Post massage hydration furthers the work that your LMT accomplished during your appointment. Whether you came in because your muscles were sore and tense or massage therapy is part of your wellness regime, the recommendation to consume more water is meant to rehydrate your muscles and achieve the most beneficial outcome for your body’s wellbeing.
You already know that drinking water is good for your health, but do you know why? Optimum functioning bodily systems happen when you are fully hydrated leading to:
- Balance body temperature;
- Regulate blood pressure;
- Improve mood;
- Boost memory;
- Increase productivity.
Water is foundational to life!
How massage therapy affects your muscles.
Similar to exercise, massage therapy can dehydrate muscles and remove electrolytes. To counteract this, make sure to increase water intake before and after your massage appointment to mitigate muscle soreness.
Kneading and working the muscles gets fluid pumping out of the soft tissue, into the circulatory system, then down towards your kidneys. That’s why you may have to urinate right after a massage. Increasing water consumption will help replenish the muscles.
You may also experience metabolic waste – substances leftover from metabolic processes (such as cellular respiration). Metabolic waste is produced by muscles in the course of everyday function. When muscles are tight or adhesions and trigger points are present, circulation is constricted in those areas. This inhibits the body’s ability to flush out waste. Massage therapy relaxes the tension, releasing the circulatory pathways and allowing nitrogenous metabolic waste to enter into the system. Hydrating provides your kidneys with the water needed to effectively eliminate the newly released waste.
Does massage therapy release toxins?
In general, massage therapy is a recommended treatment for muscle tightness, pain, stress, mobility issues, injuries or for relaxation. It is not a prescription for ridding the body of toxins.
A toxin is a poison of plant or animal origin that induces an immune response. The human body naturally rids itself of “toxins” through its metabolic systems, excreting them through the liver, kidneys, and digestive system via sweat, urine, feces and even vomit (during illness). Massage therapy doesn’t change how these systems perform and there’s no scientific evidence proving that massage therapy affects toxin release in the body.
What about lactic acid?
Lactic acid is naturally occurring fuel for the body, not a toxin! When our oxygen supply drops, such as during exercise, our body converts glycogen to lactic acid and uses it as an energy source. When you are done exercising, your liver converts any leftover lactic acid back to glycogen. Although drinking water post massage won’t flush out lactic acid, it will make sure your muscles are fully hydrated.
If you ensure your body receives an abundance of water daily, your muscle tissue will remain healthy and ready to respond to each daily functional need. Be smart and kind to your body by drinking hydrating pre and post massage!