Magnesium and Water Retention: Myth or Fact? (Explained!)

Magnesium and Water Retention: Myth or Fact? (Explained!)

Water's role in various metabolic processes makes it an essential hydrant for good health. However, water retention is a prevalent issue. 

But does magnesium make you retain water? No, it doesn't; in fact, it aids in part of your water retention reduction.

Understanding whether taking magnesium supplements causes or reduces water retention is crucial to maintaining a healthy body's fluid balance. In this post, we'll explore the myths and facts about magnesium and water retention. Read on to learn more.

Does magnesium supplement cause water retention?

One hand holding blue pills.

There is little chance of magnesium causing water retention, and it is much more likely to relieve edema than to induce it. In fact, it can lessen water retention by enhancing circulation and relaxing blood vessels, lessening fluid accumulation in tissues.

Magnesium is an electrolyte mineral, and it's actually been called the forgotten electrolyte. 

It can also aid in maintaining an appropriate electrolyte balance, boosting urine output, and eliminating excess fluid from the body. 

When considering electrolytes, most individuals focus more on potassium and sodium than magnesium. In fact, magnesium plays a crucial role in maintaining the equilibrium of these elements. 

Electrolytes, like potassium and sodium, aid in controlling the flow of water into and out of cells. These electrolytes are transported via magnesium, and any imbalance may result in water retention.

Magnesium may also aid in increasing urine production and eliminating excess fluid from the body. In a study conducted in 2013, magnesium helped reduce the participants' bloating and water retention.

What are the symptoms of water retention?

Water retention, also known as edema or fluid retention, causes certain body parts to enlarge due to a fluid buildup. 

The fluid constricts, causing swelling or puffiness in the affected area. Your feet and ankles are the most prevalent places for fluid retention. 

Water makes up between fifty and sixty percent of our bodies. But our bodies tend to hold onto water when it is out of balance. 

Water retention makes you feel heavier than usual and less agile or energetic. Some obvious symptoms might result from holding onto extra water.

Water retention symptoms can include:

  • Bloating, particularly in the lower abdomen
  • Ankles, feet, and legs swelling
  • Puffiness in the face, hips, and belly
  • Stiff joints
  • Weight fluctuations

Additionally, fluid retention may also have an effect on the following domains:


Cerebral edema is a term used to describe fluid retention in the brain. There may be symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, vomiting, and trouble balancing as a result of this. This might endanger your life.


Pulmonary edema, or an overabundance of fluid in the lungs, may be a sign of a major cardiac or respiratory issue. Breathing problems, coughing, chest pain, and weakness are among the symptoms that might impair the lungs' capacity to provide oxygen to the body.

What are the causes of water retention?

Woman sitting on couch, holding painful knee.

Water retention may result from several factors. While some causes might not be serious, others might indicate a serious medical issue. Among the potential reasons for water retention are:

Flying in an airplane

Sitting for long periods and variations in cabin pressure might make your body retain water.

Standing or sitting too long

Your lower extremities retain blood due to gravity. Getting up and moving around often is essential to maintain blood circulation. Plan time each day to get up and move around if your job requires you to be sedentary.

Overindulging in sodium

Consuming processed meals and soft drinks and using a lot of table salt can result in an excess sodium intake.

Some medication

Water retention is a side effect of some medications. These may consist of:

  • Medications for chemotherapy 
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers
  • Blood pressure drugs
  • Drugs for Parkinson's illness
  • Specific hormone-based birth control tablets

Related reading: Can Magnesium Cause Insomnia? (Based on Science).

Are there medical conditions that cause water retention?

Yes. Some illnesses that cause fluid retention include: 

  • Heart failure: When the heart cannot pump blood efficiently, the body holds onto water.
  • DVT, or deep vein thrombosis: A vein clot known as DVT can result in leg swelling. This is regarded as an urgent medical situation.
  • Pregnancy: If you cannot move around frequently during your pregnancy, the weight change may cause your legs to retain water.
  • Advanced chronic renal disease: This condition can result in limb swelling, especially in the arms and legs—buildup results from the kidneys' inability to remove surplus fluid from the body.
  • Liver cirrhosis: Water retention might result from elevated liver pressure and decreased hepatic protein synthesis in cirrhosis patients.
  • Hormone fluctuations and menstrual changes: Water retention may result from the menstrual cycle.
  • Malignant lymphoedema: This is caused by cancerous tumors that obstruct lymphatic system structures like lymph nodes. 
  • Thyroid disease: Such as hypothyroidism.
  • Arthritis: This causes joints to swell with fluid.
  • Allergic reaction: This occurs when the body reacts hypersensitively to specific allergens, like an insect bite. Sometimes, the reaction is so severe (anaphylaxis) that immediate medical intervention is necessary. 
  • Chronic autoimmune disorders: like lupus.
  • Hereditary angioedema (HAE): This affects about one in 50,000 people with low levels or decreased efficacy of a C1-inhibitor enzyme; this swelling is transient. There can be involvement of the face, tongue, throat, and intestines, and upper airway attacks can be fatal.

How is water retention diagnosed?

A quick test you can do at home can help you decide whether you or someone you know is experiencing excessive fluid retention, which is a sign of edema. Apply pressure to the swollen skin. 

It is a sign of swelling and excessive fluid retention in your body if your finger creates an impression that lasts for a few seconds. 

However, even though the symptom can be identified at home, a medical consultation is usually necessary to diagnose fluid retention because doctors are better qualified to determine the cause. 

This will create a more effective treatment and monitoring plan for the patient's unique needs. 

Other diagnostic tests include: 

  • Medical history 
  • In-depth questions concerning the onset of fluid retention, aggravating factors, and whether the swelling is continuous or sporadic.
  • Blood tests
  • Urine examinations
  • Testing for liver function
  • Testing for kidney function
  • Heart function tests, including electrocardiograms (ECGs)
  • Chest x-rays

Can magnesium supplements reduce water retention?

You can effectively cure water retention by using magnesium supplements in your daily diet, especially if the source of your fluid retention is premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms or other hormonal changes related to estrogen. 

A study reported that magnesium supplementation alleviates premenstrual symptoms of fluid retention. 

Most of the symptoms of fluid retention in women, including weight gain, swelling in the breasts and extremities, and abdominal bloating, significantly decreased after two months of taking 200 mg of magnesium supplement pills.

Read also: 5 Science-Based Reasons Why You Should Take Nutritional Supplements

What is the best magnesium to reduce fluid retention?

Premium 4X Magnesium Complex: Bottle of pills with its supplements and benefits.

Selecting a mineral form with a high degree of bioavailability is advised. By doing this, you can be sure that your body absorbs the maximum amount of the active component.

Among these, the most effective way to retain water is to use magnesium citrate. Magnesium citrate has good absorption qualities, but it also aids in drawing and absorbing water into the stomach.

Citrate is one of the most researched and versatile forms of magnesium. 

Magnesium citrate is magnesium bound with citric acid. Citrus fruits naturally contain this acid, which gives them their sour, acidic flavor.

Usually, it is consumed orally to raise low magnesium levels. It's also occasionally used at greater doses to treat constipation because of its inherent laxative properties.

Additional options with high bioavailability values include:

  • Magnesium Glycinate: Excellent for promoting bone health, controlling blood sugar, reducing anxiety, and enhancing sleep. Bloating and water retention are among the symptoms of PMS believed to be alleviated by glycinate. 
  • Magnesium Chloride: Another type of magnesium. May also assist in easing fibromyalgia symptoms. 
  • Magnesium Malate: Considered to have energizing qualities, magnesium malate is frequently used to alleviate fibromyalgia and muscle pain.

Glycinate, Orotate, Taurate, and Malate are all included in the Why Not Natural magnesium supplement for a healthy body. 

How do I choose the best magnesium supplement for water retention?

Finding the right supplements in a competitive market can be difficult. Here are some tips to assist you in selecting a safe and healthy magnesium supplement: 

  • Ensure that your magnesium supplier provides lab reports for each supplement. A key aspect of product quality, safety, and testing is knowing that your products have undergone the necessary processes.  
  • Magnesium should be obtained organically whenever possible; ensure you're not taking synthetic supplements.
  • Be sure to look out for non-GMO and vegan-certified products.

Our magnesium supplement is 100% laxative-free. Every batch is 3rd-party tested and made in a cGMP-certified facility in the USA. 

How much magnesium supplement should I take to reduce water retention?

According to the National Institutes of Health, adults' recommended daily magnesium intake is between 310 and 400 mg.

Buy magnesium supplements or eat foods high in magnesium to reach this suggested daily magnesium intake. Rice, cereals, yogurt, black beans, and peanut butter are among the foods high in magnesium. 

Pumpkin seeds are among the greatest foods to eat; one ounce contains about 37% of the recommended daily magnesium intake

You may also like: Can Magnesium Cause Fatigue? Debunking Myths & Facts.

How is water retention treated?

Your physician may suggest modifying your diet to reduce water retention. Here are some ideas you should consider:

Elevate your feet

Elevating your feet or legs can help stored fluid return to the upper body if you are prone to swelling in these areas. Lie down with your feet above your heart for this to work as intended. 

Lying on your back with your legs propped up against a wall (preferably at a nearly 90-degree angle, but less is also OK) is a basic yoga pose that can help alleviate water retention in the legs if your mobility permits. 

Using a footstool can also assist in reducing fluid retention and swelling of feet and legs in those confined to a seated position for most of the day because of limited movement.

Stay active

If your job requires you to spend lengthy hours sitting or standing in one place, try utilizing the "Pomodoro Technique." This method involves working in focused 20–25-minute sessions interspersed with 35–minute breaks; you may set reminders on your phone to go off at the right intervals. 

Make the most of those little breaks to improve your circulation by doing star jumps, walking, stretching, drinking water, or anything else your body and your workplace permit! 

This increases your focus and productivity and makes you far less vulnerable to other workplace dangers, including back and neck pain and swollen feet and legs.

Control salt consumption

High sodium consumption from salty foods is one of the main reasons for water retention since it makes your body retain water to maintain an appropriate electrolyte balance. 

Even if you don't use a lot of table salt, processed and packaged meals sometimes contain substantial amounts; steer clear of these and choose low-sodium alternatives.

Consume nutritional foods 

The body needs potassium and magnesium to balance salt levels; foods high in these nutrients include citrus fruits, bananas, avocados, leafy greens, and whole wheat bread. 

Nuts and seeds, brown rice, sweet potatoes, lean meat, tuna, and salmon are foods high in vitamin B6, which can also aid in lowering water retention. 

Additionally, foods high in water content, such as watermelons, lettuce, cucumbers, asparagus, celery, parsley, and other diuretic meals, can aid in eliminating extra fluid. 

Caffeine and alcohol, on the other hand, dehydrate you and exacerbate water retention, even though they have a diuretic effect.

Put on compression stockings

Compression socks assist in decreasing the symptoms of swelling associated with water retention by keeping blood from pooling in the legs and feet and allowing it to flow to the heart more quickly for circulation. 

Compression socks are one of the most popular treatments for edema in the feet and ankles, and they are easily found at pharmacies. 

They are worn during the day and removed at night for sleeping. Although they are not a permanent solution, they can quickly help to lessen discomfort.

Ensure you receive properly fitted socks to prevent additional and unintentional discomfort in your feet and ankles. Ill-fitting stockings can lead to discomfort and, in the worst-case scenario, pressure necrosis. 

Your doctor can offer guidance regarding size, the ideal compression level, and the duration of usage.

Consider Dandelion

Since dandelion extract is believed to be a natural diuretic with high potassium content, consuming it may help alleviate fluid retention.

Because of those two features, it's perfect for draining out excess fluid through urination and lowering the body's salt levels.

Stay hydrated

While it can seem counterintuitive to drink more water to reduce water retention, your body may be holding on to water because you're not receiving enough! 

Ensure you drink plenty of fluids because it's easy to dehydrate without realizing it, especially in warmer temperatures.

Take herbal drinks and medications for water retention

Herbal teas stimulating your waterworks include dandelion, verbena, mint, and nettle. It's also important to consider several over-the-counter herbal medications that have diuretic properties to alleviate the symptoms of water retention. 

Your doctor might recommend diuretics if your edema is chronic.

Take Vitamin B-6 Supplements

Why Not Natural: All 8 B Vitamins B Complex+, Dietary Supplement.

Vitamin B-6 supplements help reduce water retention by providing the body with the essential nutrients to produce red blood cells. In 2021, the National Institutes of Health recommended that people over 50 take 1.5 mg of vitamin B-6 daily, while men and women between the ages of 19 and 50 should take roughly 1.3 mg.

However, consult your physician to find out if your water retention is being affected by a B-6 deficit in a medical sense. Also, ensure you get the right supplement. 

Our B Complex contains all 8 B Vitamins, including B6, compared to some liquid supplements that contain only some of the B vitamins or cheap inactive forms. 

Massage the swollen parts

Smooth upward strokes massaged into your legs, and feet can assist in releasing trapped excess fluids and moving them back into the blood vessels, away from the swollen extremity(it also works on swollen hands and arms). 

You can do this alone or ask a friend or spouse to assist you. In the latter scenario, elevating the afflicted limbs while lying down will aid in starting the fluids flowing appropriately. 

Using the heel of your hand and applying firm pressure while massaging in circular motions can also help reduce water retention in the abdomen area.

Use a dry brush

Dry body brushing is another fantastic method to increase circulation and eliminate water retention. Choose a natural fiber brush with a long handle to improve your reach. 

It only takes a few minutes to complete a basic dry brushing routine. You should do it right before taking a shower because it also exfoliates your skin, which you can rinse off. 

Start from your feet and work up to your heart with short, quick brushstrokes. Repeat for your arms, beginning with the hands. This releases pollutants and stagnant fluid by stimulating the lymphatic system.

Include potassium in your diet 

Potassium is essential for many bodily processes, particularly those involving the heart, muscles, and nerves.

Maintaining blood volume and fluid balance is also crucial for reducing water retention. It raises urine output and blocks sodium's effects to avoid fluid retention and edema.

Tomatoes, avocados, and bananas are among the foods high in potassium that might promote a good fluid balance.

Eat fewer refined carbohydrates

Refined carb sources, such as spaghetti and white bread, are usually low in fiber and heavy in added sugar or carbohydrates. Therefore, eating these meals may cause quick rises in insulin and blood sugar levels.

Elevated insulin levels can increase sodium reabsorption in your kidneys, increasing sodium retention. This could raise fluid volume and water retention in your body.

In addition, your muscles and liver store carbohydrates as a kind of sugar called glycogen, which is attached to water. 

A high-carb diet may cause an increase in water retention since each gram of glycogen is stored with at least three grams of water.

Whole grains high in fiber, like brown rice, oats, and whole wheat bread, are preferable to refined carbs as food sources.

See a doctor for medical attention

See your doctor immediately if your fluid retention does not improve after trying these therapies. Furthermore, get medical help as soon as possible if the uncomfortable symptoms of fluid retention worsen or increase.

It is crucial to understand the underlying cause of your fluid retention since, while it might occasionally be quite benign and readily treated, it can also indicate the advancement of a disease and quickly turn dangerous.

Takeaway: Manage water retention with magnesium 

Consuming the required daily amount of magnesium can greatly reduce your water retention. This is due to the chemical characteristics of magnesium, which cause fluid balance by attracting extra water and forcing it into the stomach for elimination. 

Why Not Natural offers effective, safe supplements. What dietary supplements ought to be is what ours are. They are completely natural, free of GMOs, additives, and preservatives. 

You may get all the magnesium you want for your wellness from our magnesium complex supplement. 

The high-quality magnesium supplement has four different types of magnesium: glycinate, taurate, malate, and orotate. As a result, it provides magnesium that is readily absorbed by your body.

Ensure you consume enough daily to help control your water retention and enhance your overall health. Get our 4-in-1 100% natural magnesium complex supplement today!

Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter to learn which supplements to take, how to combine them for maximum benefit, and other health tips to boost your energy and vitality. Plus, discover natural strategies to reduce hormonal imbalances, stress, and anxiety. Click here to get started!

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