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How to Gain Water Weight

by
author image Kathryn Vera
Kathryn Vera holds a master's degree in exercise physiology, as well as licensure as a Registered Dietitian. Currently, she works as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist in Cardiac Rehabilitation, where she provides care to patients living with chronic heart disease.
How to Gain Water Weight
A jar of pink salt. Photo Credit nagehanozsezer/iStock/Getty Images

While many individuals are interested in losing weight, others -- such as wrestlers -- may actually want to achieve temporary weight gain, such as that which occurs during fluid retention. To gain water weight, consider making some changes to your diet and exercise routine. Remember that these techniques should only be done on a temporary basis to avoid dangerous health consequences.

Pass the Salt

Most healthy adults are encouraged to keep sodium intake to between 1,100 and 2,200 milligrams per day -- roughly 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt. According to Towson University, increasing average sodium intake can be an effective way to temporarily increase water weight. To gain 2 pounds of water weight, at least for the short term, increase your average sodium intake by 400 milligrams per day. Do not exceed 3,300 total milligrams of sodium intake in a single day, as these levels exceed the "safe and adequate" ranges established by the National Research Council.

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Reduce Fluid Intake

Though is may sound contradictory, decreasing your fluid intake may be effective when it comes to gaining water weight -- especially when combined with a higher-sodium diet. In fact, as sodium levels increase, the body attempts to dilute these values by holding onto excess fluid, and thus balancing the sodium-fluid ratio. Individuals who drink plenty of water will flush the sodium from their system and make it more difficult for the body to hold onto excess fluid. Remember that this technique should only be used in the short term, as extended fluid restriction can have serious consequences.

Fuel Your Workout

During exercise, the body sweats and loses a significant amount of sodium. If this sodium is not replaced, increasing water weight will prove to be a challenge. Power Bar encourages exercisers to consume at least 500 to 700 milligrams of sodium for each 32 ounces of fluid ingested during a workout. Skipping a workout altogether may be more effective for individuals who are interested in gaining water weight and do not want to upset the delicate sodium-fluid balance in the body.

Avoid Diuretics

Diuretics are products used to decrease fluid retention in the body. Because diuretics promote fluid losses, they should be avoided at all costs by individuals who are interested in maintaining -- or gaining -- water weight. While there are a number of prescription medications that have diuretic effects, certain foods and beverages can also promote diuresis. In fact, beverages that are high in caffeine and alcohol and foods such as celery, eggplant, onion, watermelon and asparagus have all proved to be effective at reducing fluid stores in the body.

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References

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