The passing of 2018’s Federal Farm Bill marked a turning point in CBD’s legality. Thanks in large part to this Bill, CBD is more popular than ever! And as an influx of new companies jumps into a market stripped of its old legal restraints, you might be wondering who to trust…and who not to.
While we advocate for you to do your own research, it’s pretty fascinating to see who is getting behind this miraculous plant compound — celebrities included. Might they be onto something? In this article, we’ll take a look at six celebs who’ve jumped onto the cannabidiol train.
In 2017, Eddie Hall became the world’s strongest man. En route to this achievement he pulled an airplane for 44 seconds and deadlifted 472.5 kilograms (that’s 1039.5 pounds), enough to just edge out fellow insanely-strong competitors like Hafþór Björnsson and Brian Shaw.
Today Eddie has a new competitive advantage up his sleeve: CBD.
Upon closer inspection, it’s easy to see why Hall uses hemp oil. A video on the strongman’s Youtube channel features him praising CBD’s effects on athletic recovery and sleep. In his own words, CBD is:
Though Eddie Hall is probably the first world-class powerlifter to back CBD, maybe his use of the plant compound shouldn’t be so surprising. After all, the road to world’s-strongest glory can be riddled with devastating injuries, setbacks, and overtraining syndrome. Those are all things CBD might just be able to help with.
And while CBD is normally envisioned within the general context of improving immunity or preventing other problems, it can help extreme athletes of virtually every kind combat their unique health challenges, too! Use CBD to recover faster, and you’ll likely be faster in your next competitive event.
And that’s something we think that warrants a closer look.
As an athlete, you know how important the pre-workout period is. It’s a time for optimizing hydration and nutrition. It’s a critical time for getting your mindset right, a moment when you optimize both body and mind and give your goals their best chance at succeeding.
Considering CBD’s already proven to track record, it’s not much of a stretch to imagine the plant compound also providing calmness and focus to your pre-workout routine. CBD may serve as a useful tool for getting into the zone before your next training session. More on this later…
The hours prior to your workout are also crucial from a metabolic perspective. Athletes involved in extreme sports burn a high proportion of carbohydrates for fuel, and may deplete their glycogen stores if they don’t eat right. For those who train and compete at ultra-endurance sports, maintaining glycogen levels is even more vital.
Fail to restore carbs, and the body might just result to burning stored proteins (i.e, their amino acids) for fuel. This can lead to muscle breakdown, lactate buildup, unchecked acidity, and the infamous energy ‘bonk’. Not good!
You might not expect this… but CBD could help. It appears to promote fat burning via activation of the AMPK enzyme. In simple terms,
More fat burning = proportionally less carbohydrate burning = longer-lasting energy.
If you can train your body to burn fat for fuel at lower intensities, then the truly high-octane fuels (glycogen and glucose) can be saved for later in your training session or competition — saved for when they’re needed most.
On a long term basis, CBD use has even been correlated with increased brown fat development. While fat isn’t usually what athletes want more of, brown adipose tissue is different. Its high mitochondrial content means it can actually burn other types of fat for fuel.
Brown fat development may also carry with it anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidizing properties. All in all, it provides one more pathway through which CBD could help athletes stay well-fueled.
Other athletes take a different approach to sports nutrition entirely. We’re talking about ketosis — in case you haven’t heard about it, the ketogenic diet is a VLC (very low carb ) diet that’s been growing in popularity among athletes.
Sparing carbohydrates becomes less important when one is in ketosis. Instead, it makes sense for ketogenic athletes to focus on letting fat oxidation happen as quickly and easily as possible. According to Dr. Bob Melamede, CBD promotes exactly that via its effects on AMPK, mTOR, and other factors. To put it simply: CBD intake and ketosis go hand in hand.
As an athlete, you may already take BCAA’s during or prior to your workout in hopes of preventing muscle breakdown. Why not provide an extra safeguard by liberating stored energy and optimizing your fat metabolism with CBD?
Using CBD to amplify fat burning could be as simple as taking a moderate dose of AkäVie’s premium CBD oil each day. Take an additional 5-15 mg CBD with your pre-workout meal for even better results.
Within many competitive sports, the top tier of athletes is closely grouped together. Look at the results from time-sensitive sports like the 100-meter sprint, or the weightlifting stats at The World’s Strongest Man, and you’ll see that the actual differences in top athlete’s fitness levels are nearly imperceptible. Often the difference between first and tenth is less than a single percent!
On such a level playing field, can you guess what’s most important? Most athletes in such a scenario will have already trained their way up to maximum genetic potential. Their metabolic states will be primed for competition, too — probably glycogen-loaded and ready to go.
That means there’s a different factor critical to pre-competition athletes. It’s their mindset.
“The key is not the will to win. Everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.” – Bobby Knight
For obvious reasons, athletes who are stressed and anxious won’t perform as well as those who are calm, collected, and well-prepared. The ideal competitive mindset should instill confidence, too; after all, at that point the work’s already been done.
Anything that gets in the way of this ideal mindset would only get in the way of an athlete’s ability to be in the zone, in that flow state where optimal performance becomes automatic.
CBD might help athletes overcome these potential hurdles, the biggest of which are nerves. As we said, CBD’s already been proven to help with nerves. How it does so is interesting: it appears to rebalance one’s internal ratio of serotonin to dopamine.
Nerves can skew the delicate balance of this important ratio, mostly in the form of elevated dopamine levels and corresponding fight-or-flight tendencies. But hormones like dopamine and norephedrine — though detrimental to one’s mood — might actually be helpful to the competitive athlete. That means the best solution for athletes with nerves is a gentle one: using CBD to gently modulate the other half of this ratio, serotonin.
And this modulation is often as simple as taking a few milligrams of CBD! Research has shown that cannabinoids like CBD help sensitize serotonin 5-HTA1 receptors to their neurotransmitters. In theory, this mechanism could reduce nerves without the drowsiness or fogginess that sometimes comes with too much serotonin.
While conventional mood stabilizers often have side effects that aren’t exactly conducive to sports performance, not CBD. It may help stabilize and calm your pre-competition mood without slowing you down.
In fact, CBD’s biphasic nature means that small doses may even have a mild stimulatory effect. To take advantage of that, consider ingesting several milligrams of CBD with your pre-race meal, and another several mg’s via CBD vaporizer just before competition starts.
Athletes engaged in longer events can even take a few CBD-infused gummies in the midst of the battle. In this case, CBD + a few grams of simple carbohydrates is definitely a good thing.
Caffeine: you probably already know that it’s a potent performance-enhancer. Proven benefits include improvements in glycogen storage, reductions in perceived exertion, and more. Caffeine may even help promote the ideal competitive mindset!
But caffeine is a double-edged sword. It’s relatively easy to take too much, something which comes with a variety of side effects.
The best solution is to take just the right amount of caffeine…but that’s easier said than done. Caffeine has a relatively narrow therapeutic range, so while overdoing it isn’t good, underdoing it won’t improve results either.
Thankfully there’s another solution, one that’s both effective and realistic. It’s the strategy of taking caffeine and CBD in conjunction. Via counterbalancing caffeine’s effects on adenosine receptors, CBD may reduce nervousness and promote a more relaxed muscle tone. Meanwhile both caffeine and CBD increase fat-burning, and both seem to act as internal antioxidants.
In other words, caffeine and CBD tend to bring out the best in each other. While we can’t say with certainty that you’ll benefit from taking the two plant compounds in conjunction, there’s only one way to find out.
Consider taking your normal dose of caffeine roughly 30 minutes after a small to moderate dose of CBD oil. We’d encourage you to give conjunctive dosing a try while training before you utilize it at your next competition, of course. And while this particular application of CBD definitely needs to be validated by research, the anecdotal evidence so far has been pretty compelling.
In a few brief years, CBD has made the jump from obscurity to the mainstream. And now it’s just beginning to be adopted by athletes. Why not push ahead of the curve and join them?
Don’t be concerned about side effects or legality. Full spectrum CBD has very few side effects, and virtually none that can’t be prevented by taking your ideal dose. CBD is also fully legal for competitive athletes, in spite of its numerous potential performance-enhancing effects.
As an extreme athlete, your body needs all the help it can get; as Eddie Hall said, “maintaining peak fitness is a constant challenge.” You’ll need to optimize your fuel sources and eliminate mental blocks to train, race, and compete at your best.
If that’s what you’re looking for in a sports-specific CBD product, consider AkäVie as your source. Live the active lifestyle and prepare for your next competition with premium CBD, produced by like-minded individuals — after all, we’re athletes, too.
Everything you read or see on AkäVie.com, such as text, graphics, images, video, and other material, is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. AkäVie.com is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely on AkäVie.com as a substitute for medical advice from a licensed professional. Always seek the advice of a qualified medical health care professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and the use of CBD products.