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Reduce water retention: Get rid of bloating with these tips

WATER RETENTION
Content Editor & Ecotrophologist
Leonie is an ecotrophologist. She writes articles for foodspring about nutrition and healthy living. She also creates free food programs designed to help you reach your goals.

Do you struggle with annoying water retention? We’ll show you how to shed unnecessary water weight quickly!

Editor’s note: Are you a competitive athlete? Do you need to dehydrate your body quickly and over the short term in order to reach a certain weight? Click on Chapter 6 in the table of contents below and find out how athletes prepare for competitions!

Reduce water retention: Figure out the causes

Once you notice that your body is storing more water, it’s time to find out what might be causing it. For example, pregnant women, the elderly, and women going through menopause tend to have more problems with water retention. Women’s hormone levels can also lead to water retention during their periods.

Problems with water retention can also be caused by diseases such as heart or kidney ailments. Combined with the wrong diet and too little exercise, water retention becomes even worse.

What all these causes have in common is that the water is stored in particularly frustrating places like your thighs, bottom, belly, upper arms, and ankles, in most cases.

Editor’s tip: Getting rid of excess fluid means drinking a lot. That’s why we recommend our Balance and Protection Tea Set as part of your health and fitness routine. Check out Chapter 4 for more on why you should drink tea!

Click here for our Balance & Protection Tea Set
Drinking water can actually reduce water retention
©johnkellerman

Why does your body need water?

An adult human’s body is 70% water on average, and every day we lose some of this water by sweating and breathing. Water transports various substances within our bodies, while also serving other functions. It makes sure that our blood flows, removes harmful substances, and helps our brain work properly, just to name a few.

Remember a few days when you didn’t drink enough water? Over the course of the day you probably noticed that you couldn’t perform as well in your workouts or concentrate while studying, and you ended up with a headache. These are all signs of dehydration.

Reduce water retention with your diet

Several different methods can help you get rid of excess water weight, but just eating certain foods is usually enough. All you have to do is incorporate these foods into your daily routine for a few days.

Important reminder: It sounds like a contradiction, but if you want to reduce water retention, you have to make sure you get enough fluids.

We’ve already covered how getting enough water is essential for your body to function properly. If you aren’t drinking enough, your body will try even harder to store water for an emergency. But if you’re getting enough water, it will break down excess fluids faster.

That’s why we recommend eating natural foods with high water and potassium content. Cucumbers, melons, pineapples, strawberries, and asparagus are perfect for reducing water retention. Artichokes, onions, garlic, carrots, avocados, potatoes, and rice can also help. Then there’s potassium-rich foods like nuts, including hazelnuts, cashews, peanuts, and almonds, as well as dried fruit like apricots and bananas.

Warning: Potassium should only be consumed in small amounts and in the form of natural foods.

On the other hand, if you want to reduce water retention quickly and effectively, you should also definitely avoid some foods, including not only alcohol and caffeine, but also salt. Everyday table salt is mostly made up of sodium, which has a strong water-binding effect.

Reduce water retention with different teas

If you want to provide your body with additional support, just pick the right drinks! Many varieties of tea are supposed to help reduce water retention, like nettle, parsley, birch leaf, horsetail, dandelion, ginger, and green tea.

Check out our All-Day Vitality Set
foodspring's All Day Cleanse tea to reduce water retention
©foodspring

 

Other methods for reducing water retention

In addition to a balanced diet, there are also other ways you can reduce excess fluids.

1. Reduce water retention with lymphatic drainage

If your body’s water retention is so extreme that it’s already causing pain, lymphatic drainage can be helpful. In this process the relevant tissue is stimulated with a special technique. In contrast to massage, this technique is very gentle on your tissues and stimulates the lymphatic channels responsible for the removal of excess fluid.

2. Shed excess water with a foot reflexology massage

A reflexology foot massage can also help activate the lymphatic system, as well as the liver and kidneys, helping the body reduce water retention by itself.

3. Reduce water retention with moderate cardio exercise

While one-sided physical stress, such as sitting for long periods and standing without moving much, can also lead to water retention, moderate cardio exercise is perfect for reducing it. Cycling, in particular, also has the advantage of being particularly easy on your joints. The entire body’s circulatory process is activated during cardio exercise. On the one hand, you’re just sweating out the water, and on the other, your body is also transporting and using it more effectively within the body.

4. Get rid of excess fluid with a fascia roller

Happen to have a fascia roller at home? Perfect! When you start rolling out your muscles, you’re also stimulating your lymphatic system. This activates the body’s own drainage mechanisms in a way that’s similar to lymph drainage.

Shedding water weight for competitions

Unlike those fighting abnormal water retention, athletes such as bodybuilders and martial artists, whose competitions are divided into different weight classes, use different techniques to try to lose a few hundred grams, sometimes even kilos, in a very short time.

While your body breaks down fat very slowly, it can lose one kilo of water relatively quickly. But you should be aware that this weight loss isn’t for keeps, and that it usually shows up again on the scale just one day later.

In order to shed water weight, many martial artists like to work out in special sweat suits and a little extra clothing. After they’re done training, they head to the sauna. Before a competition they have almost nothing to eat and only a little water to drink, if any.

Bodybuilders usually approach shedding water weight in a very systematic way. They follow a precise diet plan that tells them exactly how much protein, carbs, fat, and water they can consume. With these plans they manage to maintain maximum muscle volume, while bringing their water retention to a minimum.

Important reminder: These methods for shedding water weight are only very short-term solutions to reducing your weight and water retention.

Conclusion

  • First, find out what’s causing your water retention.
  • Drinking enough is essential for reducing water retention.
  • Foods with a high water and potassium content are helpful.
  • Alcohol and caffeine cause you to retain even more water.
  • Table salt is mostly sodium, which makes your body store even more water.
  • Various types of tea help the body reduce water retention.
  • Lymphatic drainage, foot reflexology, moderate cardio exercise, and massages with a fascia roller stimulate the removal of water from your body’s tissues.
  • Methods used to shed water weight before competitions only have short-term effects.
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