By Markita Lewis, MS, RD
Triathletes compete in an endurance sport that is both physically and mentally. Many athletes deal regularly with injuries, lack of sleep and other factors that may impact how well they compete. Cannabidiol (CBD) has seen to have a number of benefits and may be a useful tool in supporting general wellness and health.
Here are some ways that integrating CBD products into your regimen as a triathlete may be beneficial in helping meet the challenges of the sport.
The repetitive nature of the exercise required to compete in a triathlon may increase the likelihood of overuse injuries. Most overuse injuries occur during the running and cycling portions of a triathlon, when knee injuries or generalized knee stiffness or soreness are common due to the weight-bearing nature of these activities. During the swimming event, shoulder pain is common. Recognizing the early signs of an injury like pain, joint stiffness or soreness can help triathletes keep them manageable so they can continue to train and compete.
A focus on training, rest and recovery and proper equipment can help a triathlete reduce the likelihood of experiencing joint pain and stiffness during or after an event. Use of hemp-derived oils or CBD oil has also helped many find relief from joint pain and stiffness.
Triathletes may experience persistent inflammation up to several days after competing. A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology measured blood markers of muscle damage and systemic inflammation in male triathletes before and after completing an Ironman event. Results showed that inflammatory and muscle damage markers were still elevated significantly even five days after the race. While more research is needed, CBD and hemp-derived oils show promise as a product to help with recovery from exercise-induced inflammation.
In addition to its benefits for inflammation and pain, CBD may be helpful for supporting sleep and improving mood and focus. Lack of sleep among athletes may result in decreased performance and increased risk for injury and illness.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which publishes an annual list of prohibited substances and methods in sports, removed CBD as a prohibited substance in 2018. Following the exemptions for CBD enacted by WADA and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
You need to be aware that while CBD is legal, most CBD products contain a small amount of THC, less than 0.3% by law. Zebra CBD products undergo double third-party testing by independent, accredited labs to ensure they do not exceed the legal limit for THC.
While the risk is low, if you are concerned about positive drug test results, we urge you to speak with your personal healthcare specialist prior to using any CBD products.
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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