Up until a couple of days ago, I couldn’t remember the last time I had actually taken a bath…
No, don’t get me wrong, I shower all the time. In fact I’m quite particular about being clean in that I hate being in my own funk for too long. Great, choose a job where I sweat all day; nice choice Adrian.
Wednesday night I got home late and from my super long day (6am-9pm at the gym) on top of the culmination of all my workouts the days prior – I was absoultely beat up. Destroyed was more like it. My feet were throbbing. My back was stiff and achy. My shoulders felt like 100lbs each. I was so destroyed I didn’t even want to bother eating when I got home. Everything hurt so much that I couldn’t even relax enough to be able to sleep.
Then I remembered what works (and I always recommend to others):
So I ran a hot bath, poured in 1 cup of epsom salts as the tub was filling and proceeded to hop in. At first I planned on reading while in there. Then I opted for playing on my phone. But when I sat down all thoughts of doing anything other than just NOTHING all disappeared.
Why had I forgotten this? It is so nice, so cozy, so relaxxxxing.
30 minutes passed and I decided it was time for bed. I dragged my soggy self out, exhausted but Zen-like and proceeded to have an awesome sleep.
The next morning I woke up and just went about my day. Later it dawned on me that I was not achy anymore. I could feel my worked muscles from previous workouts but that was minor compared to the night before.
Here’s what I (re)learned: Destroyed/achy Adrian + hot epsom salt bath = great sleep + rejuvinated body = setting 2 new personal records (PR’s) on lifts the following two days.
1) Take a 30 minute (or longer; shorter is useless) hot bath with ~1 cup of epsom salts a couple of times a week. Any time you bath, add epsom salts. It’s surely not going to hurt getting more magnesium in you, especially when you’re training hard.
2) If you like smellies then add 2-5 drops of essential oils into your bath. Aromatherapy is a great add-on relaxer. Pick up a bunch of different kinds; For example eucalyptis is good for clearing you up when you’re stuffy; Peppermint oil is good for an upset stomach. When in doubt do less drops (2). Experiment with various oils and or blends of oils (such as stores like Eccents or Sage have). You can even buy epsom salts that have things like lavendar or eucalyptis already in them though I prefer to add my own.
3) Try to take the bath in the evening, right before sleep. Magnesium (epsom salts are magnesium sulfate) is incredible for relaxing the body which will greatly improve sleep. In my opini0n, magnesium is the single most important nutrient for hard training athletes. You can eat your way to enough of it, supplement it (just look for “ate” versions, not oxides. So magnesium citrate is better than magnesium oxide) or take epsom salt baths regularly (the body absorbs it through the skin). There are times I forget to take my magnesium and within two days I notice a huge difference in my whole body achiness from my workouts, my restfulness from the little sleep I do get as well as my workout performance. Everyone should read this: http://www.t-nation.com/strength-training-topics/magnificent_magnesium
Look, if someone tells you that you can feel 50% less beat up in 30 minutes and it’s going to cost you less than 25 cents (about the price of a cup worth of epsom salts) it’s worth a try is it not?
I promise we won’t judge you for adding bubble bath or a rubber ducky either…