The human body is 50% to 60% water depending on gender and age. Any extra water in the body is referred to as ‘water weight’.
If you’re feeling bloated, it could be a sign that you’re carrying around extra water. While severe water retention can be a symptom of a more chronic condition, mild bloating and puffiness can be addressed with some simple lifestyle changes.
Watch Your Carb Intake
When you eat carbohydrates, the glucose molecules that make up those carbs link together in a chain and produce longer units called glycogen. Glycogen is then what your muscles use for energy, like when you’re working out.
However, in order to fuel your muscles, glycogen must first blind to water. Research shows that each gram of glycogen in your body is bound to 3 to 4 grams of water and that water adds a few pounds to your overall weight.
Therefore, ‘when you eat a lot of carbs, and you’re not exercising, your body stores those carbs in glycogen and glycogen is stored in water’, says Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD, and founder of Nutrition a la Natalie.
To get rid of water weight, you can either limit your carb intake so there’s not much glycogen in your system that needs to bind to water. Or exercise regularly to use up those water-heavy glycogen reserves because over time, as glycogen stores are broken down through exercise, the associated water is excreted through urine, reducing water weight.
Watch Your Sodium Intake
One of the biggest factors that can increase water weight is you salt intake. ‘Salt is hydrophilic – meaning water pretty much follows salt. If you eat salty food, you’re going to want to drink more water’, which can increase water weight, says Dhwanil Patel, MD, and renal fellow at NYU.
Too much salt is your system can result in immediate water retention because the body needs to keep the sodium – to – water ration balanced in order to function properly. The more salt in your system, the more water is retained, adding to your weight.
So to reduce water weight, cut back on foods that have a high level of sodium or salt, says Rizzo. This is generally a lot of processed foods, such as chips and fried foods. Rizzo has seen clients lose 5 to 10 pounds of water weight in her practice with drastic diet changes, but noted that this amount largely varies from person to person.
Drink More Water
Another big and counterintuitive lifestyle change you can make is to drink more water. ‘Drinking water can help the kidneys flush out any sodium’, says Rizzo. As described earlier, less sodium leads to less water retention. However, it’s important to focus on diet while drinking more water because drinking more water, alone is ‘not going to do a huge amount. It’s not going to undo a bad diet’, says Rizzo.
As for how much water you need each day, don’t fall for the 8-cup-a-day myth. Instead, make sure you’re getting enough fluids: The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine recommends 125 fluids ounces a day for men and 91 fluid ounces for women.
Another bonus is that if you’re drinking more water because you’re swapping out diet soda for it, then you may lose more than just weight. A few studies found that when women who regularly drink diet drinks replaced them with water after a meal, it resulted in weight reduction over the course of several months to a year.
Try Supplements For Period Bloating
For one study involved 60 women, 92% of them experienced water retention, also known as menstrual edema, the week before their period started. Changes in hormones estrogen and progesterone can impact the regulation of body fluids and sodium content, which results in fluid retention.
The water weight drops off once menstrual bleeding begins, but one study found that magnesium, which regulates glucose levels in your body, can reduce premenstrual water retention if the supplement is taken for at least two months.
As always, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctors before taking any supplements or implementing drastic lifestyle changes.
Starting the day with a hot cup of caffeinated coffee or tea may sound divine to some, but it could have negative impacts on the children of people who are pregnant, according to a new study. Children who were exposed to small amounts of caffeine before birth were found on average to be shorter than … Continue reading Even Less Than Recommended Amounts Of Caffeine While Pregnant Could Impact Your Child’s Life
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark appeared every inch the glamorous royal as she attended an event held in honour of UNICEF. The Danish princess arrived at the 60th anniversary of the UNICEF Supply Division in Copenhagen wearing a burgundy Alexander McQueen Blazer on top of a black ensemble. Known for her love of ultra-chic tailoring, … Continue reading Princess Mary Of Denmark Epitomizes Royal Elegance For A Charity Event
NEW YORK – Thousands of flowers in brilliant hues of pink, purple, blue, orange, and yellow greeted visitors at Manhattan’s Hudson Yards in New York City for the Fleurs de Villes FEMMES floral show. ‘We’re so thrilled to be back here for our third show at Hudson Yards. And we’re bringing our FEMME show, which … Continue reading New York Flower Show Celebrates ‘Remarkable Women’
PARIS, France – Spain’s Queen Letizia turned 50 on Thursday. It’s only a birthday but Spain is taking the opportunity to assess its scarred monarchy and ponder how the arrival of a middle-class commoner may help shake up one of Europe’s most storied royal dynasties into a modern and more palatable institution. Divorced and a … Continue reading Spain Lauds Queen Letizia’s Modernizing Role As She Turns 50
LONDON – The Duchess of Sussex made her first public address in the UK yesterday since stepping down as a senior royal in 2020. Meghan addressed audience at the opening ceremony for One Young World in Manchester, where young leaders from more than 190 countries were present to listen to a number of notable figures … Continue reading ‘Important Work Can’t Wait For Tomorrow’: Meghan’s First UK Speech Since Royal Departure