Your body has about 60% of water, which plays a crucial role in your survival. But just like you need water to stay alive, it’s also true you could have excess water in your body. It is caused by water retention. Women, especially, experience water retention during pregnancy and menstruation. As a result, your weight increases. The good news is you can reduce water retention easily.
Today, we are going to discuss 12 easy ways to lose water weight. How does exercising regularly help get rid of water retention? Does taking electrolytes help? What about magnesium and dandelion supplements? We’ll be discussing all of these AND more…
1. Exercise regularly
While this may seem like an obvious method, you’d be surprised by how many people brush off exercise. Exercising on a regular basis is one of the best ways to reduce water weight. When you exercise for an hour, you can lose fluid between half a liter to two liters per hour.
How much you actually lose depends on heat, clothing, and how much you sweat. The other advantage is that during your exercise session, your body moves the water into your muscles. This ensures there is a reduction in excess water outside your cells.
2. Sleep more
Take a good night’s rest, and you’ll see a significant reduction in your water retention. Getting an adequate amount of rest is as important as your diet and workout sessions. When you don’t sleep well, it will affect the nerves in your kidneys, which regulate the sodium and water balance in the body.
Also, getting the recommended hours will help your body regulate hydration levels, and reduce the amount of water retained. The recommended number of hours of sleep is between 7 and 9 hours.
3. Reduce stress
When you’re under stress for a long time, your body produces too much cortisol. This leads to more water retention from your body. The reason cortisol has this impact is that it increases antidiuretic hormone (ADH) which controls your water balance. ADH sends your kidneys signals about how much water needs to be pumped into your body.
So if you can reduce your stress levels and bring them to a normal level, you’ll be able to keep ADH under control. As a result, you’ll reduce your water weight.
4. Take electrolytes
Electrolytes include minerals such as magnesium and potassium, and have an electric charge. More importantly, the electrolytes in your body play a vital role, which includes regulating the water content. If the electrolyte levels are imbalanced on the higher or lower side, it will cause your body to retain water. As a result, your weight increases. If you drink a lot of water, you may have to balance that by taking electrolytes.
If on the other hand, you live in a hot environment or exercise every day and sweat a lot, you may have to take electrolytes to replace all the water lost by your body. But you should also ensure that you don’t increase your consumption of electrolytes beyond a certain point. Too many salty foods or supplements with electrolytes can end up causing weight gain.
5. Manage salt intake
Of all the electrolytes in your body, sodium is the most common. This is because salt is an inherent part of everybody’s diet. You’ll need to make sure the amount of sodium is not too high or too low. Eating lots of processed food can have an impact on your sodium levels.
In addition, if you don’t exercise or drink enough water, you tend to retain it. All of this impacts your weight. In short, the number on your weighing scale is also dependent on how much salt you eat on a regular basis. One study showed if you drastically increase or change the levels of salt you consume daily, it impacts your water retention levels. You tend to store more water than necessary, causing you to gain weight.
6. Take a magnesium supplement
Magnesium is another key electrolyte vital for your body. In fact, research has shown that magnesium plays an important role in as many as 600 bodily functions. Your water retention level is among one of those functions.
Results from a study among women showed magnesium can not only reduce your premenstrual symptoms but also bring down the water weight in your body. Taking magnesium supplements can ensure your body gets enough of the mineral. These supplements have many other health benefits as well.
7. Take a dandelion supplement
Dandelion is an herb used specifically for treating water retention. Bodybuilders and athletes have taken this in recent years in order to reduce their water weight.
Research shows dandelion supplements can increase the number of times you urinate in a five-hour period. These supplements work by telling your kidneys to get rid of the extra sodium, and also to expel urine.
8. Drink more water
So you get rid of water retention by drinking more water? Sounds silly, right? Being well hydrated actually reduces the amount of water retained by your body. This is because your body understands you’re consistently maintaining hydration levels, and doesn’t see the need to store water for future use.
This of course does not mean you just guzzle water endlessly. The key is to make sure you have enough water when you feel thirsty, and remain hydrated. By drinking a good amount of water, you’re improving the health of your liver and kidney as well. This in turn reduces the need for water retention over a longer period.
9. Focus on healthy foods
To deal with water retention, you need to include certain healthy foods in your diet. Foods rich in potassium are recommended. They can bring a balance to the sodium levels in your body, and raise the frequency of your urination.
As discussed previously, foods with magnesium can also help in dealing with water weight. Dark chocolate, whole grains, and leafy vegetables are some examples of magnesium-rich foods. A bloated belly is not necessarily an effect of water retention. It’s good to skip foods that typically make you bloated. Highly processed foods are also to blame, while dairy and beans can lead to it as well.
10. Reduce carbs
This is probably the most obvious option but is something people forget. Cutting carbs can go a long way in reducing the amount of water your body retains. The reason behind this is that carbs, while getting stored in your liver and muscles, also pull in water with them.
A single gram of glycogen in your body would also store about 3 to 4 grams of water. This is why you see an immediate change in your weight when you switch to a low-carb diet. The glycogen stored in your body is reduced, which means the water also comes down with it.
Another reason to avoid carbs is their impact on your insulin levels. Carbs increase the insulin levels, which in turn raise sodium in your body, and the amount of water your kidney reabsorbs.
11. Take caffeine supplements, or drink tea and coffee
Coffee and tea have diuretic effects. So drinking these beverages or taking caffeine supplements can help bring down your water weight. In a study, two groups of participants were given a glass of water. One with, and the other without caffeine.
The group that had the water with caffeine saw a significant increase in the volume of urine expelled. The catch here is that it may not have much of an impact on those who drink caffeinated beverages on a regular basis.
12. Change your habits
This goes without saying… you need to change your habits if you want to get rid of water retention forever. For instance, avoid sitting for long periods of time. Sitting all day causes water retention in the body. Wondering how? Well sitting in one position reduces blood circulation in your body.
As a result, you hold onto more water. Another habit you need to change is overriding the hints your body is sending your way. If you feel bloated after eating a particular food, by all means, skip it. Replace it with a healthier option. Last but definitely not least, you need to learn to reach out for water.
Every time you feel thirsty and grab a can of soda, think about how that’s going to affect you. Opt for plain water instead.