How many times have you heard this: after your massage, drink a glass of water, it will help flush out the toxins?
I was discussing this with one of our massage therapists, Jessica. We, and many other therapists, have been taught that this is true. And Jessica says: yes, it’s true.
I say: not exactly. Toxins are substances in your system such as poison, venom, etc. What the water helps to flush out are impurities such as preservatives in our food. That’s why I have quality water that I offer to my clients after their massage: because it helps eliminate impurities and as basic refreshment. Jessica and I did both agree that it definitely doesn’t hurt. But the question remained: is there any real medical/scientific proof that it eliminates the impurities?
I started with what my wife calls “the plain ol’ vanilla dictionary definition” of the words themselves: toxin and impurity.
An online search revealed these 2 definitions:
- “… any of various poisonous substances produced by microorganisms that stimulate the production of neutralizing substances (antitoxins) in the body.: and
- “A poisonous substance. … Toxins can be products or byproducts of ordinary metabolism, such as lactic acid, and they must be broken down or excreted before building up to dangerous levels.”
I hadn’t realized that lactic acid was a toxin, and the online dictionary’s source for number 2 is the American Heritage Science Dictionary – so it’s credible.
The reason I questioned the assumption that water flushes out toxins immediately after a massage came when I read about the British Medical Journal’s article stating that the need to drink eight glasses of water a day is unproven. They believe the source of this misconception came from misreading a 1945 study that encouraged this quantity of water intake. People missed the sentence where it was acknowledged that much of this water is also contained in prepared foods.
Stay tuned as I continue to look for the answer to this question: is it a proven fact that water flushes out toxins/impurities after massage, or does it fall under “well it can’t hurt.”
Do you know of any articles that address this? Please respond here, or on our Facebook page.