Whether you have enjoyed your massage at home or in a spa, many a masseuse will recommend a glass of water at the end of the treatment. Is it really necessary and what benefits, if any, are there of drinking water straight after your massage?
We all know it feels pretty good to get a professional full body massage. There are also a whole host of health benefits such as increasing blood circulation, boosting the production of feel good hormones and reducing stress. But does massage help with the removal of toxins?
Sometimes, at the end of your session, you may hear yourself being told:
“Drink lots of water now, it will help flush away the toxins!”
Toxins are poisonous organic substances that can enter your body through many means. Breathing polluted air, eating bad food or coming into contact with contaminated products can all introduce toxins into your bloodstream. Dangerous toxins can even be produced from within our own cells.
Our bodies are naturally constantly working away to remove toxins. This is done through an intricate web of biological methods connecting our various organs. Your lymphatic system, lungs, liver and kidneys all play key parts in the cleansing process. Toxins are identified, filtered out and finally removed from your body altogether when you sweat, pee or poop.
Removing toxins from the body is therefore a complicated biological process. There is no scientific evidence to show that massage therapy either helps extract toxins or that drinking a glass of water after a massage will flush those toxins away.
Lactic acid is a by-product of normal metabolic activity and not a toxin. Whilst deep tissue massages do not release toxins they can help with the clearing of excess lactic acid that builds up in our muscles over time and after strenuous activities. There is evidence to suggest that muscle soreness can also be reduced through such methods.
There are many good reasons to drink water after your massage.
You will probably have noticed how you often need to pee during or after a massage. During deep tissue or sports massage therapy, your muscles are worked quite hard. Various organs throughout your body begin to work faster as a result and water is an essential element for the continued effective operation of these organs.
As blood beings to pump around your body more quickly and fluids such as excess lactic acid are carried away from muscles towards kidneys you may feel a need to urinate. As well as urinating, many people find they also heat up and sweat during a massage. As a result of these responses to massage, your body loses water and should be rehydrated.
In addition to the medical benefits of drinking water after a massage to avoid any dehydration, cooling down with a fresh glass of water feels great at the end of an intensive therapy session.
A nice idea is to fill a jug with water, ice and some sliced fruit (lemon, oranges or cucumber are popular choices) before your massage begins. Leave it by the side of your bed for the fruit slices to infuse. After an hour or so, you will have a lightly scented cool and healthy drink to enjoy. Your therapist may appreciate a glass too!