Up to 60% of the human adult body is made up of water, and how much water someone retains fluctuates depending upon their eating habits. For example, eating a high-salt diet can trigger your cells to soak up and retain water. Any excess water that your body is holding onto is called “water weight.”Water retention occurs in the circulatory system, and can lead to swelling in the hands, feet, ankles, and legs. It isn’t really a cause for concern, but holding onto water weight may cause some discomfort and unwanted bloating. That said, excess water weight might be a major reason why you’re struggling to lose a few pounds. Although water weight isn’t permanent, or related to your calorie intake, and doesn’t contribute to long-term fat gain.
5 Reasons You Have Increased Your Water Weight
1. Eating Too Many Carbs : Carbohydrates can lead to water retention because when you eat carbs, the energy that you don’t immediately use is stored in your liver and muscles in the form of glycogen. Every gram of glycogen has three grams of water attached to it, which means the more glycogen your body stores, the more water your body will retain in the process. When you eat more carbs than your body needs to use for energy, the rest gets stored and therefore makes you feel full and bloated.
2.Hormonal Changes During Menstruation : Estrogen spikes during menstruation and high levels of this female sex hormone can cause your body to retain water, making you feel full and bloated. The other hormone responsible for water weight during menstruation is progesterone, which spikes during the latter part of the menstrual cycle, and leads to water retention and breast tenderness. The good news is, both of these hormones return to normal levels after your period is over. Another reason that women may retain more water than normal during menstruation is that cravings for salty foods and carbohydrates are common during this time, which adds to the amount of water that the body hangs on to.
3.Too Much Stress : Excessive stress can increase your levels of cortisol, which is a hormone that directly influences water retention. This may happen because stress and cortisol influence an anti-diuretic hormone that controls how much water your kidneys pump back into your body. This helps determine your body’s balance of water.
4.Eating Too Much Salty Food : Sodium is one of the most common electrolytes in your body, and greatly impacts your hydration. If you have too much or too little sodium in your body, it will cause your body to become imbalanced and retain fluid.
5.Not Drinking Enough Water : The interesting thing is, being well-hydrated actually reduces water retention. Your body is constantly looking for a healthy balance, so if you’re dehydrated, your body will retain fluid to try to prevent your water levels from becoming too low. Drinking enough water is also important for optimal liver and kidney function, which can also reduce water weight.
How to Get Rid of Water Weight—8 Safe Methods
1.Reduce your sodium intake. If you are salt-sensitive, watch the amount of salt you consume each day. Remember, sodium hides in many unlikely places. In fact, most of the salt that we consume each day comes from processed foods like canned goods, fast food, and frozen meals.
2.Drink water. It might seem like an odd recommendation to lose water weight by consuming water, but if you drink enough water each day, your body will use and get rid of water properly.
3.Eat hydrating foods. Plan meals with water-filled fruits and vegetables to stay hydrated so your body doesn’t bloat. Cantaloupe, strawberries, watermelon, lettuce, cabbage, celery, asparagus, and spinach are healthy foods that are full of water. Some sources call these foods “natural diuretics.”
4.Exercise. Exercise is great to improve circulation.”If you are insulin resistant, then daily exercise may help you to lose water weight because it improves insulin sensitivity,” she says.
5.Choose healthier carbs. Carbohydrate restriction often causes quick water loss. But if you cut back on carbs too much, your energy levels will plummet. Instead of going carb-free, choose healthy carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables and avoid refined carbohydrates that can cause your body to retain more water.
6.Sleep more. A good night’s sleep may help your body manage its fluid and sodium balance and lead to reduced water weight in the long term. Adequate sleep may also help your body control hydration levels and minimize water retention. Aim to get a healthy amount of sleep per night, which for most individuals will be around 7–9 hours.
7.Try fasting on occasion. Fasting is a great way to gain some quick, short-term gains. When you eat, your body alters the amount of growth hormone you have in your bloodstream. Growth hormone is an important factor when it comes to building muscle mass, burning fat, and regulating water in the body. Fasting for up to 16 hours at a time encourages your body to raise its levels of growth hormone.
8.Give magnesium a try. Supplements which contain magnesium are helpful because magnesium has been shown to reduce water weight. It’s especially helpful in reducing water weight in women. Magnesium is helpful in controlling water weight because of how it interacts with salt, which causes the body to retain water.
If you’re feeling out of sorts or very uncomfortable about your fluid retention, talk to your healthcare provider. This could be a sign of a blood pressure issue, medication problem or other health concern. Edema, which is swelling that occurs when there’s fluid trapped in the body, could lead to excess water weight. Certain diseases such as kidney disease and thyroid conditions can cause edema. If you suspect you have edema, talk to your doctor about running some tests.