If you’re an athlete of any kind, I recommend supplementing with a high quality Cannabidiol (CBD). There are many reasons for this but we are going to discuss one in particular that you are likely unaware of…until now!
Athletes are always looking for ways to improve performance and recovery. The more an athlete can train, but more they can fine-tune and improve their performance. Gauging the direct effects of different food products/supplements on athletes is not the easiest thing to do. Most of what people do is guesswork or is based on opinion. As we all know, opinion doesn’t mean too much. We all have our biological individuality but certain things do work the same in all of us. In this case, we are discussing recovery through the neurological system so that the athlete can train more and do so in a safer fashion.
Enter CBD, but wait…we are not there yet!
Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is the main metric that a lot of elite athletes use to measure their recovery. This metric is well defined and is referenced in the medical literature. Simply put, it is likely the best way that an athlete can scientifically measure their ability to perform. It’s not too bold to say that if you do not measure your HRV, you cannot determine if your body is ready to exercise at an optimal level or not. (On this topic, I highly recommend the Oura Ring. You can read about it here. The second version is out and it’s a ‘must’ own.).
Let me pose a simple question. Let’s say your heart beats at 60 beats per minute (BPM). Is it better for your heart to beat every second or with every beat, is it better to have some variability? So, let’s say one beat is 1.003 seconds, the next .998, the next 1.002, the next .995, and so on…we still end up with 60 beats per minute but what we are looking at is a consistent time between beats vs. some variability.
HRV is a check of the functionality of our Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). It tells us about our parasympathetic tone and how it works in relation to the sympathetic portion of our ANS. Sadly, most people do not have much parasympathetic tone. The ANS is the part of our neurological system that works without us thinking about it. It includes the sympathetic (think fight or flight) system along with the parasympathetic (think rest and digest) system.
We know that when we train and/or have a lot of different stresses, we tend to run sympathetic dominant. For an athlete, this means that we run out of gas faster and if we remain sympathetic, or recovery is significantly delayed or does not fully occur. Think of the day you have an amazing workout only to feel flat the next day when you are trying to work out even with lower intensity…you ‘just don’t have it.’ People think this is a normal part of training, but it is not! This is what recovery is all about.
Back to our example above. The greater the HRV, or variance between your heartbeats, the more active the parasympathetic system. The more active the parasympathetic system, the better we recover. In essence, measuring how well the parasympathetic system works tells us the health of the ANS. Since we are all mostly sympathetic nervous system dominant, it’s great to have a way to bring about some balance. CBD helps with this unlike anything else. It directly helps to activate the parasympathetic system so that the sympathetic system does not remain overactive. By doing so, we are able to recover more efficiently. This means we recover faster and in a more complete fashion.
I believe we are the first to report on the direct effects of CBD and HRV. Yes, we have high level athletes who report this to us and the findings are simply amazing. With this blog, we are discussing one such athlete who has logged his results with CBD and HRV. We can view the final portion of this blog as essentially a mini case study. I would like to thank one of my elite cyclist athletes for sharing his experience with us and allowing me to share his case with you.
This cyclist/runner is an elite mid-age competitive male cyclist who constantly strives to get better at what he does. He incorporates the top methods and technology to help him achieve new heights of competition. Rides of 200 miles per day against heavy winds to the Everest challenge (over 27,000 feet of incline over a certain period of time) and other forms of competition are what this cyclist enjoys most. He tries new and allowed products all the time as he is always looking for a competitive edge. Never before has he tried Noetic Nutraceutical’s Optimize 1050 mg, but when he did, the results were nothing less than spectacular. Here is his story…
‘Initial impression of the CBD tincture is WOW!!’
1. Sleep is a metric I follow very closely because of its importance to recovery. CBD dramatically improved my sleep, I’m shocked!
2. HRV is probably my most closely followed metric. In over 2 years of data, this readiness of 10 is simply unprecedented coming off three straight days of training in the middle of a training block. I’m really stunned!
His HRV reading is to the right: ———>
Wow! Right? Well, we think we are going to be seeing and hearing a lot more about this from others. We ask that you share your results with us if you measure your HRV. I will be doing this myself using the Oura ring and will be documenting the changes based on CBD. Stay tuned for other blogs that detail proof that CBD enhances HRV, thus improving the function of your parasympathetic function and directly helping your Autonomic Nervous System! This is really good information!
This is super interesting and warrants further inquiry. What i wonder, though, is whether that increased HRV translates to better recovery. I see HRV as one sign that the body is recovered, but not the cause of the recovery itself. Meaning, if you gave me a medicine that increased my HRV directly, id worry that the medicine were decoupling my HRV from the processes of my recovery, thus becoming a less useful metric, rather than causing the rest of my body to be recovered.
Does that make sense?
Dr. Allen Manison
HRV is the best way to determine the resiliency of the ANS. It tells us how well we can recover. Most all endurance athletes use it as a metric. Being most people lack good parasympathetic tone, having a good way to influence this is very important. There is no medication that improves HRV. This is one reason why CBD is so valuable.
If your ANS is working more efficiently, then all other systems in your body work better. This is something we can all agree on. HRV does not directly repair torn tissue, create MPS, re-oxygenate cells, increase DHEA levels, etc..it does, however, indicate that the body has an increased ability to do all of this due to a better functioning neurological system. This is why HRV is an important metric for athletes. How their body recovers tells them how hard they can push it on a given day. The higher the HRV, the better the body can take care of itself.
Hope this helps.
Great question Rebecca. I wonder the same. Aspirin makes a fever go down, but does it address the reason for the fever in the first place?