How Water Fluctuates
Why does your body hold onto the water? The reasons are many - water is used to repair tissues and remove excess waste product - hence the water weight gain after exercise. Water retention is affected by hormone shifts - certain hormones affect the operation of the kidneys and affect how the kidneys process water - hence water weight with PMS. Sodium (and other proteins, amino acids etc) affects the transfer of water across cell walls. Water is used to store glycogen in our muscles. Every g of glycogen storage has water stored with it.
Where does the water get stored? Everywhere. Blood , Organs, kidneys, muscles, lymphatic & interstitial system (the stuff around cells, muscles, capilaries, etc). Remember...we are mostly water
How does it get "out" of the storage place? The same way it gets in. Water (and nutrients) pass through cell walls - a process called osmosis. Sodium and hormones, along with certain proteins can drive osmosis. Eventually excess water is peed out
Are there ways to flush it out? Drinking more water in general helps to flush excess water out. It seems counterintuitive but the more fluid the body has access to, the less it needs to store. Drinking more water helps flush away the excess sodium (and other stuff) that can drive the body to store rather than release. Some other substances such as vinegar, because it alters ph, can sometimes act as a diuretic.
If my body is using that water for something important, should I NOT try to flush it out? Flushing it out by drinking water and eating low sodium is ok. Drinking water to excess (gallons and gallons) can be dangerous because it dilutes blood sodium too low. Using any form of chemical diuretic is not good. But reducing inflammation such as during a sprain by using anti inflammatories can help the healing by allowing blood to flow freely.
SHOULD my weight fluctuate? Is that how our bodies are built? Yes
Should my weight be consistent? Are my meal plans and exercise regimens that lead to my body storing water detrimental to my body? No, not within reason. Excesses of course could be detrimental, but normal dietary fluctuations are to be expected
Last edited by Heather : 01-21-2008 at 10:13 AM.