Here is something most people think they will never need to know, how to reduce water retention.
This is probably because a lot of people may not be aware of what this is or might have a misconception of what this term really means.
In simple terms, water or fluid retention is a state wherein your body tissues have accumulated too much or excess fluids, this is also medically known or called edema. Having edema can lead to issues such as kidney disease and heart and circulation disease, but this is only to name a few.
Some symptoms of water retention include a slight increase in weight brought about by shifts in body fluid, dehydration, hormonal factors, and the most notable, feelings and symptoms of bloatedness.
Several factors can contribute to water retention such as, pregnancy, too much consumption of sodium, flying in an airplane, sitting or standing for too long, a weak heart, and even medications for antidepressants, pain relievers, and chemotherapy treatments.
Whatever the reason, water retention is something that you must not overlook.
Below are some of the natural ways to reduce water retention.
1. Consume less salt
Eating too much or having overconsumption of salt is one of the few reasons why people experience water retention. This is even more accurate since many people eat processed foods that are high in salt.
Salt contributes to water retention due to its content that is sodium and chloride. Sodium has a characteristic of binding to water in your body in order to help maintain the balance of fluid both outside and inside your cells.
2. Exercise and move around
As mentioned, sitting down or standing for a long period can contribute to water retention, especially in the leg areas.
This is because inactivity can prevent the fluids from your body from properly and effectively circulating. When this occurs, the water found in the body tissues can increase and eventually swell.
Exercise helps reduce water retention in several ways, it can promote blood flow to your veins and release excessive fluids through sweating and increased urine flow. The best exercise and activity for water retention is cardio.
Cardio increases your breathing and oxygen flow to the body while opening up blood vessels.
3. Drink more water
It may sound surprising but your lack of water may be the reason for your water retention. Water has the role of aiding your liver to transform fat into energy. When your body does not have enough water, your kidneys are faced with too much-concentrated fluid which can make your liver do more work.
Since your kidney is already working round the clock to provide you with energy through the fats that are converted, the liver would instead hold on to the additional fats that are supposed to be burned off, since you don’t have enough water to support the kidney.
In addition to this, not having enough water inside your body can make it hold on to the water present in your body for longer for reuse.
4. Eat more potassium-rich foods
Earlier, it was explained to you how salt is a common culprit for water retention. This time it is time to discuss foods that can help you reduce water retention.
For starters, you should already be aware that foods that are rich in salt should be avoided. To reduce water retention, you need to focus on foods that are rich in potassium.
Increasing potassium intake does not only mean relief from water retention but it can also mean lowered blood pressure, reduce anxiety and stress, and relief from heart and kidney disorders.
Potassium lowers water retention by balancing out the sodium present in your body, this includes those areas that are bloated. Some foods that are high in potassium are avocados, bananas, oranges, apricot, granola, tomatoes, etc.
5. Diuretic foods
Another habit you should incorporate into your diet is consuming diuretic foods. A diuretic is a type of substance whose role is to excrete excess sodium from your body.
However, we will not focus on pills, drugs, and chemicals but opt for a more natural way which are foods that are considered to be diuretic. To make things more familiar you might know diuretic foods from another name which is detox water.
Diuretics are helpful to your body because they help flush out water weight and reduce bloatedness. Other than this, diuretics can help reduce hypertension through the removal of sodium and harmful toxins.
Some diuretic foods to include in your diet are cucumber, watermelons, cranberry, carrots, celery, lemon, ginger, and cinnamon.
6. Lose some carbs
Carbs and water retention have a connection that most are not aware of. To understand this deeper you need to know what glycogen is. Glycogen is stored glucose and glucose is basically a carbohydrate that your body makes use for fuel.
Glycogen is created in two ways, it can either be through gluconeogenesis or glycogen synthesis.
Gluconeogenesis is the way wherein the body creates glucose from liver substances like protein and fats rather than carbohydrates, while glycogen synthesis or glycogenesis is created directly from the food you consume.
As for the connection between carbs and water retention, each glycogen carries an average of 3 to 4 grams of water, this means that for every carb you burn there is also a significant loss in water retention.
This can also be called ‘losing water weight’ where both your glycogen and water are released through your muscles and liver.
7. Sleep regularly
Sleep can play an important role in water retention and here is why the right amount of sleep enables the body to detoxify properly. Not having enough time to sleep means you’re also not giving your body enough rest time to perform other significant roles such as detoxification.
In addition to this, when you lack sleep you can also become stressed and stress can also have some effect on the increase of water retention which will be discussed later.
The detoxification process of the liver usually starts from 11 pm to 2 am so by these hours you should be sound asleep in your bed.
8. Monitor your menstrual cycle
Your menstrual cycle may play a role in water retention that you may not be aware of. Water retention influenced by menstrual cycles usually takes place during the premenstrual state.
This occurs due to the fluctuations in hormones that occur during pre-menstruation. The majority of menstruating women often experience symptoms of bloatedness a day or two before their periods, some five days before.
Bloatedness and other symptoms that occur during the premenstrual state that interferes with your day-to-day activities are well-known for another term called PMS or premenstrual syndrome.
To reduce water retention during your monthly menstrual cycle, you should monitor or lessen your salt intake, take magnesium supplements, and take water pills or diuretic foods.
9. Review your medications
Considering your medications and treatments as the culprit for water retention is not a bad idea. It is not uncommon for some medications and treatments to have effects of water retention.
It works in two ways, it’s either the main cause for water retention or it is making the water retention in your body worse. The best way to determine this is by monitoring when the swelling started, if it occurred by the time you started taking medicines then you can list it off as one of the main causes.
These seven medications often have a side effect of water retention when taken, Gabapentin, Pregabalin, Amlodipine, Oral contraceptives, NSAIDs, Pioglitazone and rosiglitazone, and oral steroids.
10. Don’t stress out
You know that hormones have an influence over water retention, this is why too much stress can be a cause for why you are experiencing water retention.
Having too much stress or being stressed for a long time can increase the cortisol hormone in your body. Why this is relevant is because cortisone has a direct influence on water weight and fluid retention.
Both stress and cortisol can help increase the production of antidiuretic hormone or ADH, a hormone that controls the water balance in your body.
This hormone is responsible for relaying signals to the kidney and instructing them the amount of water that has to be pumped back to the body. When there is too much of this hormone, it can disrupt the fluid balance in your body which then leads to water retention.
Water retention is not an uncommon symptom, however, this doesn’t mean that it should be easily overlooked.
At first, bloatedness and swelling may seem like the only symptoms but in the long run, it could lead to nausea, fatigue, coughing, and it could be a sign of a health complication.
This doesn’t mean that you have to spend large amounts of money on diagnosis and treatment. As provided in this article, there are budget-friendly and natural ways to reduce water retention.
The most important and vital key for these guides to work is if you follow them with discipline.
Water retention is very common and is experienced by a lot of people. With this, hopefully, you have been encouraged to share this article so that many people would know that there are natural ways to reduce or deal with water retention.