By Sharon Lehman, RDN
Between regular training sessions, recovery routines and preparing for competition, athletes’ bodies are put under continuous stress. Rigorous training and fitness programs often result in increased pain, joint stiffness and injury, and athletes are certainly familiar with post-workout soreness, also known as delayed onset muscle soreness.
Most athletes already know the importance of proper nutrition, hydration and rest for letting their bodies heal between workouts and competitions. Stretching, massage and warm baths are all natural ways to manage pain, but it’s also common for athletes to pop NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as ibuprofen, for relief. However, side effects can result from regularly relying on these over the counter drugs. NSAID use may increase the risk of developing inflammatory gastrointestinal disorders, such as stomach ulcers and intestinal bleeding. That kind of malady will likely put end to your training and competition activity for awhile.
A natural solution to coping with sports-related aches and pains may be found in CBD oil, which can be used for a range of benefits, including more restful sleep; stress and pain management; and enhanced mental clarity and focus.
With so many CBD topical and ingestible products now available, how do you know which to choose for athletic sports recovery? The first thing to look into is how the CBD oil is derived.
Athletes are often instructed to choose products made with CBD isolate (pure CBD) in order to avoid potential ingestion or absorption of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana responsible for getting an individual “high,” which can disqualify athletes if detected during competition.
By law, CBD oil that comes from hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC.
But choosing a CBD isolate may decrease the product’s effectiveness, since you’re missing out on the full range of cannabidiols the hemp plant has to offer. Full spectrum oils offer the benefits of the greater cannabidiol variety, along with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to enhance the potential health benefits.
For targeted spot relief, try a topical balm, cream or roll-on containing full-spectrum CBD oil. These topical products can be used at the source of pain for immediate relief and are a good option for localized muscle and joint pain.
If you prefer to ingest CBD, try an oil that can be taken sublingually or quick dissolve tablets. Some ingestible products are specially formulated with anti-inflammatory compounds, like turmeric extract, ginger root extract and boswellia extract, for enhanced joint and muscle support.
Athletes who add CBD to their training and recovery routines may benefit from better sleep, better performance and a more natural way to deal with the inevitable muscle and joint discomfort.
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BCAAs were shown to reduce muscle damage during cycling, as reported in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. TriFuel contains a full 6 grams of BCAAs per serving; more than any other product available on the market.