Swollen legs, bloated belly or fat fingers – do you know them too? We’ve all had those annoying moments when we look in the mirror and think “that’s not my body.” We feel sluggish, our favorite jeans literally pinch overnight and the scale shows 2-3 kilos more – water retention is one of the most common problems for men and women alike. How does it happen? What are the most common causes of water retention? These are all questions we have all asked ourselves a hundred times. But don’t panic! So that you can feel good in your skin again, we have done some research for you and tell you the best tips on how to get rid of water retention once and for all and drain your body!
What is water retention and what are the most common causes?
As you probably already know, our body is made up of 50-60% water. Water retention is generally water that is deposited in the tissues, causing visible swelling. Most often, it affects the legs, fingers, ankles or abdomen. As a result, shoes pinch, pants fit tighter and the scale suddenly shows significantly more weight. To get rid of water retention, you first need to know the cause, and in some cases, even medical treatment is necessary. Here is an overview of some of the most common causes of water retention.
- You eat too much salt – Are you one of those people who really salt everything abundantly? Have you noticed that you get especially thirsty after eating a pizza? If you answered “yes” to that, then you should change your eating habits and reduce your salt consumption. Salt is healthy in quantities, but it binds water in the body, which can lead to bloating. Here are some high sodium foods that you should rather avoid.
- Temperatures that are too high – You do sweat in the heat, right? Yes, you do. However, high summer temperatures also cause our feet and legs to swell. The reason for this is that the blood vessels dilate additionally in the heat to be able to release it. As a result, blood circulation slows down and fluid is no longer transported properly through the veins.
- Too little exercise – People who sit in an office all day and don’t exercise in particular often suffer from water retention. With a lack of exercise, portions of the blood actually remain in the feet and are not pumped back to the heart. In some cases, it can even lead to difficult circulation problems.
- Hormonal changes or pregnancy are another common cause of water retention in women. So the next time you feel heavier and more bloated than usual, don’t worry – it’s just water weight.
- Medications – Taking anti-hypertensive or anti-inflammatory medications, diabetes medications or antidepressants can also cause water retention.
How to get rid of water retention?
Fortunately, there are many great tips and tricks on how to get rid of water retention quite quickly. However, every body is different and what works wonders for one may do nothing for another. So try different methods and find out for yourself what works best for you.
More sports and exercise in everyday life
Okay, we know – not everyone has the time or inclination to stay at the gym after work. But you don’t have to, because after all, little exercise is much better than none at all. Ditch the car and walk to work or take regular walks in the fresh air. Or how about taking 20-30 minutes for a quick workout at home? Exercise and movement not only help you lose weight, but they also keep your blood circulation and veins moving, making them one of the best ways to get rid of water retention.
Drink more water
Get rid of water retention by drinking more water? Sounds strange and paradoxical at first glance, but our body needs enough fluid to function properly and move lymph and blood through the vessels without problems. If you drink too little water, it will be stored in the tissues and as a result we will feel bloated and sluggish. So make sure that you always drink enough.
Get rid of water retention with suitable foods
Did you know that as little as 8 grams of salt can bind up to a liter of water in the body? A change in diet is one of the easiest ways to get rid of water retention. Especially convenience foods from the refrigerated section contain quite a lot of salt and have no place in a balanced diet. Also try to drink less coffee and alcohol. To dehydrate the body, there are some dehydrating foods that you should include in your diet. These include potassium-rich fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, potatoes, and dates and dried apricots. Other foods that are diuretic include avocado, cucumbers, tomatoes, berries, asparagus, watermelon, artichoke and pineapple.
There are also plenty of herbs known for their draining and diuretic effects. To get rid of water retention on the legs or abdomen, drink two to three cups of herbal tea a day and reduce your coffee intake. Green tea, ginger tea, dandelion or nettle taste wonderful in winter and are perfect for draining the body in a gentle way.
Go on a rice diet
Excess carbohydrates are usually stored in the form of glycogen in the liver and muscle cells and can also lead to water retention. With rice, however, things are different, because it contains a really high amount of potassium and can therefore promote the drainage of the body. So a short rice diet for 1-2 days is ideal to get rid of water retention. However, you should prepare it without salt and fat. But since this is quite bland, you can try vegetable broth for more flavor.
Your daily life is too hectic and everyone in the office is annoying you? Too high cortisol levels can actually lead to water retention, and people who are constantly exposed to mental or physical stress are more likely to suffer from it. So take it easy and don’t let yourself get unnecessarily stressed.
Get rid of water retention with massages
When was the last time you treated yourself to a relaxing massage? We thought so too. Various massage techniques or lymphatic drainage are ideal for stimulating lymph flow and getting rid of water retention. To do this, stroke the affected areas with a dry brush or your hands from the bottom up and results will be visible after just a few weeks. Alternating showers or fascia rollers also promote blood circulation and help drain the body.