There is a lot of conflicting information around massage and what to or not to do after a massage. However, drinking water after a massage is rarely contented - most experts recommend this. But why is drinking water after a massage so beneficial?
In this article, Breeze Academy explains this, as well as providing advice on how much water to drink and other things that are recommended after a massage appointment to maximise results.
So, why drink water after a massage? It is highly recommended to drink around 500ml water immediately after a massage appointment to prevent dehydration. Massage can naturally cause dehydration, therefore it is essential to drink more water than usual to offset this. The NHS recommends 6-8 glasses of water per day as standard.
Read on to learn more about why drinking water after a massage is so crucial for good health.
Why Should You Drink Water After a Massage?
There are a number of reasons why experts recommend drinking water after a massage. These commonly include:
Feeling thirsty or experiencing dry mouth
To prevent symptoms of dehydration such as fatigue and headaches
To flush out toxins
Massage can be dehydrating. Manipulating the muscles can dehydrate them and result in clients feeling as if they have done intense exercise (akin to DOMS). As such, clients need to drink water before and after massage to prevent muscle dehydration.
Following on from the above, this dehydration can cause a number of other symptoms such as fatigue, headaches and muscle cramps.
Some people sweat more than usual during massage and therefore need more water to make up for what was lost.
Flushing Out Toxins
Some experts believe that massage releases toxins into the body and recommend drinking water after the massage to help flush out these toxins. However, it’s important to note that massage does not release toxins. Learn more about this in our dedicated blogs, Can Deep Tissue Massage Cause Flu-Like Symptoms? and Can a Sports Massage Release Toxins and Make You Sick?
How Much Water Should You Drink After a Massage?
Experts recommend drinking around 8 glasses of water on a massage day. Specifically, they recommend drinking around 500ml of water immediately after the massage.
The NHS recommends drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day on an average day. Depending on what you’re doing on a given day, such as massage or exercise, you may need to drink more.
Other Things to Do After a Massage
As well as drinking water after a massage, there are a number of other things that experts recommend clients do after an appointment. These include:
Some massages, such as Sports Massage or Deep Tissue Massage, can cause muscle ache akin to what people often experience after exercise. Stretching essentially works to realign the muscle fibres and improve muscle recovery.
Some people report feeling a little light-headed after a massage; this may be a result of not eating enough beforehand. Following a massage the body needs to refuel. It is recommended to take a light snack to massage appointments to eat afterwards. Bananas or nuts are great options.
It’s not always possible, but it’s recommended to schedule massage appointments at times where rest is possible afterwards. This prolongs the feeling of relaxation for as long as possible - maximising the benefits of massage.
What Not to Do After a Massage
Naturally, there are a number of things that are recommended to avoid after a massage in order to maximise the benefits. These include:
- Don’t shower immediately after a massage. This will wash off the massage oils which have a number of benefits themselves.
- If a shower is necessary after a massage, avoid a hot shower. This will increase inflammation.
- Likewise, it is recommended to not use heat to reduce any aches and pains associated with the massage. Use cold therapy instead.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol. This may negatively impact hydration.
Drinking water after a massage is highly recommended for a number of reasons, however, the primary reason for doing this is to ensure proper hydration. Massage can cause dehydration, particularly more intense massages. Therefore, consuming a healthy amount of water is strongly recommended to prevent symptoms such as headache, fatigue and aches and pains.
Learn more about massage therapy in our Sports Massage Training courses. Curated and delivered by expert clinicians, our courses provide you with everything you need to safely and effectively provide massage to clients. If you’re completely new to massage, take a look at our level 3 course. For those more experienced, our level 4 course may be more suitable.