If you weigh yourself on a regular basis, then you probably know how much it can change from one day to the next. This can be disheartening if you’re trying to lose or gain weight and the numbers aren’t going the way you want. If you’re following a balanced diet and regular exercise but still find that you gain several pounds overnight, then water weight may be to blame.
What is water weight?
Around 60% of your body is made up of water, so obviously this contributes a great deal to your weight. It’s why you might temporarily weigh significantly less after a night of heavy drinking – the hangover has left you dehydrated.
But when people refer to water weight, they’re talking about excess water retention. This means that extra water is being stored in your tissues and between blood vessels. It results in a bloated feeling – your stomach may look bloated and you may experience some swelling in your legs and ankles, and puffiness around the face.
What causes water weight?
Water retention and water weight are predominantly caused by what we eat. Consuming too much salt throws off the balance between water content and electrolytes, so your body instinctively holds on to more water to keep your hydration in check.
Too much sugar in your diet can also have a similar effect on water retention. This is because excess sugar leads to excess insulin, which has a big impact on hydration. With more insulin in your blood, your body will retain more sodium (aka salt). This will again cause your body to retain more water to balance out the excess salt.
Diet isn’t the only cause of water weight. It could simply be due to hormone fluctuations. Women often gain weight and feel bloated in the days leading up to their period. Similarly, pregnant women can experience a lot of water weight, especially toward the end of their pregnancy. Stress can also cause hormone-related water weight.
Other causes include standing or sitting for long periods of time, certain medications, and the atmospheric pressure in airplane cabins. Water retention is rarely a cause for concern, but can be related to heart or kidney dysfunction in some cases, so it may be worth seeing a doctor if you consistently experience water retention.
How to get rid of or prevent excess water weight
Perhaps counterintuitively, drinking more water can help you get rid of extra water weight. If you’re always well-hydrated, then your body doesn’t need to retain excess water. So, stay hydrated and try to avoid excess salt and sugar in your diet to avoid water weight. If you work at a desk all day, then try to get up and walk around regularly to avoid water retention. Exercise can also help to manage water weight as you expel sodium as you sweat, but stay hydrated as you exercise.
A water delivery service or water cooler for your home or office can help you stay hydrated and healthy. Contact Mountain Park Spring Water to find out more about our services around North Carolina and Virginia.