Happy New Year! Today I’m reviewing Epsoak Pro unscented epsom salts on the blog. These salts are very helpful for soothing sore muscles, reducing inflammation with soaking, and helping speed recovery. But first, a brief disclaimer: I received a free 8.5-pound sample cylinder of Epsoak Pro (also a bamboo leveling spoon for the salts) to review as part of being a BibRavePro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
Why did I choose unscented? Because I have allergies and sometimes strong fragrances can intensify and affect my allergy symptoms.
Although I have soaked many times to speed recovery from running/exercise, I had fallen out of the habit of soaking with epsom salts. The last epsom salt bath I had before receiving Epsoak was last December after the Run Laughlin half-marathon (they gave us epsom salts as a gift).
Implementing a daily soaking routine from December 15, 2016 through January 1, 2017, I found that my legs were fresher when I ran again. Also, there was less pain and inflammation. It’s helpful to rotate soaking my back and my legs. Sometimes I have more pain in my back than legs, it just depends. Epsoak did help handle pain and inflammation in both back and legs.
Also, there was one day that I tested the maximum dosage of 4 scoops. Normally it is advised to use 2 scoops of Epsoak. Although that seems like a lot, it does seem to hit the mark as far as being the right quantity. I did test Epsoak on the last day (today: Jan. 1, 2017) with only about 1 scoop (the last scoop remaining) and that did not seem to provide as much recovery benefit (some but not as much benefit) as the full 2 scoops or 4 scoops. Just be aware that if you use the 4 scoops, you’re sacrificing a soaking bath you would otherwise have remaining by opting for double/maximum strength.
So what is in the Epsoak epsom salts made by the San Francisco Salt Company? Magnesium sulfate. Premium epsom salts. Magnesium is a key mineral aiding runner/athlete recovery. Not just in ingested form but also in soaking.
Think of the Epsom salt bath as the runner’s bookend to ice baths. It’s the warm side of the temperature gradient spectrum. And ice baths are tougher for us: the temperature is just more uncomfortable.
Thank you to the San Francisco Salt Company for providing the free sample and the nice handwritten note and bamboo scoop. The bamboo scoop is helpful for leveling the scoops when measuring and also for crushing some of the salt which tends to clump or accumulate together in chunks at the bottom of the cylinder in particular.
Before I forget, we have a special BibRave discount code of 10% off when you order the salts: Use code RAVE10 and get 10% off when you order 5 pound bags. The Epsoak website is: www.epsoaksport.com. As I just ran out, I need to order some more Epsoak myself. It works well. I don’t know of anywhere else in town that sells it.
How long is the shelf life? 10 years according the to the makers. A long time. Mainly just store it in a cool, dry place. Does it travel well? Yes, I brought my Epsoak to Norfolk Nebraska for Christmas visiting my parents. Just boxed it up in the box it came in so I could continue my daily soaking routine.
So how does one use epsom salts with a soaking bath? Just pour warm water in the bath, add 2 scoops (or more if desired), and soak for about 30 minutes (that’s my length of time I did each time). After about 30 minutes, the bath water temperature is dropping and it can get colder. I noticed a great warming benefit from soaking during some extreme cold winter days (some days below zero F). So there’s the general warming benefit if you get cold in winter.
How do you know when you need an epsom salt bath? Your body knows. (I show it with my eyes in at least one of the pictures on a day when I doubled up.) It’s when you are most fatigued, exhausted and feeling muscle aches, pain, and inflammation. These are also the days when we need to consider doubling the dosage to maximize the healing effect and speeding recovery even more than we might need on a daily basis.
The salts are fairly grainy. I’ll show you a few pictures to demonstrate that.
The only caution I would give you when you open your first canister/cylinder is to exercise caution so as to not spill the salts. The very first time you remove salts from the container be careful just to not spill them where you do not want them to fall.
In December, I was reaching for my Run the Year goal of running 2016 miles but pain and inflammation was interfering with my running a little. High heart rate spikes and exhaustion and fatigue were happening. I found that soaking with Epsoak daily allowed me to bounce back, recover faster, with more energy and strength and finish the month strong. It allowed me to relax, too. Relaxation is difficult to me. I tend to be a competitive runner and am not as good at the recovery routine.
Try elevating your legs some when you use Epsoak. Doing so allows you to benefit with the Epsoak gently relieving pain and inflammation in your back while taking pressure off your legs.
Also, do not forget your feet. Sometimes feet hurt more than any other body part. Feet absorb so much impact when we run. So sometimes you may want to stand in the bath or at least make sure your feet are completely submerged.
There are a few ways to do these baths. One is the complete stillness approach. Not moving. Just relaxing and letting the salts do their work. Another is to move around a little, stretching your legs, body, and back by elongation and flexing/relaxing muscles. Both are helpful. I tried both with Epsoak and they worked well.
It was very easy to use the salts, just add the desired number of scoops after breaking up any clumps that accumulate and soak.
Is it necessary to use Epsom salts daily? Not necessarily. I run daily though as a run-streaker and high mileage so for someone like me it might be more helpful.
Interestingly, I did not sense pain/inflammation in my legs as much when I was using Epsoak. There was the one daily that I felt completely exhausted from running and that’s the day I told you about when I used maximum strength and felt the benefits of that immediately carrying over into a much better run the next day.
One thing that I added to my Epsoak routine was my Himalayan salt lamp. I use the Himalayan salt lamp to help with my breathing and asthma. Generally, I use the lamp at least an hour a day. It has helped me a lot. So using the Himalayan lamp with Epsoak did work very well, maximizing the benefits of each. I did go without my Himalayan lamp while in Norfolk so for at least 4 days or so I did test Epsoak without the lamp. Still felt benefits from soaking, just not as dramatic as it seemed when using the salt lamp with Epsoak. Soon I will write a separate blogpost on the benefits of Himalayan salt lamps for better health and relaxation, especially for those with breathing/asthma issues.
My skin did seem to clear up a little bit as a result of using Epsoak on a daily basis for more than 2 weeks. So the detoxification and cleansing pores benefit that they advertise appears to be accurate for me.
The main muscle/cramp issues I had while using the product were back pain/inflammation and occasional calf cramps/general leg fatigue/exhaustion. Epsoak did seem to resolve these problem to a great extent. Stretching more helped as well.
It’s difficult to quantify the relaxation benefit of Epsoak. But I would say it gives you a relaxed sighing approach to life instead of the stressed, worried frenetic pace of life that we so often encounter.
Timing of the soak: I soak mainly at night, sometimes right before bed. Otherwise, sometimes I soaked right after a shower. The benefits of soaking right before bed are very relaxing. It’s easier to sleep at night if I soak later. But sometimes I had to soak earlier due to schedule and travel. Sometimes I was soaking right before midnight just to keep the Epsoak soaking streak intact.
I strongly recommend this product without any reservations. For me, I would have to do the unscented one to avoid allergy issues. Maybe someday I might test the scented ones just to see how I react. I’m impressed that they have scented varieties available and they do appear to be helpful for those that can handle scented.
It’s a very impressive easy-to-use product. As athletes we prioritize training but we do not prioritize recovery as much. Recovery is just as important as training. In fact, there is an energetic bounce in our training and racing performance: peak performance when we allow recovery to be an essential foundational element of training itself.
Holistic health is very important in being a successful athlete, whether a runner or other athlete. And anyone can benefit, athlete or not, by using Epsoak. So find a variety that appeals to you, and try a nice relaxing salty soak: it helps heal us from the pain, inflammation, and muscle aches we experience. In fact, it’s a wonderful substitute from the overuse of anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen without any known side effects.
Try Epsoak Pro: it’s holistic healthy total body sports therapy for athletes. It may be exactly what your doctor may tell you to try to heal the pain, muscle aches, and inflammation that we all experience.
To soak or not to soak? Soak with Epsoak and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. It’s a forgetten element of recovery to use epsom salt baths. Add it to your regular recovery routine and you’ll be amazed at how much it helps.
Thanks again to Epsoak Pro and the San Francisco Salt Company as well as BibRave for the wonderful opportunity to test this product. It was a healthy, energizing pleasure!