Best Essential Oils to Improve Your Workouts & Athletic Performance

Best Essential Oils for Athletes and Improving Athletic Performance

Are you struggling to maximize your workouts/training program or to achieve your performance goals because you're tired, stressed, frequently under the weather, or nursing an injury? I’ve been there and know how frustrating it can be! 

The difference between achieving and not meeting your goals is more than just your performance in the moment. It’s actually the "stuff" that happens between the competitions: stress, too little sleep, illness, missed training sessions, not fueling properly, or not using the right products to perform optimally. 

Every decision you make, food you eat, and product put in or on your body will either move you toward of your goals or pull you further away.

Want to increase your personal performance? Recover faster from workouts, races/games, or injuries? Sleep better, decrease your stress levels, and strengthen your immune system? 

It’s easier than you may think!  If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you NEED to try essential oils! These tiny drops offer the natural solutions that give your running the edge you're looking for. The best part is that once you learn HOW to use essential oils effectively, simple daily practices bring amazing results both on the roads and in your everyday life.

So, what are some of the most useful and effective essential oils for athletes to use regularly? Here are some of my top picks:

doTERRA Breathe Respiratory Blend

Breathe Respiratory Blend

  • Maintains feelings of clear airways and easy breathing
  • Promotes a restful night’s sleep
  • Helps minimize the effects of seasonal threats
  • Click here to read more about the best oils for respiratory support!

doTERRA Copaiba Essential Oil


  • Supports the health of the cardiovascular, immune, digestive, and respiratory systems. Click here for more on how to use Copaiba and other essential oils for immune support. 
  • Powerful antioxidant
  • Helps calm, soothe, and support the nervous system

doTERRA Cypress Essential Oil


  • Promotes healthy respiratory function
  • Soothes tight, tense muscles
  • Supports localized blood flow, including to toes and fingers

doTERRA Deep Blue essential oil blend

Deep Blue Soothing Blend

  • Provides a comforting sensation of cooling and warmth that supports circulation to muscles and joints, reducing inflammation and promoting healing
  • Provides temporary comfort to tired and sore muscles and joints
  • Click here to learn more about how to use essential oils to support your recovery and repair! 

doTERRA eucalyptus essential oil


  • Supports overall respiratory health
  • Antimicrobial action purifies and supports healthy immune system function. Inhalation stimulates the immune system and helps keep illnesses away.
  • Soothes tired, sore muscles


  • Helps build and maintain a healthy immune system through its boosting impact on white blood cells. Promotes overall cellular health.
  • Provides feelings of peace, relaxation, satisfaction, and overall wellness
  • Grounds and supports the body in reducing stress. Click here for tips on using essential oils to reduce your stress.  
  • If you want even more stress-reducing recipes and easy "how to's", grab my free ebook, Essentials of Stress Reduction.  

doTERRA Helichrysum essential oil


  • Promotes circulation
  • Promotes healthy liver function
  • Stops bleeding and reduces bruising
  • Helps detoxify the body

doTERRA Lavender essential oil


  • Calms nerves and improves quality of sleep. Click here to get more tips on using essential oils for more restful sleep.
  • Gently reduces pain
  • Soothes chafed skin


doTERRA Lemongrass essential oil


  • Soothes aching muscles, tendons, and joints
  • Heightens awareness and promotes a positive outlook

doTERRA marjoram essential oil


  • Calms and relaxes muscles
  • Apply to muscles before and after exercising

doTERRA melaleuca essential oil

Melaleuca (Tea Tree)

  • Promotes healthy immune function
  • Protects against environmental and seasonal threats
  • Soothes minor skin irritations; cleanses and rejuvenates the skin
  • Helps purify and freshen the air
  • Cleanses cuts and abrasions

doTERRA Peppermint essential oil


  • One of the best essential oils for athletes seeking to maximize their efforts. Controlled experiments scientific experiments have demonstrated immediate improvement in performance measures, such as jumping, endurance, speed, agility, blood pressure, and respiration. [1] [2] [3]
  • Promotes healthy respiratory function and clear breathing
  • Supports circulation and oxygenation of blood
  • Cooling effect eases tight/sore muscles and helps minimize pain
  • Improves focus, pain tolerance, and workload effort
  • Increases energy and uplifts mood. Click here to learn more about the best ways to use essential oils for additional energy and focus! 


doTERRA Siberian Fir essential oil

Siberian Fir

  • Eases discomfort and provides soothing support to sore muscles and joints
  • Supports clear breathing and respiratory function. Use in combination with Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Cypress, or Lime.
  • Reduces anxious feelings and stress levels, while evoking feelings of relaxation and rest
  • Soothes skin irritations

RUN OILS REPEAT Facebook Event Registration



  • Before long runs: Use Peppermint or Marjoram on large muscles before long runs. Use Deep Blue or Siberian Fir afterward.
  • Reduce joint impact: Apply Deep Blue followed by Peppermint. Also regularly apply Helichrysum and Frankincense to joints.
  • For leg cramps: Dilute 3 drops of Deep Blue and 1 drop of Helichrysum and apply directly to the calf. If you regularly experience cramps, keep this mixture on hand in a roller bottle. 
  • To improve clarity and focus: Use Balance, Frankincense, Rosemary, Siberian Fir, or citrus oils.

Soothe Sore, Tight, Stiff, or Tired Muscles: It's good to rotate your oils every so often. Try one of these in place of Deep Blue or Peppermint. Mix essential oils with 1 Tablespoon fractionated coconut oil and apply. Wait 10 minutes. Reapply if needed.

  • 3 drops Black Pepper + 3 drops Eucalyptus + 3 drops Lavender + 2 drops Rosemary
  • 2 drops each of Marjoram, Lavender, Thyme, and Peppermint
  • 3 drops Geranium + 2 drops Marjoram + 2 drops Frankincense + 2 drops Peppermint + 1 drop Clove
  • 4 drops Basil + 3 drops Lemongrass + 3 drops Clary Sage 

After-Sports Soak: For adults, mix 5 - 10 drops of essential oil in a bowl with 1 tsp to 1 Tablespoon of carrier oil (e.g., sweet almond, jojoba, apricot kernel, fractionated coconut oil). Then mix in 1 – 2 cups Epsom salts to disperse the essential oil throughout the water, avoid skin irritation, and provide detoxification benefits. Stir into hot bath water and soak for 20 minutes. One good combination for soothing achy, tired muscles is 3 drops Lavender + 2 drops Roman Chamomile + 2 drops Marjoram + 1 drop Helichrysum.


relief from respiratory discomfort | support easy breathing | settle nerves | improve focus | reduce anxious feelings | support your immune system | alleviate stress

Open airways and increase oxygen flow: Five minutes before exercise, apply a couple drops of Peppermint to the chest.  Can also inhale directly from the bottle.

Diffuse: Add 4 – 10 drops to a diffuser (depending on size of room and strength of diffuser) and run for 30 – 60 minutes.

Steam inhalation: Fastest and most effective way for oils to quickly reach your lungs and circulate throughout your body!  For adults, add 1 or 2 drops to essential oil (i.e., Siberian Fir, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca) to a bowl of steaming water, place your head with closed eyes over the bowl, and drape a towel over your head to trap in the steam. Inhale deeply for several minutes. 

In the shower: Essential oils can be used for respiratory benefit, relaxation, energizing, or emotional uplifting in the shower. Place 3 – 5 drops of oil directly on the shower floor (away from the spray) or in a glass bowl.

Aromatherapy inhalers:  Carry them in your purse, bag, or pocket for quick physical or emotional support when on the go. These are also great to keep in your desk drawer at the office for a “pick-me-up” that does not impact those in adjoining cubicles. Simply add 15 drops (10 for children) of essential oil to the cotton wick, place inside the inhaler body, snap on the cap, and use as needed.

According to the recent article Immunological aspects of sports nutrition, prolonged bouts of exercise and heavy training regimens are associated with suppression of immune system functions. This can increase your risk of picking up opportunistic infections such as the common cold and influenza.[4] You can easily support your immune system with essential oils through topical application or inhalation. For example, regularly diffuse: 

  •  2 drops Eucalyptus + 2 drops Melaleuca + 3 drops Wild Orange
  •  2 drops On Guard + 3 drops Wild Orange.

Scent-killing Spray for Athletic Gear: Add 10 drops each of Lemon, Melaleuca, and Lavender to a 4 oz. spritz bottle half filled with vodka or vinegar. Fill the rest with water, shake and spray.

Want this information in a handy, printable FREE cheat sheet?  I'd love to get it into your hands so that you have an easy reference and can immediately begin implementing some of these strategies.


If you're interested in trying essential oils -- for green cleaning or otherwise -- but feel overwhelmed or confused by which oils to start with or how to use them, let a certified aromatherapist be your guide (that's me!). 
  • Feel free to email me at
  • Want to talk on the phone? No problem! I'm happy to answer your questions. Click here to schedule a free 30-minute chat! 
I'll get you headed in the right direction for you and your family! 

Best Essential Oils for Athletes and Improving Athletic Performance

[1] Meamarbashi A, Rajabi A. The effects of peppermint on exercise performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013; 10: 15.  
[2] Meamarbashi A, Rajabi A. The effects of peppermint on exercise performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013; 10: 15.  
[3] Cruz AB, Lee SE, Pagaduan JC, et al. Effects of lavender (lavandula angustifolia Mill.) and peppermint (Mentha cordifolia Opiz.) aromas on subjective vitality, speed, and agility. The Asian International Journal of Life Sciences. 2012;21(1):31-37.

[4] GLEESON, M., 2016. Immunological aspects of sport nutrition. Immunology and Cell Biology, 94 (2), pp. 117-123.


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Comments (2)



May 04, 2018 10:26 AM EDT

Great article Rachel! I love all the details you give about each oil and how to use them. I've already planned using some of your suggestions for my workouts this week :)



May 22, 2018 06:44 AM EDT

That's wonderful, Renee-Claude! Let me know how they work for you!

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