If you think it’s odd that the same salt you use to season your food can also be swirled about in a hot bath to soothe your aching muscles, you’re not alone. Turns out, the key to the whole thing is the magnesium in the salt. According to the World Health Organization, less than 30% of U.S. adults consume the recommended daily allowance of magnesium. And that’s too bad, because magnesium plays an important role in our bodies, and it’s difficult to consume enough of it through our diet.
Magnesium helps support a healthy immune system, boosts heart health, and can help prevent inflammation. So, it makes sense that soaking in a bath infused with salts helps reduce inflammation of the muscles and joints and helps relax the muscles, therefore helping relieve pain and soreness. Plus, the warm water helps activate the other beneficial ingredients in your bath salt formula—like the eucalyptus, peppermint, and lemongrass in the Aromafloria Muscle Soak Ocean Mineral Bath Salts in your summer Yuzen box. Eucalyptus and lemongrass are both known for their anti-inflammatory properties, while peppermint offers pain-relief benefits and simply smells divine.
So, if you’ve got sore muscles that need soothing, pour yourself a warm bath, add the Ocean Mineral Bath Salts, and just relax. As you’re soaking, be thinking about all the other ways you can make sure you have enough magnesium in your body:
Avoid phosphates. Phosphates, found in many dark-colored sodas, bind with magnesium inside the digestive tract and carry it out of the body. So even if you’re eating an otherwise healthy diet, the phosphates you’re drinking are rendering any magnesium unavailable. (Phosphates do the same thing to calcium.) So, no more sodas, and while we’re on the subject of drinking, alcohol also contributes to magnesium deficiency.
Cut down on refined sugar. Refined sugar forces magnesium out of the body through the kidneys. The more sweet foods and processed baked goods you have in your diet, the more likely you are to be magnesium deficient.
Switch to decaf. Caffeine in tea, coffee, and soda sends a signal to the kidneys to release extra magnesium. Cut down on your caffeine intake and you’ll decrease your risk of magnesium deficiency.
Talk to your doctor. Certain prescription drugs—like diuretics, heart meds, and birth control pills—have been shown to reduce magnesium levels in the body. If you’re on a magnesium-depleting medication, ask your doctor if you need a magnesium supplement.
Eat some magnesium. Although it’s difficult to get enough magnesium through dietary choices alone, there are several foods that contain it, and it’s added to many others. Try dark-green, leafy vegetables, low-fat milk and yogurt, and fortified cereals. Also snack on pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and cashews.
Reduce stress. It’s a vicious cycle—stress can be a cause of magnesium deficiency, and a lack of magnesium in the body can magnify instances of stress. Cutting down on stress is easier said than done, we know, but one way to start would be taking a hot bath!