Have you tried Epsom salt baths? I had never used Epsom salt prior to training for a marathon this past year. But I’m here to tell you, they are amazing for recovery, especially after those painful long training runs (I’m talking 15+ miles, bro).
First of all, who doesn’t enjoy a nice warm bath? The idea of drawing up a steaming hot bath always makes me feel better, even before getting into the water. Maybe it’s just me, but I am actually naturally lazy. Whenever I get 20 minutes to be lazy and warm, I usually take a bath. And if I’m sore, Epsom salt will be included. Whether it’s after a hard run or a hard training session at the gym, the Epsom salt works it’s magic and I feel better afterwards. Especially as we enter Flu season, rest and recovery are very important.
Facts about Epsom salt
- It is named after a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England.
- It isn’t actually a salt, it’s a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate.
- Both magnesium and sulfate are readily absorbed through the skin, which makes Epsom salt baths an easy and effective way to enjoy the benefits (see below).
- Magnesium plays a number of roles in the body including regulating the activity of over 325 enzymes, reducing inflammation, helping muscle and nerve function, and helping to prevent artery hardening. Sulfates help improve the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins, and help ease migraine headaches.
- Eases stress and relaxes the body. Stress drains the body of magnesium. Magnesium helps to produce serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation. Magnesium also increases energy and stamina by encouraging the production of ATP, the energy packets made in the cells.
- Relieves pain and muscle cramps. Epsom salt baths help ease pain and relieve inflammation, making it beneficial in the treatment of sore muscles, bronchial asthma, and migraine headaches. Epsom salt softens skin and will even neutralize foot odor in addition to helping your achy feet feel better.
- Helps muscles and nerves function properly. Studies show that Epsom salt can help regulate electrolytes in your body, ensuring proper functioning of the muscles, nerves, and enzymes. Magnesium is critical in the proper use of calcium, which serves as a main conductor of the electric impulses in your body.
- Helps prevent hardening of arteries and blood clots. Epsom salt improves blood circulation, protects the elasticity of arteries, prevents blood clots, and reduces the risk of sudden heart attacks. This alone makes the salt baths worth it!
- Eliminates toxins from the body. The sulfates in Epsom salt help flush toxins and heavy metals from the cells. This helps ease muscle pain and helps the body to eliminate harmful substances.
The best part is..
It’s cheap! You can get a big bag of Epsom salt that will last you weeks for only a few dollars. Hit up your local drugstore, or find some great buys below.