03 Oct Your Recipe for a Better Massage
When we think about massage therapy, our minds don’t necessarily go to our stomachs. What many of us fail to realize is that food and drink each play a significant role in our overall massage experience. Following these simple suggestions will help you feel great during and after your treatments:
Eat Lean and Light
Having a massage when you’re hungry isn’t ideal, but feeling too full is no better. It’s best to have a small, healthy snack or a light meal about one to two hours before treatment. Doing so will ensure that your digestive system isn’t working overtime trying to process a heavy meal. Lying on the treatment table will be more comfortable, and there won’t be any distraction from a grumbling belly.
Hydrate with H2O
Therapists are constantly telling their clients to hydrate post-treatment for two main reasons. First, just like after a workout, drinking water helps to rehydrate muscles, lessening the chance of soreness. Second, water helps the kidneys flush away the toxins released during a massage. The more you drink, the easier it is for your body to expel the waste circulating in your system.
Cut the Caffeine
Coffee, tea, soda and chocolate—necessary evils for many—but it’s best to minimize or avoid consumption of these caffeinated products before a massage. Elevated levels of caffeine cause a surge in your nervous system, lessening your ability to fall into that deep state of relaxation. Caffeine is also a known diuretic. This extra fluid loss makes rehydrating after treatment a greater challenge.
Bypass the Booze
Since massage stimulates circulation, the influence of alcohol in the bloodstream is amplified when the two are combined. Your body is required to flush out the toxic release from the treatment, as well as the alcohol, creating extra stress on your system. Like caffeine, alcohol is a diuretic and causes dehydration.
Refuel with Real Food
Therapists recommend eating whole, clean, nutrient-dense foods after a massage treatment to restore worked muscles and regulate blood pressure. This means a meal made up of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, good fats, leafy greens, fresh fruits and veggies.
Just when you thought massage couldn’t get any better, try following these dietary suggestions to take your treatment to the next level. Making better choices about what goes into your body before and after massage will help maximize the many positive health benefits of each treatment.