Water makes physiological processes, especially the brain, work better, so getting enough is important. Whatever measure you use – a gallon a day, half your body weight in ounces, until your pee is clear – most of us don’t drink enough, and we need extra to make up for sweating, diarrhea, etc.
I love it when science deepens our understanding of something people know from experience to be true. The latest such finding to catch my eye is in my own field, massage therapy. People love massage and not all that much is actually known about how it affects the body’s systems or its long-term benefits.
In short, massage applied to muscles after vigorous exercise reduces inflammation and promotes growth of energy-producing units (mitochondria) in muscle cells.
“The potential benefits of massage could be useful to a broad spectrum of individuals including the elderly, those suffering from musculoskeletal injuries and patients with chronic inflammatory disease,” said Tarnopolsky. “This study provides evidence that manipulative therapies, such as massage, may be justifiable in medical practice.”
The researchers also busted the myth that massage reduces lactic acid, which builds up in cells during exercise and has been thought to contribute to muscle pain. Massage had no effect on lactic acid build-up.
Here’s something to look forward to:
One future research direction will be to examine the long-term effect of massage after a workout.