Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, can act as a remedy for many common ailments. Whether you have digestive issues, muscle cramps, or post-workout muscle pain, the Epsom salt benefits speak for themselves. Here are nine reasons why you should always have some on hand, especially if you’re active.
#1 – Lessens the Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection that causes red, itchy skin on the feet – usually between the toes. It’s called athlete’s foot because it’s most common in individuals who work out and sweat often; this moist, warm environment is the perfect breeding ground for fungus. Epsom salt benefits athletes by killing off athlete’s foot and relieving symptoms at the same time. Just add ½ cup of Epsom salt to a large bowl or tub filled with warm water and soak your feet in it for 10 minutes once per day until the symptoms are gone.
#2 – Strengthens Your Heart
Magnesium helps your body maintain a normal heartbeat, and it also keeps your arteries strong. This means that using Epsom salt regularly can reduce your risk of blood clots, cholesterol buildup, and damage to arterial walls. When your circulation improves, your risk of heart disease and stroke decreases, as well. Just soak in an Epsom salt bath three times each week to enjoy these Epsom salt benefits.
#3 – Assists in Digestion
There are two ways in which Epsom salt benefits the digestive process. First, if you soak in an Epsom salt bath, it will remove toxins from your body through reverse osmosis. Essentially, the magnesium pulls the salt out of your body, and the toxins come out with it. Epsom salt is also an FDA-approved treatment for constipation when taken orally since it acts as an osmotic inside your intestines. It assists in softening stool, which makes it easier to pass. Mix one teaspoon of Epsom salt with four ounces of water, and drink the mixture all at once. You can repeat this process in four to six hours if you don’t have a bowel movement.
#4 – Improves Insulin Utilization
Insulin’s primary role is to allow cells in your body to turn glucose into energy. The more effectively your body can produce and utilize insulin, the more energetic you’ll feel. This can have a tremendous impact on your stamina and endurance, whether you’re pushing yourself during a workout or a competitive sport. Simply soak in a warm Epsom salt bath every other day. Many athletes report they get the best results when they bathe an hour or two prior to a workout.
#5 – Reduces Post-Workout Pain and Inflammation
Pushing your body to perform at its peak can cause inflammation in your muscle tissues and joints, and this can be quite painful. A 2005 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition showed that magnesium can reduce the prevalence of a protein called CRP, or C-reactive protein, which is a prominent marker of inflammation in the body. The best part is that Epsom salt can relieve all inflammation when used regularly, which can reduce your risk of developing conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease, and more.
#6 – Assists in the Healing of Injuries
Although you probably take steps to prevent injuries from occurring, chances are good that you’ll suffer from a strain or sprain at some point. Epsom salt benefits these injuries by reducing the inflammation associated with them, allowing them to heal quickly. What’s more, there’s evidence to suggest that Epsom salts can draw out a splinter or even allow a cut to heal more quickly. Never apply Epsom salt to a serious burn or open wound, however.
#7 – Relieves Sunburn
Active people tend to spend plenty of time in the sun, and while that dose of vitamin D is certainly good for you, exposure to UVA and UVB rays can cause sunburn. If you forgot your sunscreen and you find yourself nice and red, an Epsom salt bath can help. Once again, it’s the anti-inflammatory properties that come into play. Dissolve some Epsom salt in warm water, allow it to cool, and then soak a soft cloth in the mixture. Apply this compress to the sunburned area, and you’ll feel immediate relief. Because Epsom salt halts inflammation, the sooner you use this treatment after sun exposure, the milder your sunburn will be.
#8 – Cleanses and Protects the Liver
There’s no denying that magnesium is important for your body, but the sulfate ester has some benefits of its own. Namely, sulfates are key for biological processes in your body, including the cleansing of your liver. This is especially important if you supplement with oral performance enhancers; many of these are notorious for causing liver damage. Regular use of Epsom salt baths can help cleanse and protect your liver.
#9 – Improves Your Mood
Working out regularly requires determination and motivation, which are hard to maintain if you feel stressed out. Studies have suggested that adrenaline and cortisol, two compounds produced when your body experiences stress, can reduce magnesium levels in your body. Because magnesium is necessary for the binding of serotonin, the well-known “happy” hormone, too little can slow or even halt the effectiveness of serotonin. Supplementing with Epsom salt can help improve serotonin binding, which improves your mood, in turn. It’s one of the most surprising Epsom salt benefits, but it’s also one of the most profound.
These Epsom salt benefits are undeniable, and many are backed by evidence and clinical studies. It’s one of the least expensive supplements available today, and there’s nothing more relaxing than soaking in a warm bath after a long day. With Epsom salt, that soak can improve your health one day at a time.