We all know that there is no better recovery tool than an ice bath – that painful, teeth-chattering post-run soak that no one wants to do, but everyone should do. It’s always tough to muster up the willingness to take the plunge, but even more so this time of year. When you return from your dark, wintry run with numb fingers and wind-burnt face, the last thing you want is more ice. You want a hot, steaming shower!
Unfortunately, hot water is not what you need after a run. It is useful for relaxing sore muscles the day after a tough workout, but when you indulge right after your run, you are simply creating extra inflammation and inhibiting recovery.
But what about a hot bath full of Epsom salt? Isn’t this the wonder-substance, the all-natural solution that can be used as anything from a laxative to an anti-inflammatory? It will make the hot water beneficial, right?
Wrong. As it turns out, Epsom salt does a whole lot of nothing. Check out this article in which “The Running Doc” of Runnersworld addresses this very issue and exposes some pretty surprising information about this supposed cure-all. Then go jump in an icebath!