Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Research published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology shows a good whiff of peppermint oil increases athletic performance; subjects finished a 400-meter run faster, had more handgrip strength and could complete more pushups. We turned to aromatherapist Charlynn Avery of Aura Cacia, an essential oils company, to get some tips on how this minty-fresh stuff can up our speed.
Related: The Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Avery says peppermint essential oil is a great “starter oil” for athletes because of its energizing and cooling properties as well as its effect on breathing. Besides taking a healthy sniff pre-run, here are her top tips on how to incorporate peppermint into your routine:
- Sprinkle a few drops in your shoes before a run to invigorate your feet.
- Add a few drops to a wet cloth and place on your neck after a run to cool down.
- Massage your legs and feet with a muscle rub made of 10 drops of peppermint essential oil and 1 ounce of sweet almond oil.