Are YOU drinking enough water to combat the Daily Grind?
Imagine this: You’ve just wrapped up a fantastic massage with your Board Certified Massage Therapist (BCTMB), feeling relaxed and ready to take on the day’s challenges. As you exchange a friendly “see you next time,” your therapist hands you a refreshing glass of water. To you, this may seem like a courteous act to conclude your session—but this is really meant to do so much more.
As a Board Certified Massage Therapist, I am often asked why I offer water to clients after a massage. The answer is really much more in-depth than most clients expect! That’s why I find it vital to put together a few key thoughts on the benefits of water for massage therapy and beyond to share with your clients (and fellow therapists!).
Why is water important to our bodies?
The “human frame” (as my late mother would call it) is made up of over 70% water—we are literally designed to run on water and minerals! Throughout the hustle and bustle of our Daily Grind, we are constantly losing fluids. We lose water as it evaporates from our skin, as we breathe, and, of course, as we pass fluids throughout the day. Fact is, we can easily lose nearly 12 cups of water every day—and that’s without exercise and regular bodywork! When we exercise, it is essential to replenish water, as well as after a massage, to aid the natural detoxification process of the human frame.
As we head into the summer season, water becomes even more critical to our health and wellness. It can help prevent headaches, fatigue, and even hunger. If you do not retain enough water, your body will become dehydrated—which often leads to low energy, joint pain, back pain, mental confusion, stomach pain, and muscle aches, to name a few. In short, tissues dry up, dehydrate, and then exhibit dysfunction.
How much water should I drink?
Let’s calculate how much water you really need to combat that Daily Grind: The average, sedentary (non-active) person requires 1/2 an ounce of water per pound of body weight, per day. That works out to ten 8 ounce glasses a day if you weigh 160lbs. For every additional 25lbs you exceed your ideal weight, increase it by one 8 ounce glass. For individuals who are more active and athletic, a 2/3 ounce per pound of body weight of water is required each day.
Why is water important to other professions?
Massage therapy is not the only profession that advocates for the essential benefits of water. It’s crucial to note that water is just as important to many other professions, such as healthcare, naturopathy, sports/fitness, dermatology, and more. With a few glasses of water each day (or may be 10!), it’s never been easier to look and feel your best—and do your body a whole lot of good!
Several notable benefits of drinking water include:
- Detoxification of the body
- An excellent substitute to coffee, tea, or soda (that otherwise stain the teeth)
- Hydration of muscles, skins, and glands
- Clearer skin
- Weight loss/calorie control
- Increased productivity
- Improved digestion
- Avoidance of dehydration
- Fueling of the muscles
- Source of immunity from sickness/feeling under the weather
- And more!
How do I remember to drink that much water?
The challenge for many of us (therapists and clients alike!) is finding unique yet simple ways to incorporate more water into our daily routines. With the hustle and bustle of the Daily Grind, it’s easy to let hydration slip by the wayside when you’re busy with meetings, phone calls, children, activities, and more—but it’s really much easier than you think!
Below are some quick tips to help you form better healthy hydration habits:
- Drink an 8oz glass of water first thing in the morning. Not only will this help you wake up feeling refreshed, but it will help hydrate your body from the minute you wake up.
- Keep a water tally. Track of the number of glasses you drink each day or purchase a water bottle with a dial you can turn each time you fill it up to make sure you reach your daily goal.
- Bring a water bottle with you to your massage. This will ensure you continue to hydrate well after you have left your session, further detoxifying your body.
- Always bring a water bottle to the gym. Regardless of your chosen activity, this will ensure you are hydrating your muscles and refueling your body as you sweat away calories.
- Don’t fear spicy foods. If you enjoy food with a kick, such as Indian food, water will be your very best friend in helping to wash down the spice (and hydrate, too!).
- Set smartphone reminders. By simply setting a reminder on your smartphone or tablet to drink water, you’ll find it’s easier to form the healthy habit without even thinking about it.
- Get creative with your water options. A simple way to switch up your routine and surprise your taste buds is to add a lemon, lime, or orange wedge to your water for a refreshing taste.
- Leave your water bottle in plain sight. It’s hard to forget something when you are staring right at it—whether it be on your desk, in your car, or kitchen counter. You’ll remember to drink more often.
- Drink only water at restaurants. If you’re worried about not finding enough time in your busy schedule to fill up your water bottle, commit to only ordering water when you eat out on that business luncheon or dinner—saving you calories and cash!
- Make it a family affair. If you have younger kids, create a fun and interactive family competition where members can add tallies or stars for each glass of water they drink.
As you can see, water is a key ingredient in a healthy lifestyle for numerous reasons. In massage therapy, we encourage healthy hydration habits to ensure you get the most out of your massage session—making certain you are relaxed, hydrated, and ready to take on the Daily Grind well after you have left our facility. With all of the creative and fun tips listed here, I encourage you to talk with your Board Certified Massage Therapist (BCTMB) about the best hydration habits for you and your body. Continue the conversation at home with family and friends to see what more you all will do as a team to treat your body right.
Tell us! What’s your greatest benefit from drinking water?
Massage therapists! Why do you encourage clients to drink water after a massage?
This blog was written by:
Dr. Leena S. Guptha
D.O., MBA, BCTMB