Why You Should Drink Water Before & After Your Massage

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Drinking water in general is a good idea, as the body benefits from proper hydration, and consuming water will help the kidneys and other organs process the various substances which move through the human body on a regular basis. Water is important because it makes up about 60 percent of your body.  According to MayoClinic.com, water is used for a variety of functions in the body, such as moistening tissues and protecting internal organs, dissolving nutrients to be absorbed by the body, lubricating joints and regulating body temperature. In addition to the functions listed above, water helps the kidneys flush out waste products as well as help in oxygen transport to the cells of the body.

The human body needs water on a daily basis, and the amount depends on the body composition of the individual as well as the activity level. According to MayoClinic.com, water is lost daily through perspiration, breathing, urine and during bowel movements. Proper body function requires replenishment of the water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

Why does your massage therapist always tell you to drink plenty of water?

Massage can be dehydrating.  The manipulation of the muscles dehydrates them and moves around the fluid, in the interstitial spaces between the muscles.  During a good massage, the muscles are stimulated, blood is circulated throughout the whole body and water, salt and other materials are released.  Just like when you exercise, you lose water and electrolytes.  You feel squishy as a sponge, but you need to wet those cells.

It’s not just important to drink water to lubricate the muscles and the organs, but the Fascia as well.  Fascia is a thin sheath of fibrous tissue enclosing a muscle or other organ.  Think of the fascia as a pantyhose for the muscles and organs.  The example I love to give my clients is to envision a package of raw chicken breasts.  When you open the package, everything is wet, moist and sometimes you see a clear sheath on the breast.  Take the chicken and put it on a plate and leave it there for about a day.  It completely dries up and it when you hold the chicken breast in your hand, it almost feels like it is constricted, tight. That’s what is most definitely happening to your muscles when you don’t drink enough water and most definitely why you are experiencing a muscle spasm, tightness, cramping or discomfort.

Drinking water before a massage will make it easier for the massage therapist to perform deep work by hydrating the muscles so they are easier to manipulate.  Drinking water before a very deep massage treatment will also help to alleviate any soreness you may have after the massage.

There are primary reasons for people to drink water after a massage.  The first has to do with substances released by the muscles as the massage therapist manipulates them, and the second has to do with ensuring that the muscles of the body are properly hydrated.

Drinking water after a massage helps the body flush out any accumulated materials in the muscles which were released during the massage.  Massage stimulates circulation in the body while expressing water, salt and other minerals from the muscles, and circulation is designed to carry away waste materials generated by cells.  By providing the body with plenty of water, massage clients can help sweep away these waste materials; otherwise, they may build up, causing muscle aches and soreness after a massage.

Other reasons why you should drink water:

  • Helps to maintain the balance of body fluids
  • Can help to control calories
  • Helps to energize muscles
  • Helps keep the skin looking good, younger
  • Helps in digestion and constipation
  • Improves the Immune System
  • Relieves Fatigue
  • Can help minimize the frequency of headaches and migraines.

Drinking beverages where “water” is a main ingredient does not count.  If you use the excuse that you hate drinking water because it is so boring and there is no flavor, then add the flavor.  There are so many ways to make your water tasty by adding slices of cucumbers, lemons, limes, strawberries, orange slices, raspberries, watermelon,  just to name a few.   Your water will never be boring.  Drinking water can only do your body good, so drink up!!!

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