Peppermint oil helps in increasing athletic performanceby Dr. Anu Saini 25-Apr-2014
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Athletes always look for great supplements that enhance their performance but it should be healthy and natural. Peppermint oil is one of those supplements. According to recent studies, peppermint oil has helped in improving athletic performance of athletes. Even an average person has found peppermint oil helpful in his highly active life.
Where does peppermint oil come from?
It comes from a plant, which is hybrid of water mint and spearmint plant. This plant originally comes from Europe, but today it is commonly found all over the world.
What are its constituents?
Its major constituent is menthol, which is responsible for providing minty effect. Its oil has menthone and menthyl acetate. Menthol content is around 29 percent in peppermint oil. Menthone is around 28 percent.
What are its benefits on human body?
Peppermint has been used as a medicinal herb for ages. It is used during common cold for immediate relief. Its oil is applied on joints, which help in strengthening them. It is majorly used as a pain relief agent. Other than that, it is used in tea, chewing gum, toothpaste, mouth freshener, deodorants etc.
What athletes are looking for to have increased athletic performance?
Increased performance means to have better cardiovascular capacity in doing activities, which require high energy. It may not be related just to an athlete. An average human is also involved in activities, which require high cardiovascular endurance such as, walking, cycling, dancing etc. Other than cardiovascular endurance, athletes are looking for increased muscular strength and flexibility of body.
What are its effects on athletes?
According to research, external application of peppermint oil helps in increasing pain threshold. In another research, peppermint oil aroma was used. The test group was exposed to peppermint aroma. Then they were tested physically and mentally like treadmill test, mood test and performance exercises. It showed that peppermint oil improved their focus, memory and visual motor responses. Physically they were able to absorb workload much better than others were. During test, it was also seen that it improved breathing capacity, which is responsible for cardiovascular activity. Improvement in lung capacity was measured and much better force of airflow was observed. Researcher stated that due to this, better oxygen supply was maintained to the brain. Hence, athletic performance was enhanced.
In one test, a group of twelve healthy athletes took 500 milliliter of water with 0.05 milliliter of peppermint oil for ten days. They were given controlled diet for those ten days. Daily, researchers measured their oxygen level, heart rate, blood lactate level and blood pressure. They took down observations during those ten days. They also asked them to run on treadmill before taking peppermint oil and after taking peppermint oil.
According to results:
1. Respiratory ventilation of the athletes was improved.
2. Respiratory rate was much improved.
3. The energy used during the exercises was more efficient.
4. Breathing rate was increased.
5. Fatigue level of athletes was improved and they were able to cover more distance.
Hence, according to this kind of above-mentioned studies, it was proved that peppermint oil helped in increasing their athletic performance.