CBD for Athletes: Why More Athletes are Using It

CBD for Athletes: Why More Athletes are Using It

CBD products for athletes are gaining traction among professionals and amateurs alike. But why are so many players using it? Read more about CBD for athletes.

An increasing number of athletes have turned to CBD (cannabidiol) to alleviate various physical challenges, and in turn support their bodies for better performance. Even the top athletes in the world can feel tired and sore after difficult training sessions or strenuous competitions. This is because the body's natural way of building itself up is to first tear itself down. Top athletes know how to walk the line between healthy strain and debilitating damage to the body, thanks to expert guidance.

But recovery is a major factor to success. So let’s take a closer look at why and how CBD for athletes has become a preferred tool to help bodies that have been put through the wringer.

Common Physical Challenges for Athletes

Athletes endure a number of physical challenges that can influence their performance. These challenges encompass a spectrum of issues, including injuries, inflammation, pain, strains, stress, and sleep disturbances. Such obstacles not only disrupt effective training regimens, but they can also compromise an athlete’s competitive edge.

Imagine the feeling of sore muscles and joints after pushing yourself in a workout. Athletes know this feeling – it's like a badge of honor, showing they've worked hard. But rolling out of bed the next day and struggling to keep up is no one’s idea of a good time. And it’s nearly impossible to perform to your full potential in this state.

Sometimes, it's not just about the usual soreness – it's dealing with injuries that take longer to heal. Delayed onset muscle soreness only lasts a couple of days. But minor joint and muscle injuries can take longer to heal. Athletes, especially the pros in sports like basketball, baseball, and hockey, often play through the pain. They don't always get a chance to take a break and let their bodies heal, especially if they're playing multiple games each week. For many athletes, the struggle involves making existing problems worse because they can't rest like they need to.

Everyone wants to push themselves and be the best they can be in sports. So, athletes are always looking for ways to train harder and keep playing. The need for effective solutions to address these issues has led many athletes to consider alternative remedies, with CBD emerging as a prominent option.

Athlete Taking CBD Capsules for Pre-Workout Warmup

Is CBD for Athletes a Good Choice?

As athletes explore the potential benefits of CBD, it becomes imperative to navigate the legal, regulatory, and physiological considerations associated with its usage. Before delving into the positive impacts of CBD for athletes, it is crucial to understand the legal landscape governing its use, differentiate between broad spectrum and full spectrum CBD, emphasize the importance of third-party testing for product quality, and unravel the physiological mechanisms underlying CBD's effects on the body.

Legal and Regulatory Considerations

Thanks to recent rulings by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), products containing CBD (cannabidiol) have been removed from their lists of prohibited substances. Major sports governing bodies like the NFL and MLB have also started to revise their policies on cannabis and its derivatives.

This clears many athletes to use CBD products during training and competition.

Understanding the distinctions between broad spectrum and full spectrum CBD is also important, as full spectrum CBD contains trace amounts of THC. While the levels of THC are below the legal limits of 0.3 percent by dry weight and are federally legal, it can still show on drug tests. Broad spectrum CBD may be more suitable for those athletes who are subject to drug testing.

Additionally, the significance of third-party testing cannot be overstated. Rigorous third party testing, COAs, and products that are NSF Certified for Sport ensure product quality, transparency, and compliance with regulatory standards, safeguarding athletes against potential risks associated with low-quality CBD products.

CBD and Athletic Performance

Athletes are trying CBD for a wide variety of reasons, and many report positive results. Perhaps most commonly, active people use products containing CBD for muscle recovery after tough training sessions. More research is needed for us to truly understand what CBD oil benefits exist for people in sports. For now, we can only rely on the feedback of individuals and wait patiently for the science to catch up.

To comprehend the potential benefits of CBD for athletic performance, take a closer look at its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD interacts with the ECS, influencing pain perception, inflammation, and mood regulation. Athletes seeking to harness the benefits of CBD can tailor their usage to specific goals, such as post-training recovery, more energy and focus, temporary pain relief, or enhanced sleep.

The variety of CBD products available, including those combining hemp extracts with trusted ingredients for better focus, temporary pain relief, stress management, and improved relaxation, further expands the options for athletes seeking tailored solutions.

Optimizing CBD Use with Exercise Routines

Then there’s the question of whether athletes should use CBD before or after workout sessions. The answer depends on your goals and your preferred method for using CBD with your exercise routine. Athletes can align their CBD usage with their exercise routines, considering factors such as recovery needs, pain management, and overall performance enhancement.

For those prioritizing post-training recovery, integrating CBD after workouts may prove beneficial, facilitating relaxation and aiding in the reduction of exercise-induced inflammation. Alternatively, athletes seeking to manage pain during intense sessions might find preemptive CBD use advantageous, providing a proactive approach to discomfort.

Overall performance enhancement, encompassing factors such as endurance and focus, can be achieved by incorporating CBD strategically into pre- or post-workout rituals.

A close up of a shirtless man rubbing cbd oil on his shoulder

What’s the Best CBD for Athletes?

Topical CBD Products

CBD creams and gels offer targeted, temporary relief for localized pain, making them ideal for addressing specific muscle soreness. Applied directly to the affected area, these products provide localized relief without affecting the entire body. Topicals that combine long-trusted temporary pain relievers like menthol, lidocaine, and histamine dihydrochloride with CBD have become particularly popular. Unlike oral products, topicals go directly on the sore, achy areas, as long as there are no open wounds.

As discussed, pain is unavoidable for athletes. Minor strains, sprains, tweaks, and general muscle soreness are just part of life for anyone who works their body hard. As a result, temporary pain relief from CBD gels and creams can be particularly valuable during training sessions and competition.

CBD Tinctures

Tinctures are a popular choice due to their ease of use and rapid absorption. Athletes can easily incorporate CBD tinctures into their daily routine for consistent and controlled dosing. Putting the oil directly in your mouth and holding it under your tongue before swallowing offers faster relief. Tinctures are ideal for those looking for effects within 20 minutes, great for athletes who may be facing nerves before a game or need more rapid results against recovery symptoms.

The benefits of tinctures extend into their versatility. You can also add tinctures to your favorite drinks or foods for easy consumption, meaning you can add it to your pre-workout smoothie or electrolyte drink that you’re already using. CBD oils can also be added to bath soaks, giving your sore muscles extra topical relief.

CBD Capsules and Gummies

For athletes looking for convenience and precise dosage control, CBD capsules and gummies are excellent options. These products allow athletes to integrate CBD seamlessly into their daily routine, providing a discreet and straightforward way to experience the benefits of CBD. Even better, they fit easily into a gym bag or locker for easy access when needed. It is recommended to take these products a couple hours before the desired effects take place, so plan accordingly.

CBD gummies and capsules are often infused with other ingredients to boost everyday wellness benefits. For athletes seeking better relaxation before sleep, opt for products with ashwagandha or melatonin. And if you’re looking for a boost of energy and focus during a training session, CBG and THCV can be beneficial additions.

CBD and Athletes in the Future

As the popularity of CBD among athletes continues to rise, it is essential to emphasize responsible use and consultation with healthcare professionals. The evolving landscape of CBD in the athletic community requires ongoing research and education to ensure athletes make informed choices regarding their health and well-being. CBD is currently a major focus for researchers, so we’ll likely learn more about CBD’s benefits in the next few years.

CBD for athletes has also become a point of interest for physicians and the governing bodies of major sports.

As we learn more, CBD will likely take a larger role in the rest, recovery, and general health routines of athletes – professionals and amateurs alike. And specialized supplements for fitness that contain CBD and other ingredients are likely on the horizon. At the end of the day, CBD has the potential to revolutionize how athletes manage pain, stress, recovery, and more, paving the way for a new era of peak performance and holistic wellness.

Do you use CBD in your training routines? Tell us how you integrate it into your active lifestyle by tagging us on Facebook, Instagram, or X.