Category Archives: health

Why CBD is becoming so popular among the top athletes in extreme sports

CBD and Sports: 6 Ways CBD Benefits Athletes and Fitness  

Extreme sports athletes put a lot of stress on their bodies, both to a positive and negative effect. Whether it’s snowboarding or mountain biking, training puts your body through the stress that allows you to perform better. But, physical trauma and prolonged wear and tear can lead to pain and injuries. In search of a way to improve performance, speed up recovery, and deal with pain, many people are looking to CBD for answers. 

So, What Exactly is CBD? 

For anyone looking to improve their performance and find that extra edge, there’s a supplement on the market that provides unique benefits to athletes and fitness enthusiasts: CBD. CBD has gained massive momentum in recent times with athletes like Mike Tyson and Nate Diaz endorsing and promoting CBD use in sports. 

CBD is more than just a buzz word in the wellness world; it has proven physical and mental benefits. CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the many chemical compounds found in the cannabis Sativa plant. It’s a naturally occurring substance often used for pain relief and to encourage calm and relaxation. Unlike delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is another major compound in the cannabis plant, CBD is not psychoactive. What this means is that CBD doesn’t have the same psychoactive properties that THC does. You won’t feel things like euphoria with CBD.  

CBD for Athletes: What Does it do in the Body?

Whether you’re a pro athlete, a weekend warrior, or a motocross enthusiast, rest, and recuperation is an essential part of fitness. Anyone who has trained too intensively will be all too familiar with feelings of tiredness, achiness, or even feel a little queasy. Many individuals reach for a couple of pain killers like Advil to soothe things over. CBD offers a more natural, potent, and less toxic way to manage inflammation and improve performance. 

CBD is a cannabinoid. All cannabinoids produce effects in the body by attaching indirectly to receptors within the body, called CB1 and CB2. The human body can produce certain cannabinoids. External cannabinoids such as CBD can affect the body through triggering the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a biological system we all have that maintains balance in the body, including things like immune response, appetite, and metabolism.  

It doesn’t matter if you’re a climber or love to surf, you know the incredible amount of training you have to put your body through to achieve the type of experience you want. Recovery, rest, and pain relief all play a huge role in athletic performance as well as general wellbeing. 

6 CBD Benefits for Sports and Fitness 

Although there’s a ton of information out there on CBD claims and benefits, it can feel a little overwhelming where to look. Learn more about how you could use CBD to improve your sports performance and overall health. 1. Speed Up Recovery 

When you train, you push your body and break down muscle fibers so that you can grow back faster and stronger. But anyone who pushes their body knows that this comes with its own difficulties. If you go too hard, recovery can take you out of the game for days. 

The physical stress you put your body through increases oxidative damage. When there’s too much oxidative damage, it can result in slow recovery and harm your performance. CBD may help to reduce oxidative stress, which could help athletes recover faster.  2. Promote Relaxation   

Another way CBD may benefit recovery is by promoting muscle relaxation. After a grueling session, it’s common to experience cramps and soreness that can make even simple everyday tasks feel more difficult. Fortunately, CBD appears to be a potent relaxant. It’s thought that it promotes relaxation by influencing the part of the nervous system that calms the body.  

Although research into CBD is relatively new, studies increasingly show that it can play an active role in aiding muscle recovery, both before and after a training session. By promoting relaxation, you can reduce muscle tension and spasms. 3. Reduce Inflammation and Pain  

A bit of inflammation can be good for athletes and intensive training. It helps to encourage positive training adaptations. However, too much and prolonged inflammation in the body can hinder performance, slow down recovery, and lead to pain. Research suggests that CBD could be a promising treatment in reducing inflammation. This is especially useful for people training intensively and conditioning their bodies to the extreme.  

One of the most common types of pain athletes experience is inflammatory pain. This happens when you have worked your muscles and body to the max. Commonly, over-the-counter drugs are used to treat inflammatory pain, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, long-term use of these types of medicines is associated with stroke, heart attacks, kidney damage, and more. 

Researchers are starting to think that CBD could be a more natural, less toxic way of dealing with inflammatory pain. CBD looks to be as effective as standard anti-inflammatory drugswithout the side effects.    4. Improve Sleep Quality  

Getting more high-quality sleep is one of the most effective ways to achieve greater training gains and push yourself further. Sleep tends to be the first thing to drop from our priorities when we’re busy. In a sleep-deprived world, hitting your recommended seven to nine hours can feel like a struggle. But, sleep is crucial and sets the foundation for your overall health. 

To understand how CBD could improve sleep, let’s think about what causes a lack of sleep. Things like stress, anxiety, caffeine, and medication can all interrupt our sleep-wake cycle, leaving us tossing and turning at night. While research on CBD and sleep is still developing, it’s thought that CBD may improve sleep quality by treating the causes of insomnia like stress, anxiety, and depression. 

Research published in 2019 looked into the effects of CBD on sleep and anxiety. The study looked at 72 participants who experienced either anxiety or sleep issues. It found that after taking CBD for one month, 79.2% experienced lower levels of anxiety, and 66.7% reported better sleep. 5. Balance Mood 

CBD doesn’t just support your physical wellbeing but your mental health too. Everyone has those days when we’re feeling anxious or stressed. It can put us off leaving the house when the call of the couch is too appealing. This can really get in the way of staying active and doing the activities we love so much. Anxiety affects about 40 million U.S adults, and although it’s highly treatable, only a fraction of people tend to get help. 

Research suggests that CBD may help with motivational disorders and even certain forms of anxiety. If you find that you experience pre-competition jitters or low mood affects your athletic performance, CBD may be able to provide relief and promote a more optimal, balanced mood. 6. Protect the Central Nervous System     

The central nervous system (CNS) consists of the brain and the spinal cord. It takes in information through our senses, processes it, and then triggers a reaction like moving your muscles or causing you to feel pain. When you overstimulate the body, say through training, the CNS becomes more active. Chronic overtraining and not listening to your body to take a break can result in central nervous system burnout, making you feel slower. The recovery process is the key to avoiding CNS fatigue.  

Preliminary research suggests that CBD may help to prevent CNS fatigue by helping to balance neurotransmitters in the central nervous system. It may even help support a tired nervous system.  

How Can I Use CBD to Boost My Performance and Recovery? 

New CBD-containing products hit the shelves every week. So, what should you use? You can get CBD in multiple forms, including capsules, oil, or in pills. Some sports drinks have even started infusing them with CBD. Beyond CBD oils, there are also creams and lotions you can try out. How you ingest CBD can affect the speed in which you experience the effects. You need to decide if you want to rub it on for muscle relief or swallow it.

There is currently no standard recommended dose when it comes to CBD. This can make dosage a little tricky. As CBD products aren’t properly regulated, there can be some irregularities in the amount of CBD in different products. Ingesting CBD through capsules is one of the more precise ways to measure how much CBD you’re taking. 

If you’re new to CBD, most brands recommend starting at a lower dose. Gradually, you can increase the amount depending on the effects you experience. Starting with 5-10mg is a good place to begin. It might not be perfect to start with, but through trial and error, you can figure out what works for you and your body. 

As CBD is a subjective chemical, it can affect everyone differently. Therefore, the above dosage guidelines are more of a starting point. It’s something that you will work out along the way, but always start with the lowest dosage suggested on the product instructions.

The Bottom Line

To sum it up, CBD could mark a significant turning point for how athletes recover from training and exercise. Sports like mountain biking and snowboarding require extensive training that puts your entire body under pressure. Whether you love to hit the trail at the weekends or just need a general boost, CBD can benefit your overall health and wellness.

We still have much more to learn about how CBD works and how we can utilize it to maximize recovery and performance. But, as you can see, athletes can potentially benefit immensely from CBD to not only improve their body but balance the mind and reduce stress too. Now that you know about the benefits of CBD, it’s time to see how it could transform your life.

Get rid of Arm Pump: Foods that reduce lactic acid buildup

In the physically demanding sport of motocross, Arm pump can be a riders biggest enemy. The foods listed in this article will reduce lactic acid buildup in your muscles during heavy exercise and help eliminate arm pump.

Whether you’re a motocross rider or another type of athlete, understanding lactic acid and its role in athletic performance is vital. Not only can lactic acid cause a painful condition known as “arm pump” in motocross riders, but it can also lead to debilitating soreness for other athletes (including runners, cyclists, and swimmers), too. 

Luckily, lactic acid buildup is easy to prevent by following a few simple steps. One of the easiest solutions is to eat a healthy diet composed of foods that reduce lactic acid buildup. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know. 

What Are Lactic Acid and Lactic Acid Buildup?

Lactic acid isn’t inherently harmful. It’s the result of normal metabolism. The basics are simple – your blood needs oxygen in order to convert glucose into energy. When there is insufficient oxygen, however, the body begins to break down glucose in its absence. This results in lactic acid.

Also known as lactate, lactic acid can build up in many tissues of your body (most notably, in your muscles) before entering the bloodstream. While the body can use small amounts of energy, a buildup can make your muscles feel tired, sore, and worn-out. 

There are certain health conditions that lead to increased lactic acid production or can make it harder for your liver to clear excess lactate from your blood. We don’t talk about those conditions (which can include heart failure, a severe infection, or poorly controlled diabetes) in this article, because those are serious medical problems that require the attention of a medical team.

What we are referring to here is, instead, exercise-induced lactic acid buildup, or “hyperlactatemia.” 

Keep in mind that the buildup of small amounts of lactic acid is not harmful, and in fact, can be beneficial. It can increase your endurance, help you burn calories, and teach your body to absorb energy more effectively. On the flip side, though, lactic acid can lead to debilitating cramps and muscle pain – and it can lead to arm pump, too. 

Why is Lactic Acid Buildup an Issue for Motocross Riders? 

If you are an avid motocross rider, you’re probably already familiar with the dread condition known as “arm pump.” 

Humor me for a minute, and let’s pretend this is a new term for clarity’s sake.

Arm pump is essentially when blood pools in the forearm, preventing it from flowing effectively back to the heart and to your hands. It not only creates intense pressure in your forearms, but it can also make it more difficult for you to hold onto the bike and to control essential components like the brakes, throttle, and clutch.

Without a doubt, arm pump is one of the most debilitating conditions you can suffer from as a motocross rider. 

While this condition can be caused by other factors, including age, issues with your blood pressure, or scar tissue in your wrists, hands, fingers, or forearms, poor nutrition is one of the most common causes of arm pump. While stretching and warming up your forearms can help decrease the symptoms of this condition, watching what you eat to control the buildup of lactic acid is one of the smartest decisions you can make. 

What Are the Symptoms of Lactic Acid Buildup?

The most obvious sign that lactic acid is accumulating is that you’re going to feel it. You will experience fatigue and an overall feeling of tiredness along with soreness in the affected muscles specifically. 

If you notice symptoms like a rapid heartbeat, severe muscle cramps, headaches, diarrhea, yellowing of the skin or eyes, or shallow breathing, you’ll want to contact a doctor. This can signify a more severe buildup of lactic acid. 

Top 15 Foods That Reduce Lactic Acid Buildup 

1. Cherries

When it comes to fighting inflammation and reducing lactic acid buildup, you can’t go wrong with a bowlful of cherries. The tart kind of cherries are the best – in fact, some studies have found that they are better than aspirin when it comes to reducing muscle pain and soreness. 

2. Ginger

Ginger has an active ingredient known as gingerol that has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. It has the same ability as ibuprofen to fight pain, yet won’t cause any harmful side-effects when it comes to removing lactic acid from your body. You can take a ginger supplement or add a few teaspoons of ginger to your favorite coffee or tea. 

3. Blueberries

Often considered a superfood, the humble blueberry can help decrease inflammation and reduce muscle soreness. Multiple studies have found that eating blueberries on a regular basis can speed up muscle recovery and improve muscle strength, too. 

4. Whole Grains

There’s not a ton of scientific evidence pointing to the efficacy of whole grains in reducing lactic acid specifically, but scientists know for sure that high-quality carbohydrates are essential for helping your body repair damages, especially in the muscles. 

Eat carbohydrates after a long ride – not only to restore lost calories and nutrients but also to help reduce lactic acid buildup. Good choices include brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, and oats.

5. Spinach

You don’t have to be in a Popeye cartoon in order to reap the benefits of spinach! Spinach, along with other leafy greens (like kale and chard) can significantly improve the ability of your body to remove and reduce lactic acid buildup. Spinach is jam-packed with nutrients and antioxidants, both of which help reduce soreness and recovery. This vegetable also contains nitrate, which can help boost your muscle strength, too.

6. Brazil nuts

Magnesium is a vital nutrient when it comes to reducing lactic acid buildup. It’s a mineral that’s found naturally in the human body, but you also need to eat a fair amount of magnesium in order to maintain proper health.

Magnesium helps improve nerve function and muscle contraction (including the beating of your heart). It also builds proteins. Adding magnesium boosts energy production so that your muscles receive ample amounts of oxygen while you are working out.

There are all kinds of foods that are rich in magnesium, including legumes, leafy greens, and most nuts. Brazil nuts are some of the best, however, especially if you eat them on a regular basis. 

7. Pomegranates

Pomegranates taste wonderful in a juice, smoothie, or even when eaten fresh. They contain helpful antioxidants that can reduce soreness and fight inflammation after a tough ride. 

8. Oranges

Citrus fruit of all kinds is believed to be effective at reducing lactate levels and enhancing your overall athletic performance. That’s why you might see aid stations at major road marathons passing out orange slices to participants. 

Oranges are a great source of vitamin C, which not only helps your body uptake nutrients more effectively but can help prevent macular damage, too. These citrus fruits are believed to be particularly effective because they contain folate, which can reduce muscle fatigue and boost overall wellness, too.

The best part is that you can get the benefit of this fruit both when consumed whole as well as in a juice form, making it accessible and easy to take with you on the trails. 

9. Sunflower seeds

Like Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds are also rich in magnesium. They can be eaten as a healthy snack or even tossed on a salad for an occasional welcomed crunch. Either way, they’ll do the trick to help your muscles recover faster. 

10. Fish

While any kind of fish is a healthy choice when it comes to lactic acid buildup, your best bet will be fish that is wild-caught. Farm-raised fish tend to be lower in nutrients and higher in pollutants than their wild-caught counterparts. Good options include tuna, salmon, and mackerel, all of which have a high level of essential omega-3 fatty acids. 

11. Lean meats

Any kind of lean meat, from grass-fed beef to free-range poultry, will be effective at building back broken muscle tissue and flushing lactic acid from your muscles. Protein is a great nutrient at repairing damages, and lean protein will provide you with all the benefits you need and want without adding unnecessary cholesterol and fat to your diet. 

12. Turmeric

Turmeric, like ginger, is also known to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Its active ingredient, curcumin, helps with muscle repair and to flush lactic acid from the body post-ride. Like ginger, it can be taken as a supplement or added as a spice to your favorite meal. It has a strong flavor though, so you might want to start off using it in small doses!

13. Black currants

Black currants sound exotic, but they can be particularly effective at removing lactic acid from your muscles and enhancing your muscles’ ability to recover.

Any kind of black currant will work, but studies show that the New Zealand Sujon black currant is one of the most effective. This dark purple berry has the highest concentration of flavonoids and antioxidants and can quicken the removal of lactic acid from your muscles. 

14. Chocolate milk

You might be surprised to see chocolate milk on our list of superfoods for lactic acid buildup, but don’t be. Chocolate milk does a great job of replacing the essential sugars that it loses through exercise. If you’re riding frequently, chocolate milk can help provide the protein and carbohydrates your body needs to flush out the lactic acid. Plus, it contains essential minerals and vitamins for an added boost of nutrition, too. 

15. Red peppers

Like oranges, red peppers are packed with vitamin C.  In fact, just one red pepper has more vitamin C than an orange! While they might not taste as great (fresh-squeezed red pepper juice, anyone?) red peppers have tons of vitamins and antioxidants to help your body remove lactic acid more efficiently. 

Other Ways to Reduce Lactic Acid Buildup 

Following a smart diet is a good way to reduce lactic acid buildup, but it’s certainly not the only way. There are other tips you can incorporate into your daily lifestyle to reduce the impact that lactic acid has on your performance, too.

For starters, make sure you are well-hydrated before, during, and after a riding session. Keeping your body hydrated will help it break down excess lactic acid. Water is the best choice, but certain sports drinks with added electrolytes can be beneficial, too. Steer clear of caffeinated or alcoholic beverages for best results.

You can also try taking deep breaths once the initial soreness sets in. breathing deeply will help deliver oxygen to your muscles and slow the production of lactic acid. Make sure you stretch gently before and after a ride, too, which can alleviate the cramps caused by lactic acid buildup.

Finally, if lactic acid and arm pump remain your mortal enemies, consider decreasing your intensity. You might want to try riding a little less often – or for shorter durations or intensities – to let the oxygen levels recover in your blood. 

Improve Your Performance by Following a Smart Diet

At some point, just about every motocross rider is destined to suffer from arm pump or a similar issue related to lactic acid buildup. That doesn’t mean you can’t take smart steps now to prevent it!

Not only will eating the right foods prevent lactic acid buildup, but it will give you the energy and stamina you need for continued performance, too. So toss that stale bag of chips to the side and start filling up on these nutritional powerhouses – your arms (and the rest of your body!) will thank you.