Why am I Retaining Water?! Causes of Water Retention

Water retention… yep that thing that makes you feel like you’ve gained about 5 pounds in a day! But why do we retain water? In this article we go through some of the top causes of water retention to beat that overnight bloat for good!

1. You’re Consuming Too Much Salt

We all need salt in our diet, but if you’re consuming too much salt this is sure to lead to some unwanted water retention! Salt is hidden in many sauces and fast foods as well as ready meals so be sure to check the pack. What’s more there are many healthy foods that are also high in fats – including nuts and certain types of processed meats like ham.

crisps and salt

2. You’ve been Following a Low Carb Diet and Sugar Has Found You

So you thought a low carb diet was the answer to shedding fat? The effectiveness of low carb diets is up for debate but if you’ve been restricting carbs and enjoyed a cheat meal or little treat this could be the cause of water retention. Carbohydrates can cause the muscles to retain more water and appear fuller – but rest assured this is only temporary! If you gradually introduce carbs back into your diet and drink plenty of fluid to stay hydrated this water retention won’t last!

pick n mix sweets

3. You’ve Had a Boozy Weekend

It’s great to have a night out on the town – we all need a blow out now and again! But when you consume sugary drinks and cocktails this can lead to water retention the next day. Not only that, but even if you stick to spirits, alcohol acts to dehydrate the body. This means when you fill up on water the next day and some carbs to soak up the alcohol you will likely experience some water retention.

4. It’s That Time of the Month or You’re on the Pill

Unfortunately, we all experience that time before a period where … well… things can go a bit cray cray! You’re emotional, moody and feel like a big bloat! But actually this is totally normal and again TEMPORARY! Even those of us who take the pill can experience around 7 -10 days of water retention before our periods. To help combat this water retention try to drink plenty of water, eat healthily and exercise.

5. Changes in Weather

Sounds strange but when the weather gets hot our body swells! It’s a natural response so you may retain more water during warmer weather. The body will acclimatise to this so don’t worry. What’s more, if you’re jetting off on holiday don’t be alarmed if for the first two days you feel a bit fluffy round the edges! Flying can also make us retain water due to the changes in pressure.

Take Home Message

The take home message here guys is that water retention is mainly a temporary response by the body to changes. Change in diet, changes in hormone, changes in weather and the environment. But as long as you know the causes of water retention you can either avoid them or be prepared and know you can tell yourself it’s not forever!

Sophie Angell

Sophie Angell

Writer and expert

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