Sports nutrition is a rapidly evolving market that requires constant innovation to meet the needs of athletes and hobbyists alike. With our ever-increasing understanding of the body and its performance, and increasing competition in this marketplace, differentiating your products from the competition has never been more important. Cannabidiol (CBD) is creating an entirely new market sector- as CBD and sports nutrition merge to provide a natural solution for rest, recovery and adaptability.
Cannabidiol- Enhancing the Body’s Recovery Mechanisms
With more than 11,000 published medical and scientific studies, we are beginning to realize the true potential and benefits of CBD on the human body. Regardless of whether you’re a professional athlete, a regular work-out aficionado or about to start a new, new year’s resolution, CBD for sports recovery and enhancement is quickly cementing its place in our regimes.
As you are probably well aware, inflammation and fatigue are two of the stepping stones on the way to improved athletic results. Not only are these difficult to target with existing supplements, methods of recovery often vary widely depending on the individual. Recent studies, however, potentiate that CBD has some unique anti-inflammatory properties, and may help in reducing swelling and inflammation, improving both rest and rates of recovery.
Moreover, compounding the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD is it’s modulating effect on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is an extensive internal signaling system, and under normal circumstances is moderated by sleep, diet, exercise, stress and a number of other factors.
Typically the body creates its own cannabinoids within the ECS to regulate a wide variety of signals and responses. However, research has shown that the addition of CBD to the diet may aid and enhance the regulation of this system, maintaining physical and neuronal homeostasis, whilst offering a wide range of potential therapeutic benefits such as:
- Improved pain management
- Reduction in the constriction of muscles and tendons (muscle soreness)
- Regulation of fatigue
- Reduction in inflammation of the joints
- Improved recovery rates
- Reduction in oxidative stress
- Promoting healthy sleep, allowing the body to produce more melatonin- which in turn promotes better rest.
In fact, Joe Rogan recently endorsed Kill Cliff’s CBD enhanced recovery drink- Orange Kush- which uses ECS Brands Nano liquid emulsion to provide improved recovery characteristics.
CBD and Sports- Understanding the Markets and Potential
There are a few considerations to be taken into account when looking at the potential of CBD enhanced nutritional products. First and foremost, the hemp-derived CBD market was estimated to be $1.1bn in 2018, with more than $641 million in sales in the U.S. Of this, the largest sector was in CBD sales, accounting for 36% of total volume.
Looking ahead it appears there is only growth in order. New Frontier Data suggests that the total CBD industry will be worth $1.5bn in 2020, and more than $2.2bn by 2022. With around 7% of all Americans reported to be using a CBD product, and the increasing rate that large retailers are stocking CBD products, (already underway in Walgreens and CVS), it has been estimated that the entire industry could reach $16bn by 2025.
Second, our understanding of nutrition and its effects on performance are continually being realized. In 2017 the global sports nutrition market was worth more than $11bn USD, with ‘Surging demand for various kinds of protein bars, energy drinks, and dietary supplements among bodybuilders and athletes’ touted as key factors pushing almost 10% year on year growth in the market.
It is estimated that the sports nutrition market will reach just shy of $25bn by 2025.
Add to this a global dietary supplement market worth $115bn, a huge increase in consumer awareness, and ongoing research into the importance of nutrition and its effects on performance, and it’s not a big leap to see how hemp-derived CBD can augment these markets. In the U.S. the sale of protein powders is overwhelmingly the largest category of sports nutrition products, with an estimated value of $4.7bn in 2015, and a projected value of $7.55bn by 2020.
Aside from its purported health benefits, hemp-derived CBD contains all 20 amino acids, making it a complete protein chain. Add to that the fact CBD contains a number of other essentials such as omega 3-s and omega 6 fatty acids, B complex vitamins and iron and it’s easy to see how and why it is poised to become the next wonder ingredient in supplements and nutritional products.
Full spectrum, hemp-derived CBD contains all 20 amino acids, making it a complete protein chain
With the potential to consume CBD in powders, capsules, oils, edibles, as well as topical applications, It is not only bio-available in a variety of forms/potential products, but it is already making its way into the regime of elite athletes the world over.
Where Do the Opportunities Lie?
Frankly, there are opportunities to change almost every facet of the sports nutrition industry, however, the early movers are looking towards CBD enhanced protein powders and gym supplements, as well as recovery aids and beverages. With a low-risk profile similar to the vitamins and minerals currently added to supplements, it is expected that CBD will make the same entry into the market.
And there only seems to be more good news of late. In 2019 CBD was removed from the prohibited substances list by the World Anti-Doping Agency, not only giving it a big vote of confidence but also allowing Olympic level athletes to access this natural remedy without fear of reprisal.
When it comes to elite sports, CBD has been doing the rounds in the NHL. The league, which has a very lenient stance on cannabis in the first place, is now open about its stance on CBD for pain relief and recovery. With an intense roster (often 3 games per week) players are advocating CBD for its potential benefits, and as a possible replacement for typical painkillers:
“When your body’s sore like it is sometimes, you don’t want to be taking pain stuff and taking Advil all the time. There’s obviously better ways to do it. … You’re seeing a lot of smart guys look into it. You’re seeing a lot of really smart doctors look into it.”– Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid on CBD, AP News, October 2018
Other athletes currently endorsing CBD include:
- Bubba Watson (PGA Tour Golfer – Current)
- Terrell Davis (NFL – Retired)
- Ryan VandenBussche (NHL – Retired)
- Nate Diaz (MMA Fighter – Current)
- Gina Mazany (UFC Fighter – Current)
As the stigma continues to lift around CBD and the sports nutrition/supplement market continues to tip towards this natural solution (and the research continues to back it up) endorsements by elite sportspeople will also see CBD use increase by the general public.
Ready to Level up Your Supplement Game?
We’re here to help! With wholesale extracts, and a full suite of product development tools ECS Brands can help you to design, formulate and distribute your own CBD supplements, or enhance existing ones.
All ECS brands hemp extracts are available in wholesale quantities. Moreover, ECS brands use full-spectrum extracts, ensuring that your CBD products feature synergistic qualities, as well as making them available as powders, oils, consumables, and water-soluble solutions to suit any of your supplement needs.
To get started, visit our wholesale portal at https://www.ecsbrands.com/wholesale or reach out and connect with one of our product managers via email@example.com for more information.
About ECS Brands
ECS brands is a Colorado-based company delivering true full-spectrum hemp oils, extracts and distillates.
With a focus on whole-body health and a balanced lifestyle, ECS brands are simplifying research and education through its range of hemp-based products, targeting the body’s endocannabinoid system to help restore both neural and physical homeostasis.
Moreover, ECS brands promote entrepreneurship and product integration with a range of wholesale extracts, oils, and distillates. The company also oversees the operations of a number of hemp-based brands, including Hemp Fuel, Care By Derma, and Enlighten Hemp, to further drive the adoption of hemp-based products and holistic health.