Have you ever wondered why you are told to drink extra water after a massage?
Your therapist is not just honoring a nurturing instinct or lecturing you on good health. When your muscles are manipulated during a massage waste materials and other toxins are released from the muscles and into the blood stream. Just like when you exercise, massage, especially deep tissue or sports massage, dehydrates muscles and removes electrolytes. In order to help your kidneys process and flush out these toxins, it is important to drink additional water.
Water will help prevent unnecessary soreness, possible nausea, and an overall sluggish feeling. Your body is happy to get rid of all the "junk" it has been stocking but you need to help it along with extra H2O. Keeping your muscles hydrated regularly helps keep the tissue supple and healthy reducing tension and spasm.
There is debate about the actual amount of water that is considered the right amount. A good way to know you are hydrated is to make a point to drink your 8 glasses a day and if your urine is clear then, you are hydrated. If you are already a pro at staying hydrated, then go ahead and tack on an extra 3-4 glasses of water after a massage. Every body is different so you might have to test it out and see how much is enough for you. If the day after a massage you are stiff and fatigued, add on a couple more glasses the next go around. You will find your body feeling renewed and rejuvenated.
Receiving a massage does not burn calories (but giving a massage does!), Remedy cellulite, or take the place of exercise and a healthy diet. It does, however, increase muscle tone and the integrity of the skin. These are all things that benefit from good levels of hydration. More importantly, massage lowers cortisol, a stress hormone which is often responsible for weight gain. When cortisol levels are high, the body has a difficult time resting and digesting and this stress mode causes weight gain.
Massage can also decrease water retention in the body by wringing toxins and excess fluids out of the muscles, slating them for elimination. Adrenal glands and kidneys get a jump start and move waste materials more quickly through the body. As circulation improvements, skin appears healthier and smoother.
Massage sets the body up for the best conditions of optimal health and positive results show from the inside out.