Aromatherapy can improve physical and mental well-being, and is gaining more popularity with athletes too.
How to Incorporate Essential Oils into an Athletic Life
You can use essential oils before and after workout sessions, as well as part of an athletic lifestyle which goes beyond the actual sport practice. From performance to recovery, essential oils are very versatile and should be part of any athlete’s life.
In sports, essential oils are used with the following benefits:
Best Overall Essential Oil for Athletic Performance
Peppermint Oil is the number 1 essential oil for sport performance. Peppermint oil can help you perform better and for longer.
In one study investigating the effects of peppermint on exercise performance, the results suggested the effectiveness of peppermint essential oil on exercise performance, blood pressure, and respiratory rate of participants. This can be mostly explained by the relaxation of bronchial smooth muscles, the increase in the lung ventilation and the brain oxygen concentration.
Essential Oils for Focus
Focus is key in sport. It’s the ability to keep your eyes on the ball, keep going and don’t lose motivation. The biggest difference in performance between high performing athletes and amateurs is the levels of focus they exhibit.
You can improve the mental preparation by getting yourself in the mood for winning.
Besides pepperming, a good oil to increase athletic focus is rosemary. It can be included in your warm-up activities, when you do your stretching or morning yoga or pilates.
Essential Oils for Recovery
Rest is an important part of any athletic program, as it gives the body the ability to repair itself. Through sleep, the body repair itself, sleep is a great opportunity for healing.
Lavender oil is excellent for relaxation and improving the sleep quality. One interesting meta-analysis looking at studies between 1990 and 2012 came to the conclusion that lavender oil is beneficial in promoting sleep quality when inhaled.
Essential Oils to Reduce Inflammation and Improve Circulation
Many essential oil blends have these properties, in general oil that contain menthol: peppermint, eucalyptus, thyme, tea tre, arnica oil.
Black pepper oil is also a top choice to reduce inflammation, calm sore muscles and improve blood circulation.
Essential Oils for Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection that affects the feet. It is usually treated with specialized products from the pharmacy, but some essential oils may also help.
Tea tree essential oil is known for its antimicrobial, antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties, which may also be beneficial in this condition.
Thyme, peppermint and clove oils have also shown promising antifungal and antibacterian activity.
You can easily apply a few tea tree oil dropsto cotton balls and place them in between the affected toes areas.
Essential Oils to Reduce Scars and Signs related to Injuries
Bio-Oil is clinically proven to help repair the skin damage and scars associated with injuries and accidents.
Bio-Oil works well on new or old scar – from surgery, burns, accidents, acne or other skin lesions, helping the skin heal faster.
92% of participants reported an improvement in their scar appearance after 8 weeks.
Read the Review: Bio-Oil Skincare Oil Review
Best Essential Oils for Athletes
Peppermint essential oils is every athlete’s favorite oil, since it increases focus, motivation, is good in topical gels for muscles and joints and promotes a cooling sensation too. Peppermint oil can help you perform better and for longer.
Wintergreen essential oil is used to improve joint and muscle comfort. It contains methyl salicylate with analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Eucalyptus essential oil – another oil rich in menthol, it soothes joints, muscles and tendon pain.
Tea tree oil is another top choice because it is antibacterian and antimicrobial, and the cooling menthol can relax aching joints and muscles after exercises, or after an accident.
Arnica oil extract is pain-killing and anti-inflammatory, and help soothe the pain felt by athletes after exercise, improve swelling and brusing.
Black spruce essential oil – invigorating and uplifting, this oil is ideal for days when you feel drained or have decreased motivation.
Lemon essential oil (or other citrus oil) – energizing and uplifting, this oil can help you start a cheerful morning.
Lavender – it promotes a feeling of calm and relaxation, so use it especially as part of your bedtime routine to experience better sleep.
Most of these oils also help enhance the immune and respiratory system when inhaled or diffused, which can also benefit athletic performance.
Most of the time, most products on the market include a blend of several essential oils that work better together than individually. Essential oils which contain menthol can be used for tendinitis, sprains, strains, and joint discomfort.
Young Living Everyday Oils Essential Oils Collection – set of 10 oils 5 ml
How to Use Essential Oils in Sport
Diffuse the oil in a quality diffuser
You will get a consistent scent, while preserving the most of your essential oils properties. It’s important to choose premium-quality essential oils to get the most of their therapeutic properties.
AromaTech patented nebulizing technology ensures that there is no damage to the essential oils’ properties and creates a longer lasting and consistent scent. These revolutionary home fragrance diffusers release scent in the form of micro-mist to ensure precise diffusion that is long-lasting, pure, and high quality.
Applied topically as creams, ointments or rubs, diluted with carrier oils (coconut or olive oil) to support aching muscles or joints. Rub the mix into your joints, wrist, necks and the top of your feel before and after you exercise to improve blood circulation. Make sure you always dilute your oils first with a plant-based carrier oil, to prevent skin irritation.
They can also be mixed together as a massage oil to relax the body, or to reduce the pain and discomfort. This is the best way to use most of these oils.
Athletes can also use their essential oils in a warm bath: put a few drops of essential oil diluted in a carrier oil and enjoy the comfort and relaxation.
You can also choose roll-ons as they can easily be used on the go and while traveling.
Although essential oils cannot offer guarantess or quick fixes, they are worth experienting with and see how can they improve your workouts and relaxation.