Last week I had a member of the gym I work at ask me for advice on eliminating water retention. I honestly didn’t know what to tell her; so took a couple guesses and told her I would look into it.
The human body is almost 70% water, when we don’t take in enough water our body automatically starts to retain whatever water we have in our system. This excess retention of water can be caused by numerous things; pregnancy, excess sodium, physical inactivity, malnutrition, medication and even kidney failure. Generally water retention and bloat are fairly harmless but definitely check with your doctor if you notice it doesn’t go away after trying some of the solutions posted.
My first thoughts on minimizing water retention and bloat would be increasing water and reducing sodium consumption; apparently I was on the right track.
One of the best things to do with water retention is to drink more water. I know, seems like that’s the opposite thing to do- but you need to flush out your system. Bloat is your bodies way of telling you something isn’t right, and the best thing for the body is water (which makes sense, since we’re primarily made up of it!). Aim for at least 6 glasses of water a day, even If you don’t think your thirsty- drink more water.
Get rid of that salt. Seriously, no more fast food (it’s packed with sodium), don’t add salt to your cooking; switch salt for herbs and (sodium-free) spices such as garlic and onion powder or just stick to good old cracked black pepper! While eliminating salt, it would do you good to overhaul your diet. Stick to the basics and eliminate the rest; sticking to vegetables, fruit, lean protein and healthy fats are your best bet. Also, eliminating alcohol from your diet will do wonders not only for getting rid of bloat, but for your general health!
Exercise. You probably won’t feel like it, but you need to get your blood flowing. Go for a walk, hit the gym, anything that gets your heart pumping. If you have a desk job and sit down for most of your day, try eating your lunch standing up, walking to talk to a colleague (instead of emailing them), and doing leg lifts at your desk. Get up and get moving!!
Hopefully these tips will help you feel better; I suffer from bloat and water retention and can usually figure out why by looking at what I ate. Keeping a food journal for the first couple weeks may help you track the foods that make you feel good/bad. Good luck friends!
Interested in doing more research? Here are a couple links I found on the topic: