After a long day in the saddle, nothing beats a full body massage. Having a large Swedish woman or little Korean guy fold you up like a road map then roll you out like pizza dough can help relieve stiff, sore muscles. For those of us that don’t have a massage therapist lying around the house, or are too cheap to shell out for a massage that doesn’t involve a ‘happy ending’, there’s another alternative: Salt! A hot commodity in Biblical times, this once essential mineral is no longer just for mummification or choking down shots of cheap Tequila, its also good for soothing aches and pains. But as a recovery aid ordinary table salt won’t do – you need Epsom Salt!
Epsom Salt is made up of magnesium and sulfate. Magnesium deficiency can cause numerous ailments, including arthritis and joint pain. Sulfates play an important role in detoxifying the body and the formation of joint proteins. When used as a soaking aid in hot water, the combination of the two result in relief for tired, aching joints and muscles.
Of course all this is according to the Epsom Salt Industry Council, so this advice should be taken with a, uh, grain of salt.
Idioms aside – after a long ride that included drop-checking myself several times, I tried taking a bath with Epsom Salt. My aches and pains were reduced and I felt refreshed enough to consider choking down a few shots of cheap Tequila and looking for a ‘happy ending’… but I fell asleep on the couch instead.
If you’re prone to suffering from being saddle sore or are just getting too old to shrug off the aches and pains that can come from riding all day, I highly recommend giving Epsom Salt a try. It’s cheap, available in the first aid section of most grocery or drug stores, and no matter what brand you buy – it’s all the same!