Sunday, August 17, 2008

Epsom salt for recovery

This week someone strongly vouched about the effectiveness of Epsom salt as a recovery aid. I had heard about this before but it had not stuck in my mind. This time I decided to give it a shot.

It's too early to swear by Epsom salt but I seemed to have recovered pretty quickly from my 20 miler yesterday. I had expected to be sore since I have not run this far since the marathon. After my run, I soaked my legs in a salt solution in warm water for 20 minutes. For areas I could not dip directly I used a soaked towel.

Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate. Salts are just molecules that form because the parts have opposite electrical charges that bind together. Magnesium has a positive charge. Sulfate has a negative charge, and performs all sorts of unique biological functions. The two elements dissociate in solution.

The magnesium and sulfate in the salts are absorbed into the body through the skin. Because the sulfur is already in the sulfate form, it does not need to be converted like other forms of sulfur do. Sulfate is thought to circulate in the body up to about nine hours. Any Epsom salts left on the skin may continue to be absorbed as long as it is still on the skin, offering continuous ‘timed-released’ input into the bloodstream – like medications given through skin patches.

Studies show that magnesium is an electrolyte, helping to ensure proper muscle, nerve and enzyme function. Medical research also indicates that magnesium may reduce inflammation and relieves pain, making it a beneficial in the treatment of sore muscles.

Medical research indicates that sulphates are needed for the formation of brain tissue, joint proteins and the mucin proteins that line the walls of the digestive tract. Studies show that sulfates also stimulate the pancreas to generate digestive enzymes and help to detoxify the body's residue of medicines and environmental contaminants. Studies indicate that sulfates are difficult to absorb from food, but are readily absorbed through the skin.


Blogger Phil said...

Never thought about using magnesium sulfate ... thanks for the tip.

8/28/2008 10:29 PM  
Blogger Runtime said...

I am going to have to give Epsom a try... might be more comfortable than ice baths. =)

8/29/2008 1:52 PM  

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