During the move, I lost all my essential oils. Le sigh. Fortunately for me, Young Living & Allyson Cheney hooked it up once I arrived to Portland. One of the items I added to the mix is their Fit Kit. I’ll write more about how I’m using the different oils in a series of blog posts but today I want to focus on Peppermint (which happens to be in the kit). It is great when we have those little moments in our training that make all the difference in our performance and health so I wanted to extend and share with you all my new findings.
This invigorating oil, packs a serious punch for runners.
One of the traditional uses of peppermint is to focus the mind and promote wakefulness without causing the signature nervousness + anxiety associated with things like coffee and or caffeine. I like to take a deep inhale of peppermint before I begin my run to wake me up and get my senses going. Just the smell of peppermint, has been shown to reduce perceived effort, while improving mood and brainpower.
In a recent study published in the Journal of International Society of Sports & Nutrition, researchers looked at the effect of peppermint oil on running performance. In the study they used .05ml of peppermint oil in a drink, consumed each day for ten consecutive days. They tested participants before and after peppermint consumption for various indicators of cardiovascular performance. One might expect a subtle boost, however, the results were pretty astounding. The oil improved exercise performance, respiratory function, blood pressure and heart rate. The amount of total work performed by the test subjects increased by 51%, including an increase in the time to exhaustion of about 25%. Essentially they went faster and further. For this reason, I like to add a drop of peppermint oil to my water pre-run and on occasion to help boost my performance.
Because of the high concentration of menthol, it also has a refreshing cooling affect when applied to the skin. On a hot summer day, I like to add a few drops behind my neck to keep me feeling cool. Post run, you can also add a few drops to an ice cold rag to place behind your neck. (I do this when hiking too!)
The most obvious benefit is perhaps that peppermint is often used to reduce pain caused by muscle tension and inflammation. Peppermint is also anti-spasmodic, which mean additionally it can calm the spasms that cause muscle cramps. I like to use peppermint during post workout massage to help with pain and speed up recovery. Beyond massage, you can add to Epsom salt for a nice bath to ease muscle stiffness.
So there you have it. Peppermint Vitality is my simple game-changer. If you want to give it a go, you can order directly by clicking here. Or you can reach out to Allyson directly via @allysoncheney for details.