The Importance of Hydrating Before and After Massage

The Importance of Hydrating Before and After Massage
Health and Wellness, Tips

We all know water is good for us. It’s the foundation of life. We may survive weeks without food, but can only survive days without water. Every single one of the trillions of cells in our body needs water. It’s in our blood, helps our bodies digest food, cushions our joints, and helps our bodies get rid of waste…just to name a few.


Hydrating your muscles

Your muscles need water too.

A muscle cramp happens when a muscle gets tight (contracts) without you trying to tighten it. They are common and often occur when a muscle is overused or injured. You’re more likely to get a cramp if you exercise when you haven’t had enough fluid or when you have low levels of minerals such as potassium or calcium.

Dr. Francis Wang, the team physician for Harvard athletics, says, “Athletes who have had muscle cramps may need to drink extra, and may need more electrolytes.”

If your muscle cells are dehydrated and lack fluid, you won’t feel as good as you could after your massage. Being properly hydrated reduces your risk of “massage malaise.” And didn’t you come for a massage in order to feel better?

So make sure you have some water before and after your massage.


Why water?

There are many things you can drink to stay hydrated, but we recommend water.

Sports drinks, for example, are popular for athletes because they replenish some of the sugar the muscles burned, and some of the electrolytes (minerals) that were released in sweat. Sports drinks can be a good idea for endurance athletes and those who are physically active for long periods of time. But for most people, sports drinks provide unnecessary (and sometimes excessive) amounts of sugar. And this can lead to weight gain and increased inflammation.

This is why we recommend water.


When should you drink water?

The number one clue that tells you you need to drink is thirst. We get thirsty when our fluid levels get too low. This is from a cascade of events in our brains and kidneys to make sure we have optimal fluid levels in our bodies.

Not only does the water you drink support your muscles, but it also helps to support your kidneys as they filter your blood to get rid of unwanted waste.

Do you ever notice your urine colour? It gets darker when you’re thirsty. This is your body trying to hold on to water when it needs to while still getting rid of waste. And the opposite applies too. When you have enough water, your body dumps more of it along with the waste, so the urine becomes more diluted and lighter in colour.

Water is needed for your overall health, and muscle health. As Harvard Health says, “trust thirst, drink water.


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