If you’ve ever gotten a massage, chances are that your massage therapist recommended drinking plenty of water to keep your body hydrated. But have you ever wondered how massage and hydration are connected and how much water you should drink before and after your treatment?
The Science Behind Hydration
When your muscle tissues are healthy, they are spongy and supple; however, unhealthy muscle tissues are tough and tight. This tightness often builds up from stress, tension, overuse, and injury. This is an important basic concept to understand because soft tissue allows blood to flow and lymph nodes to drain properly.
These biological processes relate to massage because massage therapists are trained to untighten and de-stress unhealthy muscle tissue. Massage increases blood flow in tired muscles and uses up water stored in the body. This process can lead to dehydration if you aren’t consuming enough water throughout the day.
Hydrating Before a Massage
Many people don’t realize that drinking water before your massage is just as important as staying hydrated after your treatment is over. Drinking water before massage is a good idea because it makes your muscles softer and more pliable, which leads to a more relaxing and comfortable massage.
Being hydrated before a massage can also prevent you from feeling achy after getting a massage. Both drinking water and getting a massage eliminate toxins from the body, so when practiced together, the effects of your massage become even more beneficial.
Hydrating After a Massage
Drinking water after massage is very important because the kneading and working of your muscles are naturally dehydrating. Massage helps pump fluids from your soft tissues into your circulatory system and your kidneys, so you need to replenish that lost water by drinking more than you normally would.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
The standard recommended eight glasses of water per day works well for most people on most days, but consider adding another glass or two to your routine on massage days. Another recommended calculation is to divide your body weight in pounds by half and drink that number of ounces of water. This calculation suggests that a 150-pound person should drink about 75 ounces of water per day.
Symptoms of Dehydration
In general, most people don’t drink enough water throughout the day, and your body’s water needs increase on days you get a massage. Dehydration can be easily avoided if you know the symptoms to look for and make a conscious effort to drink more water on massage days.
These are some of the most common symptoms of dehydration.
- Lack of mental focus
- Extreme thirst
- Dark yellow urine