“Stretch x,y,z, ice if you are sore, and DRINK LOTS OF WATER.” It’s my go-to recommendation for my clients after a massage.
Recently, my fiance asked me, “But why should I drink water? What does it actually do?”
While it was a great question, I was slightly annoyed because yet again I had already told him the answer to a question :/ But nonetheless it is a good question!
I recommend it to all of my clients, but I don’t think I always explain the reasoning behind it.
So here it is, these are the reasons why you should be drinking water after a massage.
Water After A Massage Helps You Feel Less Sore
Massage stretches muscles, manipulates how muscles and connective tissue sit, and can even create micro tears in the muscle tissue.
Sounds a lot like exercises, right? (Unfortunately, a monthly massage isn’t going to get you back into your high school jeans. I know you were thinking it!)
Like exercises, massage can be very taxing on our muscles. Water can help flush out debris from microtears along with waste from regular metabolic processes. If this waste sits in your muscles, it can lead to pain and muscle soreness. Not what you want after you just got a massage.
Avoid The After-Massage “Hangover”
We just explained that massage can create micro tears in muscles. It also can break up scar tissue and adhesions.
While these things may be needed to make a positive change, this excess waste in your bloodstream can leave you feeling lethargic, getting flu like symptoms, and almost feeling hungover.
The more water you drink, the faster it will get flushed out of your system and the less likely you will experience these side effects.
Water Is Good For You
Here is when I get on my soapbox and tell you that most people don’t get enough water in the first place. Telling them to drink water is a nice reminder to do a task they should already be doing.
Not drinking enough water? I can usually tell. Dehydrated muscles aren’t as pliable and don’t respond to massage treatment as quickly. Drinking water BEFORE a massage is another way to to avoid soreness because hydrated muscle is less likely to tear under deep pressure.
I try to aim to drink half of my body weight in ounces each day. So a 200 lb person would want to drink 100 ounces of water. Got it?
I typically don’t count the water I drink during workouts and I try to add an extra water bottle after massages. Everyone’s a little different, this just seems to work best for me 🙂