Do you ever find that you are feeling great one day, then you wake up the next day 2 kilos heavier with swollen ankles and fingers, along with everything else? Water retention is a common factor in women especially when hormones come into play.
There are several reasons why we can have water retention issues, and many of them are not so serious don’t fret just yet. But I know how frustrating it can be to be seeing some great results but then feeling very disheartened when the weight on the scale goes up out of nowhere.
It’s OK it can just be a fluid fluctuation, and if you are doing everything correctly, in most cases it is just that.
Women generally experience water retention during their time of the month. However, it can also be common in people who are inactive such as if you sit at a desk all day, or go on a long flight. But don’t worry there a few things you can do to keep your water retention at bay.
Salt is something that I always recommend to keep in your diet and your actually NEEDS it. However too much salt can cause some issues in some individuals.
Salt is made up of sodium and chloride and the sodium itself binds to water molecules in the body in order to keep the fluid balance in and out of the cells. Everyone’s sodium level tolerance before fluid retention sets in will vary depending on the individual.
So if you suffer from frequent water retention make sure that you remain aware of your salt/sodium intake. If you are overdoing the salt, or especially if you are eating more processed foods, you may need to bring your sodium intake down a notch.
Exercising and getting your body moving can be very helping with reducing the effects of water retention. When your body is moving your core body temperature increases which will help you sweat out excess fluid. When you exercise there is also more circulation and blood flow around the body which can help combat your fluid retention now and prevent it in the future.
Vitamin B is responsible for the distribution of fluid in your body. A diet that is low in B vitamins and adequate protein and leads to excess water being retained in the body.
Dandelion is a natural diuretic and is a herb that has been from our ancestors for years. Natural diuretics make you pee more often and hence reduce water being retained in the body. Just make sure you are drinking plenty of water to make sure you stay hydrated and do NOT overdo the tea.
It is a common misconception that you should restrict your water intake when you have water retention, but dehydration will actually cause further eater retention to occur. Dehydration will cause a higher concentration of sodium in the blood and will signal the body to hold onto water instead of releasing it.
If your fluid retention is the result of excess sodium, dehydration or PMS, then drinking plenty of water is a MUST. Even though you may feel like you have guzzled down gallons of water in your day, make sure you have a minimum of 3L (or 30mls per pound). Staying hydrated will help your body release any excess water that it has been holding onto.
If you feel like you are still holding onto excess water, a slight tweak to your veggie intake may help with the issue. Adding in a daily serving of vegetables that have mild diuretic properties may just be what you need. Vegetables that main help with water retention issues include:
If you are having any issues with your gut and digestion this can be causing inflammation and as a result fluid retention. Common food intolerances to be aware of are dairy and gluten.
Most people do not have sufficient enzymes to break them down which can lead to gas, bloating and fluid retention. But do not simply assume you have an intolerance to these foods simply because you have some fluid retention. ensure you get tested if your symptoms persist.
Other foods to be wary of are nightshade vegetables which are most commonly potatoes, peppers (capsicum), tomatoes and eggplant. When someone is intolerant to a certain food it can cause the body to hold more water in the cells by making the cell walls more permeable, meaning the digestive system is not dealing very well with a particular food.
Try keeping a food diary and note down any symptoms that you notice after consuming certain foods. Try eliminating them one at a time to see if you have any positive effects.
Even though fluid retention is very common it is important to recognize that there are MANY variables that can cause it. If you have small symptoms here and there these can be very normal. However, if you do find you are experiencing more severe symptoms quite often then it is a good idea to seek advice from a medical professional.