One of the most misunderstood and frustrating things which athletes just never seem to properly understand is water retention. Water retention can appear as fat, making you look bloated, soft and basically ruin your aesthetics. What most people don’t understand is why water retention occurs and how they can limit this without taking extreme measures. This article aims to educate the uneducated on the topic of water retention.
Water retention occurs for a number of reasons. However, the science behind it in brief is that Sodium causes your body to hold water. This occurs when an excess amount of sodium ions are deposited underneath your skin, in particular around your lower abdominal region. This then gives a soft look which makes you look as if you are holding fat around your waistline. Therefore Sodium is the general cause for excess amounts of water retention which is often the barrier between getting ripped and not.
So with this being said what action can you take to tackle water retention? Well there are a number of things you can do which will help you lose this layer of water between your muscle and skin. To begin with you should start to drink a lot more water. Aiming for between 4-5 liters a day, this will in fact lower the amount of ‘water retention’ you experience simply because what it will do is flush out the Sodium ions which are the main cause.
Another great tip to help avoid and prevent water retention is to use a sauna. What this does is cause you to sweat to a huge degree, in turn depositing the salts or Sodium ions from underneath your skin. To begin with your sweat will taste salty and as you carry on it will begin to taste watery. This is a sign that you have managed to release the majority of the sodium from underneath your skin which is the cause of water retention. Be sure to drink plenty of water whilst in the sauna in order to prevent dehydration! Also, when increasing the amount of water you drink dramatically and using a sauna, always use a quality multi-vitamin as by urinating and sweating this much you will lose some vital vitamins.
Finally, make sure that your salt intake is limited! This is because salt essentially means Sodium, and your body only needs 2000mg a day. The reality of it is that a lot of the food you eat gives a very significant donation towards that figure, in some cases more than needed! If you are eating clean fresh foods though, your salt intake shouldn’t be too high through your food!
In a nutshell that is why a lot of people experience water retention. From this you can see if you eat healthily you shouldn’t experience much water retention at all, because you are not eating salty processed foods!