Don Mclaughlin the author of the bestselling sports medicine book, “Plants, Performance and the Endocannabinoid System: 21st Century Sports Medicine” and the man behind PurePower Botanicals is passionate about helping athletes have a more effective workout, and a quicker recovery using hemp and plant-based methods. Don sat down with us to chat about how his book can help athletes and everyone else increase their overall wellness and athletic prowess.
How can the information in your book take athletes work out to another level?
The principles and insights in the book will help you build greater energy and endurance, deepen your sleep, accelerate your recovery, reduce pain, and inflammation. By addressing these fundamentals, the book provides a means to elevate your performance while at the same time reducing the risk of injury and burnout. This also means that athletes can continue to elevate their workouts and performance but do so without damaging their bodies because they are tapping into their body’s innate capacity to heal quickly and continually develop greater strength.
The principles you discuss in your book are also reflected in the supplements you have created. How can they help people improve their workout and their health?
PurePower’s supplements are an extension of our Inside-Out Performance philosophy and practices. Specifically, our unique combinations of hemp and other potent plants help optimize mindset, movement and nourishment: these are the core tenets of Inside-Out Performance. For example our Daily Boost helps reduce stress and instill calmness, which helps you develop a bulletproof mindset that is both more resilient to stress and better able to bounce back quickly after setbacks. Our Reboot product helps reduce inflammation, replenish weary muscles and ligaments, and rejuvenate the body. Our PowerUp product increases reserves of sustainable energy and endurance, while our PowerDown formula enhances recovery through deeper, more restful sleep. Ultimately these products are all about supporting the fundamentals of wellness to elevate performance – and doing so sustainably by working synergistically with nature. This is what Inside-Out Performance is all about.
Is there a real life backstory that inspired you to write this book and create your product line?
What inspired the book and our product line was our own experience discovering how much hemp and other plants helped me not only rebound from a big setback in my life but also go on to thrive like never before. I’m on a mission to share my discovery and spread awareness about how hemp and other plants can help instill new habits that elevate performance and enjoyment of life and do so sustainably.
The story behind this book began in 2012, while I was in the midst of a life-changing transformation. I was a 43-year old burned out CEO, struggling to turn things around in a multi-million dollar tech consulting and services firm that I co-founded several years earlier. The business served legal departments in the Fortune 500, and I worked constantly and suffered prolonged anxiety, bouts of depression, and sleepless nights stemming from the intense stress that comes from working on complex, high profile legal matters that often hit the front page of that nation’s newspapers. At times it felt like I fell into a dark dungeon from which I could never escape.
I finally hit bottom in late-2012, and after what I can only describe as a spiritual awakening, I re-emerged as a passionate, fearless leader whose business began to flourish, and shortly thereafter, miraculously turned into a high altitude ultra endurance trail runner at the 50M and then 100M distance. And all this happened in my mid-40s, with zero long distance running experience. Why the running? I don’t know exactly. I had no running pedigree, no coach, and in the past hated running. In fact, I was kicked off my high school cross country team for being a poor, disinterested runner. But I do know that in my mid-40s running, mountain trail running in particular, proved to be a lifeline for me.
Along the way I investigated any and all aids to support my recovery. As a Colorado resident, I began to read articles in the Denver Post about the emerging legalization of cannabis and the medicinal or therapeutic uses of cannabis. This shocked me. As a former Assistant District Attorney, I never believed cannabis could actually benefit one’s health. But as I read more and more, I discovered that some athletes and other high performers were using an extract of the non-psychoactive form of cannabis (i.e., hemp) to deal with stress and recovery. So I started using it to do the same. Remarkably I started to sleep better. I found a new sense of calm and an ability to manage stress far more effectively than before. I started caring for my health in a variety of ways, including experimenting with other plant extracts that I learned might work more effectively in combination with hemp, and my energy and endurance soared. Hence, I started running long distances without injury and haven’t stopped since.
It was during one of my mountain ultra trail running races, the Audi Power of Four race in Aspen, Colorado, that I received the inspiration for this book.
CBD oil is all the rage these days, but I haven’t heard of it being used in workout products, can you talk about why you included it in your products.
What I discovered is the hemp-CBD helped improve in some fundamental areas of health and well-being that also helped me improve as an athlete and during my workouts. Specifically, hemp-CBD combined with other plant extracts and minerals helped me better manage stress and anxiety, sleep more deeply, develop more energy during my workouts, and recover far more quickly.
Have you applied the principles in your book to your own workout? What has that been like?
Yes, I’ve discovered that by incorporating hemp-CBD and other potent plant extracts into my diet, I can workout more intensely and for longer periods but then also recovery much more rapidly. I’m convinced that these combinations of potent plants have allowed me to achieve athletic feats in my late-40s that I could never have achieved ten years ago when I was younger and less fit.
Plants, Performance and the Endocannabinoid System: 21st Century Sports Medicine by Don McLaughlin is available on Amazon.