Body Sense

Autumn | 2014

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Has your therapist told you about the importance of drinking water after receiving a massage? Muscular manipulation during a massage increases the movement of metabolic by-products that need to be flushed out of the body—and water is up to the task. After all, our bodies are composed of approximately 60 percent water, and all of our bodily functions are sustained by the water in our bodies. Dehydration is one of the most common detriments to our health, so staying hydrated should be seamlessly interwoven throughout the day. START EACH DAY OFF RIGHT Start your morning with a tall, room temperature glass of water with lemon squeezed into it, before you start taking any tea, coffee, or food. Front-loading hydration is helpful to the body. Make your work space a haven for pure, clean water. And be luxurious with your water—for a special treat, add mint, cucumber, or lemon. HALF YOUR WEIGHT It is difficult to know how much water is enough. One rule of thumb is to take half your body weight in pounds, and drink that many ounces of water per day. So if you weigh 150 pounds, this would equal 75 ounces of water. For many of us, however, this might not be enough. If you are working hard, or it is humid outside, or you live in a particularly dry climate, you might need to drink even more than this. OTHER DRINKS Drinking herbal tea is a good way to stay hydrated. You can also augment your hydration with electrolyte-fortified water or sports drinks. However, be aware that a lot of these drinks have incredibly high levels of sugar in them. Hydration isn't a healthy habit if you drink a day's worth of sugar in every glass. So check the label before you buy. B S Jennie Hastings Stancu is a licensed massage therapist and author of The Inspired Massage Therapist (Massage Blossom Books, 2012). She lives in Portland, Maine, where she practices massage, yoga, and coaching with clients. TIP! Bring a bottle of water with you to your next massage so you have it on hand before, during, and after treatment. Staying hydrated is as simple as just having water available with you wherever you go. What About BPA? You've probably seen the phrase "BPA free" on water bottles, and you may want to gravitate toward these. BPA stands for bisphenol A, which is a chemical found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. According to, some research has shown BPA can seep from a container into foods and beverages, and this is concerning because of possible health effects BPA has on the brain and behavior. So, look for non- plastic bottles (like the one pictured here), or look for the "BPA free" logo. Stay Hydrated By Jennie Hastings Stancu Energy Drinks: Good or Bad? By Shelley Burns Energy drinks give you a boost of energy, but their effects are only short term. You must also consider the long-term effects of sugar and caffeine. A typical energy drink can contain as much as 14 teaspoons of sugar and enough caffeine to cause rapid heartbeats and insomnia. Good energy comes from eating well, staying active, getting quality sleep, and staying hydrated! If you put in consistent effort in these areas, your overall health will improve, giving you plenty of everyday energy so you won't need that short-term boost.

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