If you've ever suffered from water retention, then you may have fallen victim to one of the most common myths in the health and fitness field.
Typically, water retention is due to a problem with the kidneys. These are amazing organs, working 24 hours a day to deal with everything we take in - whether it's by mouth, air or even through the skin.
The function of the kidneys is to identify the nutrients we need and send them on into the bloodstream. They also detect toxins and send them on their way to be evacuated by the body.
Their role is vital, but they can sometimes malfunction - and often the first symptom of this is water retention. Why does that happen? Usually it's for the most simple reason of all - they're not getting enough water!
Sufficient water is vital for the kidneys to function efficiently. If they don't get enough water, the body assumes it's a drought situation and goes into conservation mode - that means it starts holding onto water, storing it for future use. The remedy is therefore very simple - drink more!
This is actually very common in today's environment. Regularly eating junk, packaged and fast foods, with their plentiful carbohydrates and high sodium levels, stresses the kidneys.
All you have to do to get your body back on track is drink two litres of water every day in addition to other drinks like tea or coffee. In addition, avoid salty food, and eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables - they're packed full of water.
If you are over 40 and suddenly begin suffering from bloating and swelling, especially of the ankles, see your GP. It could also be a symptom of renal hypertension, high blood pressure or heart problems.