercise, the athlete’s metabolism, gender, etc. The expert recommends always starting with the lowest dosage, assessing the effects, and gradually increasing the amount until you achieve the desired results.
7 Best CBD for Athletes 2022
Here are seven of the best CBD products for athletes in 2022:
- CBDfx Cream for Muscle & Joint: Cooling
- Plant People Soothe+ (Full-spectrum CBD)
- Go Green Hemp CBD Relief Stick (Broad-spectrum CBD)
- Fab CBD Topical CBD Cream
- Calm by Wellness CBD Lotion
- Lazarus Naturals Soothing Mint Balm (Full-spectrum CBD)
- Level Select Sports CBD Cream
Before using CBD to enhance your athletic performance, it is important to realize that very few clinical trials elaborating on the definite effects of CBD on sports performance and overall athletic abilities are available. So if you’re trying out such a product, always refer to your nutritionist first.
Also, non-prescription CBD-containing products (commercially available) are unregulated and might contain harmful components or unknown quantities of CBD and THC. Hence, athletes must be extremely careful before using such products because of the risk of under/over-dosing, testing failure, and unpredictable after-effects.