What is water retention?
Water retention is a medical condition that describes swelling that is caused by the accumulation of excess fluid in body tissues. It is also known as fluid retention or edema.
It causes swelling in the hands, feet, ankles and legs, weight fluctuations and a feeling of aching or stiffness. Some women experience water retention during pregnancy or before their monthly period.
Causes of water retention…
A number of factors can cause water retention, which includes excessive intake of salt, the reaction of the body to humid weather, hormonal changes during pregnancy, menstrual cycle, menopause and side effects of using oral contraceptive pills among women.
It may also be caused by medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, nutritional deficiencies, and liver or heart disorders.
Here are 7 effective ways to reduce water retention.
- Minimize your intake of salt
Try to limit your intake of sodium salt to no more than 2,300 milligrams per day. Although, sodium binds to water in the body and helps maintain the balance of fluids both inside and outside of cells.
But, excess intake of sodium may cause excessive fluid retention in the body tissues. Hence, avoid foods that contain high amounts of salt, such as potato chips, processed foods such as tinned and canned meat and reduce the amount of salt you add to the food you eat.
- Exercise Regularly
Exercise may be one of the best ways to reduce water weight. Exercise has been scientifically proven to reduce the water retention by getting rid of excess salt and water in the body through increased urine flow, sweating, and higher respiration. It also improves blood flow and strengthens the blood vessels.
- Avoid Refined Carbs
Cutting carbs from your diet can quickly drop excess water.
Eating refined carbs leads to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. High insulin levels cause the body to retain more sodium by increasing re-absorption of sodium in the kidneys. This leads to the more fluid volume inside the body.
- Avoid dehydrating drinks such as alcohol and caffeine
Intake of too much of alcohol and caffeine dehydrates the body. When your body is dehydrated, it begins to retain water.
- Drink more water
Drinking more water helps you to excrete more salt from your body. If you are dehydrated, your body reacts by storing water so that it can cope with what it sees as a dry spell. Ensure that you drink at least 8 glasses of water every day.
- Take adequate amounts of vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 has been shown to reduce water retention in women with premenstrual syndrome. They are important for the formation of red blood cells, and they also serve many other functions in the body. Eat food rich in vitamin B6 which include bananas, potatoes, walnuts, and meat.
- Increase Your Magnesium Intake
Scientific studies have shown that women with PMS related water retention experience relief from water retention when they take supplemental magnesium. The suggested dose of magnesium is 200 to 400mg daily. Good sources of magnesium include nuts, whole grains, dark chocolate and leafy, green vegetables. It is also available as a supplement.