Like our Mother Earth that is composed of almost 75% water, a large portion of our body also is composed of water amounting to 45 to 75% of our body weight depending on various factors like age, gender, body type etc. But due to various reasons some healthy people may have increased water causing puffiness and swollen feet and arms. In such cases it is required to lose such water weight.
What is meant by water weight
The exact amount of water that is safe for the people depends on various factors like sex, age, composition of the body, dietary habits etc. When the water retained by the body exceeds such a safe limit, it is manifested through puffiness, edema, swollen arms etc. In most of the cases such increase in water weight does not pose any problem. But sometimes it may be the signal of some other underlying reasons and should be sorted out by consulting your doctor.
This article deals with the cases of extra water weight of healthy persons, providing natural ways of getting rid of extra water weight.
What are the causes of extra water retention
Some of the probable causes of increased water weight in the body are:
- Diets rich in carbohydrates and salts
- Poor blood circulation
- High level of stress hormone cortisol
- Certain medications
- Sitting for a long time as during traveling
- During menstruation
- During pregnancy
- Hormonal changes
- Imbalance in electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, chlorides etc.
- Underlying health issues
How hard to get rid of water weight
Increase in water weight for otherwise healthy individuals can easily be tackled by taking some preventive measures. It is possible to shed 1 to 3 pounds of weight within two days. The exact period required to shed the water weight also depends on your body composition and dietary habits. If you seriously go for losing your extra water weight by resorting to healthy lifestyles and dietary changes, it is possible to easily get rid of your water weight.
Simple ways of reducing extra water weight
Exercise is the best way to sweat which means losing body water. From this angle doing regular exercise is the sound way of reducing water weight within a short time. It is quite a common fact to lose weight by shedding sweat.
Sauna is the other way to excrete sweat artificially and may help you shed water weight.
When we exercise the body tends to shift lots of water to the muscles. By removing the water from the outside of the cells it helps to remove the soft look due to accumulation of water.
Increase your intake of potassium
Electrolytes are very important for the various functions of our body including balancing the water in the body. Such electrolytes have charge and are found all over the body. Minerals such as sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, phosphate and calcium are the electrolytes present in the body.
Increase or decrease in the levels of sodium may cause water retention. In order to counter the effect of sodium, potassium is used to increase the urination and flushing out water. This is particularly helpful when you are not taking foods rich in potassium.
Good sources of potassium are:
- Kidney beans
- Sea food
- Dairy products
Intake of optimum amounts of sodium
Sodium is an important electrolyte, imbalance of which may give rise to water retention. Both high as well as low levels of sodium may result in fluid retention. Sodium is considered to be an important electrolyte for maintaining the hydration of the body.
Salt that we intake directly or through foods may increase the levels of sodium. Processed foods are generally high in sodium and may cause fluid retention due to increased levels of sodium in the body.
However it often depends on the amount of salt intake we are habituated with. Most cases, a sudden increase in the intake of salt may enhance the sodium levels and lead to fluid retention.
Intake of magnesium supplements
Magnesium is the other electrolyte the importance of which is recently being highlighted. Doctors are also prescribing this mineral for remedying many health issues. Magnesium plays a balancing role among the other electrolytes such as potassium, sodium etc in order to have a safe control of the levels of water in the body.
Many studies are also pointing to its role during the menstrual cycle avoiding fluid retention etc. magnesium is available in
- Green leafy vegetables
- Whole grains
The above foods may also supply you with the required amount of magnesium for the body. People who are not able to take magnesium rich foods may take magnesium supplements for remedying water retention.
Taking herbal dandelion supplement
Dandelion is a herb that finds popular use to prevent water retention in the body. Researchers have found that the herb stimulates the kidney to urinate frequently, reducing the water trapped in the body. Recently the herbal supplement has become popular among the weight lifters and athletes who are interested in shedding weight for aesthetic purposes and for getting included in their sought weight category.
Further research is needed to establish the effects of dandelion herb in reducing the water weight effectively.
Reduce intake of carbohydrates
Cutting in the intake of the carbs is an established easiest way to shed weight within a short time. This reduction in weight is effected due to reduction in the amounts of water. When we ingest carb, it gets converted into glycogen and supplied to the muscles and the cells for energy. But this glycogen also attracts water inside it.
One gram of glycogen may attract 3 to 4 grams of water along with it. As you cut down on carbs you are rid of so much water inside which is the reason why weight is reduced by reducing the carb intake.
Taking more carbs is also associated with the production of insulin hormone that increases sodium in the body causing water retention. So cutting in the amounts of carb may drop the sodium retention and thereby reduce fluid retention in the body.
Intake of more amounts of caffeine
Many studies have shown that taking more coffee, about 6 cups a day, may flush out water through urination for the habitual coffee drinkers. But taking 3 cups of coffee had little effect in removing the water in the body.
Experts suggest that drinks containing caffeine such as coffee, tea etc work as diuretic removing retained water from the body.
Moreover the caffeine intake does not give rise to dehydration in spite of more urination.
Taking water pills or diuretics
Water pills stimulate the kidney to more urination thus removing excess water and sodium through the urine. This is an established method of flushing out the water weight from the body. The main line medicine also prescribes water pills from removing water from the body.
Have a good 8 to 9 hours of sleep
Good and sufficient sleep has many benefits for the body including reducing the water weight. Our kidney has sympathetic renal nerves that are responsible for regulating the amount of sodium in the body. Sleep has a direct effect on these renal nerves of the kidney.
Studies have shown that when we sleep our body goes on working uninterruptedly in the direction of flushing out all the toxins from the body. So if we can have a sound 8 to 9 hours of sleep it is possible to reduce water retention.
Must Read :How to improve your sleeping routine.
Manage the stress levels
Chronic stress may give rise to a stress hormone known as cortisol. Due to the rise of the stress hormone the levels on another hormone called antidiuretic hormone or ADH gets increased. This hormone sends signals to the kidney to pump more water to the different parts of the body.
So if you are able to control stress you will be able to reduce water weight and also save yourself from many chronic diseases.
Drink optimum amount of water
Your water intake should be optimum for your body. It should not so much as increase the water weight nor so low as to cause dehydration. Taking sufficient water would result in good urination flushing out water and toxins.
It is important for you to remain hydrated. When you are dehydrated your body will try to store water increasing the water weight. Taking the right amount of water will avoid water retention keeping you well hydrated.
Keep drinking water when you feel thirsty and increase the intake of water in summer and after exercise.
Avoid sedentary lifestyle and sitting for long hours
Our body evolution is based on movement. So avoiding body movement may lead to uneven distribution of fluid giving rise to water retention. Exercise and movements are very important for avoiding water retention in the body.
Sitting for long hours may cause water to retain in the feet and the ankles. Make a habit of moving frequently in between.
Movements that cause sweating are good for flushing out the retained water through sweat. So in place of strolling, resort to fast walking so that you are sweaty.
Bullet points for prevention of water weight
- Regular exercise
- Drinking sufficient amount of water
- Stay away from stress
- Sleep well for 8 to 9 hours
- Take water pills when required
- Avoid sitting for a long time
- Cut down on salt intake through salty foods
- Try taking more caffeine through coffee or tea or supplements
- Take magnesium and potassium supplements
- Cut down carbohydrates intake
- Take dandelion herbal supplement
Water retention by the body is often not a very serious issue and can be easily tackled by adopting some measures. But in some cases it may be the indications of some underlying health issues and therefore must be treated by a registered medical practitioner.
Minor edema or a soft look may be addressed by taking the measures suggested in the above article.
Try to lead a healthy lifestyle, keep away from stress, resort to regular exercise, drink enough water, take some supplements, if required take water pills etc to live a healthy life free from water weight.
Frequently asked questions :
Question: how can I lose water weight fast?
Answer: the quickest way to lose water weight is to cut on your carbohydrates intake and doing regular exercise. The other actions needed are taking sufficient water, avoiding foods with high salt, taking supplements of magnesium and potassium, having good sleep and avoiding stress & anxiety.
Question: what is the rate of water weight reduction?
Answer: if you start doing measures for reducing water weight it is possible to reduce 1 to 3 pounds within 2 days. But the time surely would depend on the individual’s body composition, dietary selection and levels of activities.
Question: why should we lose water weight?
Answer: the first reason why we should lose water weight is r water retention and losing of water from the body, but the average weight will surely show a remarkable reduction.
Question: how do I know that my weight is due to water weight?
Answer: you can feel the water retention from puffiness in look and swollen face and limbs. In addition the water weight shows wide fluctuations. The fluctuations can be up to 5 pounds a day. due to the discomfort that we feel due to water weight. It causes bloating, puffy look, heaviness. Also it may have long term medical issues.
Question: can I shed a fair amount of water weight?
Answer: it is possible to shed 20 pounds of water weight within a week. The rate of reduction in water weight will be slow once the initial weight reduction happens as the muscles take time to reduce weight.
Question: can I take this strategy to reduce my body weight?
Answer: of course. Your weight is composed of water weight to a large extent and reducing this weight is easier and faster. Afterwards the weight may fluctuate depending on the further water retention. Also losing the water weight is quicker than the normal shedding of weight.