How to Reduce Water Retention in the Body

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Water retention can be caused by a variety of things, from pregnancy to simply standing for long periods of time. Hot weather can also cause you to retain water, as can a sunburn. In terms of diet, consuming too much salt and not drinking enough water can also contribute to water retention.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Salt substitute, if desired
  • Running shoes and exercise clothing


  1. Reduce your salt intake. Consuming too much salt is a top cause of water retention, according to the Mayo Clinic. Avoid the salt shaker at the table or use a salt substitute. In addition, most of the salt we ingest comes from processed foods, such as soups, sauces, cereals, breads and crackers. Read the labels of any processed foods you buy and choose lower-sodium options.

  2. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables tend to be high in water, and consuming these will make you urinate more often, which in turn reduces water retention. Choose fruits and vegetables that are particularly high in water, such as watermelon and cucumber.

  3. Drink plenty of water. This may seem counterintuitive, but just as with fruits and vegetables, drinking more water increases urination, which reduces the water in your body. Aim for eight glasses of water per day. Remember that caffeinated and alcoholic drinks dehydrate the body and therefore don't count as water intake.

  4. Walk or get other exercise, especially if you notice swelling in your legs or feet. The movement will help the body eliminate the water, and it's also good for you in general.


  • Photo Credit salt and pepper image by Rog999 from

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