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Daily Weight Gain Fluctuations Due to Drinking Water

author image Jill Corleone
Based in Hawaii, Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 10 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.
Daily Weight Gain Fluctuations Due to Drinking Water
Drinking water after a workout may bump up your weight. Photo Credit Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images

While weighing yourself regularly is helpful when it comes to weight loss, checking your weight every few hours may set you up for disappointment. It’s normal for your weight to fluctuate up and down throughout the day as your water weight changes, whether from drinking or eating. Talk to your doctor about your weight and a healthy weight range for you.

Drinking and Weight Gain

Drinking water can lead to weight gain, at least temporarily. While it's difficult to estimate, your weight might jump up a pound after drinking a 16-ounce bottle of water. Your body needs the water to function properly, however, and will excrete what it doesn't need, and that may lead to a decrease in the number on the scale. While you may be tempted to limit your intake of water due to the effect it has on your weight, you may be disappointed in the results. Restricting your water intake may also lead to fluid retention and weight gain.

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Muscle Building and Fluid Retention

When you're working out, you know it's important to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. But that water may lead to weight gain, especially if you're working on building muscle mass. Lifting weights causes small tears in the microfibers of your muscle, which is necessary for helping your muscles grow. But these small tears hold onto water, which may cause a jump in the number on your scale. This effect may be disappointing, especially when you're just starting to work out, but the weight gain is temporary.

Food and Weight Gain

Your food choices may also influence your weight after drinking water. Carbs, in the form of glycogen, are stored in your muscles as a source of energy. These stored carbs also cause your body to hold onto water. One of the reasons a low-carb diet is so effective at helping you lose weight quickly is because it decreases the amount of water retention in your muscles, says CNN. Additionally, if you consume too much salt, your body may also retain water to help balance the sodium in your blood.

When to Be Concerned

While it's normal for your weight to fluctuate throughout the day, if the number on the scale does not come back down to your usual weight, you may need to make adjustments to your diet and exercise routine. This may mean keeping a food and exercise diary to track your intake and note any recent changes. You may also benefit from a visit to your doctor to rule out any medical cause for your weight gain if left unexplained.

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