Why You Might Feel Weird After an Epsom Salt Bath

Jennifer Rhodes

By Jennifer Rhodes · Updated

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If you've ever taken a relaxing Epsom salt bath only to realize that you feel a little weird or woozy afterward, you're not alone.

Usually, the strange feeling after taking an Epsom salt bath isn't anything to be concerned about, but there are a few things to know so you can avoid the feeling.

Taking an Epsom salt bath is a great way to relieve both mind and body issues. It can help to relieve anxious feelings as well as soothe aching muscles and joints. What many people don't know is that due to the fact that you are soaking in magnesium sulfate, you might feel a bit off after.

Focus on how your Epsom salt bath makes you feel. It should feel relaxing and calming, but if at any time you feel sick or uncomfortable you can always get out.

Why do epsom salt baths make me feel weird?

Epsom salt is just a fancy name for magnesium sulfate. Magnesium sulfate is a naturally occurring mineral in the body, but it is also one that can be supplemented orally or used topically as a soak.

What you may not know about magnesium sulfate is that when ingested, it is used primarily as a natural laxative. When it is applied directly to the skin it can have some laxative properties as well, but it mostly helps with stress and anxiety and relieves aches and pains.

Because this powerful mineral is doing so much to the body, sometimes you can have adverse reactions to the high magnesium concentration.

Depending on your sensitivity to magnesium, you might experience a range of side effects, from nothing at all to minor symptoms. In rare cases, you could develop severe symptoms if you are experiencing magnesium overdose (which is incredibly rare with Epsom salts).

What is common to feel after an epsom salt bath?

You might feel a wide range of things after taking an Epsom salt bath. So many things contribute to how you feel during and after an Epsom salt bath. You may feel a bit weird after an Epsom salt bath one time and then not have the issue again the next time you take one.

It can depend on things like how long ago you last ate and whether you are properly hydrated.

Common symptoms to experience after an epsom salt bath

Minor symptoms

  • Headache
  • Digestive upset
  • Nausea
  • Lightheaded
  • Feeling overheated or flushed

Severe symptoms

  • Slow heartbeat
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Flushed feeling that doesn't go away
  • Vomiting

If you experience any of these more severe symptoms after an Epsom salt bath, it's important to get medical attention right away.

What can I do to prevent feeling weird after an epsom salt bath?

Now that you know that feeling a little weird after an Epsom salt bath can be normal, let's talk about what you can do to prevent it in the future.

Ideally, you should be able to enjoy an Epsom salt bath with little to no side effects. Try a few of these tips below to see which ones work for you so that you can take Epsom salt baths whenever you want to help improve your mental and physical health.

Watch your epsom salt ratio

There is such a thing as using too much Epsom salt in your bath, so it's important to find the right ratio of salt to water that works for you.

Start out using just a small sprinkle of Epsom salt. You truly don't need much to feel the effects of a relaxing and soothing Epsom salt bath.

Take note of how you feel after your bath. Do you notice any weird symptoms? If not, you can safely add a bit more Epsom salt to your next bath if you want to or keep the amount the same since you know it works for you.

If you do find that you're feeling a little bit off after your bath, try adding a little bit less the next time or try another one of these tips to help.

Be mindful of the water temperature

A big reason why many people feel a little weird or sick after an Epsom salt bath has a lot to do with the magnesium exposure and the heat of the water. As tempting as it may be to take a very hot bath with Epsom salts, this is not a good idea.

Soaking in very hot water can raise your body temperature and can exacerbate feelings of lightheadedness after an Epsom salt bath.

The combination of the high dose of magnesium sulfate and the heat can be a recipe for nausea and lightheadedness, so it's best to make the water warm without being overly hot.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

When you know you are going to take an Epsom salt bath later in the day, make sure you are drinking lots of water throughout the day.

Magnesium can draw water out of your body and also the hot bath water can make you dehydrated as well. Both of which can contribute to a woozy feeling after an Epsom salt bath.

Staying hydrated will help prevent the depleted, run-down feeling that you might get after an Epsom salt bath.

Just as important as hydrating before your bath is hydrating afterward. Bring your water bottle (or an electrolyte drink) into the tub with you and make sure you continue to sip on it after you get out of the bath as well. This should help your body flush out the extra magnesium and fight any dehydration as well.

Skip the wine

There's nothing like soaking in a relaxing bath with a glass of wine or a cocktail—it is the ultimate way to wind down after a busy day. However, if you are making that bath an Epsom salt bath you want to skip the cocktail.

Any form of alcohol dehydrates you, so taking a drink into the bath could leave you feeling worse than when you got in.

It's best to stick with water so that you don't get dehydrated or feel sick after your Epsom salt bath. You can always dress up your water in a fun cocktail glass and infuse it with fruit or herbs, or indulge in a non-alcoholic tropical drink to create a decadent, spa-like experience.

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