An appropriate balance of body fluids is vital both for sports performance and for good health. It is normal to lose fluid through sweat during a run, bike ride or other strenuous exercise. In general, pure water is the best way to replace the liquid, although some extreme efforts require additional carbohydrates. Ironically, water retention after exercise is often due to insufficient water before and during exercise.
Little water causes retention
Water helps convert liver fat into energy. If the water in the body is insufficient, the kidneys are overwhelmed with concentrated fluids, which make the liver work extra. Over time this can create a serious medical condition and damage the liver and kidneys. Water retention after exercise usually means that not enough water has been consumed during exercise to maintain proper balance by replacing the water that is lost through sweat.
Calculate the optimal weight of hydration.
Dehydration or water loss can affect performance at a rate as low as 2 percent. But 25 overhydration can cause serious medical problems. Hydration is also affected by salt intake, which helps the body retain fluids, but it is important to keep fluids and salt or sodium in balance. Weigh regularly before and after exercise to calculate your optimally hydrated weight as a guide for fluid consumption during exercise. Keep a record of the water ingested during the exercise to track the actual water loss.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking about 17 ounces of fluid two hours before exercise, which allows time for excretion of excess before exercise. Water should be taken at regular intervals during exercise. The amount varies according to the temperature and the degree of exercise, although, ideally, it should be sufficient to replace the fluids that are lost through sweat. The ACSM also recommends the addition of carbohydrates and sodium to fluids for exercise periods of more than one hour.
Not drinking enough water during exercise can result in water retention after exercise. The ACSM says that most people in the exercise suffer from "voluntary dehydration," because they do not drink enough to replace the water that is lost through sweating. When liquids are replaced after exercise, a higher percentage will be retained. But electrolytes, mainly sodium, must also be replaced to restore balance.If you use too much salt before or during exercise it will result in excess water retention.