As an endurance athlete, you’re probably looking for every possible way to soothe your sore muscles and recover faster. Lots of cyclists take ibuprofen and debate hot vs cold showers, but there isn’t as much talk about the sea salt bath.
I went many years before trying this bath, which is unfortunate, because it’s not very hard to do, and it’s very soothing! You’re basically lying in a warm bath, which is very soothing, and believe it or not, you do feel surprisingly rejuvenated afterward!
Why Do a Sea Salt Bath?
Remember high school chemistry and all the talk about isotonic, hypotonic, and hypertonic solutions?
I remember some of that, so I’ll try my best to explain properly… The sea salt bath has a high solute content (i.e. lots of salt in the water.) While trying to become more isotonic, the bath will pulls water out of your body.
This is a good thing because with the water comes toxins! So the toxins and free radicals that cause stress, fatigue, and muscle soreness are being removed from your body! I’ve also read that Epsom salts cause you to sweat, further releasing toxins.
This is great if you are sore from a tough mountain bike race, or if you are sick.
How to Take a Sea Salt Bath
Start by drawing a bath with very warm water. Hot water is good, but don’t burn yourself!!
Next, mix in your salt formula. You can vary the mixture depending on how much water you put in the tub, but I like this mixture:
1 cup Sea Salt
1 cup Epsom Salt
2 cups Baking Soda
I read that some people have used an entire box of Epsom salts in the tub at once! You might not want to try that the first time, but I might be tempted to try it someday.
Now, get in the tub! You should lie in the tub and relax for 20-30 minutes. Do NOT exceed 30 minutes because you could become extremely dehydrated! If you have any big training sessions or races coming up, I’d cap the bath at 20 minutes max.
Finally, once you’re out of the tub, start hydrating! Drink a lot of water!
The first time I did this, I thought I drank quite a bit, but about half an hour afterward, I felt extremely thirsty! So it’s best to hydrate consistently, and don’t go into the tub already dehydrated!
When done properly, you should feel great after the sea salt bath!