Hydration: Everything You Need to Know Before Hitting the Spa
Whether you’re a sauna fanatic, monthly massage person, or the type who only gets pampered once in a blue moon, we all want to get the most out of our spa treatments. Making hydration a priority before, after, and during your session can help you get the most out of every treatment and walk out feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, and refreshed.
Keep reading as we plunge into the specifics of why hydration should be at the heart of any good spa experience.
Whether it’s Swedish, deep tissue, or lymphatic drainage, massage therapy can have immediate and lasting effects on our physical and mental wellbeing. Most people agree that the expert touch of a licensed massage therapist (not to mention the cozy bed, soothing music, and dimmed lights) make for a thoroughly relaxing experience. But a session on the table (or chair) can be more than just relaxing. “Massage assists in improving circulation and removing toxins from the body,” says health educator and Certified Massage Therapist W. Jai White.
For those of us who can’t swing a massage as often as we’d like, making the most of the treatments we do have is an absolute necessity. One way to ensure we’re getting the most bang for our buck? Yep, you guessed it: hydration, hydration, hydration. “Water helps the kidneys as they process nutrients and toxins within the body,” says White. Therefore, staying hydrated during your massage can help you get the best results.
You may not want to chug a gallon of water before settling in for an hour-long massage, though. But if you do need to pee during a session, don’t stress! It happens to the best of us. In fact, White says that running to the bathroom during or immediately after a massage can be, “a sign that the body is functioning properly to release toxins.” Opt for a quick bathroom break rather than trying to wait it out. You may miss out on 3 minutes of table time, but you’ll get more out of the treatment if you’re fully relaxed than if you’re squirming and counting down the minutes until you can run to the bathroom.
Is there anything better than a good old fashioned sweat? We think not. Hunkering down in a hot, dry sauna and sweating buckets can be totally transformative. If you’ve ever set foot in one of these tiny cedar deserts, you already know that extra hydration is absolutely mandatory. With temperatures as high as 195°, conditions inside a sauna are almost twice as hot as the hottest weather in the dead of summer. Unlike topping up before a massage, hydrating properly before hitting the sauna is more a matter of staying safe than maximizing benefits. Down one or two glasses of water before setting foot in the sauna, and again upon exiting. This is where Hydration Multiplier can be a gamechanger. With 2-3x the hydration of plain ol’ water, and 3x the electrolytes of traditional sports drinks, there’s no better way to prepare for a serious sweat.
Like a sauna, but also kind of the opposite. Steam rooms are hot and humid, like sitting inside of a warm cloud while the gentle whoosh of the steam valve lulls you into a state of full relaxation. As with their arid counterparts, a stint in a ~110° steam room will have you working up a sweat in no time. But don’t let the humid atmosphere trick you into thinking you’re not at risk for dehydration when, in fact, the opposite is true. Widespread condensation makes it difficult to tell whether you’re sweaty, or just dewy from all the moisture. But kid yourself at your own peril. The truth is you’re sweaty as heck and you need to drink up! Try one or two big glasses of water before and after each steam sesh. Again, Hydration Multiplier is a great way to preempt the inevitable fluid loss.
Now, let’s review what we’ve learned. If you’re laying down for a massage, hydrate. If you’re hunkering down for a sweat, hydrate. If you’re settling in for a steam, hydrate. When in doubt, hydrate! Your body—and your massage therapist—will thank you. Happy pampering, LIV Fam!
Written by Cleo Gold