Water Consumption and Massage Therapy: How Much Is Enough?
If you’ve ever had a massage before you’ve heard us say “drink tons of water to keep from getting nauseas and help flush out toxins”. If you heed our advice, you should feel refreshed and relaxed after a massage; if you don’t drink enough water, you’ll feel lethargic, tired, and sick to your stomach. Why does water consumption affect us so much during and after a massage?
To understand the effects of water, you must first understand what massage does for your body. Massage affects more than just your muscles; it increases circulation, hydrates your muscle tissues, provides an increase of blood flow, and to release blocks in your muscles. The therapist works on finding those blocked areas of tight muscles and works them out to increase blood flow and rush in nutrients your body has been trying to provide to that area. When you experience a mini-flush of feel-good warmth, that’s your therapist releasing the restricted blood flow.
So, how are those toxins entering your body? When you use medications to ease pain of any kind, those pills leave trace toxins behind. Compact that with physical and/or emotional stress, a poor diet (including excessive drinking or smoking) and toxins needle their way in and make home inside of your muscles. The combination will cause muscle tightness and spasms. Muscles will also spasm with extreme dehydration as well. Lactic acid, cortisol, and dehydration also contribute to knots in your muscles.
When toxins build up in your system it causes your muscles to become more rigid, you’ll feel sluggish, and lead you to make poor decisions keeping that vicious circle going. An athlete’s performance will be threatened by injury, and the nutritional deprivation will continue to affect the everyday life.
Water not only flushes out the lactic acid and metabolic waste that cause these knots, it also provides the much needed hydration a working muscle searches for during the healing process. It is important to note how much water you should consume on a daily basis. Take your weight in pounds, divide it in half and drink that number of ounces in water. If you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water. Drink water consistently throughout the day; if you try to chug, you’ll overload your system and a majority of the liquid will go straight through your system.
Have a discussion with your therapist before your appointment about the type of massage you will be having, and how much water they suggest you have before your session.