People often talk about gaining or losing water weight when they change their diet or exercise routine. This is a crucial concept to understand whether you are trying to lose weight or maintain your overall health. Below, Buffalo, NY fitness expert Christopher Lee explains what water weight is, how to adjust it, and much more.
Water naturally makes up from one half to two-thirds of your body weight. A little less for women and a little more for men. A little lower in older and obese people. A little more for young folks.
To put those percentages in perspective, a 155-pound man has a little over 10.5 gallons of water in his body. Seven of those gallons are inside his cells, two and a half in the space around his cells, and a little less than one gallon in his blood.
It is easy to see why the quickest way to gain or lose weight is to add or shed water. This fact can be vital if you monitor your weight because you want to lose some, add some, or make sure you remain the same.
Why your body retains water
Too much salt (sodium) intake will cause your body to retain water. Your body needs a specific sodium-to-water ratio. The marvel that it is, your body will auto-regulate by retaining water if maintaining the correct balance dictates it.
If you find that you have gained weight rapidly, examine your salt intake. You may have added something to your diet that is throwing your sodium balance off. Deficiencies in potassium and magnesium can also cause extra water weight.
How to reduce water weight gain
If you want to reduce your water weight gain, try drinking more water. It seems counterintuitive, but drinking water improves kidney function. Healthy kidneys will flush out excess water and sodium.
Reducing the amount of water you drink can cause dehydration. Dehydration will cause your body to hold on to all the water it can find and may increase your water weight.
Cutting your carb intake will also reduce water weight gain. Without carbs to store away glycogen molecules, your body will use up available glycogen and reduce water weight.
Exercise will reduce water weight in three ways. During and immediately after exercise, your body will sweat away water. Exercise will stimulate blood flow and improve circulation. The effect is that fluid in your legs and feet can be reduced. Physical activity will burn through your glycogen energy stores, resulting in reduced water weight.
Remember that it is essential to replace your body’s fluids after exercise. Failing to do so may result in dehydration, and this is counterproductive to your goal of reduced water weight and unhealthy.
When to seek medical attention
Nearly everyone experiences some weight changes related to the amount of water in their body. However, severe and frequent fluctuations can be symptomatic of medical conditions that require medical attention, such as kidney or heart disease. Always check with your doctor if you notice significant and unexplained changes in your weight.
About Christopher Lee
Christopher Lee is a certified fitness professional from Buffalo, New York. Christopher specializes in workout plans that help his clients look and feel more athletic and avoid injury. Mr. Lee emphasizes a healthy diet and lifestyle so clients can fuel adequately to maximize their workouts and reach their fitness goals. His exercise programs and training sessions are custom-designed to help build strength and agility.