How to reduce water retention – 5 easy tips

A woman is measuring her waist with a tape measure.

Before we get to discuss how to reduce water retention, we should understand what it is.

Water retention also called edema or fluid retention occurs when excess fluids build up inside our body. It may happen in many different ways. Most aren’t serious.

Maybe, you ate fast food for dinner, spent all day sitting on the couch, or maybe you’ve recently started taking a supplement such as creatine. The day after, you weigh yourself and are shocked to see that your weight has gone up. Is it because the creatine made you fat or is there a better explanation? Most likely, we can blame water retention.

In some cases of extreme water retention, medical attention might be needed but more often than not, you could reduce it with these 5 simple tips.

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1. Eat less salt

Sodium helps to maintain fluid levels both inside and outside of cells and is a crucial part of your diet. But when you eat too much, your body might start to retain water.

While dietary guidelines recommended a daily intake of 2300mg sodium every day, most of us exceed that by up to 50%.

Be especially aware of processed foods as they for most of us cover around 75% of our daily sodium intake. By switching from processed to more natural foods, your sodium intake should go down and the retained water should start to disappear.

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2. Stay hydrated

Drinking water to drop water weight sounds illogical, right? Actually, drinking enough water is one of the easiest ways to reduce water weight.

When we’re dehydrated, our bodies think that we are in a state of survival. It will hold on to the fluids for a better chance of survival.

On the other hand, drinking enough water leads to numerous health benefits. The kidney’s function will improve and the extra water and sodium, stored in our body, will be flushed out.

There’s no real answer to how much water you should drink but most men will benefit from drinking an average of 3.7L (2.7L for women) of pure water every day.

It’s impossible to tell exactly how much water you should drink. It’s recommended to drink between 2.7L to 3.7L a day, depending on sex, activity level, environment, etc. Some might need more than this, some less. Listen to your body and drink water when thirsty.

3. Eat fewer carbs

The main function of carbohydrates is to give us energy. Some of the energy is used right away. The energy not used will be stored as glycogen. Every gram of glycogen comes with 3g of water. For people concerned with water retention, this is something to be aware of.

By consuming fewer carbs, we’ll use the glycogen stores which will reduce water retention.

It’s important that you don’t cut out carbs thinking it will give you long-term weight loss benefits. Instead, calculate your BMR and set up the optimal macro distribution for you, for a safer weight loss.

4. Exercise

Exercising, such as weight lifting, is one of the easiest ways to get rid of the extra water. We sweat, and we’ll start to breathe faster. Because of this, we’ll often see our weight drop immediately after exercising.

As mentioned earlier, 1g of glycogen comes with 3g of water. When exercising, our stores are slowly used and the water attached, will disappear through sweat, breathing, or urine.

Remember to stay hydrated during your workouts. It will allow for them to be more intensive while flushing out the extra water weight.

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5. Eat vitamin B-6 and magnesium

Vitamin B-6 and magnesium are both natural remedies against water retention.

The supplements and the kidney will work together to flush excess sodium and water from the body.

Studies have shown that the supplements have a positive impact on the symptoms of PMS too. It works to reduce water weight, bloating, and soreness of breasts, etc.

Conclusion

Some changes to your diet are often enough to reduce water retention.

You may start with eating less salt by cutting down on processed foods or consume more vitamin b-6 and magnesium.

Exercising more will not only have a positive impact on your health but may reduce fluid retention too.

If the fluid retention is impossible to get rid of or causing you problems, you might want to visit a doctor.