For better or worse, supplements seem to have become an inextricable part of the modern lifestyle. Provided that you use them the right way, though, and provided that you choose the right ones for your health and fitness needs, supplements truly can elevate your long-term well-being and even help you take your fitness game to the next level, so to speak. Even so, there’s just no replacing a healthy diet plan. But when you’re exercising diligently or trying to surpass your limits before a well-deserved deload, there is no denying that supplements can be useful.
Today, we are not talking so much about a mainstream supplement so much as we are talking about a popular exotic plant that health-conscious individuals as well as athletes are introducing into their routines – kratom. Let’s go over the history of this healthful herb and uncover its potential benefits for athletes and those seeking to elevate their overall health.
What is kratom?
In a nutshell, kratom, scientifically catalogued as Mitragyna speciose is an exotic evergreen native to Southeast Asia, specifically the regions of Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. This evergreen grows and flourishes in tropical landscapes common to these lands and their unique climates, and it’s interesting to note that the local peoples have known about it, harvested it, and used it for medicinal purposes for centuries, even millennia. Of course, the methods by which they consumed the plant differed vastly from the way we use kratom today, but the effects were pretty much the same.
Throughout history, kratom leaves were infused with hot water to produce a kind of tea, and there have been instances in which the locals consumed it through smoking. As you may or may not know, nowadays kratom leaves are dried out and crushed into powder form or the convenient pill form to make supplements you can consume easily. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Traditional uses in Southeast Asia
Before the western civilization established its trade agreements with the nations and peoples of Southeast Asia, the knowledge of kratom and its uses was confined to the local cultures. For hundreds of years, kratom was used both internally and externally for a myriad of purposes, yet its primary use for a long time was to alleviate the chronic pain of hard labor. In short, the local people knew how to use kratom as an opiate. This is an important observation, because the effects of kratom truly do vary depending on the dose.
In certain dosages, kratom would be used as an opiate, but in others, the locals would use it to battle and eliminate fatigue, or even increase appetite or one’s sexual drive. Externally, the locals would use kratom leaves to treat burns and other wounds, acting both as a topical analgesic and a tool for recovery. The locals also drank kratom leaf extracts to soothe an aching stomach and related conditions such as diarrhea.
Modern uses in sports
Fast track a long, long time and we see kratom being used in western civilizations for many of the same purposes. Particularly, amateur and professionals athletes are using only the best kratom strains to battle chronic pain, such as from old injuries, as well as acute pain and inflammation that comes with regular exercise and subsequent muscle soreness. When it comes to kratom, quality is very important as it ensures the potency of the supplement.
But beyond the plant’s ability to reduce chronic and acute pain and inflammation, many modern athletes choose to use the plant as a natural stimulant before training, or even as a natural relaxant after a tough training session. This is where the potency and dosage come into play, as you need to dose kratom properly to experience the desired effects.
Kratom for the treatment of drug addiction
What’s interesting about this exotic plant is that it’s not addictive, and that athletes, as well as health-conscious individuals, can use it to treat opioid withdrawal as well as drug addiction. Given the fact that prescription medication, especially pain relievers used to treat sports injuries, can be highly addictive, it can be quite difficult to stop using them willingly, especially because these medications require you to keep using them in order to keep the pain at bay. With kratom, though, athletes can manage pain in the same way without falling prey to addiction.
Treating acute and chronic mental conditions
Another important use of kratom lies in its ability to treat, or at least alleviate the symptoms, of certain mental conditions. Concretely, studies have shown that the regular use of kratom can benefit those suffering from depression, anxiety, as well as general feelings of sadness or melancholy. Needless to say, an athlete’s mental health is of the utmost importance, as it directly influences their performance in training and competition – something that kratom can have a positive effect on.
Kratom might not be as popular in western civilizations as it is throughout Asia, but that doesn’t lessen the fact that kratom is a potent stimulant, and that it has many uses in modern sports and even medicine. In the years to come, we might even see kratom rise in popularity much in the way that CBD did, and enter mainstream use guided by the support of scientists and athletes alike.
I’m a fitness and health blogger at Ripped.me, and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. I follow all the trends in fitness, gym and healthy life, and l love to share my knowledge in this field through useful and informative articles.