Alaska Sleep Education Center

How Athletes are Opting to Recover

Posted by Crystal D on Jan 17, 2021 11:30:00 PM

Sporting activities could be pretty demanding for athletes at all levels. When you consider the hours of practice and the extent to which they strain their body, it can take a severe toll on their body. As a result, they end up with sprains, muscle tears, joint pains, etc. Yet, over the counter medication has not proved to be an effective means to recover well effectively.

Athlete training outside.

For a couple of years, the spotlight has been on cannabis, and it does not seem to be going down anytime soon. Cannabis has established itself as a notable substance with tremendous potential health benefits. It has proven itself an invaluable tool for use as a tincture, capsule, balm, oil, lotions, etc. There are many ways one can take cannabis to get a quick and easy recovery from injury but in a controlled dosage. 

As long as you take in reasonable quantities, the side effect shouldn’t come hard at you. Besides, when you consider the tremendous health benefits and the compound’s potentials, it does not surprise why athletes make it their go-to remedy for post-workout recovery. 

Many athletes battle with sleep and resort to over-the-counter medication in a bid to sleep well. Cannabis, however, helps deal with the underlying issue causing sleeplessness like pain and anxiety. This paves the way for deep and relaxing sleep.

Here are a few reasons why many athletes consider cannabis or its compounds an effective recovery mechanism after a workout.

 

     1.It Can Relieve Pain and Soreness


In addition to its ability to relieve inflammation, cannabis’s ability to alleviate pain makes it a terrific choice for athletes. There have been many positive and supportive research on this aspect of cannabis. Athletes can get relief from muscle pain, joint pain, and muscle spasms that arise due to excessive workout stress. Most athletes are not alien to injuries and pain. Extreme training comes with severe pain that might even hinder their performance. Regular painkillers are not a good option as it takes longer to work, and there is the possibility of abuse or addiction. 

This makes Cannabis an excellent alternative to powerful painkillers (like opiates) that come with a series of side effects. The best Cannabis seeds in 2020 make it possible to produce the right marijuana medication to take care of pain and soreness. With pain and soreness out of the way, getting a deep and relaxing sleep will come easily. 

      2. It May Improve Sleep

At an early age, athletes are trained to find their competitive advantage over their opponents. Most of this is discovered through coaching and practice, but there are other methods athletes are using to get faster, stronger, and smarter. Recently this has manifest itself in sports analytics, which is using data and analysis to improve athletic performance.

But now athletes are getting back to basics and discovering a tried and true solution to vastly improve their performance – sleep. And if it works for them, you can be assured that no matter how physically active you are, it’ll work for you too.

One of the most notable changes anyone will experience when using cannabis is a better sleep pattern. The first dose of cannabis can facilitate a deep, relaxing, and restful night's sleep. The ability of CBD to boost sleep makes it a terrific choice for athletes. Athletes usually have an intense and demanding routine, which does not help their sleep pattern. They might train hard all day, leaving them weak and stressed out. According to research, cannabis can help bring down cortisol levels that might interfere with sleep patterns because athletes need enough sleep. 

They need adequate sleep to give their muscles time to recover. The heavy physical training induces pain, which might make sleeping a pretty tricky task. Cannabis stands out as a unique aid to make this possible. Besides, it does not make one tired during the day, so it will not interfere with daily performance. 

     3.  May Induce Muscle Relaxation

The feeling athletes get after having a heavy workout is never fun. No matter how strong an athlete is, muscle soreness can weaken the body after intense exercise. Muscle soreness and cramps pretty much trigger pain all over their body, which could make ordinary activity like standing up excessively difficult. Athletes need a potent substance to relax their body and help them recover in such a case.

This is where cannabis comes in. It relaxes the body by influencing the GABA-A receptors. This mechanism will trigger a system that calms and stills the body. When the GABA levels are low, the body has to deal with muscle cramps, soreness, and other unpleasantness. 

With relaxed muscles, athletes will not have to deal with the pain that might make it difficult for them to sleep. Also, the effect of cannabis in reducing the stress level helps with muscle rigidity and tension.

 

     4. Bring Down Inflammation

One of the reasons for severe health issues in humans is inflammation. While a little inflammation is good for the body, it gets out of hand at times. This is when we have chronic inflammation. It is the precursor of sickness, pain, and excess weight in people. 

All these are not good for athletes as it even slows down recovery. Inflammation makes recovery harder by causing damage in the joints and muscles. Pain, which is one of the aftermaths of inflammation, makes it difficult to have a deep and relaxing sleep. This is why an athlete needs a practical solution that will not alter the process of healing. Yet, resorting to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in a bid to combat inflammation is a terrible idea. Athletes need a holistic solution that will not make them deal with side effects.

This is one of the ways through which cannabis can help. A 2010 study reveals that cannabinoids are potent anti-inflammatory agents. In the body, they work by inducing apoptosis, disturbance of cell proliferation, and reducing cytokine production, the study further stated. When one takes cannabis, it can reduce inflammation like pain, which makes it easier to sleep well. 

     5. Helps Reduce Oxidative Stress

When free radicals increase in the body, it leads to oxidative stress. This condition can damage cells and trigger organ dysfunction. Not getting enough sleep also contributes to oxidative stress. 

According to studies, intake of cannabis can help increase glutathione in the body, which brings down oxidative stress. If oxidation is within minimal body levels, an athlete will enjoy many benefits like optimum cellular recycling, an upgraded immune system, and many more. The positive effect of cannabis on sleep also helps bring down oxidative stress. 

Man riding the bike at the gym.

 

     Conclusion

With many states relaxing its law on cannabis, it is now readily available for all. As long as the intake is controlled, it can be a lifesaver for many athletes. The use of cannabis can make a difference in the life and career of an athlete. Its exceptional properties make it a top choice in combating the unpleasant experience athletes have to deal with, like insomnia, and help keep them on top of their game. 

Even LeBron James agrees. “Sleep is the most important thing when it comes to recovery. And it’s very tough with our schedule. Our schedule keeps us up late at night, and most of the time it wakes us up early in the morning. There’s no better recovery than sleep.”

While most of us aren’t performing to the level of LeBron James or other professional athletes, we can take steps to make sure we get enough sleep, whether recovering from playing in our recreational softball league, a 5K race, or simply a day trying to keep up with our own children.

For example, if your athletic event ends in the evening, make sure you take the necessary steps afterwards to cool down and relax. Winding down is very important after physical activity. Examine your cool down routine and make sure you follow an effective bedtime routine to enhance your sleep.

Sometimes in spite of all our efforts to enhance our sleep, we may be fighting against sleep disorders that cannot simply be overcome without professional help. If you feel tired throughout the day or believe there are other reasons you are not sleeping well, visit your local sleep specialist for help. They will examine your sleep habits and help you get the sleep you deserve.


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Topics: athletes, cbd, recovery, feeling better

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