A full-body massage session lasts anywhere from 60-90 minutes. Because of its intensity, clients can get hungry at the end of the session. Some may even feel hungry during the massage.
This occurrence makes people wonder, “can I go for a massage after eating?” Yes, you can. but it depends on how much you eat. Bigger meals may cause problems.
In this article, you will learn:
- Things to know before having a massage after eating.
- When you can have a massage after eating.
Things to Know Before Having a Massage after Eating
We’ve established that you can have a massage on an empty stomach. This doesn’t mean you eat anything you like and come in for a massage anytime you want. There are side effects of doing so!
Generally, we advise people to come in for a massage on an empty stomach and eat after they are done. Fuelling up after a massage provides your muscle cells with the right amount of protein.
You also provide calories for muscle recovery from the impact of a deep tissue massage. This advice isn’t suitable for everyone, though.
Elderly people and people on insulin may find it difficult to follow this advice. This also goes for anyone prone to having hypoglycemia.
That said, if you plan on having a massage on a full stomach, you should keep these in mind:
The quantity of the food matters
As we mentioned earlier, do not eat a full meal before a massage. You should eat light meals like a handful of crackers, a cup of yogurt, or a cup of fruit.
The idea is to fuel up enough to be alert during the massage. If you overeat, you can become bloated and constipated. You can even be sleepy.
Fueling up before a massage is the same way you fuel up before a run. Typically, runners eat light foods; some slices of bread, a banana, a granola bar, or a cup of energy drink.
Even the most intense running sessions require light meals.
The reason for this is simple.
When you eat a heavy meal, your stomach stretches, and your liver is engorged with glucose. All these can make your abdomen hurt. This phenomenon is even worse during massage sessions.
This is because unlike in running, where you are upright, in a massage, you are lying on a table or a futon. This lying position slows down circulation to your abdomen.
The sluggish circulation means your stomach and gut will move more slowly. This will prolong your discomfort.
The feelings of bloating can deteriorate to gastric reflux and heartburn. This is because food in the stomach can move up to the esophagus as you remain in a lying position.
Some clients feel nauseated and may even vomit, ruining the massage session.
You certainly don’t want this to happen.
The quality of food matters
You now know the importance of eating light meals. This is not a free pass to drink sugary juices, carbonated drinks, and energy drinks. Sugary drinks can spike your glucose and give you a sugar high.
What happens when you have a sugar high?
Your pancreas secretes lots of insulin. Insulin tries to clear out the sugar from your bloodstream. It will crash your blood sugar. This crash can make you super hungry during the massage.
You can be hungry enough to end your massage session before the time is up.
You don’t want this to happen to you. Professional massage sessions do not come cheap. You also want to enjoy every bit of your money. You should also skip alcohol and caffeine.
These fluids can energize you but they quickly backfire. As mild diuretics, alcohol and coffee can make you take too many bathroom breaks.
They can also make you dehydrated.
As discussed earlier, dehydration is a no-no for your muscles.
Do you plan on consuming liquids instead of solids before a massage? You can try these alternatives:
- Unsweetened carbonated water
- Natural fruit juices
- Ionized water
- Bone broth
We particularly recommend bone broth for these reasons:
- It is a high-calorie, low-sugar meal.
- It doesn’t crash your blood sugar.
- It keeps you satiated for long.
- It is protein-dense. Bone broth is packed with collagen and gelatin. These make your connective tissues pliant and supple.
- It is mineral-dense. Bone broth is rich in iron selenium, zinc, and manganese.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties. The amino acids in bone broth are used to make hormones and neurotransmitters. These help with inflammation and stress. Examples of these amino acids are glycine and glutamine.
This property of bone broth complements massage. This is because a deep tissue massage is an intense experience for your muscles.
All that stretching, kneading, and pulling can create microinflammation in your tissues. And what better way to prepare for this experience, than having a cup of bone broth?
Vegetable broth – our vegan clients don’t have to miss out on the benefits of bone broth. Vegetable broth is a wonderful alternative. Vegetable broths have more or less the same nutritional benefits as bone broth.
The quantity of the fluid matters
You don’t want to ruin your massage session with one too many massage breaks. You should consider the number of fluids you consume. Yes, bone and vegetable broths are great.
It doesn’t mean you drink large volumes of them. Remember, they are liquid diets. After your gut has extracted all the goodies in them, the excess water is excreted as urine.
As mentioned earlier, you should avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks. They are mild diuretics. They will make you take many bathroom breaks.
The timing of the food matters
Even when you eat light meals and snacks, you should not have a massage immediately after eating. You want to give your body time to digest some of the food. Doing so reduces your risk of bloating and cramps.
When can I get a Massage after Eating?
For light meals and liquids, you should wait at least two hours before a massage. For heavy meals, you should wait at least 4-6 hours. You must respect this timing.
You want some of the food to empty from the stomach into the intestine. Doing this reduces your risk of heartburn, gastric reflux, and stomach cramps.
If you drink only clear liquids like juices and energy drinks, you can have your massage an hour later. These don’t take too long to empty from the stomach.
To clear all doubts and questions, a heavy meal includes regular-sized meals made from complex carbohydrates. It also includes animal-source proteins like poultry, seafood, and red meat.
Now that’s time to hear from you:
Now that you know you can eat light meals before a massage, which meal appeals most to you?
Bone broth? A cup of yogurt? A piece of fruit?
We can’t wait to read your comments below.