Footballers and athletes worldwide are no strangers to using varieties of performance enhancement drugs.
Over the years, they have used BCAAs, stimulants, protein powders, etc. which provides an extra boost for their performance in the field.
When you consider CBD’s benefits, it is not surprising that many football players are turning to it. It is an all-natural product that provides a series of positive effects for users.
What is CBD?
Otherwise known as cannabidiol, CBD is a naturally occurring compound that comes from the cannabis plant. The legal CBD comes from the hemp plant with little or no trace of THC (the part that gets people high.) After extracting CBD from the hemp plant, it is added to edibles, creams, gummies, etc. which people can consume.
Is CBD Legal for athletes?
From 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from prohibited substances that athletes can use. The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) also followed suit.
An important caveat, however, is that CBD was the only product removed from the list. THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, is prohibited.
Benefits of CBD for Football Players
It is hard to think that cannabis and football can ever be a pair. Cannabidiol, one of the plant compounds, comes with a series of therapeutic benefits that will be of immense value to players both on and off the field.
A few of the benefits of CBD for football players are:
Helps Combat Performance Anxiety
It is normal to be agitated and excited when anticipating the big game. Even though you have devoted time to practice, it might be difficult to control your jittering nerves. You can’t seem to get away from those voices in your head that screams failure. You always believe that you will miss an easy chance, which could cost your team dearly.
You need to block out these unhealthy thought patterns as they will not serve you. This is one of the top ways where CBD helps. CBD can help twerk brain chemistry, which will bring down hyperactivity that could trigger anxiety.
The same way anti-anxiety drugs bind with serotonin receptors in the brain, CBD triggers a rise in the anxiolytic GABA neurotransmitter in mind. There are a huge selection of CBD edibles that can help athletes suppress anxiety for the entire match duration.
CBD is Primal to a Good Night Sleep
Soccer is a demanding game. Players need to develop their strength and endurance for optimum performance on the field. As a result, adequate sleep and rest cannot be overemphasized for footballers.
After every workout and training section, a footballer needs restful sleep to recover and heal the muscles. Besides, inadequate sleep automatically limits performance on the field. For footballers having trouble sleeping due to pain and anxiety, CBD might be able to help.
Worthy Alternative to NSAIDs
Over the years, many athletes, including footballers, have subscribed to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Examples are Ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. While these drugs work, they are not safe in the long term as they come with some side effects. As a result, footballers need to avoid NSAIDs during lengthy events and training periods as it increases the risk of damage to the kidney. It is not entirely safe for short-term workouts as frequent use increases the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Since CBD works to relieve pain, it has helped many athletes reduce their dependence on NSAIDs. CBD hardly comes with any life-threatening side effects which makes it safe for football players.
CBD Helps Reduce Inflammation
Athletes do need some level of inflammation as it can help stimulate positive training adaptations. Excessive inflammation, however, is not right as it slows down recovery and performance.
CB2 receptors are present in the brain and periphery, although they are present in large amounts in the immune tissues. Cannabinoids that attach themselves to CB2 receptors have an anti-inflammatory effect by bringing down cytokine production.
In summary, there are various anti-inflammatory components in CBD. These components all work to reduce the inflammatory response in different body parts like muscle, nerves, and others. This makes CBD indispensable to football players.