Most athletes are looking for an edge as they go after their goals. You may be looking for that special workout that will transform your performance, the latest high-tech gear that will shave minutes (or seconds) off your time, or a magic powder or pill that will help you be stronger, faster, or leaner. Essential oils for athletes are no magic pill, they do offer amazing support for your goals in a natural way!
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are volatile aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. The compounds protect the plant – they ward off predators, help with pollination & generally keep the plant strong. Those properties also make these oils beneficial to us in a pure & potent form. They are extracted from the plant and distilled into what we know as an essential oil. These oils are 50-70x more powerful than the plants & herbs themselves!
There are over 3,000 varieties of volatile aromatic compounds currently identified, the nature of each varies from plant to plant. The specific ratio of aromatic constituents found in an essential oil are what gives it specific benefits., which can vary depending on the time of day, season, geographic location, method and duration of distillation, year grown, and the weather.
This variance is why the essential oil you choose is so important, so that you get the benefits you are looking for. I recommend a therapeutic grade oil that incorporates rigorous testing to ensure purity and potency. I personally use and trust dōTERRA essential oils for this purpose.
Essential Oils for Athletes?
When I started using essential oils a few years ago, I was excited to learn how much of an impact these natural tools can have for athletes. Depending on the essential oil you choose, the benefits include:
- Promoting healthy respiratory function and clear breathing.
- Immune Support
- Boost energy & focus
- Reduce muscle & joint discomfort
- Promote digestive health.
Now let me be very clear – nothing replaces putting in the work in training to achieve your performance, strength, or body comp goals. Essential oils and natural supplements are a natural tool to help support your body to maximize your training. You can see this in doTERRA’s own wellness philosophy, which starts with a foundation of nutrition & exercise..
Top Essential Oils for Athletes
There are quite a few essential oils and related natural supplements that support many different areas of training and athletic performance, but let’s start with the top essential oils for athletes. These are especially great for athletes with endurance goals (runners and triathletes) and anyone involved in regular strength training & outdoor activities.
This is one of my favourite essential oils and one that I use every day. Each drop of peppermint oil is equivalent to 28 cups of peppermint tea. In a study published in Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, subjects used .05ml of peppermint oil in a drink, consumed each day for ten consecutive days. At the end of the study, the total work performed by the test subjects was increased by 51% and their time to exhaustion increased by about 25%.
Basically, they were able to go faster, for longer!
- Deep Blue
The Deep Blue oil and rub are amazing on sore muscles after a hard workout. It provides a comforting sensation of cooling and warmth to problem areas. The Deep Blue rub is also the choice of massage therapists and sports practitioners – including NCAA Division I sports teams. I love it after a tough workout when DOMS hits the next few days!
- On Guard
No one likes to get sick, but it’s especially important to pay attention to immune support for endurance athletes. Long distance training takes a toll on our immune system, so extra support can be the difference between getting sick or not. doTERRA On Guard is actually a blend of several different essential oils, which creates an effective alternative to synthetic options for immune support.
Widely used for its calming and relaxing qualities, lavender also helps reduce anxious feelings. This can be great before a hard workout or the night before a stressful race! Rest is so important for athletic performance – don’t neglect this area of your training!
This is another blend of several essential oils, which helps maintain feelings of clear airways and easy breathing. I found this to be a great blend for outdoor activities.
- Wild Orange
Have you ever wanted a boost of extra energy to get going or stay motivated? You can diffuse this essential oil for an energizing and revitalizing aroma before and during a workout. In addition, it contains powerful antioxidants* and can be added to your water to support a healthy immune system.*
If you’re already drinking hot lemon water each morning, you’re going to love the added benefits of lemon oil. Squeezing lemon into the water gives us the benefits of the fruit, by adding lemon essential oil you get the potent benefits from cold-pressing the lemon peel.
Lemon essential oil naturally cleanses the body and aids in digestion. If you have a sensitive stomach, this is a great way to calm a nervous stomach. In addition, it also supports healthy respiratory function. If your sport or passion takes you outdoors, lemon essential oil also assist with seasonal respiratory discomfort.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.