There are a number of problematic body weights, one being water weight. Water weight, also called edema, is very common and rarely a cause of concern. However, it may feel uncomfortable and can cause unwanted bloating or puffiness in the body. It is the water retention by the body. In this article I will be outlining simple, healthy lifestyle tips for tackling it. Many people worry about water weight. Especially professional athletes and bodybuilders who wish to meet a weight category or improve their appearance.
Reducing sodium(salt) intake
Too much salt or sodium intake is one of the main cause of water retention.This is because the body needs to keep its sodium-to-water ratio balanced to function properly. So it will hold on to water if too much salt is consumed.Therefor it is highly important that we reduce sodium or salt intake if we were to get rid of excess water in our bodies.
Table salt has got a lot of sodium, but 75 percent of sodium that people consume is from processed foods like cheese, cold meats, bread, frozen meals, soup mixes and savory snacks. But natural foods such as vegetables, nuts and seeds are very low in sodium. Therefor it is more advisable that people consume as much of natural foods as possible, as substitution for processed foods. In this way sodium consumption will be reduced and so will be water retention. Remember, there more sodium there is in our body, there more water will be.
Drink enough water
While it might seem contradictory, drinking enough water can actually reduce water weight. If the body is dehydrated it tends to hold on to water abnormally to make up for lack of incoming water. Whereas if enough water is drank, the body will release water accordingly and also sodium that is already in excess in the body will be flushed out of the system.
Pure enough water should be drank and not sugary drinks. Sugary drinks should be drank in minimal. Because if too much sugary drinks are drank, they will lead to many transversities like obesity, sugar spikes etc. More than enough water can not be drank either because they will also lead to problems such as water intoxication. Results being sodium levels being thrown out of balance. In extreme cases one might suffer from brain damage, coma and even death might be the end result. Therefor, adults should drink 2 litres a day, not more and not less. That shouldn’t be a high mountain to climb, considering that water benefits not only in a case of edema, but in almost every part of life.
Reducing carbohydrates intake
Too much carbohydrates consumption doesn’t only result in storage of fats in our bodies if not utilized, but they also result in a storage of extra water in a body. When we eat carbs, the energy we do not use right away is stored as glycogen molecules. Each gram of glycogen comes with 3 gram of water attached to it. Cutting down on carbs is a quick way to use up the glycogen stores, which means that the water weight will also be reduced.
According to the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board, adults need at least 130 gram of carbohydrates to function each day. Therefor we shouldn’t be consuming more than that, because although it might not be a problem to others, as we all know that our different bodies don’t always react the same, to same situations, it might be a cause of concern for others. And we can’t necessarily know who are those others, it might as well be you. So stay cautious and put a cut on carbs. We need to replace carbs such as rice, bread, maize meal and pasta with high-protein foods such as lean meats, eggs and soy products to reduce the build-up of water.
Supplements can also be used to remedy water retention. Vitamin B-6 and magnesium oxide are the effective ones in this regard, they work with the kidneys to help the body to flush extra water and sodium in the system. They are natural. They can reduce abdominal bloating and swelling in the legs. But you should first consult with a doctor before using these supplements, as they might have side effects or interactions.
There is also a herb called Dandelion, also known as Taraxacum officinale,that is used to treat water retention. It is also popular among bodybuilders and athletes who need to drop water for aesthetic purposes or to meet weight category. It is a supplement that increases the frequency of urination over a 5 -hour period. Thus expelling extra sodium and water out of the body.
Exercise lets the body sweat out extra water. This cause water weight to drop immediately after exercise. A workout also stimulates blood flow and improves circulation, which can reduce fluid build-up throughout the body, especially in the legs and feet. The average fluid lost during one hour of exercise is anywhere between 0,5-2 litres per hour, depending on factors such as heat and clothing, as well as the intensity of the exercise.
Exercise reduces water weight even more by burning through glycogen energy stores. However, replacing lost fluids is vital after any physical activity to avoid dehydration, which might take us back to water retention as explained above. 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. You can add sauna in, after your gym session to increase sweating and water loss.
Water pills work as diuretics, which means they make a person to urinate more often, more or less like supplements mentioned above. They are often prescription pills, which means one can not just use them without a prescription from the doctor. Urination lets the body get rid of excess water and sodium. Water pills can not be used for a long term though, because they are bound to cause dehydration or even mineral deficits. They should always be used as instructed by a doctor.Look for pills called Water away,they really are helpful.
Take caffeine supplements or drink tea and coffee
Caffeine supplements, coffee and tea have small diuretics effects, unlike water pills and supplements. And as such they don’t cause dehydration. But they do help, minimally. You don’t have to consume them abnormally, but just as part of a normal lifestyle.
A good healthy sleep may help your body manage its fluid and sodium balance and lead to reduced water weight in the long term. Sleep has an effect on the sympathetic renal nerves in kidneys, which regulate sodium and water balance. A good healthy sleep is 6-8 hours at a time. And also correct positions are emphasized. Correct positions being, sleeping on your back, sleeping on your side and also fetal position.
Focus on certain healthy foods
As in any case of health, food is to be taken into consideration when tackling the issue of water retention. Potassium-rich foods are often recommended, as potassium can help balance sodium levels and increase urine production, helping you to drop excess water.
Dark green leafy vegetables, beans, bananas,avocados,tomatoes and yoghurt or other dairy products are all healthy and potassium-rich. Magnesium-rich foods are also recommended. These include dark chocolate, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and whole grains.
The following foods and herbs are often recommended by alternative practitioners to drop water weight. Some clinical evidence supports their use:
- Corn silk
There are plenty kinds of foods that act as diuretics and as such reduce water retention. But try to avoid highly processed foods because they usually cause bloating and intolerances.Dairy products and beans are also good in fighting edema,as mentioned above but if you are intolerant of them just stay away from them.
If your water retention problem persists, seems severe or increases suddenly, it is always best to seek medical advice, because in most cases there is always an underlying medical reason to excess water retention.Thus, problematic heart, kidney or liver. But if it is just normal water weight you can just follow the above discussed ways.
To add to the above discussed ways, one need to consider changing their habits. Thus avoiding sitting for long periods, which can reduce blood circulation. Also, certain medications may cause water retention, so check with your doctor or medical practitioner if you take medication daily and believe it may be causing swelling.