Should Athletes Take Epsom Salt Baths?
EPSOM SALT BATHS - Do they actually work to reduce muscle soreness?
- Epsom salt, also known as magnesium sulfate heptahydrate, is something people add to their bath water and claim that it helps their muscles feel less sore.
- In theory, these baths should work because magnesium does block pain receptors in the body (NDMA) but there are two inherent problems with Epsom salt.
- One, magnesium and sulfate cannot be absorbed. These minerals are too large to permeate the skin and get into the blood. This is also why topical magnesium creams don’t work (sorry bros, the basic laws of physiology can’t be broken here).
- Two, there is not a single piece of scientific evidence demonstrating Epsom salt baths work to reduce muscle soreness.
- Take home point, Epsom salt baths DON’T WORK but if you like them there are no harmful side effects.
- A better option? Quit spending $$$ on these salts and take a hot bath by itself. Research has shown this may help sore muscles relax and cause capillary dilation which can reduce the perception of pain and soreness.