A common problem many women (and men) face is water retention. I’m talking specifically here about ‘subcutaneous fluid’, also known as ‘water weight’. There’s instances where the body will hold excessive amounts of water. Here’s 3 examples when this might happen:
Gut issues – if you’re suffering from a form of gut issue, whether that’s a sensitivity or intolerance to food then you’re far more likely to hold water caused by inflammation. I’ve seen instances where clients have had tests done, removed the foods causing the issue and then noticeably appeared leaner in a matter of days.
Stress and excess fatigue – if you’re excessively stressed and overly fatigued water retention is much more likely to happen. Cortisol levels will go up which can cause water retention. When the central nervous system is overly fatigued this often happens as well, along with feeling jittery.
Excess sodium – if you notice that you’re holding water look at what you’ve eaten in the last 2-3 days. It’s likely that you’ll have consumed foods very high in sodium. As a result, you’ll hold more subcutaneous water as well as intracellular.
So what can you do to reduce water retention? Here’s 6 tips that will definitely help:
1. Drink More Water
This is the most important advice I can give. Besides flushing out your kidneys and entire digestive system and hydrating your body, drinking more water causes you to release more water through excretion, thereby reducing water retention. Be sure to take a good quality multi-vitamin, as drinking alot of water causes you to excrete ions which may result in a deficiency of certain essential vitamins and minerals.
2. Have Saunas
Sweating is a way of cooling down, a mechanism by which the body regulates its core temperature. If you’re sweating, it can potentially mean your metabolism is running high and efficiently, since a higher metabolism equals a higher resting body temperature for the most part. Also, water retention is not simply water, but sodium ions trapped underneath the skin. This is why your sweat tastes salty.
A trick I use is to use a sauna and keep drinking lots of water. In the beginning, your sweat will taste salty, telling you that you’re retaining sodium. After a while, your sweat will begin to taste like water. This tells you that you’ve sweat most of the excess sodium out that was being retained underneath your skin, which means you’ve lost a good portion of excess water fluid. Whenever using saunas, be sure to have water handy, and also supplement with a quality multi vitamin, because you may sweat out some essential vitamins and minerals.
3. Reduce Salt
Processed foods are loaded with unnecessary amounts of sodium, which in turn will cause you to retain water. The body only needs a small amount of daily salt to complete its metabolic functions and preferably healthy salts such as Himalayan and not table salt. Keep your sodium intake moderate, and instead flavour your food with herbs and spices.
4. Eat More Fibre
Similar to water, which cleanses the urinary tract and kidneys, fibre cleanses the colon and intestinal tract, keeping things moving smoothly, and also helps in the removal of excess fluid. Include plenty of fresh vegetables with your meals, all of which are rich in fibre.
5. Consume Naturally Occurring Diuretics
I’ve found the natural herb dandelion root to be a good naturally occurring diuretic. You can buy it in a tea form. Also, fresh asparagus and parsley, asparagus tea and ginger are all great diuretics. Always make sure to drink plenty of water and watch your sodium levels as mentioned above, otherwise you’ll be wasting your time. Lastly, coffee, tea and green tea are naturally occurring diuretics as well, although some people might not like the jittery feeling caused by these stimulants. Consume in moderation.
Performing simple exercises such as walking, jogging, aerobics etc will reduce water retention as it improves overall circulation.