Monday, December 23, 2013

How Much Water Should I Drink After a Massage?

I worked on a client the other day who frequents our clinic, but who I have only seen a couple of times over the past couple of years. He is a particularly inquisitive client and likes to get each different therapist's unique perspective on his situation, by asking thoughtful questions throughout the massage. I like his questions, because I feel that he takes advantage of my hands and my brain, which keeps me more mentally engaged in his needs in that session.
When leaving this last time, he asked me, "How much water should I drink after a massage?" I have several stock answers, because it's a common question, but my most common answer is "The most important thing is to stay well hydrated all the time. One half your body weight in ounces- for example, if you weigh 100 pounds, drink 50 ounces of water daily, to maintain normal hydration. Then, drink a bit more, like you've had a good workout, to minimize soreness from the massage."

Hydration is very subjective, however. My inquisitive client got me thinking. Staying hydrated all the time is the key. It's just like sleeping habits. If I only sleep 4-5 hours a night with ambient noise and light, most nights, then sleeping 12 hours on the weekend days isn't going to help much. I get clients who come in with a gallon jug of water and start chugging as soon as they stand up from the table. If they are primarily drinking diet soda and coffee most days, and only have a little bit of water daily, that gallon after the massage is an extreme change. The body doesn't handle extreme changes well. The body prefers consistent, well balanced habits. The gallon chugger probably isn't going to hurt himself, if he is already well hydrated from consistent intake of clean water as a daily practice.So, like getting a good night's sleep regularly, staying hydrated consistently will keep the body functioning optimally before, during, and after the massage.

Check out this nifty Water Intake Calculator with several unit conversions.

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