Does your energy flag midway through your workouts? Are you always achy after hitting the gym? Discover how essential oils can improve your training.

A little bit goes a long way when it comes to essential oils and the potential they have to boost exercise performance and aid recovery. Essential oils are distilled or extracted from plants. The distillation and extraction processes make the compounds found in oil form more concentrated and potent than what you’d get from simply using the leaves fresh or boiling the leaves and using the water.

Essential oils can be used on the skin, in the bath, inhaled or in some cases ingested in water. It all depends on what type of oil you’re using and what benefit you seek. When it comes to enhancing exercise, specific oils can help in particular ways before, during and after your workout.

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But, before you go and slather strongly scented oils on your body pre-workout, check your gym policy regarding scents, oils and lotions. Many gyms have policies in place regarding strong scents and oils to protect others with scent sensitivities and allergies. If your gym has a policy in place, don’t fret. There are several ways to use essential oils below. Many of them don’t involve wearing the oil during a workout. If you want to try a scented workout, you might opt for an outdoor session.

Incorporating the following essential oils in your pre/post workout routine might give you the boost you need.


A little dab or sniff of mint before working out can invigorate brain and body and get you ready to roll. Post-workout, peppermint can have a cooling effect on sore muscles.


Application of or inhaling this ancient oil might help reduce inflammation. Studies are pending. But, there is a reason this resin has been part of the human experience for thousands of years.


Commonly available, lavender oil tends to be a popular choice for post-workout recovery or for calming pre-competition jitters. Lavender can help lull you into slumber when nerves start to get the best of you. A full night’s sleep means better cellular recovery after a tough workout, so you’re prepped for your next bout of training.


Oil extracted from this yellow gem of a fruit has multiple uses. Diluted and ingested in water, it can aid hydration and give your immune system a boost. Some say, when applied to the skin, it can cure athlete’s foot!

Several companies sell essential oils and offer advice regarding the use of the particular oils available for purchase. In addition to the ones mentioned above, it’s worth looking into the energizing effects of sandalwood and how tea tree oil can treat the stink! You might want to consider eucalyptus for its ability to reduce inflammation and ease breathing. Check out Young Living, Dr. Axe and other specialized sources for more information.