If you’re going to exercise, chances are it’s not because you have nothing better to do. You want to improve your health. You want to look and perform better.
But there’s one toiletry in your bathroom that could be robbing you of these benefits. You likely used it at least once today…
How can this be? Put simply, our mouths are home to hundreds of different bacteria. Some are good; some are bad. The bad bacteria can dissolve tooth enamel, cause decay and lead to gum disease.
Others have been linked to even bigger health risks, including dementia and certain cancers.2, 3
Make no mistake… you want to kill these harmful bacteria. Mouthwash does a good job of this. But it also kills the good bacteria.
And that’s a big problem.
The good bacteria in your mouth are your main source of nitrite. This substance travels into your body through your saliva and helps dilate blood vessels and lower your blood pressure.
And a major benefit of exercise is that it also opens up blood vessels and improves blood flow circulation.
But rinsing your mouth with antibacterial mouthwash while recovering from exercise stops this process in its tracks.
New research shows that mouthwash reduces the blood pressure-lowering effects of exercise by more than 60% in the first hour. After two hours, the benefits are completely erased.4
So what’s the takeaway?
Well, for starters, you might not want to keep mouthwash in your gym bag. In fact, you should make sure you don’t use it for at least a few hours after your workout. This gives your good bacteria time to trigger the nitrite release that lowers your blood pressure.
But you can even ditch the mouthwash altogether – and have a healthier mouth in the process – by trying a simple technique called oil pulling.
An Ancient Remedy
Oil pulling is a natural Indian folk remedy that dates back thousands of years and is becoming an increasingly popular dental technique.
And all it takes is substituting organic coconut oil for mouthwash. (You can use any oil, such as olive oil or sesame oil, but coconut is preferred for its pleasant taste.)
It doesn’t just kill bad bacteria while sparing the good ones. Oil pulling prevents cavities, fights bad breath and reduces inflammation, a symptom of gingivitis. It may also help whiten teeth.5
And coconut oil in particular contains lauric acid, which can react with saliva to create a “soap like” substance that has cleansing properties.6
So here’s how to do it…
Place a tablespoon of room-temperature coconut oil in your mouth. Allow it to liquefy if it’s still a bit solid. Then swish it around your mouth, just as you would with mouthwash. Breathe through your nose and keep the oil constantly moving. Do this for at least five minutes.
If you’re used to keeping mouthwash in your mouth for just a few seconds before you spit it out, five minutes may seem like a really long time. Keep in mind that coconut oil is significantly thicker than most mouthwash. That makes it a bit more difficult to pull between your teeth, so you need more time to allow it to work.
When you’re done, don’t swallow the oil. Spit it into the garbage instead. (This will keep your sink from clogging.) Then rinse your mouth out with water to remove any remaining oil.
Resist the urge to brush your teeth right after. That’ll allow the coconut oil’s natural fatty acids to balance your oral microbiome and get rid of bad bacteria.7
You may want to try oil pulling in the afternoon, or at another time when you wouldn’t normally brush your teeth.
The biggest benefits to trying oil pulling are that it’s simple to do and easy to add to your dental routine.
It’s a safe and natural health remedy that can improve your oral hygiene… and help you keep the benefits of any exercise routine.
And if you have any questions about this type of natural remedy… or any other natural health solutions that have caught your eye, be sure to send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.