What is “water weight” when you’re initially working out?


When you start working out and people often say something like “that’s just water weight”. What is that “water”?

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Your body weight can fluctuate a few pounds over the course of a day just due to things like sweating, eating, etc.

Like, you’ll be a bit lighter after running for an hour, but most of that lost weight is mostly just water you’ve lost due to sweat that you’ll quickly replace by drinking more.

It’s exactly what it sounds like. Your body is made mostly of water so things like how much you’ve been sweating and hydrating will cause your weight to fluctuate by a few pounds. Your electrolyte (salt) intake also has an impact on how much water your body will hold on to since your body wants to maintain a certain salt level. Eat more salt and your body retains some more water to keep your salt levels around the same amount (about 0.9%).This changes on a much faster basis than your body can gain muscle or lose fat.

It’s weight due to water.

If you’re dehydrated, you’ll weigh less than if you are properly hydrated. If you’re overhydrated, you’ll weigh more.

Exercise makes you sweat, causing you to lose weight due to water loss before you start to burn fat or gain muscle.

Your muscles and liver store something called glycogen, which serves as a short-term storage mechanism for glucose. When you start exercising, glycogen stores are typically the first stored source used. The thing about glycogen is that every gram requires four grams of water to store it in your body. Once you start using the glycogen, all that water gets released causing a big drop in weight even though you haven’t really used any fat.