Weight Water Important 101: What Is Water Weight, Causes, and How to Lose It

what is water weight

Have you ever gain or lost a lot of weight within a short time? If so, you are probably dealing with water weight. The questions are, what is water weight? What causes it? Also, how to get rid of it? No worries. We have the answers. Just read on.

Quick Facts

  • At a given time, water makes up about 50% to 60% of the total body weight of an adult. The excess water retained in the body is called “water weight.”
  • When water builds up inside the body, it can cause puffiness and bloat, especially in your body areas like arms, abdomens, and legs.
  • An individual’s weight can fluctuate by 2 to 4 pounds due to their water levels. The fluctuation can happen in as short as a day.
  • A sudden increase in salt intake can cause an increase in water retention, which then adds water weight. Note that what determines the water weight here is the difference between your “normal amount” and the sudden increase, not the amount of salt.
  • Water weight is not permanent. It is not related to the weight you gain due to a change in calorie intake.
  • You may shed many pounds in the first weeks when you do an extreme diet. It mostly comes from water weight.
  • Want to get rid of water weight? Drink plenty of water every day. Staying hydrated is, interestingly enough, one of the best things to do to lose weight. On the flip side, if you are regularly dehydrated, your body will retain more water. 

What Is Water Weight?

You might be wondering what exactly is water weight. After all, are not our bodies comprised mostly of water? So yes, we are full of water. Between 50% and 60% of our total weight comes from water. 

So, what is water weight? The clue is in the name. It is the extra water that the body retains. Instead of expelling the excess water, your body contains it, storing it between the organs and skin. 

No need to worry, though. Water weight is temporary and very common.

So, although water weight is pervasive, it is rarely something to be concerned about. It can, however, make you feel uncomfortable and may cause unwanted puffiness and bloating.

If you ever gain or lose a lot of weight quickly, as a single day, chances are you are gaining or losing water weight. However, to clarify that gaining pounds due to water weight doesn’t mean you have gained importance in fat or muscle.

Is It Good or Is It Bad?

So, is water weight good? Or is water weight insufficient? That depends. If you want to look as defined and lean as possible, yes, water weight is terrible.

If, however, you are an athlete, having water weight is not something terrible. On the contrary, it is a good thing, even. Why? Because it means that your glycogen stores are full, which can help you power up through a strenuous session.

In short, what makes water weight excellent or bad depends primarily on your goals. Some degree of water weight is average. Therefore, water weight is seldom a cause for concern.

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What Cause Water Weight?

Does bloating cause water weight? Does drinking too much water? Before you get rid of water weight, it is good to know what factors cause it. The followings are the causes of water weight.

  • Food

Yes, food. What foods cause water weight? Foods that are high in carbohydrates and sodium will cause you to have weight water. If you eat those sorts of foods can drive you to water retention. From water retention comes water weight.

  • Physical inactivity

Having a job or activity with much standing or sitting for a long time can also cause water weight. Why? Because if you stand or sit for a long time, the circulation of fluids around your body is disrupted. This results in water building up around the body tissue.

  • Stress

Stress can cause a lot of things. Yes, that includes water weight, too. When you are stressed, your cortisol level is increased. Cortisol is not a bad thing per se, but too much of it can lead you to water weight. 

  • Period

Yes, your time of the month can cause water weight, too. This is a common thing, actually. As your body prepares for your period, the hormones inside your body fluctuate. This results in water retention days before your period. However, as it is a monthly thing, you should not worry about it.

  • Starvation

Severe calorie deprivation can also cause you to have weight water.

  • Medications

Fluid retention can be caused by medication. Many medications indicate to drive water retention as their side effect. Suppose these include medicines like oral contraceptives and anti-inflammatory drugs.

  • Heart or kidney disease

In some cases, water weight is caused by heart or kidney disease. Heart or kidney disease can disrupt the normal blood flow around the body. In turn, this disruption may cause fluid buildups, resulting in extra water weight and swelling.

How to Lose Water Weight

  • Drink more water

As counterintuitive as it sounds, drinking plenty of water can help you to reduce your water weight. On the other hand, dehydration can cause weight water as your body feels starved for water. So if you ask, “Can drinking a lot of water cause weight loss?” the answer will probably be yes.

  • Avoid salty foods

Sodium binds with water, keeping it trapped inside the body. So if you want to shed fluid retention, you should avoid salty foods.

  • Reduce carbohydrate intake

Carbohydrate causes you to suffer water retention. Although you need carbs to function each day, you should avoid consuming more than necessary. If you have a water weight and high carbs diet, consider reducing your carbs intake.

  • Exercise

Exercise has lots of benefits. Unsurprisingly, reducing water weight is among them. Why? Well, because it allows your body to sweat. When you sweat out means, you release the extra water it has. So as you exercise and sweat, the water weight in your body drops immediately.

  • Supplements

Magnesium oxide and vitamin B-6 can help to reduce water retention. However, before you decide to take new supplements, we suggest you talk to your doctor.

Usually, water weight is not something that you need to be concerned about. Especially so if you live a healthy lifestyle. It can, however, be recurring and uncomfortable. Fortunately, getting rid of it is not difficult, as we have shown you above.


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