Wheeling Jesuit University

Wheeling Jesuit Professor Takes His Research to the Court

If your basketball game is lagging, you may want to try inhaling peppermint. A Wheeling Jesuit University professor's research shows that peppermint vapors help improve athletic performance among basketball players.

Bryan Raudenbush, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia, used the Peak Performance™ Sports Inhaler™ to determine if using peppermint on the basketball court would affect a player’s motivations, alertness or speed. The study proved that the psychological change associated with peppermint vapors has measurable improvements in an athlete’s performance, and indicated the players using the inhalant reported increases in motivation, energy, speed, alertness, reaction time, confidence and strength. In addition, athletes’ ratings of their competitive advantage over opponents and ratings of overall performance were significantly enhanced by those using the inhaler.

“The present study was designed to assess whether the degree to which athletes inhale peppermint odor affects such aspects as motivation, energy, fatigue, reaction time, confidence, and performance during the course of a basketball season,” says Raudenbush.

For the study, the researchers provided 15 male and 14 female Division II basketball players with a peppermint inhaler, the Peak Performance Sports Inhaler, for use during practice and game play. Athletes were asked to indicate the degree to which they used the Peak Performance™ Sports Inhaler™ during their regular basketball season on a scale from 0 (low) to 20 (high). At the conclusion of the basketball season, the athletes completed a questionnaire, which measured their level of peppermint use, as well as the effects of the peppermint inhalation on various aspects of athletic performance. The level of peppermint use was used to determined group placement for statistical analyses.

Raudenbush has completed a large volume of research relating to peppermint and how the scent improves athletic performance. Last year, the Peak Performance™ Sports Inhaler™, was developed based on clinical research and human performance lab testing both he and his students conducted on the Wheeling Jesuit campus. Past research at the University showed that inhaling peppermint vapors improves an athlete’s performance and substantially decreases fatigue.

Raudenbush and his students conducted the peppermint study in a lab while subjects were performing tasks prior to the study. The study with basketball players was the first study conducted during an actual game season. Kristin Graham, a junior psychology student, assisted Raudenbush with the study.

HealthCare International, based in Seattle, developed the Peak Performance™ Sports Inhaler™, which is the world’s first patent pending 100 percent all-natural athletic enhancer. The new Peak Performance™ Sports Inhaler™ product gives athletes a competitive edge naturally. Information regarding the inhaler can be found at www.sportsinhaler.com.

U.S.News & World Report ranks Wheeling Jesuit University 16th in the "Best Master’s Universities in the South," making it the highest ranked institution in West Virginia in the category for the seventh consecutive year. The 65-acre campus located in Wheeling, W.Va., offers more than 30 undergraduate programs of study and six graduate degrees to about 1,500 students each year. Wheeling Jesuit -- the only Catholic institution of higher education in West Virginia -- has a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1 and has 15 intercollegiate NCAA Division II athletic teams. The University's outstanding facilities include 15 modern buildings and residence halls, a 100,000 square-foot recreation center and a new $1,500,000 soccer/track and field complex. The campus is home to the Robert C. Byrd National Technology Transfer Center, the Erma Ora Byrd Center for Educational Technologies, a Challenger Learning Center and the Clifford M. Lewis Appalachian Institute.

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