The human body contains around 60% water, which plays a key role in all aspects of life. Yet, many people worry about water weight. Excess water retention, also known as edema, is a different issue.
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In a nutshell:
The most common cause of bloating from excess water weight is an imbalance in your salt/water ratio (i. e. , too much sodium and not enough water). It`s true for women, especially that changes in hormones, due to menstruation and pregnancy, can cause the tissues to retain excess water.
Chronic fluid retention, the kind that doesn`t go away, could be an indicator of hormone imbalances that need medical attention. Exercise may be one of the best ways to reduce water weight in the short term. This can help reduce water outside of the cell and decrease the “soft” look people report from excessive water retention. Research on sleep highlights that it`s just as important for health as diet and exercise.
Sleep may also affect the sympathetic renal nerves in the kidneys, which regulate sodium and water balance. Adequate sleep may also help your body control hydration levels and minimize water retention. Long-term stress can increase the hormone cortisol, which directly influences fluid retention and water weight. This may occur because stress and cortisol increase a hormone that controls water balance in the body, known as the antidiuretic hormone or ADH.
If you control your stress levels, you will maintain a normal level of ADH and cortisol, which is important for fluid balance and long-term health and disease risk. They play important roles in your body, including regulating water balance. When electrolyte levels become too low or too high, they can cause shifts in fluid balance. If you exercise daily or live in a humid or hot environment, you may need additional electrolytes to replace those lost with sweat.
In contrast, large amounts of electrolytes from supplements or salty foods, coupled with a low water intake, can have the opposite effect and increase water weight. Sodium, which you obtain daily from salt, is one of the most common electrolytes in the human body. If sodium levels are too low or too high, it will lead to imbalances within the body and therefore fluid retention. A high salt intake, usually due to a diet with lots of processed foods, may increase water retention.
This is particularly true if coupled with low water intake and no exercise. However, this seems to depend on the individual`s current daily sodium intake and blood levels. One study suggests you only store excess water if you drastically increase or change your habitual daily intake. Research regarding magnesium has been extensive and shows that it has over 600 roles within the human body.
Studies in women show that magnesium can reduce water weight and premenstrual symptoms (PMS). These changes occur because magnesium plays an integrative role with other electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium. Together, they help control your body`s water balance. Magnesium supplements have numerous other potential health benefits for people who are lacking them in their diet.
Dandelion supplements may help you lose water weight by signaling the kidneys to expel more urine and additional salt or sodium. This is supported by studies showing that taking dandelion supplements increases the frequency of urination over 5 hours.
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