5 Ways To Fight Water Retention

22 January, 2020
One of the keys to fight water retention is to reduce the amount of salt we add to our food, as well as cutting out processed foods that tend to be high in salt, since it adds to water retention

Cutting back on salt isn’t the only step you can take to reduce water retention. Improving a whole series of habits in your life is the key to solving the problem.

Hormonal changes, some illnesses (like hypertension) and other factors can make your body retain water. It can cause other problems as well, such as inflammation in your arms and legs, tingling sensation, pain, etc.

Water retention isn’t an illness in and of itself, but a clinical sign of something else. If it goes untreated, it can affect your quality of life. That’s why it’s important to visit your doctor and follow their instructions. You should also consider the recommendations that we’ll share in this article.

What is Water Retention?

As the name suggests, water retention – also known as edema – happens because of an alteration in the circulatory system. It is also related to hormonal problems, bad habits, and genetics. Other possible causes are:

  • Liver or kidney failure.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension).
  • Cardiac problems.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Menopause.
A person pressing on someone's swollen feet.

Symptoms of water retention

As we mentioned before, the main symptom of edema is swelling in the extremities (especially the legs). However, depending on the cause, symptoms can vary. The most common are:

  • Swelling in the abdomen, face, and hips.
  • Stiffness in the joints.
  • Weight fluctuations.
  • Tingling and weakness.
  • A feeling of heaviness.
  • Muscle cramps at night.

Solutions for Water Retention

In addition to following your doctor’s instructions, you should practice good habits to avoid water retention. Here are some of the most important:

1. Eat Plenty of Diuretic Foods

Artichokes and lemon.

Foods with a high water content (like fruit) not only help hydrate your body, but they also encourage urination, which is very important to prevent water retention.

Some of the best diuretic foods are pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe, grapefruit, tomato, artichokes, and asparagus. Keep in mind, however, that these fruits and vegetables should be part of a balanced diet. Your diet should never revolve around a small, restricted group of foods.

2. Eat a Healthy Diet

However, it’s not just about consuming diuretic foods. A balanced diet is crucial for good health.

The idea is to eat a diet that includes all of the food groups, in moderation and in appropriate quantities. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meats, dairy, etc. are all part of a balanced diet.

Nutritional experts advise that we divide our food intake into 6 portions evenly spaced throughout the day. By following this pattern, it’s easier to eat a balanced diet.

3. Avoid sodium-rich foods

A saltshaker with spilt salt.

Another stellar piece of advice regarding the eating habits that will help you reduce or get rid of excess water is to avoid sodium-rich foods in your diet. Added salt is the most common culprit. While it makes foods taste delicious, it’s bad for the health of your circulatory system and your lymphatic system.

Eating excessive salt can alter your body’s inflammatory processes and produce edemas. It can also increase blood pressure and cause problems for kidney function. Here are some products you should avoid that tend to be high in salt:

  • Soft drinks.
  • Processed drinks.
  • Canned foods.
  • Pickled foods.
  • Cold cuts and cured meats.
  • Processed bread and baked goods.

Read more: 8 Spices that You Can Use as a Salt Substitute

4. Drink water

This may seem a little counter-intuitive to begin with. We’re trying to get rid of excess liquid that has built up in our bodies – but in fact, drinking water actually helps with that process.

Drinking plenty of water stimulates the urinary system and the kidneys.

  • You don’t necessarily have to drink two liters of water a day. Just make sure you’re drinking enough based on your activities, diet, and lifestyle.

5. Work out

Work out to get rid of fluids.

You probably already know that physical exercise contributes to the general well-being of the body. Not only doe sit help avoid muscle atrophy and combat our increasingly sedentary lifestyles but is also responsible for expelling all kinds of harmful elements through sweat.

  • The best work-outs to focus on in this regard are ones based around aerobic physical exercise. This promotes intense sweating. As a result, this helps the liquids retained in the tissues to emerge gradually.

Why not consider getting involved in a sport? The vast majority of sports require some aerobic force. Some of the most effective are biking, swimming, and track.

See also: Zumba Class: Why Is It So Popular?

In conclusion

If you stay active, drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet you can reduce water retention and the uncomfortable symptoms that go along with it.

Remember that if you ever have any questions or doubts, talk to your doctor.

  • Kleiner, S. M. (1999). Water: An essential but overlooked nutrient. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0002-8223(99)00048-6
  • Yi, B., Titze, J., Rykova, M., Feuerecker, M., Vassilieva, G., Nichiporuk, I., … Choukèr, A. (2015). Effects of dietary salt levels on monocytic cells and immune responses in healthy human subjects: A longitudinal study. Translational Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trsl.2014.11.007