By Ashleigh Kast
Some days you wake up, roll out of bed, check yourself out in the mirror, and you’re so happy with what you see-- stomach is flatter, that pair of skinny jeans in the back of your closet that really don’t fit slide right on. But the next morning you wake up all excited to see if you made more progress and it appears to be all gone!
Don’t worry, it’s not gone and you didn’t gain 3lbs of fat in one day. It’s just water, give yourself a break! Water has lots of jobs to fulfill in the body, such as:
-Transporting nutrients and oxygen
-Regulating body temperature
-Cleansing filtration of your liver and kidneys
-Dissolving and acting like a solvent
-Reacting involved in most of the body’s chemical reactions
-Lubricating joints and the digestive tract
Throughout each of these processes you lose water, but you are also taking in water through what you eat and drink.
Some foods have more salt in them which will cause your body to absorb more water. These foods will fill up your muscles with carbohydrates, causing them to pull in up to 3x their weight in water. Imbalanced hormonal situations could also be impacting your retention. So, water is constantly on the move in, out, and through your body; therefore, your body is trying to create balance within this ever changing environment to keep hydration levels optimal.
These factors can cause your body to look a little different throughout the day as your environment and your internal environment both change-- which is completely normal! To avoid unwanted water retention, you want to do things that will help water fulfill its many jobs.
Use quality salt: For instance, grey celtic salt or pink Himalayan salt are both great options. This will give your body the minerals it needs to move water where it needs to go. It’s a good idea to add salt or an electrolyte powder to your water while you exercise to keep these levels up.
Avoid processed foods: Processed foods are filled with iodized salt and preservatives that can cause bloating. Instead, try to eat more foods that contain high amounts of water so you can stay hydrated and reduce bloating. Some examples are cantaloupe, watermelon, lettuce, cabbage, etc-- these types of foods act as “natural diuretics.”
Eat more Potassium-rich foods: Potassium is an important mineral that can help decrease water retention by increasing urine production and decreasing sodium levels. You can find high amounts of potassium in bananas, sweet potatoes, avocados, tomatoes, spinach and more.
Move more: Getting up and moving around, even if it’s just to walk a small distance or stretch, can help improve circulation. Moving around will stimulate blood flow and circulation which can then reduce fluid buildup throughout the body.
Exercise: Exercising allows your body to sweat out toxins it would otherwise surround in more water and fat. The average fluid loss during 1 hour of exercise is 16-64 ounces! In addition, your body is also shifting a lot of water to your muscles. This helps decrease the amount of water found outside the cell which is what happens when you have excessive water retention.
Manage your stress: This will keep your hormones regulated and your digestive system moving. Stress over time increases the hormone cortisol’s production, which is known to have a direct influence on water weight. Increases in cortisol triggers an increase in the hormone that controls water balance in the body, called ADH (antidiuretic hormone), which leads to water retention.
Drink enough water: Drinking at least ½ your bodyweight in ounces per day is a healthy amount of water intake. If you’re in a bind and seem to keep forgetting to hydrate, try RSP’s Immunity + Hydration shot which provides ongoing hydration and immune support anytime, anywhere.
We hope this mini lesson empowers you with knowledge the next time you hop on the scale after a night out with friends at your favorite sushi or pasta restaurant. Before jumping to conclusions about your progress, remember that water weight is a very real thing, and it’s nothing to be afraid of.
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