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  • Writer's pictureChuck Johns

The 3 Simplest And All-Natural Ways To Reduce Water Retention And Bloating

One sometimes puzzling, but easily dealt with, modern health issue is water retention. This bodily phenomenon can lead to bloating, and can sometimes be troublesome and uncomfortable, but need not be an insurmountable issue. There are many possible reasons that could be behind the incidence of water retention and/or bloating, and as such dealing with it and minimizing its impact can be as simple as identifying these possible causes and working to restore your body's equilibrium. The puffiness and swelling associated with water retention need not be a long-term bother.


The body is naturally partly made up of water, because our blood, organs, muscles, and regular body functions need it. However, the body can have too much of a good thing, and so some factors can lead to the body holding on to too much water.

1. Diet -- while the body needs a certain amount of sodium for its various functions, such as blood pressure regulation and fluid level regulation, sometimes our diets give our bodies more sodium than it really needs. The most common way this happens is through the use of too much table salt in our seasoning, but really there are many more ways than that to get it -- many foods contain significant amount of sodium. This includes processed foods, crackers, chips, canned foods, and soft drinks (believe it or not). In turn, an oversupply of the mineral in the body results in a similarly-high level of water retained.

2. Lifestyle -- our body has several mechanisms designed to move blood and other fluids efficiently throughout the entire mass, but certain factors like gravity and stress can keep these from working as well as they should. Sitting or standing for long periods can lead to blood pooling at lower points in the body, allowing fluid to leak into some tissues and blood vessels. This is common for long plane rides or drives, or jobs that require a lot of sitting and standing for long stretches.

3.Hormones -- water retention tends to happen more for women as part of the days leading up to their periods. This sort of water retention doesn't typically last for more than a few days. Notably, sometimes a hormonal shift caused by hormones taken for hormone replacement therapy or birth control purposes can have a similar effect.

4. Medication -- Some medicines such as those for high blood pressure, antidepressants, chemotherapy medication, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can have side effects that include water retention. This may be the easiest potential cause to deal with, as it typically only requires a shift in medication.

5. Heart problems -- As noted above, the body needs to be operating at peak efficiency for its many systems to be functioning well. Among other things, a weakened heart will have trouble pumping blood efficiently through the body, resulting in similar water retention and swelling in some parts of the body like the abdomen and legs.

There are some ways to deal with water retention that don't involve any fancy remedies and aren't terribly complicated. While water retention can lead to various types of discomfort, these simple and all-natural ways of dealing with it can ensure it will be a nevertheless temporary condition.

1. Scale down the salt intake.

Given that a steeper-than-needed sodium level is one common culprit behind water retention, it makes sense that going in the opposite direction would lead to the opposite outcome. Keeping your sodium intake down to 1,500 mg daily -- the optimal amount -- or to 2,300 mg at the most will go a long way toward helping avoid water retention. Processed foods such as fast food and instant or canned food, and those with salt-based seasoning, are the usual suspects here.

2. Prioritize plain water over any other drinks.

A lot of our drink options actually contribute to water retention, because of the additives that lead to the body processing fluids more slowly, or raising the sodium level to the point where the body holds on to more water than it should. When you're thirsty, forsake soft drinks and the like -- and for athletes, energy drinks in particular -- and go with plain water, which will avoid introducing any of those problem substances into your body.

3. If you have to have something sweet, switch out soda for cranberry juice.

Not only is this sweet and tart drink already healthier for you than most sodas and juices -- with key amounts of vitamin C, supporting digestive health, and so on -- but it's also a diuretic, which helps flush out water from the body, keeping your water flow regular. This also has the side benefit of flushing out minerals like excess sodium, which will have similar water retention avoidance benefits.



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