We all have those days where we feel like continuing after lunchtime would end us. Some of us struggle through, and others reach for coffee or tea to stimulate our motivation. We all can’t handle caffeine, though. Caffeine can cause hypertension and arrhythmia in some individuals, so it’s not a universal fix for the afternoon slump. Even if you don’t struggle with hypertension, you can build a tolerance to caffeine – so you’ll need more and more over time to feel any effects!
But what if there were a healthier, simple, and more natural alternative? Believe it or not, essential oils can increase your energy and drive! We’ve got the research to prove it, too! We’ll go over exactly how essential oils can increase your energy and motivation. Then we will list some of the best essential oils to use for these purposes, and finish up with a few recipes for your diffuser that you can try out at home!
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How Essential Oils can Increase Energy and Motivation
You’ve probably heard things like, “this oil is a game-changer for energy.” Although, you’ve probably never heard the research supporting these claims or the specific ways in which your body reacts to the different components of essential oils. While motivation can be subjective, we can share definitive evidence that certain essential oils elicit stimulating responses within the body more than others. In turn, this can contribute to perceived benefits like motivation and drive. We’ll get into how these essential oils work and some research that supports their claims below.
Here’s How They Work
The application of essential oils for increased energy occurs primarily through the inhalation of essential oils. The research behind the stimulating effects of essential oils focuses on the interactions between the oils and the olfactory system and, subsequently, how that influences different physiological indicators of stimulation. To put this in simple terms, smelling certain essential oils can make the body behave in different ways that scientists can measure!
Unfortunately, the overall research on aromatherapy is scant. Nevertheless, some research studies offer definitive results on certain essential oils and their effects on the body.
Scientific research shows that certain essential oils trigger the body to increase blood flow to the muscles, which means that they can produce more output. Some essential oils can also increase the heart rate via the release of norepinephrine. The release of norepinephrine is probably the most significant indicator that these essential oils facilitate more energy.
Norepinephrine levels are a good indicator of energy and focus. This hormone is a neurotransmitter that triggers specific autonomic responses that are perceived as an increase in energy. When norepinephrine is released into the bloodstream, it causes an increase in heart rate, triggers the release of sugar in the form of glucose into the bloodstream, and increases blood flow to the muscles.
The Best Essential Oils for Energy
It’s important to note that there are plenty of lifestyle factors at play that contributes to energy. Essential oils are not intended to replace a healthy diet and lifestyle, including a good night’s sleep. Chronic lack of energy can be an indicator of a serious health condition. So if you find yourself frequently fatigued, it may be time to check in with your healthcare provider to make sure you are in good health.
Now let’s get to some of our best recommendations for energizing oils! Keep in mind that while these are some of the best essential oils for energy, there is not a lot of distinct research around this.
In addition to boosting energy, lemon is generally considered to uplift the mood as well.
One study tested the effects of lavender essential oil versus lemon essential oil. Using physiological indicators like heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure to determine whether inhaling the oils produced a stimulating effect or not.
The findings indicated that lemon essential oil inhalation reliably enhanced mood when compared to smelling lavender or water. Additionally, inhalation of lemon essential oil produced increased levels of the hormone norepinephrine.
Essential Oil Recommendation
This brings us to the first oil recommendation! Rocky Mountain Oils provides GC/MS test results for all of their essential oils so you can see exactly what is in the oil you are purchasing.
Even better, you can see the results of the specific oil you bought by looking at the batch information on their website. Check out their Lemon essential oil here.
Orange is another essential oil that comes with definitive scientific proof supporting its use for increased energy.
One study looked at sweet orange oil and spearmint oil for their effect on athletic performance and lung function. The participants were separated into two groups: sweet orange essential oil and spearmint essential oil. Each group inhaled the oil that was assigned to them before and after running. Additionally, lung function was measured with a spirometer before and after running.
The findings indicated that the lung function tests showed improvement in lung status in participants that inhaled both essential oils. These are promising results, but more research needs to be done to fully confirm the results of this study.
Essential Oil Recommendation
Our favorite sweet orange oil is from Plant Therapy. We love how you can get an organic sweet orange oil for a low price without compromising on the quality! We also love how this brand is easily accessible to most consumers.
You can choose to diffuse this oil or even smell it directly from the bottle to receive its aromatherapeutic effects. Terpenes, limonene, and linalool occur in all citrus fruit, so you are sure to experience their impact no matter which way you slice it
Similar results have been found with other citrus essential oils like grapefruit.
In one study, subjects inhaled grapefruit essential oil and lavender essential oil. The subjects who inhaled the grapefruit essential oil experienced immediate results associated with a perceived increase in energy compared to the lavender oil group.
Essential Oil Recommendation
Our favorite grapefruit essential oil is from Edens Garden. The scent is very crisp and fresh!
Edens Garden is a great essential oil brand that also tests each batch of oil and provides the GC/MS results to customers. Their oils are high-quality, affordable, and easily accessible.
Rosemary essential oil isn’t the oil that you would automatically think of having energizing properties, but there is actual research showing that rosemary oil can aid in increasing energy and mental clarity.
One study looked at the effects of inhaling rosemary oil on the nervous system. The results showed that the participants in the study had an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate after inhaling rosemary oil thereby the participants become more active and had a reported increase in mental clarity.
Essential Oil Recommendation
The rosemary oil that we love and recommend is from Cliganic. The scent is revitalizing and earthy.
Many of their customers rave about the great quality and price of this oil. Especially since it’s organic! Additionally, Cliganic has a risk-free policy. If you are unsatisfied with any of their oils they will replace the oil or issue you a full refund.
Peppermint is another essential oil that can bring about memories of holiday cheer, but you don’t have to reserve this oil for the holiday season! Although there is little research on the relationship between peppermint oil and energy, we do have some tertiary research on peppermint that may indicate that it has applications in boosting stamina as well!
One study tested the ability of menthol, an ingredient that occurs in very high concentrations in peppermint essential oil, in helping firefighters increase their lung capacity by stimulating the airways. The research definitively pointed to menthol’s ability to increase the lung capacity of the firefighters.
It makes sense that this proven ability of peppermint essential oil may make you feel more energized since menthol stimulates the airways and thereby facilitates the absorption of oxygen. Give it a shot in your diffuser the next time you need a boost or take a whiff of it straight from the bottle.
Essential Oil Recommendation
Our favorite peppermint oil is from NOW Foods. This oil is invigorating, energizing, and fresh.
Many customers love to diffuse this oil for the fresh scent and to even repel insects or rodents! It is a potent oil so make sure to start with a drop or two when diffusing, especially if you are new to this oil.
We also love how affordable this oil is for an organic essential oil and how accessible NOW Foods oils are.
Essential Oils for Alertness
Some may argue that energy and alertness are the same things, but there are a few standouts when it comes to alertness in the essential oil world. We already mentioned peppermint oil may promote energy, but there is a chance that this oil and lavender oil may also help you stay alert.
Peppermint’s most significant component is menthol with relation to alertness and focus. One study looked at the effects on cognitive performance and mood of participants that inhaled peppermint oil and ylang-ylang oil
The findings indicated that the participants that inhaled peppermint oil had an increase in processing speed and enhanced memory compared to the group that inhaled ylang-ylang oil. In terms of mood, the peppermint group experienced an increase in alertness, whereas the ylang-ylang group experienced an increase in calmness.
How to Use
If you want an energy boost, add 2-3 drops of this oil to your diffuser and enjoy the benefits!
Lavender is another essential oil that can be said to promote alertness by the simple function of reducing stress. Since reduced stress can result in more lucid thoughts and better focus, lavender is listed in several places as a possible option for increased alertness.
While no scientific studies are cited when lavender oil is said to be an essential oil for improved sharpness, in a study mentioned above, part of the results observed were physiological indicators of reduced stress. Things like heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate were found to decrease after the inhalation of lavender essential oil.
How to Use
For topical application, dilute with a carrier oil, perform a small patch test, then apply to the desired area.
Essential Oil Diffuser Recipes for Energy
Now let’s get to the good stuff- those delicious recipes with these amazing essential oils. Below are a few recipes that are good for testing out to boost your energy!
For your diffuser, try out this citrus-heavy diffuser blend at work or at home if you need a boost:
Five drops of Grapefruit
Five drops of Lemon
Five drops of Sweet Orange
Two drops of Cinnamon Oil
If you want to throw in a little peppermint for focus and experience a more woodsy scent, try out this essential oil blend:
Five drops of Rosemary
Two drops of Peppermint
One drop of Basil
You can even experience a fresh minty and citrusy mix in your diffuser with this blend:
Three drops of Sweet Orange
Two drops of Lemon
One drop of Peppermint
You can also try out different combinations of the oils we listed above for increased energy levels.
As a reminder, if you are using cinnamon essential oil, be sure to use a minimal amount, as it can be irritating if used in large quantities. If you are using any of these oils topically, be sure to dilute them adequately with a carrier oil to avoid any skin irritation.
Overall, the research to prove that essential oils can increase energy and motivation is lacking. A lot of the evidence for some essential oils increasing energy is based on observation, which is frequently inconsistent and variable. While energy has some physiological indicators that can be quantified, like heart rate and blood sugar levels, motivation can be more of a subjective measure.
All of the essential oils we mention in this article are supported by scientific evidence, but more research is still needed. Researching this area is a huge opportunity for scientists, and hopefully, we see more information about this in the future.