Sports world

CBD in the Sports World

People from all walks of life have started using CBD infused products a lot more frequently, due to the numerous positive effects that they can have on both the body and mind. This includes amateur athletes, or those who workout simply to keep in shape. However, there has recently been a shift in how CBD is regarded – and used – by professional athletes, and also how it is treated by the sporting bodies that regulate which substances can and cannot be used by athletes in competition.

If you’re an athlete yourself, or are simply interested in how your favourite sports and sport personalities may use CBD infused products, we’ve put together this helpful guide to outline everything you need to know. From the legal status of the products to how and why athletes in the sports world would take CBD, read on to find out more.

Cyclists CBD effects on Sports Industry

But First, what is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, and is one of over 100 compounds that are found in cannabis. These compounds are called cannabinoids, and they work in the body by mimicking how our own compounds – known as endocannabinoids – act and work.

Unlike THC, which is one of the other primary cannabinoids found in cannabis, CBD is non-psychoactive and will not make a user feel ‘high’ or alter their state of mind. Instead, there is a lot of research suggesting that CBD can have a number of positive effects on the body.

These include:

  • Stress and anxiety management – people who take CBD have reported feeling less anxious and stressed. This is due to the way that the cannabidiol reacts with receptors in our Endocannabinoid System (or ECS), and specifically the receptors for serotonin. Research has shown it activates these serotonin receptors when it’s in our systems, increasing the amount of the ‘happiness chemical’ in our systems
  • Better sleep – similarly, people who struggle to ‘switch off’ and go to sleep have found that they get to sleep more quickly with CBD. There is also evidence to suggest that taking CBD can also help users get a better quality of sleep once they do nod off, with it helping people reach the NREM (non rapid eye movement) stage of sleep more easily.
  • Pain relief – CBD is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to minimise muscle and joint pain caused by both long- and short-term conditions or injuries.
  • Weight management – while research into how CBD may help control weight is still in its early stages, many people have reported that cannabidiol acts as somewhat of an appetite suppressant. This can help to control portion sizes and reduce cravings for snacks, which often contribute to weight gain.

Why Would Athletes Take CBD?

It is clear to see why the above effects would be attractive to both amateur and professional athletes. The pressure of competing can very easily cause stress and anxiety, which in turn could hinder athletic performance on the day. Similarly, sleep is essential for many of the processes that athletes rely upon, from muscle repair to energy and focus.

Pain is also unfortunately something that athletes have to contend with on a regular basis. From sporting injuries to Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, pain can seriously impact on training schedules and performance. And, of course, a healthy diet is often an essential for athletes across all sports and disciplines, with weight management often being a primary focus.

If CBD infused products can therefore help athletes feel calmer, enjoy a better night’s sleep before a big day, relieve pain so that they can train more effectively and help support their diet then it is clear to see why so many would find it helpful.

In addition to this though, members of the sports world are also turning to CBD as an effective pre- and post-workout. Our CBD-infused sports drinks are effective for:

  • Providing an extra boost of energy before a workout
  • Helping to maintain focus
  • Reducing the pain associated with muscle recovery after an exercise session
  • Helping to control inflammation associated with older injuriesIn addition, it is also brilliant for keeping users hydrated, and helps to replace the electrolytes lost during physical exertion. The drinks are also well-suited to athletes as the CBD is absorbed much more quickly into the system than if it were taken in capsule form.

In addition, it is also brilliant for keeping users hydrated, and helps to replace the electrolytes lost during physical exertion. The drinks are also well-suited to athletes as the CBD is absorbed much more quickly into the system than if it were taken in capsule form.

CBD and Anti-Doping Regulations

People are understandably concerned as to whether CBD is first and foremost legal, and also whether the governing bodies of the sports world permit athletes to take it or not. Fortunately, many CBD products are fully legal in the UK providing they contain minimal trace amounts of THC. As cannabidiol supplements are often made from hemp, which an organic, non-toxic plant, they are legal to buy and take.

When it comes to the sporting world, there has been similar acceptable of CBD. In 2017, theWorld Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed any bans around CBD use in competitions. In fact, several high-profile athletes from around the world have publicly spoken about using the supplement.

Which Sports Is CBD Currently Used In?

Due to the various effects, there is no one sport that CBD oil is especially useful for. Instead, athletes from a wide range of disciplines are introducing CBD products into their day-to-day lifestyles – and speaking very openly about it, too. However, it is proving particularly popular in contact sports, such as mixed martial arts (MMA), American football, rugby and ice hockey.

female volley ball players CBD effects on Sports Industry

Due to the very physical, often combative nature of these sports, athletes in these fields are more at risk than most of suffering from pain both during and after events. As well as impacting their training, they also often acquire with a number of lifelong injuries that can affect them long past retirement. The use of CBD oil is therefore thought to be helping many of them manage pain, whether this is to help them recover for their current training or just to reduce some aches and pains that they’ve lived with for years.

Athletes who have publicly endorsed CBD since the WADA ban was lifted include:

  • Nick and Nate Diaz, MMA fighters
  • Terrell Davies, former NFL player
  • Dominic Day, rugby player
  • Rob Gronkowski, retired NFL player
  • Ryan VandenBussche, reitired NHL player
  • Riley Cote, retired NHL player
  • David Ahrens, retired NFL linebacker

The way that these athletes use CBD varies from person to person – some take it in capsule form alongside their daily vitamins and supplements, some inhale it in e-liquid form and use the oil directly. However, the new CBD-infused sports drinks are clearly a great product match for athletes, which is why many are now also turning to getting their CBD this way. With an increasing number of retired and competing athletes coming out in support of CBD products, it is looking likely that its use in sports will soon become commonplace.

For more information on CBD and the sports world, including how infused sports drinks could be used, feel free to get in touch or visit our FAQs.

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