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Why Its Important To Drink Water After Your Massage

Updated: Jun 9

How Massage Affects Your Hydration Levels And Why Water Is So Essential To Your Body

Water is that magic wet substance that is vital to all forms of life.

Human beings – by and large – consist of around 60 percent water.

The Journal of Biological Chemistry says that our lungs are about 83 percent water, the brain and heart contain 73 percent, our skin is composed of 64 percent fluid. Our kidneys and muscles are 79 percent water.

Interestingly, even our bones are somewhat watery at 31 percent.

From a biological perspective, water has many different properties that – as those in white lab coats would say, “Are critical for the propagation of life”.

Whilst most people know that drinking water is a good thing, it is even more important after a massage. Here are some of the reasons why rehydrating after a massage is healthy and central to your well being.


What Does Water Do For The Human Body

  • For starters, all known forms of life depend on it. When it comes to human beings, water is crucial for the many metabolic processes that happen in our bodies every day.

  • Water’s ability to dissolve substances allows our cells to use precious nutrients, minerals and chemicals in what are indispensable biological processes.

  • Take digestion for example – digestion relies on enzymes to break down all our food and dissolve it into nutrients and minerals.

  • Where are those enzymes? Well, to begin with they’re in our saliva. Then in our stomach, pancreas and finally in our small intestine too – and wherever they are along the digestive tract, they need water to function.

  • Water also acts as a lubricant and not only keeps our tissues moist, it protects them too. Water does an excellent job of shielding the spinal cord and forms soft, squelchy cushions for all our joints as well.

  • Just as important as anything else is water’s ability to transport wastes out of our bodies. The kidneys and liver rely on water to flush out waste and our intestines do too. Perspiration as well is yet another ‘swilling’ exercise in which water plays a pivotal role.

  • Importantly, water prevents us from becoming dehydrated. We all lose fluids when in hot weather for example or when exercising, breastfeeding, running a fever and so forth and – as we lose it – it is vital that we replenish it to avoid dehydration.

Ali Saoirse from Ripple Massage
Why Its Important To Drink Water After A Massage

So Why Do I Get Dehydrated After A Massage?

1. Massage increases blood circulation and also the lymphatic system.

One of the suprising things that massage does that not many of our clients are aware of, is that massage radically increases the flow of blood around the body. Several studies have shown that this can be just as effective in increasing blood flow as exercise, and that this increase can last for several days. This helps push more oxygen and nutrients to tissues and helps the removal of waste through the lymphatic system. Its one of the reasons that massage is considered to be physiologically so healthy for your body. This however means that your body needs more fluids in it and there is greater demand on these systems.

Also, a study published in the "Journal of Athletic Training" examined the effects of massage on blood flow and muscle recovery in athletes. The researchers found that massage significantly increased blood flow to the muscles, promoting faster recovery. However it also meant that the athletes needed to significantly increase their water intake to make up for the loss of fluids and help support the lymphatic system.

2. How Massage Releases Toxins And Other Waste In Your Body.

The kidneys are the garbage waste system of the body. Massage can help release toxins through the lymphatic system into the bloodstream. It can also stimulate lactic acid and other waste from the metabolising in the muscles. The kidneys then filter these out of the blood and excrete them. If the body is dehydrated, the kidneys can struggle with this elimination process. Massage, by increasing the release of these toxins into the body's waste system, increases the need for water and fluids to help this process.

This study also emphasized the importance of drinking water after a massage to help the kidneys and lymphatic system remove waste and reduce the build up of toxins in the body.

3. Being In A Warm Environment And Sweating Increases Need For Fluids

Often during a massage, you are in a warm enviornment, as having a massage in a cold room is not comfortable. The body can therefore sweat more than it otherwise would. Especially if hot stone or friction strokes are used, this can lead to a loss of fluids.

4. A Massage Increases Muscle Activity?

Massage can stimulate your muscles that may lead to a slight increase in your metabolic rate. This study showed that massage significantly increased metabolic outcomes in obese patients. This may then lead to a slight themorgenic effect, again increasing fluid loss

Why Its So Important To Drink Water After A Massage

  1. Replenishing Lost Fluid. Drinking water after a massage is essential to replace the fluids lost during the therapy. This helps to maintain optimal hydration levels, which are crucial for all bodily functions, including muscle recovery and metabolic processes. Even mild dehydration can impair muscle function and increase the risk of soreness and cramps. Also it can affect your cognitive functioning. This review of various studies showed that dehydration could negatively impact the way the brain works.

  2. Aiding in Detoxification. With the stimulation of the lymphatic system during massage, adequate water intake is important to help the body excrete these toxins. This system relies heavily on adequate water to function. Drinking water after a massage helps to ensure that the lymphatic system can continue to transport and eliminate the metabolic byproducts released during the therapy .

  3. Preventing Muscle Soreness and Cramps. Proper hydration is vital for muscle function and can help prevent post-massage muscle soreness and cramps. Water helps to maintain the electrolyte balance necessary for muscle contraction and relaxation. Dehydration can lead to an imbalance in electrolytes, increasing the risk of cramps and muscle stiffness .

How To Stay Hydrated Before And After Your Massage

  • The easy one - drink water before and after your massage. Aim for at least a litre of water immediately after the massage and continue this for the next few days. If you get a a headache after your massage, its usually your body telling you to drink more water.

  • Add something to your water - I like lemon or lime and often drink sparkling water. For some reason it seems to be easier to drink more

  • Carry a water bottle with you - this will remind you and make it easier to get your water intake up

  • Eat foods with high water content - like watermelon

  • Cut down on dehydrating drinks like coffee or alcohol - if possible substitute for something that doesn't strip water from your body, especially after a massage


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