An adult woman’s body is made up of almost 55 percent water. But sometimes, we notice a little extra water than we’d like. Water retention, or edema, is the condition when part of the body becomes swollen because fluid gathers in the tissue. Generally harmless, mild edema is common and should naturally go away on its own. To lose that uncomfortable feeling, here are 10 fast and healthy ways to get rid of water weight and to help you feel better:
Daily exercise is one of the best and fastest ways to lose water weight. Every time we exercise, our bodies sweat, getting rid of excess water from the body or flowing into the muscles for growth. In one study published in the medical journal Extreme Physiology and Medicine, the average fluid loss during one hour of exercise is anywhere between 16–64 ounces per hour, depending on factors such as heat and clothing.
During sleep, your body produces the hormones insulin and leptin, which regulate our food intake. When we don’t get enough sleep these hormones are underproduced, causing us to feel hungrier and store fat easier. Sleep also allows our bodies to regulate cortisol, which helps convert the food we eat into energy during the waking hours. When we are sleep-deprived, our bodies can acquire extra fuel, and our bodies are more prone to store extra weight.
Sodium is one of the most common electrolytes in the human body and is linked to retaining water. While the body needs sodium to regulate fluids, too much sodium can cause high water retention. According to Medical News Today, this is because the body needs to keep its sodium-to-water ratio balanced to function properly. Therefore, it will hold on to water if too much salt is consumed.
According to Rudy Mawer, a certified sports nutritionist from the International Society of Sports Nutrition, stress increases cortisol and the antidiuretic hormone (ADH), which directly affect your body’s water balance. ADH sends signals to your kidneys, telling them how much water to pump back into your body. To regulate a healthy level of ADH and cortisol, make sure to incorporate stress-reducing activities into your life.
Drink more water
Ironically, drinking more water can help you lose water weight. When we are dehydrated, our body retains water, to account for what it lacks. According to Medical News Today, water also improves kidney function, allowing excess water and sodium to be flushed out of the system.
Supplements such as vitamin B6 and magnesium dandelion can be effective natural remedies for fluid retention. These supplements work with kidneys to help the body flush extra water and sodium.
One study done by the University of Reading in Reading, U.K. found that menstruating women who took magnesium supplements had reduced water weight and premenstrual symptoms. Another study done by Tai Sophia Institute, in Laurel, MD observed that people who took dandelion supplements had an increased urination frequency within a five-hour period.
Eat potassium-rich or water-rich plants
Certain foods can possibly help remove unwanted water weight. High potassium-based foods such as winter squash, sweet potato, and white beans can increase urination and lower sodium levels. Water-based plants such as cucumbers, watermelon, and celery can increase water intake.
Alter carb intake
While our body needs a healthy amount to function, too many carbs can cause unwanted water weight. Medical News Today says that when we eat carbs, the energy that we do not use right away is stored as glycogen molecules. One gram of glycogen can store up to 3-4 grams of water.
Drink more coffee and tea
Caffeinated drinks such as coffee and tea may help you lose water weight. According to the Mayo Clinic, coffee is an appetite suppressant and can reduce your urge to eat. Therefore, your lack of appetite can prevent you from eating foods that cause water retention. Certain herbal teas such as peppermint tea and green tea can also help suppress appetite and increase metabolism.
Change your sedentary habits
If you’re sitting down at a desk all day, you may be at risk of gaining water weight. Physical activity can improve circulation and help you sweat out excess water. Give yourself short breaks to stand up and lightly stretch throughout the day and incorporate walking into your routine to prevent water weight from weighing you down.