What Causes Water Retention and 3 Remedies

Body water retention is a common problem for people trying to lose weight, which can also help cause diseases such as high blood pressure and hypertension. The main cause of water retention is excessive intake of sodium. Sodium is the chemical name for what we also known as salt.

Do you add extra salt to your meals? Western society diets are generally very heavy in a mineral that our bodies certainly needs, but not in the quantities that we’re used too, just to give food flavour.

Another symptom that water retention may cause is an unsightly layer around your stomach that may be mistaken for fat. In this case, although there may still be some enlarged fat cells surrounding the abdominal muscles, there may also be excess water stored around your abs as well. Of course, excess water in the body is not only limited to your stomach but can exist in other areas of your body too.

How much salt (sodium) do you need?

Nutrition Australia claims that the average Australian takes in about 10 grams of Salt per day. This about 10x more that what we actually need. According to them, the recommended daily intake of sodium should only be between 1,15gr to 2.3 gr per day. This equates to an ‘Adequate Intake’ of 20–40 mmol (460–920 mg) of sodium per day, as set by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Put simply, the human kidneys are simply not built to process and eliminate the kinds of sodium levels that the average person takes in. And the result is that you’ll tend to retain that water, as water helps balance all the salts/sodium in your system.

Remedy #1) Use Less

Now that you know that excessive sodium intake is the main cause of storing excess water in the body, you also now know that you should regulate your consumption of naturally salty or salt enhanced foods – right?

If your diet is high in salt, and you’re absolutely serious about losing fat, then you must cut the added salts.

It may be ok to add a sprinkle of natural rock salt during the cooking of food, but avoid adding extra. Instead flavour foods with herbs and spices and watch out for sauces or packaged foods (i.e. Tomato Ketchup) which can be high in salt and sugar.

Of course the body needs the sodium mineral to function effectively, however these minerals should be received through plenty of fruits and vegetables. You can also add a good daily multivitamin for insurance, or use supplements such as Cell-U-Loss which can support elimination of excess water.

Remedy #2) Drink More

Water of course! Yes actually drinking more of the clear stuff will help you get rid of the excess water retained. Sounds funny but if the body detects that it doesn’t get enough water, it stores it for energy and can counteract the effect of high sodium levels.

Our bodies are very clever organisms. However tricking it by drinking at least 3-4 litres of water per day, depending on your activity levels will force it to get rid of excess water. It can also cleanse your system of toxins, and fatty deposits.

Remedy #3) Move More

Excessive sodium intake may not be the only cause of water retention. Living a sedentary lifestyle can also cause the body to retain fluid. This is another reason to move more and start living a healthy active lifestyle.

One of the benefits of exercise is the improved circulation. If you have poor blood circulation, there is a tendency that blood and other fluids in your body will pool in your extremities such as your legs, arms, and yes you guessed it, your belly. So move more.

Now you know these simple fixes don’t mistake body fat around the stomach that can also be body water retention. Flushing the toxins through more water and increase movement or exercise gives you a better chance at burning the fat around you body.


As a Trainer and Coach for over 10 years now, I've helped many people reach their goals as well as achieve my own including having lost 35kg. I'm my very own guinea pig when it come to achieving a fitter, healthier life and now I'm here to help you. Start by signing up to the Really Really Fit newsletter, Free Book and Video training that will change your mindset and life.

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