All athletes know that the key to peak performance is in caring for their bodies. Whether it’s supplements or performance enhancers such as protein powders, keeping the body properly in balance is crucial to success. Constant physical activity takes a toll on the body both physically and mentally, so it’s important to fuel it with the tools it needs to properly recover. When it comes to holistic supplementation, an increasingly popular choice among athletes is cannabidiol, or CBD oil. These are the top ways that adding CBD oil to your regimen can increase your athletic performance.

Boosting performance

It’s well-known that consistent exercise, along with a healthy diet, can lead to reduced health risks, increased energy, and overall well-being. However, when the body is not properly fueled for constant exertion, or exercise is done to excess, it can lead to physical injury and long-term health risks. The key to maintaining a healthy level of exercise is to have an equal amount of recovery and refueling.

CBD, a naturally extracted compound of the cannabis plant, has been shown to improve mood, cognitive function, pain management, and inflammation, as well as reducing anxiety, stress, and fatigue. While physical health is key in performance, having a well-rested mind free of stress and anxiety is also crucial to an athlete’s well-being.

Reducing pain

After training regularly, athlete’s often recover with the aid of anti-inflammatories. Inflammatory pain is high on the list of physical ailments in athletes, making CBD’s anti-inflammatory powers a prime choice for recovery. Over time, the consistent use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), can lead to kidney and liver damage as well as a slew of other gastrointestinal disorders.

In several animal studies, the use of CBD for inflammatory pain has shown to be effective. Many suffering from chronic pain conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and tendonitis — all of which are common in athletes — have found similar relief using CBD oil both sublingually and topically. In fact, a recent Select CBD review states that CBD muscle rub can help to alleviate muscle tension with the cooling sensation of added menthol. This combination of two inflammatory-fighting, holistic remedies, can aid athletes in both muscle recovery and performance preparation.

Improving sleep

While the importance of sleep isn’t unique to athletes, getting quality rest is vital for the body’s system of recovery. During sleep, the brain tends to recognize damage in the body, releasing hormones that repair and create regrowth in blood vessels, tissues, muscles, and blood cells. When the body is asleep, blood pressure drops so the heart can rest, and breathing is slowed to relax muscles, thus decreasing inflammation. When quality, restorative sleep is not achieved, the body suffers by way of a weakened immune system, cognitive delays, worsening mood, fatigue, and several other health impairments.

CBD can aid in sleep by decreasing pain and anxiety. For many, the inability to fall asleep or remain asleep is caused by daily stressors or anxiety they feel unable to put at bay to rest. When the mind is relaxed, the body can follow suit. CBD has also been linked to circadian rhythms, the body’s internal clock that alerts the brain that it’s time to power down and rest. When sleep quality is improved, both physical and mental well-being is increased, thus preparing athletes for their next performance, and allowing their bodies to fully recover.

How to take CBD as an athlete

CBD dosage doesn’t come with a one-size-fits-all solution. Every athlete is different in their supplementation needs based on their unique purposes for intake. The best way to determine the right dosage for individual needs is to start with the minimum dose, and slowly build over time. CBD can be taken in a variety of forms including capsules, topical creams, gummies, sublingual drops, massage oils, and more. Whether it’s for sleep quality, performance enhancement, or pain relief, CBD is a wise choice for all athletes looking to reach their highest potential.