Hydration and keeping muscle tissue healthy

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Human bodies are approximately 70% water. Just think about that for a moment.

Think about how much water you drink on a daily basis. Is it enough?

How do you know you are hydrated enough?

If you’re drinking a fair amount of water and going to the toilet regularly, you are probably pretty hydrated. Have a look at the colour, the darker it is the more dehydrated you are. You might think it depends on how thirsty you are, but research has shown that the thirst sensation doesn't kick in properly until you're already dehydrated.

Proper and consistent hydration is keys to feeling and looking your best. It is recommended that you drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.

No matter how hard you are watching what you eat, you always need to drink plenty of water to re-hydrate, especially after exercise (and also after having a massage) to replenish any fluid that have been lost.

Good hydration will improve the transport of oxygen and nutrients through all your cells. Hydration is very important when it comes to keeping muscle tissue healthy.

Muscles are about 75% water.

When trying to build strong, high-quality muscles for weight training, people eat high levels of proteins, carbs and fats. Most will take supplements but unfortunately, most of us forget about the most essential nutrient for keeping muscle tissue healthy – water.

Increasing the strength of the muscles

Muscles must have a high level of strength in order to encourage overall growth.

A study was conducted and published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research which found that just 1.5% percent of water loss in the body quickly reduced the amount of muscle strength that the individuals being studied had. Other studies have indicated that during aerobic exercise, for example in running or cycling, performance begins to decrease when dehydration progressively exceeds 2-3% body weight loss. Knowing these facts, it is sensible to drinking a sufficient amount of water on a regular basis.

Preventing muscle breakdown

The amount of water that is located in the cells of the body plays a large role in whether the muscles start to experience any type of breakdown. If a muscle starts to break down, the muscle growth will completely stop. Additionally, if the body experiences a shortage of water, the cells in the body will start to shrink and the protein contained within the body will also start to breakdown.

By increasing the amount of hydration within the body, we can successfully increase the amount of muscle in the body, as water has a direct influence on the construction and strength of new muscle.

For any type of training, be it running or weight training, staying hydrated is essential to good performance and health. We suggest getting a bottle that you can fill up and take with you every day to remind you to drink and monitor how much you have had.

Massage and hydration

It is important to drink plenty of water before AND after your massage, for several reasons. So why is this?

Before: Hydrated muscles are easier to massage, so drink enough water a day or two before your massage to maximise the effect of your massage.

After: Toxins and chemicals tend to be stored by the body in your fat cells. When you have a massage, those cells are stimulated and the toxins released. This can make you feel a little lightheaded for a short period of time. Drinking plenty of water after your massage helps your body to flush out the toxins.

For any questions about how to prepare for your massage, or to talk to one of our massage therapists, or schedule your massage today, contact us. More information about all of our massage therapy services can be found at www.fireandearthuk.com.