Water retention is a problem pretty much everyone deals with. It's frustrating, especially for people who are trying to lose weight, as excess fluids build up in your hands, feet, ankles and legs. Though it can mean you're dealing with a serious health issue like kidney disease or heart failure, water retention is generally pretty harmless.
Whether it's too much sodium, the warm weather, poor circulation, or dehydration, living with water retention can seriously affect your quality of life. Women who are pregnant or on their period tend to experience water retention more frequently, which is why there are a lot of complaints from women about feeling bloated during their time of the month.
Water retention is certainly annoying, but it doesn't have to ruin your life! I've found that these tricks help reduce water retention and make me feel a lot better during the day.
1. Drink Fluids
Sounds counter-intuitive, right? But water retention can be a sign of dehydration, which causes your body to retain the fluids it DOES have. Drinking more fluids (water or unsweetened tea, in particular) will help your body flush out ALL the unwanted fluids and prevent swelling.
2. Less Salt
Salt makes you thirsty, which is basically the easiest way to explain water retention due to high sodium. Your body holds on to the water you consume to quench its own thirst. Sodium binds to water in the body, which then forces you to retain the fluid. Eating less processed foods or other foods that contain a high sodium count can reduce the amount of water your body holds on to.
3. More Magnesium
This one is especially important for women who are menstruating. Magnesium is a mineral that helps keep your body functioning properly, and when you don't get enough of it, your body starts to act differently. You can get magnesium supplements at the store, or you can try eating foods that are higher in the mineral, such as nuts, whole grains, dark chocolate, and leafy green vegetables.
4. Reduce The Amount Of Carbs You Eat
This one hurts, because I love anything and everything that contains carbs. But refined carbs, like in bread, crackers, cookies, and other snacks can contribute to water retention. Instead, grab some fruits and veggies that have a high water content such as leafy greens, apples, berries, and citrus fruit. These will all help fight against bloating and water retention.
5. Increase Your Activity (If Possible)
Water retention can be reduced by increasing your activity level. Walking, cycling, dancing, swimming, or anything else that elevates your heart rate can help increase the efficiency of your metabolism. It also makes you sweat, which gets rids of excess water. Keep in mind, however, the more you sweat, the more water you need to drink in order to stay hydrated!
6. More B6
Vitamin B6 helps to create red blood cells in your body, and also act as a natural upper. Studies have also shown that by taking B6, women who are experiencing premenstrual syndrome can reduce their water retention. You can take B6 as a supplement, or you can find it naturally in bananas, potatoes, walnuts, and meat.
Asparagus, in addition to being full of vitamins, promotes urination in the body which will expel excess fluids (obviously.) Eating half a bunch of asparagus a day is what's recommended for best results.
Using dandelions to help with water retention is only recommended if you are adequately hydrated. Dandelions are a natural diuretic, and also contain potassium which counteracts the effects of sodium. You can take supplements or make dandelion tea and take it three times a day.
9. Lemon Juice
Adding a little lemon juice to your water can kick-start your metabolism and help flush toxins from the body, which will also help increase urination and reduce water retention.
10. More Potassium
Potassium is a key mineral for your body's everyday function. It helps your heart stay healthy, but it also helps reduce your water retention. Potassium can decrease sodium levels in your body and increase urination, both of which help expel unwanted fluids from your body. Eating foods like bananas, tomatoes, and avocados can help increase your potassium intake.
Though there's no magic trick to totally stop your body from retaining water, there are ways you can reduce the likelihood and help treat it when it does happen.
If you find that your body is suddenly retaining water at a rapid pace, or it doesn't subside after a few days, then consult your doctor.