iKOR Athlete's Guide to CBD
Most athletes spend lots of time and energy caring for their bodies. The human body is an amazing machine that allows us to train and perform at high levels, but it has its limitations. Athletes looking for an edge in recovery and caring for their bodies are increasingly looking to hemp extract to replace the bottle of ibuprofen so many people reach for when a tough week of training and life responsibilities starts to add up. A growing body of research shows cannabidiol, referred to as CBD from the hemp plant may help. Many professional athletes are sharing how hemp has changed their lives for the better. From muscle recovery to a better night’s sleep, the potential health benefits of hemp extracts are intriguing. iKOR hemp extract products are formulated with athletes in mind. Here’s what every endurance athlete needs to know about CBD.
What is CBD?CBD is a compound extracted from hemp plants. Research has shown it provides benefits like decreased pain, anxiety relief, and reduced inflammation, which are benefits that many casual and serious athletes are looking for. A growing body of research shows the far-reaching and diverse potential health impacts of CBD. As a newly-available product, many people are interested in its benefits but don’t know where to start. Athletes, in particular, are wary of trying things that may change the way their bodies feel or perform in any way. Understanding how CBD works in the body is one of the best steps to deciding if it’s right for you. Hemp extract is a natural product, which makes it less intimidating to try than many of the complicated chemical supplements sold at fitness and vitamin shops.
How Does Hemp Work?
Hemp is rich in compounds known as cannabinoids. Research shows cannabinoids like cannabidiol may help treat everything from eczema to epilepsy. Cannabinoids interact with The Endocannabinoid System, or ECS. The ECS is a biological system present in all mammals. It impacts almost every system in the human body including:
The primary purpose of the ECS is to maintain homeostasis, which means that aiding this regulatory system helps your body return to normal after periods of intense stress–including hard workouts. The ECS is comprised of endogenous cannabinoid receptors. Two of these receptors have been identified, CB1 and CB2.
Cannabinoids like hemp extract interact with these receptors, helping to achieve homeostasis. Maintaining a healthy endocannabinoid system is vital to our well-being. Substantial evidence shows a strong link between disease and endocannabinoid deficiency. While our bodies cannot produce cannabinoids on their own, we can support our ECS by integrating supplements like hemp recovery products into our diets.
What the Research Shows
Keeping your body at peak performance can feel like a full-time job. Making sure your body is always at healthy equilibrium impacts your mood, your daily life, and your workouts, but it can feel overwhelming to put in all of the time and effort required to rest and recover successfully with the limited amount of hours in the day.
As many athletes know, recovery is just as important to overall performance as the workout itself. Intense workouts lead to improvements in performance, but they’re also physically demanding. Recovering from intense workouts prepares you to train hard again sooner and reduces the amount of time your body spends in an inflamed state.
CBD is a powerful aid for protecting your body from the stresses of training. Research suggests hemp extract can significantly reduce inflammation, while also alleviating anxiety, improving sleep, and reducing pain. These factors are all closely linked to musculoskeletal and mental recovery.
Are Hemp Extracts Safe?
Hemp extract is a completely natural plant-derived substance, unlike many other supplements on the market. With the passing of the Farm Bill along with a growing interest in natural alternatives, a lot of athletes are curious about cannabidiol and hemp extracts. Many companies have flooded the market to meet the new demand for legal hemp products on the market, but not all of them are equally committed to quality or athletic performance. Many cheaper CBD products contain fillers and other synthetic additives. When choosing a product to add to your wellness routine, it is important to find one which is transparent about its ingredients, extraction process, and research partnerships. Full spectrum extracts retain the full range of compounds without any unwanted additives. Full spectrum extracts allow your body to absorb all of the therapeutic benefits. Some hemp products are sold as isolates instead of full spectrum bio available hemp extract, which means they are far less effective. CBD isolate does not contain the full range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids to offer maximum benefits. Third-party lab tested hemp extracts are more expensive and labor-intensive to produce, but they also provide the widest range of benefits that research suggests are available from hemp extract products.
How to Make Hemp Extract Part of Your Routine
Finding the highest quality extracts on the market is only one part of the process. The most important thing you will want to consider is bioavailability, or how much of a substance is absorbed into the bloodstream. The higher the bioavailability, the better. Sublingual dosing (under the tongue) is one of the fastest and most bioavailable methods of consuming hemp extract. In this method, the extract is immediately absorbed into the sublingual gland, located under the tongue, which is then absorbed into the bloodstream. The key is to start slow, increase your dosage as necessary, and find what works for you. Adding the calming and anti-inflammatory properties of hemp extract to your routine could be just the performance and recovery edge you’ve been looking for.