Pep Up Your Run With Peppermint
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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