Fitness Recovery Hacks – Salt baths vs Ice baths
Taking care of your body with regular exercise is so important, but have you ever considered how important it is to recover post-workout too? Many people overlook the necessity of fitness recovery and how beneficial it can be for the body. At Westlab we have spoken with many athletes and pro fitness enthusiasts who swear by a variety of fitness recovery hacks. Two of the most popular fitness recovery methods athletes utilise, are salt baths and ice baths, but which is best? Let us delve a little deeper…
The Benefits of Salt Baths
Salt baths, in particular Epsom salt baths, are renowned with professional athletes as part of their fitness recovery. Using Epsom salts in a post-workout routine offers a number of benefits, including:
- Muscle relaxation
- Prevention of cramp and further injury
- Improvement of the recovery time of sports injuries
Why Epsom Salts are ideal for sports recovery
As a pure mineral compound of magnesium sulphate, Epsom salt offers a combination of body cleansing and muscle relaxation elements. Making these bath salts so effective for fitness recovery.
Magnesium works to relax the muscles, aiding in the process of muscle recovery, helping to prevent cramps and further injury, as well as converting glucose into energy which will combat feelings of tiredness and fatigue.
Alongside magnesium, the sulphate within Epsom salt provides additional levels of sulphate to enable the body’s detoxification process. This process is key to post-workout, as we see a build-up of toxins during exercise, due to the number of metabolic processes being activated within the body. All while cleansing the body in a warm bath.
How to use Bath Salts
If you fancy giving bath salts a go, it is important to know how to correctly use them.
Here is how we recommend using our Reviving Epsom Bath Salts:
- Epsom bath salts should be used after sports and regular exercise as part of a post-workout routine
- Use 1-2 cupful’s after exercise 2-3 times per week
- Relax in the bath for 20 minutes for optimum effects
- Rinse skin after use to help rinse away any toxins to avoid drying out the skin
The Benefits of Ice Baths
If you’ve done some research into post-fitness recovery before, you will certainly have heard of ice baths. Popular with professional athletes, they are well known for their ability to alleviate feelings of soreness and achiness after a long or intense workout.
They are particularly effective after long distance running or weight training, as these activities are more prone to causing micro-tears in the muscle fibres. Although it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, plunging into a tub of ice water has been shown to constrict the blood vessels, which helps reduce the inflammation, swelling and pain caused my micro-tears.
Combining Salt Baths and Ice Baths for the ultimate recovery process
Instead of opting for one over the other, it is important to consider the benefits both ice baths and salt baths can offer.
For your regular training routine, a warm Epsom salt bath 2-3 times a week, is ideal to help keep the muscles feeling cleansed, relaxed and healthy.
For an additional boost of Magnesium the night before a long-distance run or intense exercise, we recommend you switch from Epsom salts to Magnesium Flakes as these help you sleep and give your body an additional Magnesium hit to help prevent injury during the event.
When it comes to immediate pain relief after a long-distance run or intense weight training, an ice bath is a great choice to help the muscle fibres repair. (You can always add some Epsom salt to your ice bath – it just takes a little longer to dissolve)