Some days, it can be a serious struggle to convince yourself to hit the gym and work out. My go-to strategies for those days used to include strong cups of coffee or heaping scoops of pre-workout. But I recently discovered the awesome benefits of using essential oils before a workout, and honestly, I think it's safe to say that I won't be relying on caffeine anymore to help me get in the zone before the gym.
Essential oils are strong, potent, and incredible solutions for just about anything that you're dealing with. If you have a headache, rub some lavender essential oil on your temples. If you have a pesky cough that just won't go away, whip out some tea tree oil. And if you want to perk the f*ck up before a workout so that you can make all the #gains, there are plenty of essential oils right at your service to get the job done.
If you need a little proof, look no further: A 2013 study from the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition found that athletes who added just a tiny bit of peppermint essential oil to their water showed significantly improved performance and better respiratory function overall.
So, the next time you're tempted to reach for a scoop of something sugary or soaked in caffeine to get you motivated before a workout, try one of these five essential oils instead to get the boost you're looking for.
1. Lemongrass Makes Your Sweat Sesh Extra Effective
Lemongrass essential oil has a bright and tangy smell that will energize you and instantly remind you why squeezing in a workout will make you feel so good.
This oil contains a compound called citral, which is said to help produce heat throughout the body and, as a result, it makes your workout a little more effective.
Rub a few drops on your skin before leaving the house, or even try wafting the scent during your workout to keep you going in between burpees. Hey, I'm just here to inform, fam — never to judge.
2. Peppermint Will Give You Loads Of Natural Energy
Have you ever driven to the gym and then literally sat in your car for a solid 20 minutes, scrolling through Instagram and procrastinating your workout? Just me? OK, cool.
If you are as lazy as me some days, peppermint essential oil might be your new pre-workout savior to get your ass out of the car and into the gym. Simply dab a few drops on your wrists, and you'll notice a huge boost in your energy, as this essential oil works to wake up your body and your mind.
3. Eucalyptus Will Boost Your Mood In A Matter Of Minutes
As a yoga instructor, whenever I'm teaching a morning class, I make sure to end the flow with some eucalyptus oil. That way, instead of feeling super groggy and wanting to go back to bed post-savasana, my students and I all feel energized and ready to take on the day.
Eucalyptus essential oil works the same way if you're making a million excuses for why you shouldn't go to the gym. The strong scent is exhilarating and revitalizing, and will allow you to break up with your pre-workout shot of espresso ASAP.
Plus, a few drops of this bad boy is said to stimulate blood circulation, which will definitely help keep you going as you slay your core circuits like a damn boss.
4. Lemon Will Help You Stay Hydrated
Everyone knows how important it is to stay hydrated, especially when you're going hard in the gym. But I'm willing to bet it's kind of an even bigger deal than you already think it is.
According to WebMD, losing as little as two percent of your body weight in fluid while you're exercising can significantly and negatively affect your performance.
To prevent that from happening, break out a bottle of lemon essential oil, and add a little bit of that zesty twist to your water bottle for some extra hydration. The flavor will definitely make you want to sip more while you're at the gym, and you won't have to worry about dehydrating your body after challenging yourself to all those sweaty HIIT circuits.
5. Geranium Will Help Prevent Sweaty, Smelly Pits
Geranium is a heavenly smelling essential oil that soothes anxiety and reduces stress, which will prep you for tackling even the toughest workout class you've ever signed up for (hello, every cycling class ever).
Plus, this essential oil smells like freaking roses, and it's actually often used as a natural deodorant. So if you've been noticing some peeps on the ab mats next to you throwing major shade your way at the gym, you might want to dab on a few drops of geranium — you know, just to be safe.