Essential oils may sound like something a little strange, but they’re becoming increasingly popular due to their natural beneficial and healing properties.
What exactly are essential oils?
Essential oils are volatile aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. It’s these compounds that protect the plant – they ward off predators, help with pollination & generally keep the plant strong – and make them beneficial to us in various ways. These compounds are extracted and distilled to make essential oils which are more than 50-70 times more powerful than the plant itself.
Essential oils can be used for a variety of applications, but a few essential oils actually support many different areas of training and athletic performance. Whether you’re a runner, cyclist or walker, read our list of essential oils that are great for athletes with endurance goals (runners and triathletes) and anyone involved in regular strength training & outdoor activities.
One drop of peppermint oil equals 28 cups of peppermint tea. A recent study done by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, subjects consumed .05ml of peppermint oil in a drink for ten consecutive days. Results showed that the total work performed by the test subjects was increased by 51% and their time to exhaustion increased by about 25%.
Lavender’s properties are well-known but its properties as an essential oil due to its assistance with anxiety isn’t as well-known. This makes it ideal for nervous athletes looking for a restful night before a race or competition.
Wild Orange is great for a boost of extra energy to get going or stay motivated. It can be diffused for an energizing and revitalizing aroma before and during a workout. Wild Orange contains powerful antioxidants and can also be added to your water to assist with building your immune system.
Many people already add lemon to hot water as an early morning drink, or to fend off colds and flu, but adding lemon essential oil to your water offers you the potent benefits of cold-pressing the lemon peel. Lemon essential oil aids in digestion which is great for athletes who have a sensitive stomach because of nerves. If you’re an outdoors athlete, lemon essential oil can also help with seasonal respiratory discomfort.
Frankincense is an excellent anti-inflammatory which makes it great for athletes after a strenuous workout or race and are now suffering from pain and inflammation. It can help prevent the breakdown of the cartilage tissue and has been shown to significantly reduce levels of dangerous and painful inflammation. This essential oil is perfect for muscles, joints, and tendons.