One of the best smells has to be freshly brewed coffee. We bet most people can also vouch for freshly baked bread, chocolate, vanilla and flowers as positive aromas. In the same way, most people can agree on the foulness of disagreeable aromas, such as sewage.

Whether you love or hate a particular smell, an interesting discovery by scientists is that certain smells can improve our physical performance. Certain scents can increase our energy levels, while other smells can have a relaxing effect, calming anxiety and improving confidence. So which smells should we use to improve our athletic performance?

The Power of Peppermint

Peppermint is a powerful scent that has been proven to have an impact on energy levels. Peppermint can be used to energise the body, increases blood flow to muscles and improves mood.

So if you smell peppermint while working out, this should help you lift heavier and workout for longer. You should also feel more energetic with improved endurance, which means it could be useful for distance runners.

Wearing a peppermint body lotion while you work out will make your exercise feel easier and you will also feel more positive in your approach. This is because it has an effect on your emotions as well as your muscles.

In short, peppermint will not only improve your muscles’ performance, it will also make you feel like you are a sporting star!

Improve Mood with Grapefruit

The scent of lemon works in the same way for cognitive performance.

So while peppermint is good for improving your athletic times and weightlifting results, you should sniff lemon to improve your crossword solving times and other mind-stretching activities.

Grapefruit and rosemary have also been shown to improve mood and memory. These scents are useful for when concentrating on a task or helping you get ‘in the zone’ when working out or competing.

Stress-Busting with an Orange

The scent of orange has powerful anti-stress properties. Smelling an orange can calm the mind and reduce anxiety.

So if you are competing, your performance can be enhanced by sniffing orange scent beforehand to calm your nerves and help you concentrate on the task ahead.

Jasmine can also help to sooth the mind. Smelling this distinctive herb during your sleep is said to help you wake up refreshed, relaxed and free from anxiety.

Although it doesn’t help you fall asleep any faster, the scent of jasmine will deepen your sleep and help you sleep better, improving your mood and performance the next day.

Another top herb for calming the mind and relaxing the body is vanilla. Wearing a vanilla-based perfume to important events, such as competitions or interviews, can help you feel calmer and reduce anxiety.

Apparently, you don’t even have to notice these smells for them to have an effect on the body.

Has Scent Improved Your Performance?

Have you ever used scent for improving athletic performance?

Do you use a certain smell to calm your nerves when competing in sport or to reduce anxiety at other times?

Do you think a smell could help you lift heavier? Or work out for longer?

Do you have a favourite scent that makes you feel more confident or positive?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!