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How Do CBD Tinctures Help with Boxing and other Combat and Grappling Sports

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04 Aug 2020

How Do CBD Tinctures Help with Boxing and other Combat and Grappling Sports?

Now that we’ve covered yoga, meditation and relaxation, let’s look at the other end of the spectrum: combat sports like boxing, kickboxing, MMA, etc. There is a rising popularity in these high intensity workouts and many swear by their health benefits of increased discipline and hand-eye coordination, among other things. Can incorporating CBD tinctures into your combat routine improve your workout and recovery? Here are some facts.

How Can CBD Tinctures Improve Workouts and Matches for Fighters?

Although it seems counterintuitive, fighting requires a certain amount of relaxation and calm in order to maintain focus. There is also a high risk for injury, both acute and chronic, as a result of training and matches. With the risks involved in this high intensity sport, it makes sense that athletes are keeping a close eye on the science of CBD and turning to it in order to help improve their body and their craft. There are 3 main reasons CBD tinctures are becoming so popular in these grappling sports: reducing inflammation, increasing focus, and improving recovery. 

How Do CBD Tinctures Help with Boxing and other Combat and Grappling Sports
Reducing Inflammation: Muscle Soreness

Training for any sport is a gruelling task and very hard on the body. Athletes in contact sports like MMA, boxing, UFC, etc, are especially exposed to inflammation as they receive hits, use tight grips and train for muscle conditioning. All of these things result in widespread inflammation. When we exercise, we create microtears in our muscle fiber. Our body then goes into action to repair these tears and we experience inflammation. This is why we experience muscle soreness after a good workout. Because of the physical nature of grappling sports, athletes will experience muscle soreness as part of their regular training. This muscle soreness is safe and normal, however recovering from it can be challenging and hinder further progress in training if they’re not recovering quickly enough. This is where CBD can be particularly effective. As a natural anti-inflammatory, CBD tinctures can help reduce the time needed to recover from muscle soreness so that athletes can continue to increase their training without injury. 

Reducing Inflammation: Joint Pain

 Like weightlifters, athletes who compete or train in combat sports like boxing, wrestling, and various martial arts, use their hands a great deal. The repeated stress on their hands can be debilitating. There is plenty of research that demonstrates CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties and its benefits for arthritis and joint pain. After a training session in gloves landing uppercuts and right hooks, a CBD tincture can help alleviate pain and inflammation from the tension and impact, as well as help any additional inflammation in other joints used. 

Reducing Inflammation: Brain Inflammation

One of the biggest risks for athletes participating in combat and grappling sports is head injury. As more research has been completed on concussions, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and the long-terms effects that may lead to Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), athletes need to take particular care of their brains. A concussion, or TBI, occurs when the head is struck at such a force that the brain bounces off the skull, resulting in inflammation and even cell death. Repeated concussions increase the chance of CTE, a neurodegenerative disease that leads to permanent brain damage, change in mood and behavior, cognitive impairment. Adding CBD to a routine can help improve brain health and may even reduce the risk of brain injury. More research is needed to understand how CBD works with brain injury, however there have been some promising studies, especially in terms of using CBD tinctures for dementia and alzheimer’s in the elderly,  showing improved brain health with regular CBD use as well as CBD use assisting in the recovery of TBI thanks to its ability to reduce brain inflammation. 

How Do CBD Tinctures Increase Focus?

Training for any sport requires focus and energy, however, one-on-one combat sports require a heightened alertness in order to predict your opponent’s moves, have awareness of your spatial surroundings, and move within your body both offensively and defensively as the situation calls for. Studies have shown that thanks to CBD’s ability to inhibit certain receptors that influence anxiety, using CBD can increase focus and improve concentration. CBD allows for more serotonin, the chemical that alleviates anxiety. Anxiety is one of the largest causes of lack of focus. Anxiety and stress is very common before a match. The body is full of adrenaline, cortisol, and the stress response is activated. Taking CBD prior to a match can reduce that surge and increase your focus, improving your performance.

How Do CBD Tinctures Improve Recovery?

All athletes have to deal with the struggle of muscle recovery. Symptoms like acute muscle pain, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), the pain felt several hours or days after completing a strenuous activity or an activity that engages muscles not typically worked, and fatigue, can interfere with training. As mentioned above, CBD can help with the inflammation that is caused during workouts or even post injury, but recovery isn’t just about inflammation. Along with inflammation, recovery involves sleep, and fatigue. CBD can have positive impacts for all of these symptoms.

Improving Recovery: Sleep

One of the most important recovery tools for humans is sleep. Restorative sleep allows our bodies to repair tissue, manage stress and even emotions. During a proper restorative sleep, our body releases growth hormones to aid in tissue repair. A good night’s sleep even helps our immune system repair itself. CBD is heavy-hitter in bed. The benefits of CBD on sleeplessness are being well-documented and athletes that are training can greatly improve their sleep, and by extension, their performance. CBD can help lengthen the time of restorative sleep, meaning more healing.

Improving Recovery: Fatigue 

When taken at higher doses, the calming effects of CBD take a front seat and can help you drift off to a restful sleep. At smaller doses, however, CBD can relax your mind enough to eliminate the causes of fatigue and stress enough to help you feel focused, energetic, and a little bit lighter. In addition to dosage, the terpenes included in the CBD tincture can help provide an extra boost. What are terpenes? Terpenes are aromatic oils that are responsible for giving cannabis its unique smell and color.  Common terpenes usually fall within the categories of citrus, berry, mint, and pine, however there are currently over 100 terpenes identified. Some terpenes are more conducive to relaxation, such as Myrcene, while terpenes like Terpinolene or Limonene, are more conducive to providing energy. Using CBD tinctures that offer these terpene profiles will provide an extra boost to combat the fatigue that accompanies training, allowing you to feel more rested and recovered. 

Final Thoughts

The popularity of combat sports is on the rise and so too is the desire to train more efficiently and safely. Adding CBD tinctures to your daily workout routine can have numerous benefits. From assisting with inflammation to aiding in the recovery of muscle tissue and injury, CBD should be a staple in your gym kit.

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