CBD and The Age of Recovery
At this point, it’s obvious. Proper recovery following a workout is as essential as the workout itself. Recovery doesn’t just let your body regain strength, it improves future performance. You might think you know this, but really how much are you paying attention to it?
Professional athletes are religious about recovery. It’s built into every regimen, including ours in the NFL. But too often it’s an afterthought for the recreational athlete. Whether you’re new to an exercise program, a professional athlete, or somewhere in between, proper recovery is crucial to sustaining a long-term workout plan. It’s your chance to build yourself back up stronger than before; it is the link between short-term, immediate benefit and long-term, lasting outcome.
For those of you who know me, I’ve suffered a career of serious hits and the pain that accompanies it: Super Bowl migraines, wrecked knees, and every sort of corporal punishment humans can take. It’s the life I chose, and I’m happy about it, but it’s meant that I’ve needed to remain dedicated to a recovery regimen and open-minded about where the best recovery comes from. And I can tell you that nothing has transformed my experience more than CBD.
And it’s not just me. I’ve said it before, but CBD has emerged as the most transformative ingredient this decade. For the last three years, I’ve been seeking out the top voices in fitness for their take, and the openness to CBD among them has been astounding. Take Steve Weatherford – my friend and former NFL punter. A very fit, very cool, and very informative fitness guru who I sat down with recently for the Steve Weatherford Show.
“We’re just scratching the surface on CBD,” he said. “Any serious athlete has the obligation to, at the least, explore CBD and its ability to heal. Antidotes are antidotes. CBD provides one of the first real opportunities to expand your fitness plan without compromising your health.”
Sage words. But how to get started? For those just coming to CBD, I want to break down the basics, from the science to the secrets of CBD’s effectiveness. That way you can rest assured that it’s safe and bask in the warm fuzzy feeling that it works.
All Systems Go.
Our bodies have an “endocannabinoid system” (ECS) that receives and translates signals from cannabinoids (CBD.) It’s an intricate and complex system that fascinates scientists. That said, the physiology is straightforward. CBD connects to endocannabinoids at a molecular level to help regulate all types of functions like sleep, pain, and anxiety. CBD prevents the absorption of anandamide, which signals pain, and might reduce the amount of pain a person feels. When we experience “micro-traumas” from physical activity, the body naturally tries to heal itself. When it doesn’t have what it needs to do that, pain and inflammation set in and it’s up to us to remedy.
Why does it matter?
Professional recovery is the active process of managing inflammation and pain. Inflammation is an objective physical condition and pain is a subjective experience, but they both require management. Traditional methods (ibuprofen, pain killers, etc.) are less effective and pose legitimate risks to health. Here’s my bottom line: I’m feeling younger and more vibrant than I have in years and I owe it to a recovery regimen that includes CBD.
Now, don’t get me wrong, CBD doesn’t work in a vacuum, and it’s no substitute for active recovery. The key word is active—recovery doesn’t mean sitting in front of the TV for hours watching Ballers. Recovery involves an active process, and it can happen as quickly as overnight:
#1 – ICE BATHS
I know it’s not going to be pleasant, but I promise it will be worth it. Start off really slow—there’s no need to go full Arctic pool right away. One great method is something I do for my son: I sit him down in a room temperature bath, not warm, not cold. We then slowly add ice and let his body adjust to the cold. It’s much more manageable this way. No matter what type of exercise you’re doing, an ice bath will be beneficial and you’ll feel rejuvenated. If you’re doing any kind of rigorous activity, this is a must.
#2 – MASSAGES (or using a roller)
Massages are a great way to get out toxins that build up in your muscles. Foam rollers are an effective method of reducing tension and increasing muscle length for a warm-up or post-exercise active recovery. Technically known as self-myofascial release (SMR), the use of foam rollers for the purpose of reducing muscle tension is a key piece of successful recovery.
Better yet, treat yourself to a professional massage every once in a while. Massages increase the blood flow throughout the body, carrying vital oxygen and nutrients. When you receive a sports massage, your body releases neurotransmitters called endorphins, which will improve your mood and make you feel more relaxed.
#3 – STRETCHING
Try stretching at least two times a week. I know it’s mundane, but I can’t stress this enough—it is so important! Break up the routine, treat your body, stretch.
#4 – HYDRATE
Drink. Keep a water bottle on hand, always. Drink a glass before you eat anything. Drink as much as you can post-workout. Substitute water for other hydrating liquids such as coconut water or drinks with electrolytes and CBD! Full disclosure, I like mine as well.
#5 – EAT PROTEIN
Some people like to carb-load for more energy before a workout, but I like to down some protein before mine. Protein helps heal the muscles that you’re breaking down during your workouts. Try and to get natural sources of protein when you can (eggs, almonds, lean meat, peanut butter) and only resort to powders when absolutely necessary.
#6 – HAVE A POWER NAP
This one might not work for everyone, but it has worked for me throughout my career in sports and beyond. Right before a game, I’d take a few minutes and doze off in the locker room. All I needed was 15 minutes, maybe even just 5. I just needed that feeling of waking up with my batteries recharged. I still practice this today before I go on live TV, speak in front of a crowd, or pitch an important business meeting. Don’t knock it till you try it!
There are countless recovery programs, including mine, that rely on CBD for enhanced performance. And the fact I’m retired might put me in a privileged position to discuss it.
The greatest principle of recovery is that you listen to your body, and make sure you give it enough time to repair itself.
CBD WILL make it into professional sports eventually and is already sponsoring major leagues. If I have anything to do with it (and I will), initial adoption should take place within a few years. With ongoing education, funding for new double-blind trials, and socialization from retired athletes, we’ll get there.
(Thanks Steve! Always good chatting.)
#Recovery, #Hydrate, #CBD,#TerrellDavis, #NFL, #ProSports