The human body contains around 60% water, which plays a key role in all aspects of life.
Yet, many people worry about water weight. I can tell when I am holding on to water as my rings get tight.
Excess water retention, also known as edema, is a different issue. Though it’s usually harmless, it may be a side effect of serious medical conditions, such as heart, liver or kidney disease.
Women may also experience water retention during the luteal phase of their menstrual cycle and during pregnancy.
This article is for healthy people and athletes who wish to reduce their water weight. If you have a serious edema — swelling of your feet or arms — consult your doctor.
Here are things that I have studied to help me and I hope they help you too!
Exercise may be one of the best ways to reduce water weight in the short term. Any form of exercise increases sweat, which means you will lose water. I am now able to get 30 min of Exercise in each day. I have built up to this and I want to keep going with my
The average fluid loss during one hour of exercise is anywhere between 16–64 ounces (0.5–2 liters) per hour, depending on factors such as heat and clothing. During exercise, your body also shifts a lot of water into your muscles. This can help reduce water outside of the cell and decrease the “soft” look people report from excessive water retention.
However, you still need to drink plenty of water during your training session. I have to drink 168 oz min each day!
Another good option to increase sweat and water loss is the sauna, which you could add in after your gym session.
SUMMARY: Regular exercise can help you maintain a natural balance of body fluids and sweat out excess stored water.
Electrolytes are minerals with an electric charge, such as magnesium and potassium. They play important roles in your body, including regulating water balance.
When electrolyte levels become too low or too high, they can cause shifts in fluid balance. This may lead to increased water weight.
You should tailor your electrolyte intake to your water intake. If you drink large amounts of water, you may need more electrolytes. I have had to add drinking electrolytes to my daily routine.
If you exercise daily or live in a humid or hot environment, you may need additional electrolytes to replace those lost with sweat.
In contrast, large amounts of electrolytes from supplements or salty foods, coupled with a low water intake, can have the opposite effect and increase water weight.
SUMMARY: Electrolytes control water balance and cell hydration. Electrolyte supplements can be beneficial if you drink a lot of water, exercise a lot, live in a hot climate or don’t eat salty foods.
Sodium, which you obtain daily from salt, is one of the most common electrolytes in the human body.
It plays a major role in hydration levels. If sodium levels are too low or too high, it will lead to imbalances within the body and therefore fluid retention.
A high salt intake, usually due to a diet with lots of processed foods, may increase water retention. This is particularly true if coupled with low water intake and no exercise.
However, this seems to depend on the individual’s current daily sodium intake and blood levels.
One study suggests you only store excess water if you drastically increase or change your habitual daily intake.
SUMMARYSalt or sodium plays a key role in fluid balance. Try to avoid extreme changes, such as excessive salt intake or the elimination of salt.
Drink More Water
Interestingly, being well-hydrated can actually reduce water retention.
Your body is always trying to achieve a healthy balance, so if you’re constantly dehydrated your body tends to retain more water in an attempt to prevent water levels from becoming too low.
Achieving an optimal daily water intake can also be important for liver and kidney health, which may reduce water retention in the long term.
The benefits of drinking more water don’t stop there. Other research shows that good hydration is also important for general health, including fat loss and brain function.
As always, achieving a balance is optimal. If you drink excessive amounts of fluid you may increase your water weight.
Simply drink when you’re thirsty and stop when you feel well hydrated. You should also drink slightly more in hot environments or when exercising.
You can also monitor your urine color to assess hydration. It should be light yellow or fairly clear, which is a good indicator that you’re well hydrated.
SUMMARY: Dehydration or over-hydration can lead to water retention. Make sure to drink balanced amounts of water each day.
Cutting carbs is a common strategy to quickly drop excess water. Carbs are stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen, but glycogen also pulls water inside along with it.
For every gram of glycogen you store, 3–4 grams (0.11–0.14 ounces) of water may be stored with it. This explains why people experience immediate weight loss when switching to a low-carb diet, which reduces glycogen stores.
Carbs also lead to a rise in the hormone insulin, which can increase sodium retention and reabsorption of water in the kidneys.
Low-carb diets lead to a drop in insulin levels, which then leads to a loss of sodium and water from the kidneys.
Try altering your carb intake and see what works best for you.
SUMMARY: A low-carb diet can cause a rapid decrease in water weight because of reduced glycogen stores and lower insulin levels.
If your water retention problem persists, seems severe or increases suddenly, it’s always best to seek medical attention. In some cases, excess water retention can be caused by a serious medical condition.
At the end of the day, the best way to combat excess water weight is to identify and treat the cause. This may be excess salt intake, lack of electrolytes, inactivity, excess stress or the regular consumption of processed foods. Some of these are also among the main causes linked to poor health and disease, which may be even bigger reasons to avoid them.