I have at least three essential oils with me at any given time. I never leave home without them. I use them everyday.
Nature has a lot to offer when it comes to tools we can use to take care of our bodies. As an active person - runner, yogi, triathlete, or just into staying fit and ready for an adventure - I'm sure you have challenges when it comes to feeling at the top of your game. You're hard on your body. You run on trails that leave you feeling like you got thrown off a horse, you endure multiple hour workouts that leave you feeling exhausted, or your training sessions in the gym have you feeling stiff and sore.
I often suffer from muscle stiffness, low points in my energy, challenges to my sleep patterns, and seasonal issues that leave me searching for natural solutions that won't impact my athletic performance but that will allow me to combat these ailments.
There are so many reasons to incorporate essential oils into your life, but I want to share the benefits of essential oils specifically for training and workouts.
Best Essential Oils for Athletes
Wake up and get a natural energy boost with peppermint! In this study, taking Peppermint essential oil internally was shown to improve respiratory function and exercise performance. Another way I like to use peppermint is internally to help support good digestion.
After a hard training session or a big race, peppermint can help soothe achy muscles and joints. My favorite is doTERRA's blend called DeepBlue. It's a blend of wintergreen, camphor, peppermint, ylang ylang, helichrysum, blue tansy, blue chamomile, and osmanthus. It’s perfect for a soothing massage after a long workout (or after long hours on the computer). It packs an especially big punch when combined with the AromaTouch massage blend.
How to Use It:
- Rub peppermint or DeepBlue on your fingers, wrists, shoulders, and neck, or apply on feet and knees before and/or after exercise.
- Diffuse peppermint when feeling fatigued or low on energy
- Take peppermint internally to promote healthy respiratory function and clear breathing
- Apply peppermint to neck and forehead with lavender to relieve feelings of tension
Lavender has a huge list of benefits. It is most well known and widely used for it's relaxing qualities, but is great for all things calming. It soothes occasional skin irritations and can reduce the appearance of skin imperfections. Apply a couple of drops of lavender diluted with fractionated coconut oil to cuts/scrapes/chafing to help soothe discomfort and support repair.
Lavender is helpful for easing feelings of tension in the body. Add some to your bath water to help reduce feelings of stress after a hard workout. Try this before bed for a more restful sleep. You could also add a few drops of lavender to pillows, bedding, or the bottoms of your feet before bed. This study showed it actually helped to improve both sleep and mood!
How to Use It:
- Diffuse lavender while you sleep
- Apply to skin irritations, sunburn, or tense areas
- Add lavender to bath water or mix with water in a spray bottle and mist onto pillows and bedding.
Melaleuca (Tea Tree)
Melaleuca has an earthy aroma. It is best known for its cleansing and purifying qualities, which make it useful for cleaning both the skin and home surfaces, purifying the air, or promoting healthy immune function. I frequently use it on skin irritations to soothe my skin. My favorite skin soothing combo is lavender and melaleuca. Took a spill during your workout? Apply a couple of drops diluted with fractionated coconut oil to the area to support repair.
How To Use It:
- For occasional skin irritations, apply 1–2 drops of melaleuca onto affected area (dilute for young or sensitive skin).
- Add 1–2 drops to water or a veggie cap to support healthy immune function.
- Combine 1–2 drops with your facial cleanser for added cleansing properties or apply to skin after shaving.
- Apply to fingernails and toenails after showering to purify and keeps nails looking healthy.
- Add a few drops to a spray bottle with water and use on surfaces to protect against environmental threats.
This essential oil can help to open your airways and allows for easier breathing. It can actually boost the immune response simply by inhaling it. You can add a couple drops of eucalyptus to your chest for easier breathing, or add 5 drops of eucalyptus and 5 drops peppermint to a 2 oz. spray bottle filled with water to help cool the body during training on hot summer days.
Eucalyptus also has purifying properties that can greatly benefit the skin, be used in cleansing surfaces, and for cleaning the air. To get you started in the morning or before a workout, place a couple of drops of eucalyptus in your heads and cup them over your nose and mouth, inhale deeply and you'll breathe easier and be ready to get going.
One of my favorite blends to use before a workout is doTERRA’s Breathe blend – peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, melaleuca, ravensara, laurel leaf, and cardamom. It’s the first oil to reach for with respiratory concerns.
How to Use It:
- Combine eucalyptus with lemon and peppermint in a spray bottle and use it to wipe down surfaces in your kitchen or bathroom.
- Make a cooling spray with 5 drops of eucalyptus and 5 drops peppermint to a 2 oz. spray bottle to help keep the body cool during summer training sessions.
- Before or during a workout place a few drops of eucalyptus oil in your hands, place over nose, and inhale deeply to invigorate and promote more energetic feelings. You can even drop a few drops into the bottom of the shower before turning it on.
Basil has a spicy and herbal aroma known to reduce anxious feelings. Use it before a big race to help you calm down and focus. Basil has great benefits for both the mind and body due to its high linalool content It can help reduce feelings of tension when applied to the temples and back of the neck.
Basil also feels cool on the skin and may help to ease monthly feminine discomfort. It can also support the adrenal glands which could almost always use a boost with the added stress of hard workouts or long runs.
How To Use It:
- Diffuse basil to promote a sense of focus, especially before a race or important workout
- Combine with a few drops of peppermint and carrier oil and apply to the back of the next to reduce feelings of stress.
- Apply 2-3 drops, diluted with a carrier oil, to your lower back to support healthy adrenal gland function.
- Ladies, take a drop internally to support your body during your menstrual cycle.
These six oils are a great place to begin if you’re looking for better solutions to naturally support your body as an athlete. I hope you’ll consider bringing them into your life! For more information on choosing and using essential oils, click here.
Wild orange essential oil is cold-pressed from the peel of the orange and known for its energizing aroma. Wild orange is high in monoterpenes and has both energizing and calming qualities. Like other citrus oils, it also possesses purifying qualities making it ideal to support healthy immune function, especially when seasonal threats are high. Tough workouts can wear your body down on a cellular level. Wild orange contains antioxidants that are helpful in supporting overall health.
Wild orange is great to diffuse in the afternoon for a little energy boost. It's also part of doTERRA's OnGuard blend which is an excellent natural solution for immune support. OnGuard can be taken internally as frequently as daily to maintain healthy immune function and support healthy cardiovascular function. It can also be used as a non-toxic cleaner on surfaces in your home.
How to Use It:
- Use wild orange or OnGuard in an all-purpose spray (mix with vinegar and water) to cleanse and purify surfaces.
- Add a drop to your water every day for a burst of flavor and to promote overall health.
- Diffuse to uplift mood and energy levels and to freshen the air.
- For an energizing boost, place 1-2 drops of wild orange in the palm of your hand along with equal parts peppermint and frankincense. Rub your palms together and inhale deeply from palms, then rub on the back of neck.
Ready to get your essential oils?
*The statements in this post have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Who am I?? I am a Family Nurse practitioner with over eight years of clinical experience helping ordinary women cut through all the hype and figure out what actually works for their bodies. If you've ever been told by your healthcare provider that "it's all in your head" or that what you are going through is "normal," I can help! It's not all in your head and just because something is common doesn't mean it is normal.
Schedule a free consultation so you can get started on your path to optimal health now!