Why are so many beach volleyball players using CBD in their recovery protocol? Should you?
By Allison Cass
How many times have you gone up for an epic spike and as soon as you land think to yourself, “UGH there comes that back pain… again” Or gone up for a stuff block only to find your knee pissed off as you squat down to jump.
When quick and powerful movement is the name of the game, any kind of muscle and joint pain can hinder your ability to move efficiently and effectively – let alone without whispering the “F word” to yourself between each play.
Some people chalk this up to getting older, but we believe that people should move pain-free regardless of age.
It comes as no surprise that amateur, competitive, elite, and professional athletes alike are turning to CBD to help them recover better, faster, and ultimately enhance their performance. Physical training can be extremely taxing on the body, especially when done for hours upon hours, day after day. Beach volleyball players know the strain on their backs and joints. Adding CBD to your beach volleyball recovery regimen can help.
The good news about CBD is top-quality products give you all the recovery benefits while removing THC. Unlike in the past, modern CBD products are far less likely to trigger a doping alert so competitive athletes can use CBD with confidence.
Try CBD at 15% off! Just enter your discount code BetteratBeach at checkout.
While stress from training stimulates the desired muscle growth, endurance, and increased performance to become a volleyball champion, persistent wear and tear can lead to injury, decreased performance, and chronic pain.
Additionally, there’s an abundance of evidence about the long-term risks of prescription and over the counter pain relievers (i.e. Tylenol, ibuprofen, etc.) coupled with the current opioid crisis. This leads many athletes to turn toward more natural alternatives such as CBD for pain management and recovery.
Let’s face it: short term performance gains mean nothing if you’re ultimately hampering your long-term health and ability to perform on the volleyball court.
No one wants to be the guy or girl who is forced to retire his or her athletic career early due to injury, poor prevention, and/or pain killer addiction.
But does this mean you too should add CBD to your recovery protocol? Well, let’s take a closer look at how CBD works and the potential benefits it may have for you as an athlete.
CBD 101 – The 5,000 Foot View
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the hundreds of phytocannabinoids (phyto, meaning plant derived) found in the hemp and cannabis plants. Fun fact: our body naturally produces cannabinoids that interact with receptors in what’s known as endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The endocannabinoid system was discovered in the early 1990s and is responsible for helping maintain homeostasis in the body by regulating functions including immune response, cellular communication, memory, mood, sleep, pain-sensation, appetite, and metabolism.
Because we naturally produce cannabinoids our bodies are already acting out these exact same functions and mechanisms without the use of CBD and other exogenous cannabinoids.
However, the presence of internal and external stress coupled with a variety of health, lifestyle, and environmental factors make it difficult for the body to constantly maintain its ideal level of homeostasis. This is particularly true for athletes, including beach volleyball players.
Because homeostasis is one of the body’s top priorities, the addition of CBD to an athlete’s recovery protocol can work synergistically with the body’s own naturally produced cannabinoids to provide further support and effectiveness in maintaining this homeostasis.
How Does CBD Work?
The endocannabinoid system contains two primary types of receptors, CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain and central nervous system while CB2 receptors are found in greater degrees within peripheral organs like the spleen, tonsils, thymus and tissues of the immune system.
The interaction between CBD and these receptors is what leads to the outcomes many athletes and other individuals are searching for, including pain reduction, reduced soreness, increased recovery, better sleep, and decreased stress response.
Most of these benefits are created by CBD indirectly through the activation of TRPV1 receptors that are involved in the regulation of pain, body temperature, and inflammation.
CBD also acts to inhibit metabolic enzymes that break down endocannabinoids (produced within the body), primarily Anandamide and 2-AG. Anandaminde binds to the CB receptors contributing to mood regulation, appetite, pain management, and even fertility. A 2015 study found that high levels of anandamide in humans and mice were catalysts for mood enhancement and fear reduction, giving this enzyme the nickname “bliss molecule.”
It is through this process that CBD helps create harmony and balance within the body and exhibits much promise in helping with recovery for athletes.
But Is Consumption of CBD Legal for Athletes?
Yes. While the status of CBD seems to remain in a relatively grey area, being legal at the federal level but controversial from state to state, CBD itself is safe for athletes to consume from an anti-doping perspective.
In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of banned substances with the US Anti-Doping Agency following suit. It’s important to note that only CBD was removed from the list of banned substances. THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, remains prohibited.
Fortunately, legality in the U.S. requires that CBD products contain less than 0.3% of THC making it safer for consumption and unlikely to trigger a drug test. However, for individuals who still share concerns, products like Goliath NutriPower’s CBD Infused Grass-Fed Whey Protein contain zero THC, while containing the healing properties of CBD and a robust amino acid profile to assist and speed up recovery. The best CBD products for athletes filter out THC so the CBD can be used for its intended purpose – recovery.
Try CBD at 15% off! Just enter your discount code BetteratBeach at checkout.
Benefits of CBD for Recovery
While CBD is commonly used post-workout or in competition, many beach volleyball players are beginning to utilize the molecule prior to competing to reduce the onset of muscle and joint pain that often occurs as athletes become fatigued.
Utilizing a topical salve on knees, hips, hamstrings, etc. is one of the most popular pre-workout rituals currently being applied for many beach volleyball athletes using CBD.
“I’ve used CBD to take away some of that sharpness when I get back pain,” says beach volleyball pro Mark Burik. “It works and it also helps me sleep better.”
Bottom line, an increasing number of athletes are turning to CBD as an alternative to pain killers to help them recover faster and perform better. Regardless of the delivery method taken, CBD can have a place in your pre/post-workout regimen for beach volleyball or be used in your day-to-day life.
Reduce Inflammation and Pain
According to research published by the University of Sydney, the presence of CB2 receptors on immune cells represents a target for influencing inflammatory pain processing. Additionally, evidence has emerged that also supports the CB2 receptor expression in neural cells that are involved in pain perception, indicating CBD as a viable solution for pain management.
Another publication put out by Harvard Medical School cited a study from the European Journal of Pain showing “CBD applied directly to the skin could help lower pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Additional studies illustrated the mechanism by which CBD can inhibit inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat.”
Topical products like Pain Away CBD/MSM help to penetrate the skin and reduce pain and inflammation at the source.
Much of the evidence to date still remains anecdotal, but that doesn’t mean CBD is any less effective.
Professional and Olympic athletes from gymnast Gabby Douglas to hurdler LoLo Jones (just to name a few) have touted CBD for its ability to reduce pain and increase recovery speed.
We all know that sleep is the holy grail of recovery and it is during this time that our body is repairing muscle tissue, generating new cells, and creating the physiological adaptations that make us stronger, faster, and better.
But how many people today are getting sufficient quality sleep? According to the Centers for Disease Control, only 66% of adults in the U.S. get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Inadequate sleep can lead to chronic conditions like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, mental distress, and more.
For many athletes, using CBD has given them ability to relax easier, and thus fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Try CBD at 15% off! Don’t forget to enter your discount code BetteratBeach at checkout.
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