Is It Bad To Eat Right Before a Massage?

Massage therapy is good for circulation. It can benefit your health in a lot of ways. You can further optimize its positive effects if you follow the dos and don’ts before and after a session. One of the most frequently asked questions is whether eating before a massage is OK. Learn more about the best practices of pre- and post-massage to get the most out of it. 

Massage and Digestive Functions

Just like how you should avoid strenuous activities directly after eating, you should do the same with massage. Getting treated for relaxation needs the right timing — and following a sumptuous meal isn’t the appropriate time as you may experience cramps or discomfort.

Since the therapist will need to apply some pressure on your back or stomach, a  massage will potentially be more stressful than relaxing when your digestive tract is loaded. It may also disrupt your session if you experience sudden indigestion, bloating or bathroom breaks. 

What Happens if I Massage After Eating?

When you get a massage after eating a heavy meal, you may experience digestive issues. The cardiovascular system allocates blood flow to body areas that need it. After eating, the heart drives more blood to the digestive system to support digestion. Massaging draws away the blood flow from the digestive tract, potentially resulting in digestive concerns.

Massaging the abdomen helps release gas and improve digestion. But if you’re too full, you may find it unpleasant or painful when the therapist applies pressure on top of your stomach. You’ll be too distracted by the uncomfortable sensations and not enjoy the treatment. Although getting a massage after a meal has no profound health implications, it’s best to come a few hours after lunch or dinner.

How Soon Can You Eat Before a Massage?

Eating before massage is fine, but stick to a light snack. Preferably, eat wholesome foods low in calories, like vegetables and fruits. It’s best to prepare healthy snacks at home so you aren’t tempted to take out a full meal at a fast food chain.  

Experts advised to eat a snack a couple of hours before your massage to allow time for digestion. It’s easier to relax at the massage table and enjoy your session when you don’t have any digestive concerns. 

If your massage schedule is more flexible, you can eat a large meal and wait until you’ve digested most of the food before getting treated. It may take more than two hours or so. It’s half your responsibility to ensure you’re in the best body condition before treatment to optimize the effects of massage. 

Can You Get a Massage on an Empty Stomach?

Massage can help with aches and pains, relieve stress and improve mood. However, all these benefits are diminished if you come on an empty stomach.

Getting treated when starving is discouraged as you’ll find it difficult to relax. A growling stomach during the session can be embarrassing, so eating before massage is recommended.

Massage stimulates the digestive system so your stomach shouldn’t be empty. You might feel more hungry after the session and the relaxing effect can lower the blood sugar level. Bring some light snacks and water to consume after the session. 

What Should You Do Before a Massage?

You felt a buildup of pressure so you decided to book a massage to ease stress. Follow these dos and don’ts before a session to maximize the positive benefits.


  • Take a shower.
  • Eating before massage is OK, but opt for light snacks. 
  • Inform your therapist about an injury, sore body parts or open wound before starting. 
  • Wear comfortable clothes. 
  • Bring a light snack to munch after the session.


  • Don’t wear make-up or strong-scented perfumes.
  • Don’t drink coffee as the caffeine will prevent you from relaxing completely.
  • Don’t apply a lotion, as the massage oil may not mix well with your choice of skin moisturizer. 

How Long Do You Wait To Eat After a Massage?

After a session, wait for about 30 minutes before eating a light meal, such as a salad or any low-carb food. Ensure to load up on fluids with water or fruits to avoid dehydration. It’s also best to skip greasy meats and fries, as they’re unhealthy. Here are other dos and don’ts after a massage. 


  • Eat a light snack, like veggie sticks.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Bring comfortable clothing to change into if you come in from work wearing office suits.


  • Refrain from eating heavy meals, as they can make you feel sluggish and bloated.
  • Don’t drink caffeine and alcohol, as they can be dehydrating.
  • Skip any strenuous activity, like running.
  • Avoid any stress.

Optimize the Benefits of Massage

Follow the therapist’s recommendations before and after a massage to optimize its benefits. There’s no problem with eating before massage, but wait for two hours before treatment. Additionally, bring a bottle of water and a light snack to reenergize you after the massage. Remember to wait for 30 minutes before eating. 

A massage has multiple health benefits. You can extend their positive effects if you follow the dos and don’ts of pre-and post-treatment. Don’t have time for a relaxing massage at a spa? Bring the benefit of professional-level massage to your home with self-massage tools. Browse our products to find the perfect one for you or send us your questions and we’ll be happy to help.

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