7 ways of reducing water retention

joints swollen and aching

Have you ever woken up in the morning with your joints swollen and aching? This is the result of a metabolic process known as water retention. It can be described as a medical condition which causes swelling due to excess water retention by cells.

Usually the lymphatic system is involved in draining out the excess fluids. In certain cases, however, when the tissues are unable to drain these fluids, water retention takes place. The symptoms include fluctuations in weight, swelling of joints due to retention of water and muscle stiffness.

This can be caused due to multiple factors. These include excessive salt intake, humid weather conditions and hormonal changes in pregnant women. It can also include factors like menstruation, usage of oral contraceptives and menopause in women. Hyperthyroidism might also lead to water retention in the cells. We shall be discussing a few ways of reducing water retention in the body:

Ways of reducing water retention:

1.   Reducing the intake of salt:

Reducing the intake of salt

There is no doubt that sodium is essential as a mineral for the regulation of fluid levels in the body. But intake of an excess of sodium salts may cause the cells to retain more water. Thus it becomes imperative to avoid food containing high concentrations of sodium. This includes fast foods and potato chips. Processed food such as packed and tinned meat also contains a lot of sodium in its composition.

It is also important to reduce the overall quantity of salt ingested. Although empirical data regarding different studies conducted provide mixed results, it is advisable to cut back on the salt intake.

2.   Cut back on the caffeine and alcohol:

Cut back on the caffeine and alcohol

This is one of the key solutions regarding the question of how to lose water weight. Caffeine and alcoholic beverages are dehydrating in nature. They constantly withdraw water from the cells since they are diuretic substances.

In the absence of sufficient fluids in the body, it feels the need to retain excess water in the cells. Thus, the body detects a state of ‘emergency’ and starts hoarding water for future use. This comes as a sort of defence mechanism on behalf of the body which expects a scarcity of water. Cutting back on dehydrating substances is a natural remedy to shed water weight.

3.   Drink lots of water:

Drink lots of water

One of the simplest solutions to the question of how to lose water weight is to drink more water. Although it sounds ironic, it is actually the simplest and most effective solutions to the problem. Supplying water to the body cells which detect a lack of water creates an osmotic pressure. Due to this pressure, the swollen cells relax and the water flows out of the cells to maintain water balance.

Apart from that, drinking more water helps in the excretion of salts from the body as well. This cumulative effect restores the body to its normal conditions. Women should ideally drink about 2.5 litres of water in a day while men should drink about 3.5 litres.

4.   Ingesting food rich in potassium:

Ingesting food rich in potassium

One of the ways of reducing water retention is by ingesting adequate amounts of magnesium in food. The importance of magnesium in metabolic processes is manifold. It is involved in regulating a large number of enzymatic reactions for the normal functioning of the body. Empirical studies have proven that the intake of magnesium during premenstrual symptoms (PMS) considerably reduces the swelling. Some sources of the mineral include dark chocolate, green, leafy vegetables, whole nuts and grains.

5.   Exercise:


Sometimes intense work-outs might result in the swelling of joints in the short run. But in the long run, it is extremely beneficial. A sedentary lifestyle is seen as one of the most probable causes for water retention in the body. Doing a bit of exercise everyday is one of the best natural home remedies for reducing swelling. Inducing movement in the extreme appendages might lead to better circulation of blood and lymphatic fluids.

6.   Eat lots of yogurt:

Eat lots of yogurt

One of the easiest natural home remedies is also one of the simplest ways of reducing water retention. Yogurt is a food that is rich in protein and nutrients. One of the contributing causes for water retention might be a lack of proteins. Hence increasing yogurt intake which has both proteins and potassium is one of the best food tips for the problem.

7.   Other food tips for reducing water retention:

cranberry juice

Other ways of reducing water retention in the body include avoiding refined carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates increase insulin levels which lead to retention of more sodium in the body. Eating foods rich in fibre is another method to combat bloating. Intake of di-uretic substances such as cranberry juice, parsley, dandelion leaf and horsetail herbs may also reduce bloating. Potassium decreases sodium levels and increases the production of urine. Hence, it is also advisable to eat foods rich in potassium such as avocados and bananas.

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