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article imageResearch says peppermint could help athletes perform better

By Jay McClung     Aug 27, 2013 in Health
A new study found peppermint oil can improve your running performance, respiratory function, blood pressure, and heart rate.
The momentum of obstacle course racing (OCR) continues to build in the United States like a giant wave gaining power as it moves towards the shore.
Its popularity cannot only be measured by the number of participants and races across the country but is also now being shown on national television. NBC sports will be televising the Reebok Spartan Race World Championship in Vermont on September 21. While the Spartan Race is probably the toughest race in the country, there are many others with Tough Mudder and Dirty Girl being two of the most popular races. With thousands upon thousands of people training and looking for an advantage to win an OCR, new scientific information may now give those competitors the answer.
According to a recent study, peppermint oil can improve an athlete’s running performance, respiratory function, blood pressure, and heart rate. Participants in the study consumed .05 mL of peppermint oil in their water before exercise and were able to run a quarter mile further than they could without the oil. Athletes also performed higher on tests just by smelling peppermint oil. Gains were documented in cardiovascular and strength tasks such as running, handgrip strength, and push-ups. Inhaling peppermint, however, did not improve technical skills like shooting free throws with a basketball. Another study conducted by Cheryl MacKenzie at Cornell University states that inhaling peppermint, “may impact athletic performance in a short-duration, dynamic task, such as the 400 meter dash.”
Peppermint has frequently been used in aromatherapy as a stimulant, a mood booster, and to improve concentration but the enhancement in the athletic performance could provide a spike in peppermint oil sales. Peppermint flavored gum and candy has a low amount of peppermint in them so athletes should expect less noticeable results. In order to get an extra performance boost, peppermint tea is the recommended option. It is a zero-calorie drink and having tea allows you to consume and smell the mint before competing.
More about peppermint, Health, obstacle racing, Tough Mudder, Spartan Race
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