Posted in: Health & Wellness

How to Recover Like a Kona Champion

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This week the triathlon world will be focused on Hawaii as the best Ironman athletes on the planet compete in the VinFast Ironman World Championship in Kona, a grueling 140.6-mile test of grit and fitness.

This past weekend the triathlon world was focused on Hawaii as the best Ironman athletes in the world competed in the VinFast Ironman World Championship in Kona, a grueling 140.6-mile test of grit and fitness. 

As a seven-time Ironman finisher and author of “Irondad Life: A Year of Bad Decisions and Questionable Motives - What I Learned on the Quest to Conquer Ironman Lake Placid,” I have some insight into the torture chamber of physiological afflictions, such as inflammation, oxidative stress, muscle damage, and brain fatigue, that the athletes training for and competing in this race have put their body through.

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To combat these and continue to train and perform at the high level that a race like Kona demands, Ironman athletes seek every tool and technology to counter inflammation and muscle and ligament soreness. My diet has become filled with anti-inflammatory gladiators like blueberries, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, and spinach. Ice baths and massage guns, foam rollers and electronic muscle stimulators have been essential aids to help my creaky body survive another Ironman season.

In my endless search for tools to keep me going in this most punishing of pursuits, I discovered that many athletes are turning to CBD to help with recovery and overall wellness. 

How CBD Can Help Athletes in Training

CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of over 100 natural compounds (so-called “cannabinoids”) extracted from the hemp plant. CBD interacts with our bodies in a variety of ways, including playing key roles in the functioning of the human immune and central nervous systems. I had no idea that humans have an endocannabinoid system that regulates stress, anxiety levels, inflammation responses and cognitive functions. CBD serves as a natural booster for that system, helping maintain balance in our bodies in a state known as homeostasis.  

Giving a natural boost to my endocannabinoid system helps me recover and repair sore muscles and ligaments faster so I can train harder, longer. CBD can also ease anxiety and pain, treat insomnia, improve stamina, and help maintain a sense of calm balance and all-around health amidst the chaos of my sometimes-stressful life.

I love that CBD does all this in a safe, healthy way. Unlike regularly popping acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and pain, taking CBD won’t put you at risk for kidney damage or other negative effects of prescription painkillers. It’s a natural, healthier alternative to combat soreness, pain, anxiety, and restless sleep. 

SummaForte offers three CBD-infused products for athletes designed to enhance performance and help with recovery

Last year I learned about a new health and wellness company called SummaForte that is focused on enhancing peak performance and recovery of athletes using premium CBD and other natural nutrients. I was drawn by their unique products and commitment to quality, science-driven ingredients developed by top doctors and medical specialists. 

SummaTape: CBD-Infused Kinesiology Tape

SummaTape is a lightweight, stretchable kinesiology tape that reinforces and rehabilitates muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons. Unlike other kinesiology tapes, SummaTape delivers CBD and menthol through the skin, providing a cooling sensation and a triple anti-inflammatory effect. The menthol stimulates blood flow to inflamed areas and improves circulation to heal injuries. This tape has been a godsend and has helped relieve my toughest muscle aches and pains.

SummaMix: CBD-Infused Drink Mix Nootropic & Lutein

SummaMix is a delicious daily drink mix with premium, award-winning CBD, a nootropic called Neumentix™, and lutein called FloraGLO® – the gold standard for cognitive and vision health. SummaMix enhances and improves your vision, focus, and mental health.

What makes the mix stand out is a patented DehydraTECH™ process that helps a CBD molecule – which is fat-soluble and relatively large – travel more efficiently through the body. It is believed that only about 10 percent of CBD you consume survives metabolism to benefit your body.

DehydraTECH™ processes the SummaForte CBD to allow the cannabinoids to bypass the liver and pass directly into the bloodstream, which enables SummaMix to bring the nutrients to the body more efficiently and effectively, ensuring faster onset and higher bio-absorption – up to 475% higher – than most other brands.

I’ve been using SummaTape and SummaMix for about nine months, and they’ve helped me recover quicker, perform better, and race longer. I’m mentally sharper; as a bonus, they help calm my nerves when my kids run around screaming like banshees!

Recently SummaMix became one of the only CBD products to be “NSF Certified for Sport®”, a safety certification relied on by many professional sports leagues to allow their players to use supplements.

SummaRest: Natural, Healthy Sleep Featuring CBN 

Most recently, SummaForte introduced SummaRest – a melatonin-free, all-natural sleep aid that features CBN, a cannabinoid with great restorative sleep benefits to help you fall asleep fast and sleep soundly through the night.

As an athlete knows, a good night’s sleep is essential for performance, muscle repair, and recovery. In addition, low-quality sleep can increase levels of the stress hormone cortisol. High cortisol levels cause slower recovery, fatigue, poor focus, and weight gain. Lack of sleep is linked to decreased production of glycogen and carbohydrates stored for energy during physical activity. SummaRest moderates stress and supports restorative sleep.

Some Final Thoughts

It was incredible to watch Kona rookie Chelsea Sodero become the first American winner since 2002 – 18 months after giving birth! And I was glad to see one of my all-time favorites, Lucy Charles-Barclay, overcome a hip injury to place second. In the men’s field, Gustav Iden blew everyone’s mind by setting a blistering course record in only his second Ironman race ever. His time of 7:40:24 seems impossible. There must be something in the Norwegian water as his countryman and pre-race favorite Kristian Blummenfelt finished close behind in third place.

These athletes have inspired me to want to train hard and push every limit for next year. As I ramp up, I’ll rely on SummaForte to continue to help reduce injuries, burnout, and exhaustion and give me sustained energy to power through the long runs and rides of the season.

Recovery for older athletes is hard. CBD and SummaForte can make it easier, so when the big races hit next year, I know I’ll be at my best.

About Russell Newell

Russell Newell is a 7-time Ironman and author of the book “Irondad Life: A Year of Bad Decisions and Questionable Motives - What I Learned on the Quest to Conquer Ironman Lake Placid.” He liked the products so much, he recently joined SummaForte as a communications consultant.