The total weight of the human body is not just made of muscle and fat and there are other pieces of the puzzle and water weight is one of them. But what is water weight? And how can you lose it? In this article we are going to fully explain why water retention happens and how you can reduce water retention.
What is water weight and what causes it?
About 60 percent of the human body is made of water and the excess amount of water being held in the body is called water weight or Edema. Water retention or bloating can sometimes be uncomfortable although, most of the time it is considered safe and harmless. It still might be a sign of a serious health condition.
Water retention is a way of your body protecting itself from dehydration and it will go away on its own most of the time.
Causes of Water retention
There are reasons and causes as to why edema happens and those include:
- Fluctuations in activity
- Hormonal changes
- Diet changes
- Medical condition
- Cortisol level
- Poor circulation
When bloating happens it usually shows itself in the abdomen and fingers! Also standing or sitting for a long time can cause water retention in the lower extremities. Menstrual cycle is another common situation where water weight gain might happen and according to Dr. Vinton there is nothing to worry about most of the time. This kind of water retention is more visible in the days before menstruation and it will be at its peak on the first day of the menstrual cycle. It is also common to see water retention in the days before and after ovulation.
Dr. Vinton also suggests that water bloating might also happen if a person consumes more salt than they usually do. Eating more processed foods with refined sugar can also lead to more water weight.
When it comes to water retention, perhaps the most important matter is to distinguish normal and temporary edema from the more serious ones that can occur due to heart failure and kidney or liver diseases. So if you are facing water retention and unusual bloating that simply is not going away you should talk to your doctor and find out the exact reason behind this situation. One notable issue concerning pregnant women is that it is normal for them to see swelling and some sort of bloating in the stomach and fingers. However, if you happen to face swelling that hurts you must seek medical care immediately.
How to get rid of water weight?
There are various methods to reduce water retention fast and naturally.
Eat less salt!
Sodium is one of the most important electrolytes in the body and too low or too much of it can result in fluid build-up in the body. It is best to manage your daily salt intake so that your body does not have to hold water to balance the high sodium levels.
It is good to know that the recommended consumption of sodium is 2300 mg at max.
You should also know that the average salt has some amount of sodium in it but 70% percent of the sodium intake is due to the consumption of processed foods such as cheese and snacks. In contrast, natural foods like vegetables, nuts and seeds do not possess too much sodium and can be leveraged to decrease sodium levels.
Drink more water!
It might sound like a wrong thing to do when you are literally facing a water weight problem but drinking more water can sometimes actually help reduce water retention. Drinking water will help your kidneys to function better and it will flush out the excessive amount of water and sodium in your body. It is also suggested that adults should replace sugary drinks with water especially those willing to lose weight faster.
Hit the gym!
Exercising might just be the best way to get rid of water retention in no time. By working out your body shifts a lot of water into your muscle cells so that they can function and respond better. Sweating also helps your body to get rid of water weight, so the more you exercise the less water retention. Generally speaking working out can be a great way to balance out the correlation of different materials in the body especially water and sodium levels. Do not forget to drink more water while you are exercising.
Do not forget potassium
Aside from sodium, potassium is another crucial electroclast in our body and it is responsible for balancing out fluids in the body. Potassium can increase urine production resulting in more sodium counteracting. There are many foods that are rich in potassium such as potatoes, spinach and tomatoes.
Avoid too much carbohydrate consumption
Carbs can be another reason behind water weight. Carbohydrates are stored as glycogen when our body does not need their energy for the time being. The molecular structure of glycogen is dependent on water and each gram of glycogen comes with almost 3 grams of water. When you reduce your carbs intake your body turns toward those stored fat cells and glycogen to provide energy for different organs and by breaking down those cells the water also will be reduced. Common carbohydrate sources are rice and pasta and replacing them with protein rich foods is the best option.
Provide your body with the right supplements
Vitamin B-6 and calcium are two of the most effective substances for water weight. These two will aid the kidneys to work better and flush out the extra water in the body. Other benefits of vitamin B-6 and calcium are that they can help reduce the symptoms of PMS and breast tenderness.