The Benefits of Epsom Salts in Ice Baths
Jul 13, 2021 By Amy Elder
Epsom salt is a type of magnesium sulfate. This compound is made from a mixture of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. It’s often sought after by those who have aching joints and pains because it can help to reduce muscle tension and pain. It may also be helpful to those struggling with headaches. When it comes time to having an ice bath, Epsom salt additions are not uncommon. Here are some reasons why you may wish to add Epsom salt to your ice bath:
- Epsom salts are good for stress relief and improving depression. Magnesium may improve serotonin production, increasing relaxation in the brain.
- Epsom salts may help to reduce pain in the neck, shoulders, skull, and back. These are some of the most common pain points.
- There may be benefits such as improved digestion and bowel movement and lowered risk for cardiovascular disease.
Epsom salts were originally produced from Epsom, England. There, they were extracted from natural mineral waters. They’ve long been used (since the 18th century) as a way to stimulate healing and support the body’s natural functions. The use of about 300 grams of Epsom salt in a bathtub may be all it takes. Soak for at least 15 minutes. Normally, this is done with hot water. However, there may be advantages of adding Epsom salt to ice baths, too.
How Epsom Salts Benefit Ice Baths
The benefits of soaking in Epsom salt in an ice bath really is quite clear. Epsom salts work to reduce pain by alleviating muscle tension. By helping muscles to relax, they may help to stimulate healing after a workout.
So, why should you use Epsom salt in cold water?
First, consider the benefits of using magnesium itself. Magnesium has many potential benefits. For example, it has long been used as a way to reduce muscle fatigue and pain. Some studies link high magnesium levels with improved muscle quality, too. There are benefits to using Epsom salts. Yet, most people would associate this with soaking their feet in a tub of warm water.
Does Cold Water Help?
There are various potential benefits of using cold water after a workout or when a person struggles with pain. A cold water shower or soaking in cold water may offer key benefits overall. This includes helping to stimulate blood circulation through the body. Specifically, cold water causes the constriction of circulation at the surface level of the body. As a result, this causes the blood located in deeper tissues to move faster. Doing so helps to encourage proper body temperature maintenance. That rapid circulation results in more oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood getting to tired, worn muscles.
Now consider the value of adding this magnesium-heavy compound to ice baths specifically. Using Epsom salt in cold water could not only speed up circulation, but it may also be possible to gain the benefits of magnesium.
Consider the Benefits of Soaking in Epsom Salt in Your Situation
Soaking in Epsom salt may offer a range of benefits to you. While every situation is unique, you may find clear opportunities by using these products, including:
- Muscle injury recovery, aiding in improving the healing process such as after a tear
- Hastening muscle recovery after a workout, allowing for you to get back into the next workout
- Aiding in muscle growth by speeding up the amount of oxygen-rich blood reaching the body’s potentially damaged tissues, allowing you to build muscle mass faster in some cases
- Reducing pain from conditions like fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis
- Improving workout performance, enabling a person to achieve their goals faster or more effectively
- Improving sleep quality often by reducing pain and soreness, enabling a person to sleep more soundly without the use of medications
- Providing for a type of stress reduction, which may reduce inflammation throughout the body
Like with all forms of cold therapy, the more you use it, the better you’ll learn how your body responds to the experience. Cold therapy like this may offer a wide range of benefits, including:
- Working as an anti-inflammatory relief for systemic pain and discomfort
- Improving immune system response
- Supporting the nervous system’s stimulation and response
- Improving anxiety and depression
- Stimulating weight loss
Will Adding Epsom Salts to Ice Baths Help You?
For those working on muscle recovery, reducing stress, or even improving brain function, the benefits of using cold water therapy are clear. The key here is the value brought by adding a magnesium-heavy product like Epsom salts. This addition may enhance the number of benefits received and improve the overall effectiveness of ice bathing.
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