Massage and Hydration

Drinking water after a massage is often recommended by massage therapists and other health care professionals, for a variety of reasons.  The body benefits from proper hydration and consuming water will help the kidneys and other organs process the various substances which travel through the human body on a regular basis. Drinking water prior to a massage is also highly recommended, as it will make it easier for the massage therapist to perform deeper work by hydrating the muscles so that they are easier to manipulate.

There primary reasons for drinking water after a massage are:

1.  Substances released by the muscles as the massage therapist manipulates them.

2.  To ensure 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, especially in the case of deep tissue 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, clients can help remove these waste materials; otherwise, they might build up, causing muscle aches and soreness after a massage.

In lymphatic massage, drinking water after a massage is essential as the stimulation of the lymphatic system can generate a large release of wastes in the body. If one thinks of the lymph system as the sewer pipes of the body, collecting unwanted waste material and carrying it away for disposal, lymphatic massage is like Draino, so water helps flush the drain, in a sense.

Most importantly, people should drink water after a massage because massage can be dehydrating. The manipulation of the muscles depletes them of water, and also moves the fluid in the interstitial spaces between the muscles around. By drinking water, people can rehydrate their muscles, reducing the potential for pain and soreness in the days following a massage. For the same reason, people tend to automatically drink water during and after exercise, because when the muscles are worked, they lose water and electrolytes.

Many people also like to drink a glass of water after a massage because it helps ground them and bring them back to reality post massage. After a massage, people can feel a bit disoriented; having a glass of water can help bring the body and mind back to the present, and it gives the client time to slowly return to the real world.