The moment anyone starts to complain about feeling puffy or looking a little more bloated, there is always that one friend that rushes to say the inevitable — you must be retaining water. So, in order to see if they are actually right (or just being nice), I decided to do some research and find out if water bloating this is a real thing or just another myth that needs to be busted. 

So, is water bloating a fact?

lemonade, water, lemon
Caroline Liu

Yes, it actually is. However, there are many reasons why it happens, so don't feel bad. It's not actually a bad thing.

First, let's start by stating the facts about our bodies and water. Not only are our bones, muscles, and even fats made of a certain amount of water, but it is also inside our capillaries. As water travels from our cells and through our bodies, it sometimes gets trapped and causes you to bloat. 

When the capillary wall gets "too leaky", it causes an overabundance of liquid to "be released into the spaces between cells". This eventually results in water being caught in the tissue instead of finding its way back to the capillaries and causes bloating to happen. 

How else can water bloating happen? 

dropping ice, water splash, water cup, cup of water, splash, water, ice
Jocelyn Hsu

Apart from "leaky capillaries", water retention can also happen due to the lymphatic system and whether it can drain the right amount of water, changes in blood pressure, the kidneys and the amount of blood flow they receive among other reasons.

Water bloating can also happen due to outside factors. If you are physically inactive, for instance, you affect the way and pace that blood flows through your body. This might affect your body systems and could result in water bloating. 

Is there something I can do to prevent water bloating?

fitness, Health, water bottle
Carolyne Su

Sure, there are many things. Regular exercise, even if it is just an extra walk, can help you prevent water bloating. Additionally, if you reduce the amount of salt in your diet, lose weight, stay away from extreme temperatures, or even raise your legs to improve circulation, you'll be doing your part to prevent water bloating. 

And it is not only your sodium intake that has an effect on your odds to retain water, it is also the amount of carbs you eat. Another important thing to remember is to avoid juice cleanses. Even though these cleanses are the new wonder diets, they are not the best for your lymphatic system and they also keep you from getting the right amount of protein

water, fish
Spoon University

Water bloating is not the same as fat. Even though women are more likely to experience it than men (due to the size of our bodies), it is still perfectly avoidable. If you are committed to having a healthy diet and incorporating exercise as part of your regular routine, relax. There is a chance water bloating is not going to be an issue for you.