Why Drink Water After a Massage?

Why You Should Drink Water After a Massage

By Marena Galluccio

Massages are truly a treat. You get to relax, recuperate, and get funky knots rubbed out of your body. Sometimes, they might make you want to fall asleep. Other times, you might notice some soreness and discomfort. Either way, one of the best things you can do to help your body recover after a massage is to hydrate with some water. 

If you are the type of person who often feels sore after a massage, you might be wondering why that is – after all, isn’t the point of a massage to work out soreness, not increase it? Some of the questions you might have are: Could it be from toxins? What can we do about it? How can drinking water help? This article will break down why you might be feeling some pain after a massage and how you can stop some of the soreness

Why You Might Feel Pain After a Relaxing Massage

While you might massage tight muscles to help relax them, there is a very high chance that an intense one, like a deep tissue massage, might cause a lot of soreness. 

This happens because the goal of massaging is to bring in blood and nutrients to your muscles and push out toxins. Once massaged, your body tries to repair itself which can cause inflammation and soreness. This can especially happen if the muscles massaged are not used as often as others.

With more regular massaging, this soreness will decrease as your body becomes more accustomed to it. 

woman drinking water in a robe after a workout

How You Can Treat Soreness and Pain After a Massage

If you have just walked out of the massage room and feel sore, there are many options to help with this:

  1. Drink lots of water

    Grabbing a glass of water should be the first thing you should do after a massage. Just like working out, your muscles were put to work. Water can help flush away toxins or even acids that may have been relieved from your muscles. You can also choose coconut water, fruit or veggie juices, and even herbal teas, but it is best to refrain from drinking drinks with alcohol, sugar, and caffeine.

  2. Stretch, stretch, stretch

    Performing a light stretch can also help soothe out your sore muscles. It can also help with circulation and help with your flexibility. With just a few minutes of stretching, your body will start to feel more limber.

  3. Add some heat

    Relax with some heat therapy. Either jump in the shower, or soak in a hot bath (with your favorite bath bomb, of course!) Have an area that is especially sore? Lay a heating pad for fifteen minutes to soothe out that specific space. 

  4. Get some rest

    It might take some time for your body to heal itself from your massage. Simply relax by reading a book, watching a movie, or taking a nap. You can’t go wrong when you are paying attention to your body’s need to slow down. 

  5. Meditate for a bit

    Guided meditation is not just beneficial for your mind, it can also help relieve tension. With post-massage soreness, sometimes all you want is to sit and embrace the relaxation you just went through. Spend some time meditating and tune in to your body.

  6. Press on the cold

    Embracing the cold can also help with inflammation and soreness. Similar to adding a heat pad, you can add an ice pack for fifteen minutes a few times a day to help chill the inflammation out. 

  7. Use some herbs

    Herbs like turmeric, garlic, and clove can be taken in pill form, in a tea, or as a tincture to help with muscle relaxation. 

  8. Grab the topical treatments

    If you have some kind of muscle rub, you can massage it into the ones that are sore. These can help the muscles – and you – relax and relieve the pain. 

  9. Roll on some essential oils

    Essential oils can actually help soothe your muscles. Roll some on or add a drop to your shower. Some of the most helpful oils for pain relief include peppermint, helichrysum, and marjoram oils. Be sure to mix it with carrier oil before applying. 

woman holding a water bottle after a workout

Other Massage-Related Questions, Answered 

    1. What toxins are released after massage?

      When people say massaging releases toxins from the body, it is not items that should not be in your body and are there. Instead it is actually a buildup of natural byproducts of the body. It is the “waste” that is produced by cells that is the result of cells generating fuel. 

    2. Why do I feel pain after a deep tissue massage?

      Deep tissue massage is used for many different reasons including knots, stiffness, and even chronic pain. A massage practitioner will apply pressure, friction, and deep strokes to reach deep within your muscles. There is a possibility that they might be working around or on scar tissue, knots, and adhesions which can be uncomfortable or even painful. Deep tissue massage can help with chronic back pain, lowering high blood pressure, and break up scar tissue and knots. 

    3. How much water should you drink?

      Every day a person should drink at least eight glasses of water. Every body is different so it is best to observe if you are dehydrated or not after a massage. You can drink a couple of extra glasses of water for the following few days to ensure that your body is hydrated and your muscles stay loose and limber. Pay attention to how clear your urine is to determine if you should drink more or are in a good zone.  

    4. When should I get a massage? 

      There are many reasons why you should get a massage and how often. For example, if you are expecting mom, you should be going biweekly. If you suffer from insomnia, weekly might be the trick for you. If you have chronic pain, you may want to go weekly or biweekly depending on your situation. 

  1. If I am not a huge fan of drinking water, what can I do to make it more bearable? 

    Either you are a person who enjoys drinking water or you are just not. Water can be hard to chug if you are someone who thinks that it is bland and has no flavor or are someone who hates tasting all of the impurities in it. Adding some flavor can help! Throw some citrus slices like lemons or limes into your water or other fruit like blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries. Feel free to even mix them together for some flavorful fun. And do not forget to add some fresh herbs like mint!

person receiving a back massage

Final Thoughts on Addressing Soreness After a Massage

A massage can be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience, but it can leave you feeling sore for days. After accepting that this pain is a good sign of your muscles being worked with, you can address the soreness in a multitude of ways. But first things first: drink lots of water before heading to the bathroom closet to grab topical treatments. With these tips and tricks, you will feel better after your massage in no time. 

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