Does it seem like you’ve gained weight overnight? Feel like you’re walking with balloons around your ankles? Have your shoes, clothes or jewellery suddenly become tight? Noticing a round waistline or puffy-looking face or bags under your eyes? Is your skin remaining indented after being pressed?
If you answered yes to any of these symptoms you could be battling with water retention or fluid retention which can lead to symptoms such as bloating, water-weight gain, puffiness, and swelling in the legs, ankles, or feet, face, hands as well as around the waist and tummy.1 Symptoms of water retention may cause you to feel heavier than usual, and less nimble or active.
You have probably heard that the human body is made up of over 70 percent water.2 Water content in the human body varies by body composition, gender, age, life-stage, lifestyle, fitness level and health status. Water is found in your blood, muscles, organs, and even your bones. You need it, but sometimes your body holds on to too much of it.
Should You Be Concerned About Retaining Water or Fluid?
Fluid retention can last a couple of days or a couple of weeks and even months depending on the underlying causes. Occasional water retention is not a reason for concern and not serious, but excessive or persistent water retention might signal an underlying disease or medical condition. If you’ve surpassed the one or two-week mark and are still bloated, puffy and retaining water, then it’s important to seek immediate professional help with your medical practitioner.
Why are you retaining so much water lately?
Water retention can be triggered by many different things.
- Eating large amounts of salts — Eating salty foods or savoury snacks can make you thirsty because salt (sodium) is a natural dehydrator. Sodium typically has a high affinity for water meaning it attracts water, which may explain why sweat is salty.
- Sugar overload — When you eat too much sugar, your insulin levels go up. High levels of insulin may cause your kidneys to retain both water and sodium, meaning you are not only gaining water weight, but also increasing sodium reabsorption in your kidneys when you consume excess sugar.
- Using stimulants & diuretic agents — Alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, protein, salt, and sugar are most likely to act as diuretics in the body, meaning they make you urinate more and as a result promote dehydration.3,4
- Dehydration — When the body is deprived of necessary water, it holds on to the little water it has rather than releasing it to your bloodstream. The body may become dehydrated due to poor drinking habits, sweating, urinating, vomiting, diarrhoea, tears, and breathing. The severity can be worsened by many factors, such as diet, lifestyle, weather, climate, medication side effects, hormone changes, obesity, thyroid, hypertension, polycystic ovarian cyst (PCOS), heart disease and kidney conditions.
- Heat and humidity — Your body rises its temperature in hot weather, and it has to lose that excess heat in order to maintain normal internal body temperature and, consequently, higher water retention, and accumulation of blood and fluids happens.
- Poor circulation and gravity — Sitting or standing for prolonged periods (inactivity) such as office work, in meetings, travelling or having to stay in bed (immobility) may keep blood stuck in your lower extremities or limbs.
- (Pre)menstruation —Fluctuating hormones can give rise to water retention, digestive issues, and cravings, all of which can make your jeans, and belts feel a little bit tighter.
- Stress & poor sleep — When you’re stressed, you struggle to sleep and your body releases certain hormones such as cortisol and vasopressin which may signal the body to retain more water.
- Nutrient & hormone deficiencies — Many vitamins, minerals, and hormone deficiencies have been linked to poor metabolic function such as fluid balance, detoxification, digestion, movement, energy, which can affect your body’s natural ability to manage weight. Iodine, magnesium, calcium, potassium, Vitamin C, D and B-complex as well as dandelion, juniper, cranberry, bearberry, goldenrod, and burdock are all great nutrients for stimulating your waterworks.5
Nativa Complex® Water Flow is a multi-ingredient supplement targeted at relieving symptoms of temporary water retention, water-weight, bloating and maintaining a normal fluid balance in the body.
Dr. Minesh Khatri (25 January 2022). WebMD: Why am I retaining water? Accessed 23 November 2023 Available from: https://www.webmd.com/diet/why-am-i-retaining-water
Rohini Radhakrishnan and Shaziya Allarakha (7 February 2022). MedicineNet: What Percentage of Your Body Should Be Water? Accessed 23 November 2023. Available from: https://www.medicinenet.com/what_percentage_of_your_body_should_be_water/article.htm