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What Causes Inflammation for Athletes?
Inflammation is an all too common and painful result for endurance athletes. Inflammation causes pain, stiffness, and immobility to send a message for you to do things differently. It is the result of your body's immune system kicking into high gear to respond to overuse, an injury, or infection. While inflammation helps isolate the tissue and quarantine the problem, the damaged cells release chemicals (including histamine, bradykinin, and prostaglandins) that cause blood vessels to leak fluid into the tissues, causing swelling.
Are Over-The-Counter NSAID's Good For Endurance Athletes?
One of the most common products for helping alleviate the pain with most endurance athletes are over-the-counter (OTC) drug touting anti-inflammatories otherwise known as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). NSAIDs are used by over 17 million Americans on a daily basis. Among those 17 million, endurance athletes that put their bodies through the wringer on a regular basis are an extremely high percentage.
Some studies say regular use of NSAIDs can lead to even greater compounded problems. As an example, acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common issue encountered in over 34% of ultramarathoners. NSAIDs are thought to contribute to AKI and yet between 35%-75% of ultramarathoners ingest them during competition. The research found that many of these competitors (about 44%) had creatinine levels high enough to indicate the onset of AKI after running 50 miles. But the incidence was particularly high among runners who had taken ibuprofen. They were found to be about 18% more likely to have developed acute kidney injury than racers who did not take any NSAIDs. Some studies have even found that NSAIDs actually eliminate the benefits of exercise and are responsible for inhibition of muscle growth, increased risk of heart attack, thromboembolism, decreases in testosterone, and other conditions.
Is CBD Good for Treating Inflammation Symptoms 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 plant-based cannabinoids utilize different mechanisms in an athlete's body to produce the desired anti-inflammatory results most endurance athletes need for training and recovery, without the negative side effects mentioned above from using NSAIDs.
Cannabidiol's work with your body's innate Endocannabinoid System to release neurotransmitter molecules that suppress inflammation mechanisms and reduce pain and allow the tissues to heal faster. CBD has shown significant SOX-2 enzyme blockage, which is the key to naturally reducing inflammation in one's body.
How Can I Better Manage Inflammation?
As most of you well know, effectively managing inflammation and recovery is critical to being a successful endurance athlete. CBD can play a significant role in helping keep balance in the areas mentioned below:
How CBD Helps the Endurance Athlete's Body?
CBD is an Adaptogen
One of key principles of endurance training is to stress your body such 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 acts as an adaptogen in the body and helps the body adapt to exercise, which is a form of physical and mental stress.
CBD Reduces Stress
CBD can reduce existing physical and mental stress. It may even reduce the risk of overtraining syndrome and the central nervous system exhaustion that accompanies it. Additionally, CBD also can allow for a greater stress tolerance which means you can train harder and bounce back faster without getting burned out.
CBD Increases Fat Metabolism
As an athlete, your training likely already promotes increased fat oxidation and better glycogen storage. CBD can simply accentuate this, which means improved endurance and a stabler mood both on and off the trail. And if you can stay in fat-burning mode during low and moderate-intensity exercise, you will have much more fast-burning fuel left for the really intense stuff. The CBD molecule itself seems to be engineered for endurance.
CBD Reduces Inflammation & Free Radicals
CBD's ability to reduce inflammatory markers is clearly good for exercise recovery. By boosting the endocannabinoid system, CBD can help immune cells work efficiently to target the right areas. This can mean lower overall inflammation and better immunity exactly where it counts.
CBD Improves Mitochondrial Health
Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell, but did you know that every mitochondrion contains endocannabinoid receptors? They do and that's why CBD can help to improve mitochondrial health, which in turn has beneficial downstream effects on fat burning and other qualities already mentioned earlier. CBD may even improve mitochondrial density, which is an excellent marker of athletic endurance.
CBD May Improve Insulin Sensitivity
People with diabetes were among the first to notice that CBD can reduce blood sugar ? some actually see such improvement that they're able to get off exogenous insulins. This same quality is great for athletes as well. With improved insulin sensitivity comes the chance for improvements in body composition because insulin-sensitive muscles are more efficient at both intra-workout fat burning and post-workout recovery and growth.
CBD is a Neuroprotectant Which May Help Protect Against Sports Injuries
Endurance athletes can benefit from improved health similar to contact sports. Studies say CBD's neuroprotective qualities may help reduce the impact of concussions and other head trauma. CBD also promotes neuroplasticity, fostering the growth of healthy new neural pathways. Competitive cyclists (at risk of concussion), may even want to consider taking CBD pre-race as a preventative measure.
CBD Reduces Pain
This effect is one of CBD's most powerful, and also one of the main reasons people take the plant compound! CBD's especially promising to athletes, as it can reduce inflammation and pain without dampening the training response like aspirin or NSAIDs could. That makes it good for both sports injuries and the more generalized trauma of intense workouts. Some athletes who routinely take CBD are reporting less injuries, less joint pain, and less muscle soreness in general.
Which CBD's Should I Use for Exercise Recovery?
The two main methods for introducing CBD to the body are either ingestion or a topical. CBD tinctures and capsules are an excellent way to generally deliver CBD throughout the body while topicals can be a more targeted method.
Copper CBD Sports Cream is a popular product specifically designed for endurance athletes looking to reduce pain and recover faster. If you review the ingredients, it's a mixture of known soothing plants like olive oil, lavender, rosemary, menthol, and mint, and lastly of course CBD.