Go for a massage and the salon will probably offer you water before and after your bodywork session. That’s just a courtesy, right? Actually, most masseuses encourage you to drink extra after a treatment, saying that doing so flushes the toxins released during the massage. Other contend good hydration is essential to keep muscles functioning and it’s an opportune time to drink up.
Do you really need to drink more prior to and/or after a massage?
Does a Massage Mandate Flushing Toxins?
Turns out, the notion of drinking to “flush toxins” hasn’t been well studied, so we kind of don’t know.
Dr. Adam Perlman, M.D., executive director of Duke Integrative Medicine in Durham, N.C., told The New York Times a few years back that he wasn’t sure of any studies that support that idea that massages release toxins that have to be flushed away. On the other hand, he said it is possible the body could release metabolites after a massage—those are molecules that are byproducts of normal metabolic activity, and they wouldn’t be toxic or have to be flushed.
That said, it’s always a good idea to stay hydrated—why not during and after a massage as well? Perhaps a little extra water can help the body feel its best, especially if you have had deep tissue work. Maybe it can aid in reducing soreness as well.
While the medical advice may not clearly support the benefits of drinking water to “detox” after a massage, that doesn’t mean that drinking before or after a message isn’t a good idea.
Why to Drink Up Before/After a Massage
Many masseuses contend good hydration is essential to keep muscles functioning, so they use your salon visit an opportune time to drink up. It can also be a good time to chat up your masseuse whether you’re going in for body work or have just had it done. That time can enable you to get more information from the masseuse about the state of your muscles, and pick their brain on ways to keep them feeling good.
Here’s one more reason to drink prior to and/or after a massage: A massage reminds us to take care of ourselves, and proper hydration Is part of overall wellness. While you’re in the spa feeling your best, pause for a few seconds at the watercooler to continue recharging with a fresh drink. It can’t hurt!