Can peppermint improve your health and fitness?

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Mentha x piperita: Flowers and leaves.

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Fresh breath isn’t just for kissing anymore. For nearly a decade, researchers have been looking at whether the minty herb might increase health and fitness.

According to researchers at Wheeling Jesuit University in 2004, “Peppermint odor administration significantly reduced perceived physical workload, temporal workload, effort, and frustration.  Self-evaluated performance was also greater in the peppermint condition, and participants rated their level of vigor higher, and their level of fatigue lower.” The same study found that “Higher levels of peppermint inhalant use were associated with self-reported increases in motivation, energy, speed, alertness, reaction time, confidence, and strength.

While subsequent studies like this one have called this finding into question, other studies have touted other health benefits of the herb. It’s a source of: 

“vitamin C and vitamin A [and] a very good source of magnesium, folate, dietary fiber, calcium, iron, and vitamin B2.”

Conclusion: while the herb may or may not pep you up for a run, minty breath can’t hurt…especially when you’re working out with your partner! For more tips on getting motivated, check out the rest of our blog!

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