Recovery is something that’s so hard to fit into our busy schedules. We find it easy to prioritize work, working out and hanging out with friends, but we don’t think about budgeting time (or money!) for recovery. Thus, we often suffer the consequences by having to deal with recurring injuries and soreness.
Cue Epsom salt baths, an affordable way to quickly add some recovery time into your schedule. Taking a salt-infused soak for as little as 12 minutes can make a big impact on the way your body feels and functions, and help with everything from inflammation to insomnia to ingrown toenails.
Pretty cool, right? Here’s how it works!
Where to buy epsom salts
You might be thinking, Awesome! Can I take a bath with any salt? Sorry, but the short answer is no. Epsom salts aren’t actually even salts—they’re a mineral compound of magnesium and sulfite. By design, they break down easily when added to warm water and get absorbed into your body through your skin. They will almost instantly relax your tired, sore muscles from all those classes and can help your joints feel more flexible. They get their name from the spring in Surrey, England, where they were discovered.
These days, you can find Epsom salts at a local drugstore, supermarket or online. A 30-pound bag costs around $30. But before you get a huge bag without giving it a splash, you can try Dr. Teal’s 3-pounder for $5.
How to use epsom salts
To use, add 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salts to your very warm bath. Unless otherwise specified on the package, add them while the bath is filling up with water. Relax in the water for at least 12 minutes, once a day. Don’t have 12 free minutes to soak in a tub? We get it—every minute of your day is very valuable. We suggest you try multitasking: read a book you’ve been meaning to. Catch up with an old friend on the phone. Give meditating a chance!
Benefits of epsom salts and how epsom salts work
One of the biggest benefits of soaking in an Epsom salt bath is it’s key ingredient: magnesium. Especially in the last 100 years, the diets of many Americans have shifted to be full of high fat, salt and protein, all of which make magnesium leave our bodies faster. While a balanced lifestyle with healthy protein is good for you, it doesn’t do much to keep magnesium in your system. Another reason for these low-mag levels is due to our focus on getting enough calcium: it’s estimated that Americans have more than five times the amount of calcium than magnesium, even though it’s medically recommended to have a ratio of two to one.
We need this supplement for so many critical reasons: it maintains normal nerve and muscle function, it boosts our immune system, keeps our heart healthy and our bones super strong. For those of us who might struggle with low blood sugar, it also manages our glucose levels and gives us the energy and protein we need to work hard throughout our busy days.
So in addition to Epsom salt helping you recover after a sweaty bootcamp class, it is also helping you quickly absorb magnesium, making you so much healthier than you were pre-bath.
Rubba-dubba, do it!