If you’re a cyclist, you know how important the recovery process is to a training schedule. After a long ride, your muscles may be inflamed, swollen, and aching. Giving your muscles time to rest and repair can help to reduce soreness, injury, and fatigue.
There are a number of ways that cyclists can recover from grueling rides, such as using compression garments to decrease swelling, engaging in light exercise, or even eating and drinking certain foods, like cherry juice. Perhaps the most effective technique is getting enough sleep and taking a break from cycling so that the swelling and inflammation in your muscles reduce slowly. For cyclists, CBD may also be a good supplement to aid in passive recovery.
Preliminary research on CBD has shown that it may be useful in promoting sleep, reducing swelling and inflammation, and relieving pain. Below we will outline the basics about CBD so that you can make a decision for yourself about whether to use it as part of your training process.
For cyclists, CBD may be beneficial as part of the recovery process as well as throughout training. Studies have shown that it is generally safe and may be effective in helping athletes with a number of common issues.
As an initial matter, CBD may be useful in reducing pain and inflammation. According to a 2018 review, CBD is effective in overall pain management, without negative side effects. A 2016 study also found that CBD may reduce pain and inflammation when applied topically.
Because CBD can help in reducing pain and inflammation, it may be a good alternative to the medications that athletes often use for this purpose, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil and Aleve. NSAIDs are commonly used by cyclists and other athletes, but research has shown that long-term or frequent use of this medication may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Adding CBD to the mix may allow cyclists to reduce or eliminate the use of NSAIDs for pain and inflammation related to exercise.
Similarly, the use of opioids to treat pain carries a significant risk of addiction and death through overdose. While CBD may not be as effective at relieving acute, high-level pain when compared to opioids, it may be helpful for the management of long-term or chronic pain.
CBD may also boost the quality and amount of sleep that you get as an athlete by addressing the root causes of insomnia. Research indicates that CBD improves the symptoms of a particular type of sleep disorder, and may be helpful with excessive daytime sleepiness. It may also lead to better sleep by lowering anxiety and soothing chronic pain.
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