Highlighting The Benefits of CBD For Cyclists

Cannabidiol (CBD) is proving to be a popular ingredient in athletic diets. As CBD has become more mainstream and even trendy among the general public, it’s not surprising that it would also attract attention from professional athletes. Studies have shown that CBD can help with inflammation and pain relief — a boon for anyone who engages in physical activity.

Is CBD Legal for Competitive Athletes?
The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) doesn’t prohibit the use of CBD by its competitors. However, there are some restrictions on the THC content of any product used during competition as well as requirements around testing methods, which must be followed closely to avoid sanctions for non-compliance.

It’s not just the USADA either: other large athletic organizations have loosened their regulations of CBD use. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recently considered removing CBD from its list of prohibited substances, but it has yet to be removed from the WADA Prohibited List.

In addition to athletes who are looking for an edge in pain and inflammation management, there is also a contingent of endurance athletes who use CBD supplementation as a way of speeding up recovery after strenuous workouts. While the science is still emerging, there are some interesting things we can learn about CBD’s possible benefits for this purpose by examining just how our bodies react to stress.

It’s worth noting that CBD comes in a range of different concentrations, and its benefits vary between individuals due to a range of characteristics including gender, height and weight. Standard products come with a potency of roughly 15mg/ml, while the strongest CBD products on the market can go up to 300mg/ml. Let’s go over three crucial ways these products can benefit cyclists in both immediate and long-term use.

Providing Natural Pain Relief Without The Side Effects

CBD binds to a network of cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body, formally known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS), and can regulate vital physiological functions such as sleep patterns, appetite and pain perception. By reducing sensitivity to prostaglandins within the nervous system, CBD can reduce the intensity of the symptoms of a range of acute and chronic pain disorders. In the case of athletes, these can include pain from pulled muscles, cramps, and torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or medial collateral ligament (MCL) injuries.

CBD’s viability as a natural alternative to dangerous painkillers such as paracetamol and opioids — both of which are notorious for their harmful side effects and considerable abuse potential — have made it immensely popular among athletes and sedentary individuals alike.

Controlling Inflammation & Restoring Range of Movement

A study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology showed that CBD can inhibit acute inflammation resulting from exposure to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which is a toxin found in the cell membranes of certain bacteria. CBD produces similar inhibitory effects on chronic inflammatory disorders characterized by abnormal cytokine activity, such as tendonitis, bursitis or gout.

Cyclists are particularly susceptible to inflammatory conditions in the long-term, as they are endurance athletes engaging in repetitive movements for long periods of time. Supplementing with CBD can be an effective preventative measure against chronic or injury-related inflammation, ensuring their joints and ligaments stay in peak working order.

Normalizing Sleep Patterns to Maximize Recovery Windows

Ample sleep is crucial for endurance athletes, as it facilitates muscle recovery and tissue repair. Sleep disorders like restless legs syndrome (RLS), insomnia and others can seriously hamper an athlete’s ability to stay in top form, not to mention its detrimental effects on metabolism and hormonal balance.

CBD increases wakefulness, meaning it can be used against sleep disorders that manifest via daytime drowsiness (e.g. narcolepsy, insomnia). By increasing wakefulness during the day, CBD can promote regular nighttime sleep cycles while simultaneously normalizing circadian rhythms and metabolic rate. This makes CBD a useful health supplement not as a direct sleep aid, but as a long-term solution to sleep dysfunction in athletes.

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