How to Get Rid of Retained Water

Feeling puffy, sluggish, and like your clothes are a bit tighter than usual? You might be experiencing water retention, a common issue where your body holds onto excess fluids, causing uncomfortable bloating and temporary weight gain. 

While it can be caused by underlying medical conditions, more frequently it’s due to everyday lifestyle factors that are luckily easy to address with natural and cost-effective solutions.

Understanding the Culprit: What Causes Water Retention?

Before delving into solutions, let’s explore the common culprits behind water retention, diving deeper into their mechanisms:

  • Sodium Overload: The Salty Switcheroo: A diet high in sodium (salt) can disrupt the delicate balance of electrolytes in your body. When sodium levels rise, your body holds onto extra water to dilute the concentration and maintain a healthy balance. Processed foods, restaurant meals, and even seemingly healthy canned goods often harbor hidden sodium.

How to Combat It:

  • Read Food Labels Carefully: Become a label-reading detective! Look for the sodium content per serving and opt for options with lower numbers. Aim for less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day, and ideally strive for closer to 1,500 mg for optimal health.
  • Cook More at Home: This allows you to control the amount of salt added to your meals. Experiment with herbs and spices to add flavor without the sodium spike.
  • Dehydration Paradox: When Less Becomes More: Believe it or not, not drinking enough water can ironically lead to water retention. When dehydrated, your body perceives a scarcity of fluids and clings to any it has, triggering your kidneys to conserve water and leading to bloating.

How to Stay Hydrated:

  • Know Your Needs: Aim for 2-3 liters of water per day, adjusting based on your activity level and climate.
  • Make it a Habit: Carry a reusable water bottle and sip throughout the day. Set reminders on your phone or use a water tracking app for extra motivation.
  • Flavor it Up: Add slices of cucumber, lemon, or berries to your water for a refreshing twist.
  • Hormonal Fluctuations: The Monthly Cycle’s Influence: Women often experience water retention during their menstrual cycle due to hormonal changes, specifically fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone. These hormones can cause temporary fluid build-up, leading to bloating and feeling heavier.

What to Do:

  • Understand Your Cycle: Track your menstrual cycle and be aware of potential water retention periods.
  • Maintain a Balanced Diet: Focus on consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains during this time. These are rich in vitamins and minerals that can help alleviate bloating symptoms.
  • Consider Natural Remedies:  Talk to your doctor about the possibility of incorporating natural diuretics like dandelion tea or magnesium supplements (with caution) to help manage water retention during your cycle.
  • Lack of Movement: The Stagnant Pool: Being sedentary allows fluids to pool in your extremities, particularly your legs and ankles, causing swelling and a heavy feeling. Regular physical activity helps your body’s circulatory system work efficiently, preventing fluids from stagnating and contributing to bloating.

Get Moving, Feel Lighter:

  • Find Activities You Enjoy: From brisk walking and dancing to swimming or cycling, choose activities you find fun and will stick with in the long run. Even short bursts of movement throughout the day can make a difference.
  • Start Gradually: If you’re new to exercise, begin with small, manageable goals and gradually increase the duration and intensity as your fitness level improves.
  • Incorporate Strength Training: Building muscle mass can improve your metabolism and help your body manage fluids more effectively.
  • Medication Side Effects: An Unforeseen Consequence: Certain medications, like some blood pressure medications and hormonal treatments, can list water retention as a potential side effect. This is because they can alter the body’s fluid balance or sodium levels.

What to Do:

  • Read Medication Information Carefully: Pay close attention to the listed side effects and discuss any concerns with your doctor.
  • Explore Alternatives: If water retention is a significant concern, your doctor might be able to suggest alternative medications with fewer side effects.
  • Stay Hydrated: While medication can contribute to water retention, staying well-hydrated can help mitigate some of its effects.

Additional Considerations and Tips:

  • Seek Professional Guidance: If you experience significant or persistent water retention, consult your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions. They can provide personalized advice and address any concerns you might have.
  • Mindful Food Choices: Opt for whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible. These are generally lower in sodium and packed with essential nutrients that support overall health and fluid balance.
  • Limit Processed Meats and Cheeses: These are notorious for being high in sodium and saturated fat, both of which can contribute to water retention and other health concerns.
  • Beware of Sugar Intake: Excessive sugar consumption can lead to inflammation in the body, which can manifest as bloating and fluid retention.
  • Manage Stress: Chronic stress can disrupt your body’s hormonal balance and contribute to water retention. Incorporating stress-management techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing can be beneficial.
  • Get Enough Sleep: When you’re sleep-deprived, your body releases a stress hormone called cortisol, which can contribute to fluid retention. Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night.


  • Consult your doctor before trying any new herbal remedies or supplements, as they can interact with medications or worsen underlying conditions.
  • Consistency is key. It takes time for the body to adjust to new habits. Stick with these strategies and be patient for lasting results.

Embrace a Holistic Approach

By addressing water retention through a combination of dietary modifications, increased physical activity, and healthy lifestyle habits, you can not only feel lighter and more energized, but also contribute to your overall well-being.

Remember, small changes can lead to big improvements! Take charge of your health and empower yourself to feel your best naturally and affordably.

Conclusion: Empowering Yourself through Healthy Choices

While water retention can be frustrating, it’s important to remember that it’s often a temporary issue addressed through adjustments to your daily lifestyle.

By implementing these simple and cost-effective strategies, you can take charge of your health, combat water retention, and achieve a lighter, more energized feeling.

Remember, consistency is key! Small, sustainable changes to your diet, hydration habits, and activity level can lead to significant improvements in your overall well-being.

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