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How endurance athletes use CBD to recover faster and train harder

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Courtesy Copper CBD

DISCLAIMER: The content of this article is for reference purposes only and is not a substitute for advice. The products in this article are intended for novelty only.

What causes inflammation in athletes?

Inflammation is an all too common and painful outcome for endurance athletes. Inflammation causes pain, stiffness, and immobility to send you a message to do things differently. It is the result of your body’s immune system shifting into high gear to respond to overuse, injury, or infection. While inflammation helps isolate the tissues and quarantine the problem, the damaged cells release chemicals (including histamine, bradykinin, and prostaglandins) that cause blood vessels to leak fluid into the tissues and cause swelling.

Are Over-the-counter NSAIDs Good For Endurance Athletes?

One of the most common products used to relieve pain in most endurance athletes is over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that advertise anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). NSAIDs are used by over 17 million Americans every day. Among those 17 million, endurance athletes who regularly wring their bodies are an extremely high percentage.

Some studies say regular use of NSAIDs can lead to even bigger problems. For example, acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common problem that affects over 34% of ultramarathon runners. NSAIDs are thought to contribute to AKI, yet between 35% and 75% of ultramarathon runners ingest them during competition. Research found that many of these competitors (around 44%) had creatinine levels high enough to indicate the onset of AKI after 50 miles. The incidence was particularly common in runners who took ibuprofen. It was found that they were 18% more likely to have developed an acute kidney injury than racers who did not take NSAIDs. Some studies have even found that NSAIDs actually eliminate the benefits of exercise and are responsible for inhibiting muscle growth, increasing the risk of heart attack, thromboembolism, testosterone depletion, and other conditions.

Is CBD Good For Treating Symptoms Of Inflammation In Endurance Athletes?

Years of research and numerous studies have proven the anti-inflammatory benefits of phytocannabinoids and terpenoids, both of which are available in full-spectrum CBD supplements. These herbal cannabinoids utilize various mechanisms in an athlete’s body to achieve the desired anti-inflammatory results that most endurance athletes need for training and recovery, without the negative side effects mentioned above from using NSAIDs.

Copper CBD joint painCourtesy Copper CBD

Cannabidiol works with the body’s own endocannabinoid system to release neurotransmitter molecules that suppress inflammatory mechanisms, relieve pain, and allow tissues to heal faster. CBD has shown significant SOX-2 enzyme blockage, which is key to reducing inflammation in your own body naturally.

How can I better manage inflammation?

As most of you know, effective management of inflammation and recovery is critical to being a successful endurance athlete. CBD can play an important role in maintaining balance in the following areas:

How does CBD help the endurance athlete’s body?

CBD is an adaptogen

One of the most important principles of endurance training is to stress your body so that it adapts to a higher level of performance. An adaptogen is defined as something that helps the body adapt to stress. Numerous studies are ongoing to determine how CBD works as an adaptogen in the body, helping the body adapt to physical activity, which is a form of physical and mental stress.

CBD reduces stress

CBD can reduce existing physical and mental stress. It can even reduce the risk of overtraining syndrome and the associated central nervous system fatigue. Additionally, CBD can allow for greater stress tolerance, meaning you can train harder and bounce back faster without getting burned out.

CBD increases fat metabolism

As an athlete, your exercise is likely already promoting increased fat oxidation and better glycogen storage. CBD can simply emphasize this, which means improved endurance and a more stable mood both on and off the trail. And if you can stay in fat burning mode during a low and medium intensity workout, you have a lot more fast burning fuel left over for the really intense stuff. The CBD molecule itself appears to be designed for endurance.

CBD reduces inflammation and free radicals

Clearly, CBD’s ability to reduce markers of inflammation is good for exercise recovery. By strengthening the endocannabinoid system, CBD can help immune cells work efficiently to reach the right areas. This can mean lower overall inflammation and better immunity right where it matters.

CBD improves mitochondrial health

Mitochondria are the cell’s powerhouse, but did you know that every mitochondrion contains endocannabinoid receptors? They do, and this is why CBD can help improve mitochondrial health, which in turn has a positive effect on fat burning and other properties mentioned earlier. CBD can even improve mitochondrial density, which is an excellent marker of athletic endurance.

CBD can improve insulin sensitivity

People with diabetes were among the first to notice that CBD can lower blood sugar – some actually see such improvement that they are able to break down exogenous insulins. This quality is also ideal for athletes. With improved insulin sensitivity, the chance of improving body composition increases, as insulin-sensitive muscles are more efficient both in burning fat during exercise and in recovery and growth after exercise.

CBD is a neuroprotective agent that can help protect against sports injuries

Endurance athletes can benefit from improved health, similar to contact sports. According to studies, the neuroprotective properties of CBD can help reduce the effects of concussions and other head injuries. CBD also promotes neuroplasticity and promotes the growth of healthy new nerve pathways. High-performance cyclists (at risk of having a concussion) may even want to consider CBD as a pre-race preventative measure.

CBD reduces pain

This effect is one of the strongest of CBD and also one of the main reasons people ingest the plant compound! CBD holds great promise for athletes in particular, as it can reduce inflammation and pain without dampening the exercise response, as could be the case with aspirin or NSAIDs. That makes it good for both sports injuries and the more general trauma of intense workouts. Some athletes who routinely use CBD report fewer injuries, less joint pain, and generally less muscle soreness.

Which CBDs Should I Use To Restore Exercise?

The two main methods of introducing CBD into the body are either by ingestion or topical. CBD tinctures and capsules are a great way to generally deliver CBD throughout the body, while topical agents can be a more targeted method.

Copper CBD Sports Cream is a popular product specially formulated for endurance athletes who want to relieve pain and recover faster. If you check the ingredients, it’s a mix of well-known calming plants like olive oil, lavender, rosemary, menthol, and mint, and finally, of course, CBD.

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Beth Edmonds