Increased anxiety, poor sleep and low energy can all impact mental performance, which can disrupt your physical training too. By influencing the endocannabinoid system, CBD is able to promote balance in the body, regulating a number of physiological processes, in turn helping to improve mental and physical wellbeing.
Stress and anxiety can negatively impact on your sleep, leaving you feeling depleted – both physically and mentally. Physical and mental fatigue make it difficult to stay motivated and can lead to potential injury, both of which can derail your training.
While anti-anxiety medication can help you manage your day-to-day symptoms, they come with a number of side-effects – problems with co-ordination and balance, headaches and poor concentration. CBD, however, delivers the same anti-anxiety benefits as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) but without the unpleasant side-effects. By boosting the natural production of serotonin – the body’s feel-good hormone – CBD is able to promote relaxation, which encourages better sleep and in turn sharper mental focus.
But CBD’s positive impact on sleep isn’t limited to its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. CBD has been shown to promote better quality sleep by helping to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Research suggests that cortisol levels, which should peak in the morning, are higher at night in those suffering from insomnia. CBD is able to balance hormone levels by inhibiting the production of cortisol in the evening to help set the scene for a good night’s rest. The added bonus of a healthy sleep cycle for athletes is improved energy levels during the day, which makes for more productive training sessions.
Equally important in ensuring you perform at your peak is being able to focus – not just in training, but on the day of a big race too. Poor concentration can distract you in moments that matter the most. CBD has the potential to improve concentration by influencing the levels of dopamine, which is linked to memory and focus, and levels of serotonin, which boosts mood. Balanced hormones result in a more balanced mind and body.
While there are a number of ways to administer CBD, the real secret to unlocking its many healing benefits is finding the right dosage. The general rule of thumb is to start on a lower dose and increase it slowly. Being a natural medicine, CBD is safe to use regularly, so why not add it to your daily supplement routine and start reaping the rewards?