This Summer - Stay Hydrated!03 Dec
2019 Tagged as
Posted by Evolve College News
The summer heat is here, and it’s looking to only get hotter as we venture further into the summer months. We all know it’s important to drink water and stay hydrated, but are we so used to receiving this advice that we overlook its importance? What does staying hydrated really mean?
Everyone regardless of their profession needs to keep themselves hydrated, but as a massage therapist there are two key factors that make it even more important to prioritise your H2O.
- You stand for long periods of time
- You may work in a room that is warmer than average
Both these factors, combined with the heat of summer, mean that your body may require extra fluids. Keep a water bottle handy at all times, and have sips between clients and during breaks. It is important not to wait until you’re feeling thirsty to drink, as thirst usually indicates that dehydration has already occurred.
What is dehydration?
Your body is made up of two thirds water, and is constantly losing water through the various physical processes that occur on a daily basis. In the summer heat, additional fluids are lost through increased perspiration. Dehydration basically means that your body is losing more fluids than it is taking in, and it can no longer function optimally. Dehydration can range from mild, moderate and severe and will need to be treated differently depending on which you’re experiencing. For example, mild dehydration can be treated by simply drinking water or an electrolyte solution, where-as severe dehydration will require urgent medical attention. Usually, the early symptoms of dehydration are feelings of thirst, dizziness, darker coloured and decreased amount of urine, headaches and lethargy. Interestingly however, being only slightly dehydrated can have negative effects on one’s cognitive function and mood.
How much do I really need to drink to stay hydrated?
There are a few differing opinions on this one – but generally health authorities recommend eight 8-ounce glasses a day (2 litres), but may also depend on your level of physical activity. If you can, try and avoid sugary drinks as a rehydration tool, as these when drunk excessively may cause more harm than good. If you find drinking plain water dull, then add a slice of lime or lemon to it to make it more exciting.
What about my client?
It is good practice to always have water on hand in your waiting room for your clients to drink both before and after their session. At the conclusion of the session, especially if the weather is warmer, you may want to recommend to your client that they have a drink before they leave, however no need to pressure them if they do not feel like it. There are some theories to suggest that drinking large amounts of water following on from a massage session can essentially ‘flush’ out toxins from the body, however there is currently no solid research to support this. Simply advise your client to pay extra attention to their body’s needs for the rest of the day and drink to stay hydrated.
To conclude, it is a solid investment ensuring that you keep yourself hydrated this summer, not just to avoid dehydration but for peak physical performance and optimum brain function. So, where is your water bottle right now? If you haven’t got one, then go do yourself a favour and rehydrate!