By Melissa Mitri, MS, RD
Competitive swimming can be incredibly demanding on the body. To perform at the elite level, rigorous practice and training methods are required. Because of this a swimmer’s typical training day can be very physically taxing.
If you’re an elite swimmer, it’s critical to take steps to improve your health in order to maximize your performance and properly recover between competitions. This means prioritizing sleep, a nutritious diet, an effective training plan and possibly the addition of performance enhancers.
CBD or cannabidiol is one of these performance enhancers for swimmers. One of dozens of cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant, CBD is different from THC (another cannabinoid) in that it is not psychoactive. CBD also has a strong safety profile. It may serve as a performance enhancer for swimmers, to reduce muscle pain and speed up muscle recovery.
As swimmers push their bodies to the limit, optimal cardiovascular health is essential to provide much-needed energy. CBD promotes cardiovascular health, which can increase blood flow to your working muscles. This can help provide energy, endurance and strength to your heart.
CBD can also improve endurance indirectly by alleviating performance anxiety which can negatively affect your performance, mindset and even willingness to participate to events. During a competitive swim, the ability to relax is key. Reducing anxiety and creating a sense of calm are commonly reported benefits of those taking CBD.
CBD may also improve sleep, to help with faster recovery from endurance training. Athletes that get adequate sleep are able to perform at their best. CBD can help you establish an improved sleep pattern. Look for a sleep-specific CBD product to help you get a good night’s rest.
CBD may also help reduce muscle pain, inflammation and stiffness associated with grueling swims, which can hinder an elite swimmer’s performance and make it harder to remain competitive.
CBD works to reduce pain and stiffness by binding to cannabidiol receptorsin the body called CB-1 and CB-2 receptors. When activated, these receptors act to reduce pain sensation and inflammation in the body. You can improve your swim performance by targeting your pain with CBD products specifically designed for sore joints and muscles.
Post-workout recovery is such an important component of athletic training. Tired muscles need to rest and heal in order to properly recover and complete. With CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties that aid in healing, it can be an essential supplement to have in your athletic arsenal.
CBD can reduce muscle-related fatigue and aide in faster repair. Several studies have shown that CBD may play a role in suppressing cytokine production, which is a marker for inflammation. As inflammation is reduced, muscle recovery is enhanced as your muscles are able to repair themselves more quickly.
Our new sister company, Zebra CBD, offers premium CBD products in a variety of forms, including convenient topicals for athletes. Zebra CBD products are tested twice by independent labs to ensure that what you see on the label is what’s in the container. When you use Zebra CBD products, you can trust you are not ingesting more than the legal limit of THC.
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