CBD for Athletes and Optimized Physical Fitness Regimens
In this post, the experts at Modern Nature will look beyond the many therapeutic benefits of CBD as a simple natural treatment for the underlying causes of many symptoms and common disorders. Today we'll explain why so many athletes, trainers, and other fitness professionals are turning to CBD to optimize superior physical and mental fitness in the most demanding competitive arenas. From NFL quarterbacks to the weekend warriors at the local gym, we'll show why we believe CBD should be an essential part of any serious fitness program.
CBD Gets the Green Light for Professional Athletes in 2018
It's been over a year now since the US Olympic Committee and the WADA, (World Anti-Doping Agency) removed CBD from their prohibited substances lists on January 1, 2018. These groundbreaking decisions gave the official green light to athletes seeking to benefit from the many therapeutic properties of CBD for intense training and quick injury recovery. Most recently, President Trump's signature on the 2018 Farm Bill, legalized hemp at the national level. Now CBD from hemp (and only hemp) is clearly defined as legal for health consumers in all 50 states.
While CBD quickly earned a well-deserved reputation as an effective natural treatment for a wide range of maladies and disorders among the general public, athletes were quick to seize on the natural healing properties of CBD as a pre and post-workout supplement. Many professional athletes recovering from the physical trauma of long but punishing careers in full contact sports found that the natural cannabidiol (CBD) cannabinoid from the hemp plant has many advantages. The word on CBD spread in gyms and locker rooms, and many athletes who tried it to treat one symptom found that CBD had other benefits which they hadn't anticipated. Sleep, mood, and performance all improved which is the "happy accident" experienced by many CBD users around the world.
CBD wasn't addictive. It didn't build up a tolerance over time. It improved mental clarity rather than decreasing it or getting the user stoned. They began to endorse CBD for safe pain management as a far superior alternative to the dangerous risks and debilitating side effects associated with traditionally prescribed medications such as opiates, opioids, barbiturates, narcotics, and even popular over-the-counter NSAIDs such as ibuprofen. All of these come with long lists of side effects which can all be avoided by switching to natural hemp-derived CBD.
Ironically, many of the side effects and serious risks of heart attack or stroke from OTC (over-the-counter) medications are the very symptoms that cause many health consumers to switch to CBD in the first place. CBD, working in the ECS (endocannabinoid system)enhances health by its action on the underlying causes of symptoms, whereas many artificial medications interfere with natural processes to treat a single symptom and as a result trigger side effects which detract more from the quality of life than the single symptom itself. Heart, liver, and kidney problems are the last things anyone needs when the goal is optimized health.
But the acceptance of CBD didn't happen overnight, largely because of its errant association with the cannabinoid THC and its distantly related cannabis cousin marijuana. It's taken decades for CBD to overcome the controversy caused by this widespread misconception to achieve acceptance at the professional sports level. While THC rich marijuana does have some very beneficial uses therapeutically, especially in the fight against cancer, CBD is emerging as the dominant cannabinoid for overall optimized fitness. With less than .03% natural trace levels of THC, hemp-derived CBD products provide all of these benefits without any of the psychoactive risks inherent in marijuana-derived products. Further on we'll look at some specific examples of where the highly psychoactive and somewhat unpredictable effects of THC should actually be avoided to achieve certain fitness goals.
Nate Diaz: Fighting For CBD Awareness
MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighter Nate Diaz was one of the first professional athletes to endorse CBD publicly after a championship bout in 2016. Diaz wowed reporters by whipping out a vape pen and puffing away wholeheartedly at a post-fight press conference. When questioned by the surprised press corps Diaz, appearing for the interview with numerous cuts and bruises from the match, explained that he was vaping CBD to help with chronic pain and recovery. Diaz endorsed CBD as his supplement of choice to use before and after the match and during training. The MMA contender summed up his reasons for using CBD by saying "It makes your life a better place."
With professional athletes leading the way, the fitness community has now recognized CBD as an essential supplement for every fitness regimen, from NFL, MMA, and NHL athletes to weekend warriors at the local gym. For optimized athletic fitness CBD from hemp has several major advantages over its cannabinoid relative marijuana.
Natural Therapeutic Properties of CBD
The properties which make natural CBD so beneficial for so many athletes specifically, and health consumers in general, are numerous. As we'll see many of CBD's known healing actions are overlapping, each benefit naturally enhancing the others. It's important to remember that when we take CBD internally we're not introducing any foreign chemicals into our systems. The bodies of humans (and all mammals) already manufacture the CBD (cannabidiol) that allows the ECS to maintain homeostasis, the optimized state of physical and mental well being which we all seek and deserve.
- Anti-inflammatory- CBD's anti-inflammatory action is well known. A National Institute of Health report states "cannabinoids are potent anti-inflammatory agents". This is especially important for faster recovery from joint injuries, after surgery, or swelling induced by a challenging sports event or workout. Health consumers have been using CBD to alleviate symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis for years. This same anti-inflammatory action is beneficial for stressed joints and muscles caused by intense heavy weight training, long distance running, and injuries from full contact sports making it essential for post-workout recovery.
- Antispasmodic- CBD can reduce muscle spasms. (Its antiseizure action is particularly effective for the treatment of certain forms of epilepsy.) Throughout the ages, CBD rich hemp has been used as an anticonvulsant, and its action via the ECS can enhance motor control processes centered in the limbic region of the brain.
- Neuroprotective- CBD's neuroprotective action works throughout the brain and the central nervous system to protect nerve cells and foster new brain and nerve cell growth. That makes it an excellent choice to aid recovery from concussions and head injuries. CBD also acts on many other receptors on which THC has no effect. This makes it very effective for the treatment of motivational disorders such as drug addiction and depression. Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are characterized by a loss of neurons throughout the nervous system. Inflammation has been a common denominator with these diseases and research is pointing to a relationship between CBD's known anti-inflammatory action playing a large role in its use as a neuroprotective therapeutic.
- Analgesic- This is the natural painkilling property which makes CBD preferable to addictive opiates or opioids. Since the body's ECS (endocannabinoid system) already manufactures natural CBD to maintain the natural state of well being known as "homeostasis", supplemental CBD is much safer for pain management. Retired NFL quarterback Jake Plummer describes his CBD regimen for pain control and surgery recovery after many years in the NFL as, "a few drops a day". That's a far cry from the massive amounts of prescription pills he has now left behind after building up the inevitable tolerance which comes with painkilling opiate drugs. Plummer has even teamed up with the Colorado non-profit Realm of Caring to benefit more cannabinoid research.
- Anti-anxiety- CBD's anti-anxiety action works naturally via the ECS which has numerous cannabinoid receptors in the limbic and paralimbic regions of the brain. These vital regions just happen to control important functions such as mood, sleep, memory, and cognitive mental processes. Performance anxiety can be a factor for athletes facing challenging competition but it can also be an obstacle to maintaining a strict daily workout regimen. By enhancing mood, sleep, and clarity of thought athletes (and everyone else) can find the self-discipline and self-esteem required to stick to the challenging daily workout routines they need to optimize performance at the highest competitive levels.
Muscle Development and Cortisol: CBD vs THC
It's common knowledge among fitness professionals and athletes that testosterone is the hormone responsible for building muscle while cortisol is the hormone which achieves exactly the opposite effect. Classified as a catabolic hormone, cortisol reduces protein synthesis and prevents muscle tissue growth. Cortisol levels tend to peak after 1 hour of intense weight training as testosterone levels begin to drop. There is also a relationship between cortisol and blood sugar levels, and elevated cortisol levels induced by intense workouts could actually cause high blood pressure and lower bone density.
Cortisol levels can also rise in stressful situations as a result of adrenaline released in reaction to anxiety. This is why fitness trainers recommend short intense workouts to strike the proper hormonal balance between muscle building testosterone and muscle decreasing cortisol. Cortisol levels also drop dramatically during rest, which is why most muscle recovery is achieved during sleep. CBD has been able to block secretions of cortisol in a clinical study conducted by the NCBI (National Institute for Biotechnology Information), and we already know that CBD can provide a good night's sleep at higher doses in the 160mg range. This cortisol blocking action combined with the overall therapeutic benefits of CBD listed above, make it the best supplement for serious workout regimens. The cortisol factor in muscle development is also one of the primary reasons why THC should be avoided.
Disadvantages of THC For Muscle Fitness
Just as CBD alleviates the underlying causes of elevated cortisol levels, THC can actually exacerbate cortisol secretions and work against muscle tissue growth and recovery. Recall that cortisol levels are increased by adrenaline released in response to stressful situations. THC, with its potent psychoactive effects, can be quite unpredictable. While inducing euphoria in one instance, it can promote anxiety or mania in another. THC can increase adrenal functions even as it produces the mental high for which it is so notorious, triggering an influx of cortisol. And for professional or Olympic athletes there is also the consideration that the THC cannabinoid is still illegal and remains on the prohibited substance lists of the WADA and the US Olympic Committee.
While CBD works naturally to regulate appetite at the appropriate moderate level via the ECS, THC is infamous for increasing appetite. The phenomenon has been well known for years, and most recreational marijuana users are highly familiar with "getting the munchies." While enhancing appetite may be quite beneficial for cancer patients battling the effects of strong chemotherapy, it is not desirable as part of a serious balanced fitness regimen where weight management plays a significant role.
CBD Plus Electrolytes: A Winning Combination
At Modern Nature, we take pride in providing the best quality CBD products to enhance the active healthy lifestyles of all of our informed health consumers. We're introducing a CBD enriched electrolyte drink for the best post-workout recovery for those who engage in the most strenuous and challenging fitness regimens. Fitness professionals know that maintaining proper levels of electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, chloride, and calcium are game changers. Sufficient electrolytes ensure proper hydration which is essential for top athletic performance. Electrolytes work in several ways including:
- Enhancing nerve and muscle function
- Using water efficiently for proper hydration
- Aiding muscle contraction
- Maintaining fluid balance and perspiration rates
- Preventing mineral imbalances which cause fatigue, weakness, and cramps
By combining the natural fitness-boosting properties of CBD and the hydration balancing characteristics of essential electrolytes, athletes can benefit from reduced downtime between workouts. When it's game on time, our CBD + electrolyte hydrating formula will fuel active muscles by creating more blood flow to drive nutrients where they are needed most for optimized performance. For long distance runners, bikers, bodybuilders, and sports competitors proper hydration before, during, and after intense physical activity enhances muscle recovery.
About Modern Nature
At Modern Nature, we are devoted to providing the best tailored, all-natural CBD solutions which merge the best of modern science with the time-proven benefits of the natural hemp plant. Our CBD line offers an alternative to addictive chemicals and harsh side effects. We have made it our mission to usher in a new age of sustainable health, with safe plant-based relief for pain, a good night's sleep, alleviation of anxiety, and of course optimized fitness for professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts at all levels.