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  • Mary Carolla

Why should you drink water after a massage?

I frequently tell my clients to drink water after their massage sessions. It’s a healthy habit to have, and keeps your body nice and hydrated, which helps you hang on to the positive effects of your massage. Now that the weather is getting hot, it’s a good time to remind ourselves to reach for that water bottle.

Here are some great reasons to drink water (anytime, not just after a massage).

You’re thirsty - Thirst is your body is telling you it’s not in homeostasis and needs some balance. Unlike many other species on the planet, humans need to consistently take in water since we have no way to store reserves. Small sips throughout the day are more beneficial in allowing the body to absorb water than guzzling a whole glass or two at once.

It helps maintain normal organ function - Drinking water is essential for proper organ function. Your brain is made up of 60-70% water so being even mildly dehydrated can lead to fatigue, concentration issues, and even headaches. Your kidneys and liver use water to filter different minerals, nutrients and other metabolic byproducts to either be used by the body or eliminated. Your intestines use water to help move things along. Not drinking enough water can cause your colon to absorb too much water and lead to constipation and chronic constipation can lead to more serious health concerns.

It can lower your blood pressure - When you are dehydrated, your blood becomes thicker and less able to move fluidly throughout your body. Thicker blood can also decrease circulation. This can cause your heart to have to pump harder and faster and less blood to be circulated into the brain which can lead to fatigue issues and headaches. So next time you have a headache, try drinking a glass or two of water before reaching for the ibuprofen. (If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, continue to follow your doctor’s instructions.)

It protects your skin from cuts - Dehydrated skin sticks to muscle tissue, making it thinner because it needs to stretch to cover more surface area. This can also make you more prone to cuts. Hydrated skin is healthy skin. (Well-hydrated skin looks great, too.)

It lubricates your joints - Your joints have synovial fluid in them. This fluid makes joints able to move properly through full range of motion without rubbing against one another and causing friction or pain. (Think about how oil works in a car engine.) The cartilage in your joints also contains water. Being dehydrated can lead to more joint inflammation and possibly joint damage. Staying hydrated helps you move freely.

It helps you sleep better - Your body needs water to produce the sleep hormone melatonin. Decreased levels of melatonin can lead to a disruption in your circadian rhythm which makes it more difficult to fall or stay asleep.

Those are some pretty good reasons! So, people need to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day, right?

Not exactly.

The equation for how much water one should drink is a bit complex, but we often overlook the water we get through our diet. Fruits, vegetables and other foods we eat increase our water intake. Drinking other liquids including coffee, tea, and other non-alcoholic beverages can count toward our daily water intake as long as we are cautious of additives like caffeine or sugar, which have other side effects.

So the next time you feel thirsty, go ahead and and drink some water, and know you’re doing your body good.

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