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  • Writer's pictureJulia Kozelka

Weight Fluctuation and Water Retention.

Why do our bodies hold water?

Im sure at one point or another you have stepped on the scale only to see your weight went up 1 to even 5lbs in one night. How does that happen? Did our body mysteriously gain that much body fat over night? The answer is that is is more than likely water retention.

Our bodies are made up of mostly water. If fact, water consists of, on average, 60 % of our bodies! Water is in every cell and tissue, it supports our hormone functions, protects our joints, and has many other important factors to keep us alive! There are four very common (but not all) reasons our body holds onto more water than normal; Sodium, Carbs, Muscle Soreness and Hormones.

Let start with Sodium. Water is a natural regulator for sodium in our bodies. Sodium actually binds with water to keep a balance within and outside of our cells. When we eat an access of sodium, our bodies need (and hold onto) more water to keep the balance. This also goes for a reduction in sodium. Our bodies then hold less water to stay balanced.

Next we have Carbohydrates. When we eat carbs, we collect stored energy through glycogen. This is the energy our bodies use first to power our muscles. Each gram of glycogen holds 3 grams of water. Carbs actually need more water to be transported into our muscles. So when we eat a high carb meal, we will hold more water within our cells.

Then we have Muscle Soreness. When our bodies are working hard or lifting heavy weights, we create small micro tears in our muscle fibers that cause a lot of stress in the body. Our muscles will become inflamed around the micro tears and our bodies will retain more water there to help reduce the inflammation. Then, through recovery, our bodies heal, and grow to create more muscle cells. I like to think of it like a callus. The more you wear it down, the bigger it grows.

Lastly, we have Hormones. When our bodies have an access of progesterone and estrogen (most commonly when a women has her period) our bodies will hold onto extra water. Most women can relate when they feel bloated or watery around their time of the month.

So to summarize, eating a high sodium or carbohydrate meal, muscle soreness after an intense workout, and hormones can all cause you to hold onto water causing an increase in total body weight. This can last anywhere from a day to weeks depending on your daily routines or gender. Other causes of water retention include, kidney and liver diseases, abnormal insulin levels, physical inactivity, or medications.

Would you like to understand more about water retention and its effects on the body? Shoot me a DM or email me at

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