Recover with an Epsom salt bath

I’d been wanting to do this for a while now, and finally got around to it only after a heavy  workout which DESTROYED my legs. I tried applying heat and then icing the sore muscles but even after the 2nd day, I could barely straighten my legs. I guess I didn’t stretch my hamstrings enough, and I was definitely feeling the after-burn from the calves raises. Here’s the leg workout routine that killed me…

Quads Hamstrings & Calves

4x 10

Leg press 4x 10

Hack squat 3 x 10

Hack squat 3 x 10

Smith squat 3 x 10

Smith squat 3 x 10

Smith wide squat 3 x 10

Smith wide squat 3 x 10

Barbell walking lunge 3 x 10

Barbell walking lunge 3 x 12 reps each leg

Standing calf raise 3 x 20

Standing calf raise 3 x 20

D.E.S.T.R.O.Y.E.D!

I like to alternate between the heat pad and ice bag.

To speed up muscle recovery (or bruises), I like to alternate between using the heat pack and ice bag.

The Lavacare Physiotherm pack is filled with special lava sand which has the ability to store heat or cold for long periods of time. The pack gives off deep, dry radiant heat that may reach deep tissues areas thus helping in alleviating pain, relaxing muscles, cramps and may help improving circulation. It’s a bit heavy but feels nice and comforting when you put it over those sore muscles (or tummy for period cramps). Charlie bought it online from Firebox.com a couple of years ago, it’s not listed on the site anymore but you could probably buy it from Amazon.com

The ice/hot bag is another useful thing to have. I bought it at the pharmacy for about $12. Fill the bag with warm water or use it as an ice bag. It’s light-weight, which makes it handy to take while traveling.

Another quick way to muscle recovery caused by DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is to take an Epsom salt bath.

Darren, a friend of mine, who has taken interest in MMA as a hobby, told me about the benefits of Epsom salt baths a few month ago. He said it really helps with muscle recovery, and besides being really relaxing, it has a ton of other benefits for your body.

Just one Epsom salt bath a week can have an incredible impact on your health and emotional wellness.

Just one Epsom salt bath a week can have an incredible impact on your health and emotional wellness.

Benefits of an Epsom salt bath

- Magnesium (found in Epsom salt) helps draw inflammation out of the muscles

- Sulfates help improve the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins and help ease migraine headaches.

- Helps muscles and nerves function properly

- Combat muscle fatigue

- Relieve pain and muscle cramps

- Improved concentration and sleep

- Increased energy, elimination of toxins and reduction of inflammation

- Magnesium and serotonin deficiencies have been found to exacerbate PMS symptoms

- Starting Epsom salt baths as early as two weeks before your period will lead to less pain and significantly fewer negative mood changes frequently associated with menses

*Note: Consult with your medical provider before using Epsom salts if you are pregnant or have any medical condition.

How to make an Epsom salt bath

Making an Epsom salt bath is simple:

First things first; 1) break out your favorite rubber ducky. 2) Set a relaxing, spa mood with some scented candles.

3) Fill bathtub with hot or warm water. 4) Add between two and four cups of Epsom salt to the water.

I poured the whole box containing 375g of Epsom salts into the tub.

I poured the whole box containing 375g of Epsom salts into the tub.

5) Mix the water with your hands and allow the Epsom salt to dissolve.
6) Add five to ten drops of your favorite essential oil just before you step in the tub to maximize stress reduction.

My favorites are either lavender, rose or chamomile essential oils.

Soak in the bath for about 15 minute but no longer to avoid reabsorbing the toxins eliminated by the Epsom salt.

7) Soak in the bath for about 15 minute but no longer to avoid reabsorbing the toxins eliminated by the Epsom salt.

8) Shower immediately after the bath to rinse the Epsom salts from your skin, which can dry your skin.
(Caution: Epsom salt, due to its high magnesium content, is a laxative. Avoid ingestion!)

9) Dry off with a towel and keep your skin hydrated with your favorite body moisturizer.

10) Water aids in muscle recovery so make sure you drink enough water throughout the day!

Fay Hokulani

11 Comments

  1. Nice article, reminded me I haven’t done this in a long time.

    BTW DOMS = delayed onset muscle soreness (not cramps)

  2. This sounds fabulous!
    I love taking a bath, but unfortionately, we only have a shower :(
    Planning on a spa-visit though, so my time will come.

    • You can take a hot footpath for 30min this is very effective for magnesium assimilation and super relaxing!

    • You should be able to by BP Epsom Slats (Medical Grade) in 25kg from your pharmacist, ask them to order it in!

  3. Hi Fay,

    Do you have any tips or things to look out for when buying Epsom Salts online? Im thinking about buying from this website. http://www.epsomsalts.co.uk. Do you think these will be good quality? is there a brand to look out for?

    Thanks for this great post! its good to see how exactly how they should be used!

  4. Try 4 cups of Epsom Salts & 1 cup of Bicarb, the bicarb alkalinizes the water, is an antifungal and leaves the skin feeling supersoft.

  5. thanks for including the moving graphics in your workout routines. Save me the trouble of googling the names up. Hope to see more of such routines in the future. :)

  6. I love how you spelled out DESTROYED after you pointed out the exercises. I need to get my legs destroyed too.

  7. Wonder if the Epsom Salt bath would help post knee replacement surgery and its pain?

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