Water retention is a common problem, but it’s often not something to worry about. However, if the water retention becomes uncomfortable or you start noticing unwanted bloating or puffiness in your body, it may be time to take action.
In this article we’ll explore what water retention is and what can cause it. We’ll also share some of our best tips for reducing water weight – from cutting back on sodium intake and carbohydrate consumption to drinking more H2O and taking supplements like magnesium or potassium tablets.
What Is Water Retention?
Water Retention is a term that refers to an accumulation of water in the body. This often leads to symptoms like swelling in the extremities, ankles and legs. Additionally, it can lead to discomfort and an overall bloated feeling.
In most cases, water weight gain is temporary and it tends to go away when the body re-establishes proper fluid balance. However, in some cases it can indicate a more serious condition like heart disease or kidney failure (7).
If you experience any symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain and unexplained weight gain – make sure to speak with your doctor as soon as possible.
What Causes Water Retention?
Water retention can be caused by a number of factors. It often occurs due to changes in the body’s fluid balance, which is affected by several things like what you eat and drink. Some of the most common causes of excess water weight include:
Dehydration often causes the body to want to hold onto water, but it can also lead to symptoms like dry mouth, cramping and headaches (1). To avoid this problem, make sure you’re drinking enough H2O throughout the day to keep your system working properly.
Extra Fluid Consumption
In some cases, people will notice an increase in water weight without realizing they’ve been drinking more liquids than usual. Water weight gain from increased fluid consumption is usually temporary and goes away when you cut back on liquid intake.
Eating More Sodium Than Your Body Can Handle
Our kidneys are responsible for flushing sodium out of our systems along with other waste products. When sodium levels rise too high or your kidneys aren’t able to eliminate excess sodium concentrations, your body will retain water to dilute the sodium concentration (9).
This is why reducing your sodium intake can help reduce extra fluid weight. Some of the most common sodium-rich foods include processed meats, canned soup and condiments like ketchup, mustard and relish. Eating too much of these foods may lead to bloating or puffiness.
Food sensitivities are often characterized by bloating, gas and increased water retention.
If you have a thyroid disorder that isn’t being treated properly, it can cause additional fluid to build up in your system because your kidneys aren’t able to regulate sodium concentrations correctly (11). Some other symptoms can include weight gain, dry skin and constipation.
In women, hormone fluctuations often cause them to experience water retention from time to time. This can be due to an increase in estrogen levels during ovulation, pregnancy or menopause (8) (5). In some cases, elevated progesterone levels caused by a luteal phase defect can also lead to water retention.
There are also certain medications that can cause water weight gain by disrupting the body’s fluid balance. Some common drug-related causes of water retention include birth control pills, corticosteroids and psychiatric drugs (14).
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How To Lose Water Weight
If you’re looking for a way to reduce water weight overnight, start with these quick tips:
Decrease Sodium Intake
The average human body should consume around less than 5 grams of salt a day (2300 mg of sodium). However, most people consume 9 to 12 grams of salt daily (over double) – leading to an excess accumulation of sodium within the system (13). By cutting back on your daily sodium intake you can naturally reduce excess fluid buildup over time. You can do so by avoiding fast food, eating fewer processed packaged foods and avoiding over-salting your dishes at the dinner table.
Cut Back On Refined Carbs
Consumption of refined carbs in excess causes spikes in blood sugar and elevated insulin levels. Increased insulin levels may cause your body to retain more sodium which causes water retention (10).
Drink More Water
If you want to lose water weight quickly without having to make any major changes to your diet or lifestyle, simply follow these instructions: take 6-8 glasses of H2O throughout the day until you urinate four times. This will help your body flush out excess sodium, reduce bloating and get rid of any puffiness you may be experiencing by tomorrow morning.
If you want to lose water weight quickly, there are a variety of supplements you can take that may promote a faster solution. Always talk to your doctor first before taking any supplements, especially if you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications. Take a look at some of the most common ingredients found in these products to help give you an idea of which options may work best for your particular needs:
This mineral is essential for maintaining normal glucose levels and hormonal reactions within your body (3). When taken as part of a supplement, it helps improve insulin function – possibly helping reduce fluid buildup caused by fluctuating sugar levels. It also helps regulate the body’s metabolism so that it better manages insulin concentrations, sodium secretion and other bodily processes that may contribute to water retention.
Potassium is responsible for helping your kidneys control electrolyte balance within the body, which may help reduce fluid retention if it is due to an imbalance of electrolytes (12).
If you want to lose water weight quickly, try exercising more. For example, endurance exercises like long-distance running or biking can help your body get rid of excess fluids while boosting energy levels at the same time. Also – by helping you maintain a healthy weight it will prevent any future fluid retention that may develop in the future.
Eat Potassium Rich Foods
By eating foods high in potassium, you will help reduce excess water weight caused by sodium build-up since this mineral works together with sodium to regulate concentrations at cellular levels throughout the body (6). Good sources of potassium include carrots, sweet potatoes, white beans and black beans.
Manage Stress Levels
When your body is under stress, it tends to retain more water than usual because it doesn’t want to get rid of valuable nutrients until it feels safe again. By managing your stress levels through relaxation techniques, you can help your body feel safe and function more normally.
If you’re feeling dehydrated or having symptoms that are similar to water retention – try taking an electrolyte supplement or drink natural juices like coconut water. This should give your body the right amount of fluids it needs to function properly again, without causing any further fluid buildup within the system.
Eat Magnesium Rich Foods
If you’re feeling fatigued, have trouble sleeping or feel overly stressed – try eating foods high in magnesium. This nutrient helps the body relax while also helping your muscles work properly because it’s responsible for proper upkeep of muscle tissue (6). Foods rich in magnesium include spinach, avocado, oatmeal and pumpkin seeds.
Drink Tea Or Coffee
If you’re not interested in taking any sort of supplements to lose water weight, consider drinking tea or coffee instead. Both contain caffeine which has a mild diuretic effect that may help promote the elimination of excess fluids (2).
Consider Prescription Water Pills
If you’ve tried all of the above and still feel uncomfortable or find yourself retaining too much water, consider discussing prescription pills with your doctor to help modulate fluid retention, especially if it is due to a medical condition (4).
The Bottom Line
Water weight is very common and rarely a cause for concern. However, it may feel uncomfortable and can cause unwanted bloating or puffiness in the body. If you want to get rid of water weight fast there are many natural ways to do so that don’t require taking medication. By managing stress levels, getting enough sleep every night, exercising regularly and making sure that your electrolyte intake is on point – you will be well on your way to losing excess fluid build-up successfully.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Adult Dehydration – StatPearls (2021, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Caffeine and diuresis during rest and exercise: A meta-analysis (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Chromium picolinate Uses, Side Effects & Warnings (2021, drugs.com)
- Diuretics (Water Pills): Types, Side Effects, Risks (2021, webmd.com)
- Edema in pregnancy (1997, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Electrolytes – StatPearls (2021, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Fluid retention: What it can mean for your heart (2019, health.harvard.edu)
- Fluid Retention over the Menstrual Cycle: 1-Year Data from the Prospective Ovulation Cohort (2011, hindawi.com)
- Increased salt consumption induces body water conservation and decreases fluid intake (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Insulin resistance, obesity, hypertension, and renal sodium transport (2011, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Interactions between thyroid disorders and kidney disease (2012, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Potassium citrate Uses, Side Effects & Warnings (2021, drugs.com)
- Salt reduction (2020, who.int)
- When Your Weight Gain Is Caused by Medicine – Health Encyclopedia – University of Rochester Medical Center (n.d., urmc.rochester.edu)