Have any of you heard, or tried Epsom salt on your sore legs? Going along with my most recent post, here is another reason why magnesium is important for runners.
What is Epsom salt?
Epsom salt is a popular treatment used for muscle soreness and other bodily aches and pains. According to the Epsom Salt Council, Epsom salt isn’t an old wives tale anymore. Numerous studies show that Epsom salt is an effective over-the-counter remedy for treating a variety of conditions.
People take Epsom salt baths for many reasons: They can help to relieve stress, soothe your muscles, and soften your skin. It is made up of the compound magnesium sulfate, and got their name because one of the earliest discoveries of magnesium sulfate took place in Epsom, England.
How can it help your sore muscles?
Taking an Epsom salt bath helps restore magnesium and sulfate in your system because they can be absorbed through your skin. Some doctors recommend soaking three times per week for about 12 to 15 minutes. Since magnesium is the primary component of Epsom salt, and is a mineral that the body needs, it can be very beneficial to us runners after a hard run. The mineral helps relax skeletal muscles by flushing lactic acid buildup in the muscles, which may occur during running, or a vigorous workout. Magnesium also plays an important role in the absorption of vitamins in the body. It also helps regulate muscle and nerve function. All of these effects significantly influence muscle soreness, which also affects muscle stiffness.
I have used Epsom salt on my feet, whenever I get blisters. And honestly, the blisters disappear and are gone by the next day. But I also do Epsom salt baths when my shin gets really sore, or my quads are screaming! It works for me, as with any form of treatment for sore muscles, it may not work for everyone. Most people see the use of Epsom salt baths are a myth, They see it as something that doesn’t work. Many elite athletes, and runners have been using this for a very long time now. Some coaches swear by it. I have used it since my first back surgery and it has helped me. Its soothing, relaxing, and gets rid of my muscle soreness. I think its worth giving it a shot!! If everything you’ve done hasn’t worked on your sore muscles, try doing an Epsom salt bath!
Why it can work for you.
Since us runners need a stable amount of magnesium this is a great way to ensure we get what we need. Giving ourselves an Epsom salt bath is an easy and safe way to restore the magnesium level in our body, after all it is absorbed through our skin. There is research that supports that an increase in your body’s magnesium levels can improve circulation, ease muscle pain, flush toxins and heavy metals from cells, improve nerve function and relieve stress, as I previously wrote.
To do an Epsom salt bath is pretty simple, the directions are actually written right on the packaging. You can find Epsom salt almost anywhere. It would be located with the muscle creams, bandages, and other muscle repair medicines.
For a bath my suggestion is to run a warm bath, as warm as you can tolerate it, mix (2) cups of the Epsom salt(if your tub is standard size), and soak in the tub for at least 12 minutes.
If you don’t want to sit in the tub that long you can actually do Epsom salt compresses. Mix (2) cups of Epsom salt and a gallon of warm water, soak a wash cloth or compress in the Epsom salt, ring out excess water and place it on your shins, or other sore area. You can keep the water next to you and soak as many times as you want, keep it for 12 minutes.
This is a quick easy mix to bring your magnesium level up, and a sure way to ease sore muscles. It will help relax you, and flush out toxins that slow down your muscle repair.
A little tip: Dissolve the desired amount of Epsom salts in some hot water and then add it to your bath.