Why Drink Water After a Massage?

glass of water with text overlay "why drink water after a massage?

When you go to a massage parlor, they always give you a glass of water to drink immediately after the massage.  You might have wondered why and if there is any benefit to you.

There are 4 reasons why you need to drink water after a massage.

Reasons to Drink Water After a Massage

You've heard it's important to drink water after a massage, so now let's look at the rationale behind the principle.  It is not one just of those massage myths!

massage oils and towels and candle at the spa

1. You need to re-hydrate

Up to sixty percent of our bodies are water. (1)  Massages can be dehydrating because when the massage therapist works the muscles in your body, fluids from your tissues are released.

The fluids move through your circulatory system and it heads toward your kidneys. That’s why you may feel the need to use the bathroom immediately after a massage.

The best way to rehydrate and get the fluids back in your body is to drink water.  You'll want to stay away from drinks with a lot of sugar or sodium.

woman gets a back massage

2. Flush the body of toxins

Stress and other factors cause toxins in the body to build up.  This can lead to a number of health issues that can affect your daily life.

The physical stimulation from a massage (whether it's Shiatsu, trigger point, or a even massage chair) helps to dissolve and eliminate toxin buildup. These toxins are released into the bloodstream and eventually get flushed out of the body through excretion.

Drinking water after your massage treatment will help get these toxins out of the body. If you don't get enough hydration, the toxins can remain in your system.

In general, it's important to try to always stay hydrated for many reasons, one being that it will help reduce the amount of toxins in the body.

woman getting a head and neck massage

3. Prevents headaches

Sometimes people report having a headache after their massage.  This may be indirectly caused by the massage because it can be dehydrating.

Even slight dehydration can lead to a headache.  When you haven't had enough water, your brain contracts and pulls away from the skull which outs pressure on nerves and causes pain. 

To prevent headaches make sure you drink enough before and after your massage.  If you are reading this and already have a headache, you can try these pressure points for headache relief or maybe an eye mask.

closeup of foot getting massaged

4. Reduce muscle soreness

It's not uncommon to feel sore after a massage.   The treatment may have worked muscles that you don't normally use and this could lead to delayed onset muscle aching.

If it was your first massage, you have a lot of tension, or you haven’t had one in a while, you are more likely to feel tender afterward.  Along with other benefits of regular massages, you will develop muscle memory and not get as sore.

Drinking water helps to speed up recovery time and alleviate feelings of soreness because it removes toxins from your body and keeps your muscles in proper working order.  Also keep in mind that when you are dehydrated you are more sensitive to pain.

How Much Water Should You Drink After a Massage?

In general, it's a good idea to drink at least 8 ounces of water after your massage.  Don't drink it too fast though.

Some people who typically drink more daily water than average, may want to drink more after a massage too.  See what feels right for you. 

glass of water

What if I Don't Like the Taste of Water, is There an Alternative?

Water is definitely the best option when it comes to hydration as most other drinks have sugar, artificial sweetners, or caffeine.  If you want to make the water taste better, try asking for a slice of lemon, lime, or cucumber and drop it in.

Should I Drink Water Before a Massage?

Yes.  It is important to be hydrated before you have a massage, but you should be careful not to over do it.  You don't want to have to go to the bathroom during your treatment.  

RELATED: Should You Eat Before a Massage?

Why Drink Water After a Massage

Now that you understand why it is beneficial to drink water after a massage, I hope you will make sure to do it.  Whether you had a massage at the spa or did it yourself at home, it will make a big difference in how your body feels.

You might also want to check out our massage tips and techniques for beginners.

Elena Curtis