Using all natural alternatives to enhance athletic performance is a priority among the athletes, coaches and researchers alike and one of the amazing oils showing lots of potential is peppermint. Mint is renown for its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antioxidant and vasoconstrictor effects and has become the subject of significant research especially for its application in sport.
Applying peppermint assists with pain relief. Studies by both Mimica-Dukic et al. (1993) and Forster et al. (1981) found that various kinds of mint were effective in reducing muscular pain while more recent research by Mauskop (2001) has shown that the external application of peppermint extract actually raises the pain threshold in humans.
Inhaling peppermint aroma through the nose or mouth can improve cognitive performance. Athletes need good cognitive function to be able to track player and ball/puck movements, to see the playing field with a wider range of vision and anticipate the movements of opponents, recognize patterns and make fast and efficient decisions. In a study by Zoladz et al. (2004), participants who inhaled peppermint aroma demonstrated improvement on tasks related to attention processes, virtual recognition memory, working memory and visual-motor response.
Taking peppermint essential oil internally also helps improve athlete performance. In a study by Meamarbashi & Rajabi (2013) twelve healthy male students consumed one 500ml bottle of mineral water containing 0.05ml peppermint essential oil for ten days. The result showed an improvement in their exercise performance, gas analysis, spirometry parameters, blood pressure and respiratory rate. In a similar test by Meamarbashi (2014), even the short-term effect of peppermint ingestion on exercise performance revealed significant improvements in grip force (36.1%), standing vertical jump (7.0%) and standing long jump (6.4%).
So if you need to pick up the pace OR perk up your performance, why not try Peppermint essential oil.
We always recommended that you use pure, unadulterated, therapeutic-grade essential oils and follow the safety directions of the manufacturer. Seek medical advice before applying essential oils, or immediately if you suffer any symptoms following their use.
The information contained within this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website. Remember your wellness is our primary concern.
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Forster, H.B., Niklas, H. & Lutz, S. 1981, Antipasmodic effects of some medicinal plants, Planta Med; 40:309–319.
Mauskop A. 2001, Alternative therapies in headache: is there a role? Medical Clinics of North America; 85:1077–1084.
Meamarbashi, A. 2014, Instant effects of peppermint essential oil on the physiological parameters and exercise performance, Avicenna J Phytomed; 4(1):72-28.
Meamarbashi, A. & Rajabi, A. 2013, The effects of peppermint on exercise performance, J Int Soc Sports Nutr; 10(1):15.
Mimica-Dukic, N., Jakovljevic, V., Sabo, A., Popovic, M., Lukic, V., Gasic, O. & Jancic, R. 1993, Evaluation of some pharmacodynamic effects of Mentha longifolia extracts, Planta Med; 59:691.
Zoladz, P., Raudenbush, B. & Lilley, S. 2004, Impact of the chemical senses on augmenting memory, attention, reaction time, problem solving, and response variability: The differential role of retronasal versus orthonasal odorant administration. Chemical Senses, 29, Supplement