The ergogenic effect of cardamom oil in sports
Cardamom oil may be a stimulant that helps athletes motivate themselves to exercise, while perhaps increasing their oxygen uptake. This is shown in a human study published by the Indian physiologist Shrikant Patil in Nitte University Journal of Health Science.
The researchers got 30 inactive students to jog on a treadmill for 15 minutes on two different occasions. On one such occasion, the students sniffed cardamom oil for a minute a minute before yhey started exercise. During the session, the students inhaled another minute of cardamom oil every 3 minutes.
Cardamom oil is the oil from the seeds of the Elettaria cardamomum plant. The 2 most important substances in that oil are 1,8-cineole and alpha-terpinyl acetate. According to test-tube and animal studies, these substances have an anti-inflammatory and adaptogenic effect.
Inhaling cardamom oil increased maximum oxygen uptake [VO2max] and allowed the students to expend more energy and exercise [RPE]. There was a trend for the cardamom oil to increase the time the students were able to keep jogging, but this effect was not significant.
"Combining exercise with cardamom aromatherapy is not only enjoyable because of its effects on mood but also promotes physiological excitation, thereby increasing physical activation", writes Patil.
"Inhalation of cardamom essential oil may provide a relatively simple, safe, well-being, invigorating and effective method of handling stressful conditions."
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