DIY After Exercise Cream for Sore Muscles

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After Exercise Cream for Sore Muscles | Real Food RN

My husband is a very active guy, both in sports and at the gym. While I am very happy that he cares about regular physical activity, I am sick and tired of listening to him groan in pain when he has sore muscles and joints from all of his adventures. Being the loving compassionate wife and nurse that I am, I decided to come up with a DIY after exercise cream for sore muscles, so he will stop his complaining! 

Why I layer this combo and find it effective:

  • Cayenne: The capsaicin in cayenne has been shown to help with pain and inflammation
  • PanAway: One of the suggested uses for this essential oil is to rub PanAway essential oil blend on muscles to help alleviate stressed muscles or other physical discomforts

DIY After Exercise Cream


For the cream: 

PanAway essential oil — where I get my oils


  • In a double boiler, combine the coconut oil and cayenne pepper
  • Let the oil and pepper heat over a slow simmer for several hours to infuse the pepper into the oil
  • You may need to add more water to the base of the double boiler as it will evaporate off with time
  • Allow to cool (I like to let mine sit over night, and then reheat in the morning)
  • Strain through a cheesecloth or paper towel lined mesh strainer

After Exercise Cream for Sore Muscles | Real Food RN

  • Add the infused oil back into the double boiler and stir in beeswax
  • Heat until melted
  • Pour into desired container — we use these (you can also find some really cute bottles and jars HERE)

After Exercise Cream for Sore Muscles | Real Food RN

  • This recipe makes 1/2 cup of cream and lasts about 6 months


  • To use, apply a few drops of PanAway to the area of discomfort and then layer a bit of the cayenne cream on top. Rub into the sore muscle for relief of occasional muscle soreness associated with exercise or overuse
  • This is a topical cream, not intended to be used on open wounds, cuts or mucous membranes — it will burn!

Why it works:

  • Capsaicin (in the cayenne): When a capsaicin cream or ointment is used on the skin (topical use), capsaicin helps relieve discomfort. Capsaicin works by first stimulating and then decreasing the intensity of pain signals in the body. Although pain may at first increase, it usually decreases after the first use. Capsaicin stimulates the release of a compound believed to be involved in communicating pain between the nerves in the spinal cord and other parts of the body. (source)
  • PanAway essential oil: Ingredients: Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum), clove (Syzygium aromaticum) and peppermint (Mentha piperita). Containing wintergreen essential oil, which is often used for massage, PanAway is soothing to the skin while providing comforting warmth to muscles after exercise.

How to Get Started with Essential Oils

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After Exercise Cream for Sore Muscles | Real Food RN

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None of these health benefits have been evaluated or approved by the FDA. They should not be used in place of personal judgment or medical treatment when needed, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. (Only your doctor can diagnose and treat disease.) Read my full disclaimer.

Learn More About Kate, Founder of Real Food RN

Hi! I'm Kate.

Registered Nurse. Mom. Real Foodie.

Welcome to Real Food RN! A blog with the mission to empower you to live your healthiest life possible, starting today.



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