The Best CBD Topical Creams
Nathaniel Ence explains the uses and benefits of the best CBD topical creams for athletes.
Athletes are considered one of the most physically fit breeds of people. For them to excel in every sport, they have to go through rigorous physical exercise and maintain a well-balanced diet. Some athletes have to train for years before they can compete in national and international competitions.
But aside from the physical demands, athletes are also expected to be mentally healthy. Having a negative body image, suffering from any eating disorders, and going through feelings of helplessness can hinder any athlete from training and performing. Over time, these mental health conditions can impede an athlete's performance in their training and games.
Because CBD topical creams are easy to apply and provide physical and mental benefits, the use of this product should be incorporated into every athlete's routine.
But What Are CBD Topical Creams?
In its simplest sense, CBD or cannabidiol is one of the 113 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. After being discovered in 1940, CBD has been used in countless research and studies to prove its health benefits. CBD can be used in different ways – and applying it topically in the body is just one.
CBD oil used in topical creams is extracted in two ways. Full-spectrum CBD means the oil was extracted from the whole cannabis plant. Aside from enjoying a high concentration of CBD, a full-spectrum also allows you to consume other natural components found in the cannabis plant. This can include fatty acids, chlorophyll, terpenes, and flavonoids.
CBD isolate, on the other hand, only contains CBD and nothing else. CBD isolate is extracted by splitting the CBD from the other natural components found in the cannabis plant.
One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding CBD-infused products is that their use can make any person “high” and alter the brain's functions. Unlike marijuana, CBD contains low levels of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the psychoactive component present in marijuana that is responsible for making a person “high.”
CBD is generally non-toxic and safe for human and animal use. CBD-infused products are creating a buzz because of the health benefits they can provide
How Can Athletes Use And Benefit From CBD Topical Creams?
As mentioned, the life of an athlete is different from an average Joe. They have to become physically fit to meet the demands of the highly competitive and ever-challenging world of sports. After an athlete achieves the desired level of fitness, they will train more for their areas of specialities.
Because an athlete's physical and mental capabilities are stretched to the limits, expect that their level of exhaustion is also severe. Athletes have to take extra measures to ensure that their minds and bodies recover from intense training and playing.
Here are some of the benefits the best CBD topical creams can offer to athletes:
CBD For Chronic Pain
Body pain is typical for athletes. Whenever they work out or play more intensely than usual, their muscles will feel sore. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) usually occurs a day after a person starts a new workout routine or increases the intensity and duration of any existing routine.
Whenever the muscles in the body are forced to work harder and longer than usual, the muscle fibres are damaged at a microscopic level. To respond to this damage, the body increases its inflammation resulting in muscle soreness and stiffness. Regardless of an athlete's level of fitness, they are still susceptible to experience DOMS.
CBD topical creams can alleviate pain associated with DOMS because of their pain-relieving properties. The endocannabinoid system is made up of complex cells that are responsible for regulating the body's important functions such as appetite, pain, sleep, mood, and memory. When applied topically, CBD can relieve pain as it impacts the body's endocannabinoid receptor activity, resulting in reduced inflammation and better pain management.
CBD topical creams can also be used to relieve chronic pain associated with arthritis.
CBD For Anxiety And Depression
The mental health condition of an athlete can make or break their performance during training and when they are playing. Anxiety and depression can cause an athlete's performance to dwindle and increase their chances of failing at sports.
Overcoming mental health conditions should be a priority among athletes. Aside from its long-term consequences, anxiety and depression can worsen over time. Severe anxiety and depression usually require complex and expensive treatments. The more severe the mental health conditions are, the longer it will take to treat and recover.
And while over-the-counter drugs can manage the symptoms associated with anxiety and depression, these are not the best choice for athletes. Consuming these drugs regularly can cause several side effects, such as agitation, insomnia, and drowsiness. It will be challenging for an athlete to perform if they are experiencing any of these.
CBD topical creams are a safer alternative because it is made from natural compounds and does not create any side effects. CBD topical creams can reduce anxiety and depression by stimulating the neurotransmitters and neural regeneration in the body.
This works by positively affecting the serotonin in the body. Serotonin is one of the neurotransmitters in the body that is responsible for a person's mood. The ingredients present in CBD topical creams bind with the 5-HT1A (one of the receptors of serotonin). This creates an anti-anxiety effect on the body.
CBD can impact neutral regeneration as it can boost the body's ability to form new neurons in the brain. Whenever a person suffers from anxiety and depression, the body's endocannabinoid system can become imbalanced. CBD topical cream can counterbalance this effect by stimulating the growth of new neurons in the brain.
A balanced endocannabinoid system can keep anxiety and depression at bay while allowing athletes to function at their best for longer periods.
CBD For Better And Longer Sleep
For athletes, sleeping for at least eight hours every night is just as important as their physical training. The quality of their sleep can provide several benefits to the mind and body, crucial to their performance as athletes.
Listed below are the important functions of sleep to athletes:
Muscle repair and muscle recovery
Engaging in strenuous physical activities can damage the muscles. Whenever an athlete trains for an upcoming competition, they can suffer from inflamed and damaged muscles. Sleeping allows them to recover and repair these damaged muscles fast, as sleep can boost blood flow and tissue growth in the body.
The moment the athletes enter REM (rapid eye movement) in their sleep, their muscles relax, relieve tension, and reduce any symptoms of chronic muscle pain. Sleeping for at least eight hours every night can expedite the body's natural muscle healing process.
The body mass of an athlete can contribute to their strength, power development, and overall performance. The power and strength of an athlete are related to its muscle size. An increase in lean body mass also improves an athlete's quickness, speed, and agility. These are some of the reasons why muscle growth is vital for athletes.
During sleep, the body produces over 75% of human growth hormones that can help athletes build muscles. These growth hormones are released once an athlete enters the first period of the deep NREM (non-REM) stage.
Sleep is a building block for the brain to function properly. By getting enough sleep every night, the functions of the brain are enhanced. This can result in improved creativity, physical health, and emotional well-being.
When an athlete regular sleeps for long hours at night, their energy is conserved, and their cells are restored. These can result in higher energy levels, reduced fatigue, and better stamina. Collectively, these benefits can improve any athlete's ability to train and play sports.
However, not every athlete gets to sleep for at least eight hours every night. According to a survey conducted in 2017, 87% of athletes get to sleep for less than eight hours. The physical and mental demands of training and playing sports are common reasons why athletes are sleep deprived.
Fortunately, CBD topical creams can be used to improve an athlete's sleeping pattern.
There are a lot of reasons why athletes fail to sleep at least hours every night. Usually, insomnia stems from mental health disorders and physical conditions. As mentioned, CBD topical creams can alleviate anxiety and depression and provide relief from chronic pain. By reducing the causes of insomnia, getting some shuteye can become easier for athletes.
There is also promising research that CBD topical creams can eliminate nightmares caused by post-traumatic stress disorders. For people with PTSD, these nightmares can occur days after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, or years after. If left untreated for long periods, these nightmares can lead to sleep deprivation and compromise the overall health of the athlete. In worse cases, nightmares caused by PTSD can even trigger a person to commit suicide.
CBD For Better Immune System
Athletes are usually required to play sports in different environments that can put their health at risk. For one, ice hockey players are placed in an arena with an air temperature of 10-15 degrees Celsius with ice temperature around -4 degrees Celsius. Rugby is also a tough sport that is played regardless of the current weather conditions – rain, hail, or shine.
Because athletes are regularly exposed to these unpredictable environments, they must maintain a healthy and strong immune system. The immune system works by keeping the body safe from external invaders that can include bacteria, fungi, toxins, and viruses. The cells, organs, and proteins that make up the immune system work together to keep an athlete healthy.
However, the immune system can get weak, especially when an athlete starts to age. The natural ageing process can become the primary deterrent of the immune system's ability to ward off illnesses and diseases. When an athlete starts to age, their immune system will take more time to determine if the body has caught an infection. After the immune system detected the invader, it will consume more time to protect the body from it. Over time, athletes become sick more often because their immune system has already lost the race to viruses and bacteria.
And while vaccinations can keep the body healthy, it does not warrant the same results once used in ageing and older patients. As an athlete's immune system starts to change, their susceptible to autoimmune diseases also increase.
When it comes to an ageing athlete's immune system, using CBD topical creams can help. In a nutshell, this product acts as an immune suppressor because it can minimize inflammation in different parts of the body. CBD topical creams can also prevent or treat diseases associated with inflammation.
The ability of CBD to reduce inflammation has been proven by several studies. This property can strengthen the functions of the immune system since most autoimmune diseases result from inflammation.
Additionally, CBD works as an immune suppressor, which means that it creates several positive effects whenever the immune system becomes weak or hyperactive. CBD strives to normalize the function of the immune system, making sure that it does not perform lesser or more than normal.
Whenever an immune system is hyperactive, it begins to overreact once it comes in contact with diseases. This can trigger the immune system to harm the body and attack itself, causing severe damage. This example can be illustrated in the case of multiple sclerosis. This is a health condition that occurs when the immune system attacks the nerve fibres, causing communication and coordination problems between the brain and other bodily functions.
Aside from keeping athletes safe from autoimmune diseases, CBD topical creams can also reduce the pain associated with these diseases and improve mobility.
Consult Your Doctor First
Science might have backed up the health benefits of CBD, but keep in mind that your body might react differently. Consult your doctor about your plans for using CBD topical creams and ask for their recommendations on the products you should buy.
By asking for their approval, you can guarantee that the CBD topical cream you will end up using can improve your overall health, and not do the complete opposite.
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About the Author
Nathaniel Ence is a fitness coach who does not only focus on providing workout routines but in teaching his clients the importance of proper nutrition and fitness development. For Nathaniel, achieving optimal health does not only include working out but eating right, as well. Nathaniel balances his time between working out and writing articles that talk about health and wellness.