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Pep Up Your Run With Peppermint

Move over, pre-workout supplements! Make room for pre-workout candy.

Mike Jackson

Mike Jackson is nutritional consultant as well as a freelance writer in the field of health and fitness. He specializes physique transformation and contest preparation for all levels of competitor. Mike is currently based out of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Would you be surprised if I told you peppermint could increase your running output by over 50%?

Well, this may be exactly what research is telling us!

Whether you’re training for your fiftieth marathon or enjoying the occasional jog around the block, you should know about peppermint oil’s easy-to-access benefits.

Peppermint as a Running Aid? Really?

Put yourself in someone else’s running shoes for a moment. Imagine performing two all-out running tests on a treadmill one week apart.

The only difference between the two tests is you drink water enhanced with peppermint oil for a week before the second test. It seems like a minor difference, but it has a big payoff in the study—and could mean better runs for you.

In the study, runners performed 50% more work with the assistance of peppermint oil. Essentially, that means adding an extra half mile for every mile they ran a week earlier.

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A Closer Look at Peppermint’s Benefits

This dramatic 50% improvement occurred because of how peppermint oil affects running physiology. If you decide to put peppermint oil to the test, you’ll notice it making a difference in several ways during your run.

First peppermint helps you breathe more efficiently. During the study, the runners breathed in and out with greater force. Normally this effect occurs after you perform endurance exercise repeatedly, but that’s not what happened here.

The study volunteers actually did not exercise between the two treadmill tests. That makes peppermint oil the only explanation for the improved breathing. Peppermint oil supplementation strengthens breathing muscles, giving you more available oxygen with every step.

The effects of peppermint on exercise performance

Second, peppermint oil increases running stamina. This effect occurs partially because breathing better conserves energy, any runner’s most precious commodity. The more energy you have in reserve, the longer you stay on your run.

But, there’s more to it than that. Peppermint also increases running stamina because it stops lactic acid from accumulating as quickly as it normally does in muscle tissue. Lower lactic acid levels make it easier to run longer distances.

Finally, peppermint oil stimulates and focuses your central nervous system, allowing you to cover more distance without perceiving pain as intensely. On a typical run, going the extra mile—or sometimes farther—becomes a mental game, a race against pain in exhausted muscles and well-worked joints. To combat those common running problems, peppermint oil combines a much-needed mental boost with soothing pain relief, two effects recreational runners gladly welcome.

A Closer Look at Peppermint’s Benefits

A Weird Benefit of Peppermint

Quick Tip:

When you consider the extra miles you’ll be logging thanks to peppermint oil’s benefits, you shouldn’t worry about a little extra sugar and a few surplus calories.

If you want to take advantage of peppermint’s performance benefits, there’s no need to invest in a lifetime supply of peppermint essential oil. A single peppermint candy holds about 20 calories and 2 grams sugar, though peppermint oil has neither.

Peppermint oil sounds like the obvious choice if you avoid sugar, right?

Not so fast.

When you consider the extra miles you’ll be logging thanks to peppermint oil’s benefits, you shouldn’t worry about a little extra sugar and a few surplus calories.

Plus, peppermint essential oil is also more expensive than a bag of after-dinner mints and harder to locate at your favorite grocery store. Just make sure the mints you choose list “peppermint oil” as their main flavoring and you’re good to go running.

What’s more, you don’t even have to carefully time when you take your daily peppermint oil dose. The runners in the study simply had peppermint oil at some point during the day, so timing isn’t an issue. Just keep peppermint candies at your desk or in your purse, sample a few throughout the day, and reap peppermint’s benefits in the long run.

eSupplements Article Recap

  • Peppermint oil alone can increase running output by 50% in as little as one week.
  • Runners breathe more efficiently, accumulate less lactic acid, have more stamina, focus better, mentally, and perceive less pain when they supplement with peppermint oil.
  • Mints with peppermint oil as a main ingredient are the simplest, cheapest way to access these advantages.
    Leave a Comment

    Comments (6)

    Susan

    May 27, 2014

    Finally, a benefit from candy!!

    Are you kidding me??!! This has got to be the coolest article I’ve read in a long time. Mike, keep telling us crazy benefits from strange places!!

    Reply

    Eric Kitchen

    May 30, 2014

    How Much?

    How much peppermint oil needs to be taken a day?

    Reply
      Mike Jackson

      Mike Jackson

      May 30, 2014

      Re: How Much?

      0.05ml of peppermint oil (basically the equivalent of one drop) in 500ml of water.

    ajith

    June 5, 2014

    really???????

    if it does increase stamina i would be vry much grateful 🙂 🙂 😉

    Reply

    Scott H

    October 23, 2014

    Great stuff

    It also works as a natural mouse repellent. Buy a small bottle of the oil at your favorite online retailer and use it for running and rodent control…LOL

    Reply

    Alesha

    May 5, 2015

    Thanks

    I’m doing a 5k run on May 16th for Breast Cancer & have been trying to build my stamina up. Thanks so much for the tip!!!!

    Reply
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

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