Why Should I Drink Water After a Massage?

Drinking water after a massage helps the body eliminate toxins that were released.
Drink water before and after a massage.
People can become dehydrated after a massage.
Drinking water after a massage helps keep the muscles hydrated.
Article Details
  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Drinking water after a massage is often recommended by massage therapists and other health care practitioners, for a variety of reasons. In fact, drinking water in general is a good idea, as the body benefits from proper hydration, and consuming water will help the kidneys and other organs process the various substances which move through the human body on a regular basis. Drinking water before a massage is also highly recommended, as it will make it easier for the massage therapist to perform deep work by hydrating the muscles so that they are easier to manipulate.

There are primary reasons for people to drink water after a massage. The first has to do with substances released by the muscles as the massage therapist manipulates them, and the second has to do with ensuring that the muscles of the body are properly hydrated.

In the case of the first reason, drinking the water 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, massage clients can help sweep away these waste materials; otherwise, they might build up, causing muscle aches and soreness after a massage.

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In the case of lymphatic massage, drinking the water is especially important, as the stimulation of the lymphatic circulation 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 a drain cleaner, so water helps flush the drain, in a sense.

Most importantly, people should drink water 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 drink water after exercise and other forms of exertion, 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 bring them back down to earth. After a massage, people can feel a bit spacey and disoriented, so having a glass of water while sitting on the massage table can help bring the body and mind back to the present, and it gives the client time to slowly return to the real world.

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Discuss this Article

anon340366
Post 9

Yes, a nice massage and lots of water is good.

bluedolphin
Post 8

Does massage also cause a loss of electrolytes? Is it better to drink water with electrolytes, vitamins and minerals after a massage?

fBoyle
Post 7
I didn't know that we are supposed to drink water after a massage but I do anyway. I always get really thirsty and also hungry after a relaxation massage and until now I never understood why.

I guess massage stimulates my body more than I realize. That makes me feel really good actually. I'm really happy to hear that I've been expelling toxins from my system this way. Getting a massage and then drinking water is basically detox!

stoneMason
Post 6

I don't know about more intense therapeutic massages like deep tissue massage because I've never had them. But I don't think it's that important to drink more water after a simple thirty minute massage. I don't think that the muscles lose much water to require drinking more water than usual.

anon222592
Post 4

I once visited one of those higher end gadget stores where they sell expensive massage chairs. The salesman put me in the chair and set it for a standard 30 minute shiatsu massage routine. Needless to say, it was a great experience. When I got up, however, the salesman said something that I had never heard before. He strongly recommended that I drink a lot of water as soon as possible.

I asked him why, and he said he had taken a few massage therapy classes in the past. The instructor told him that a vigorous massage will often stir up a lot of toxins trapped in the muscle tissues, and those toxins eventually collect in the bloodstream. People who receive intense massages should drink a lot of water in order to flush out those toxins faster.

Babalaas
Post 3

@ Alchemy- My mother is an acupuncturist, so I often get free acupuncture treatments. She also has a massage therapist that does deep tissue massage and cupping at her clinic. Even in her acupuncture treatments she recommends drinking a lot of water afterwards.

If I am remembering correctly, she is always telling me that acupuncture stimulates your chi and improves circulation. This must be why she is always telling me to drink lots of water and stay away from heavily caffeinated drinks after a treatment. This article and your response helped the bit about water after treatments make much more sense to me.

Alchemy
Post 2

I occasionally get cupping treatments which are similar to deep tissue massage. The first time I had the cupping done I felt like I was hung-over the next day. I asked my massage/cupping therapist why I felt like that and she said it was because I must not have drunk enough water.

She explained that cupping draws all of the excess salts and chemical contaminants from my muscle cells to the surface. She said it is very important to drink more water than I normally would until the circles from the cupping disappear.

On my next treatment I hydrated myself before and after the treatment and I was fine. I was amazed at how much of difference water made, and how much science was involved in a massage technique that is most often associated with alternative and herbal medicine.

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