My Truths #143 (fluid retention)

by Stephanie

Temporary weight gain can be discouraging. Have you ever noticed that right after and sometimes up to a day or two after an intense workout the scale goes up? “A person’s scale mass is a combination of muscle, fat, bone, the brain and neural tract, connective tissue, blood, lymph, intestinal gas, urine, and the air that we carry in our lungs. Immediately after a workout routine, the percentage of mass in each of these categories can shift as much as 15 percent.”  Says Jeffrey A. Dolgan, a clinical exercise physiologist at Canyon Ranch in Miami Beach, Fla.

One reason for this is inflammation from muscle damage repair which can be felt as the muscle pain called delayed onset muscle soreness. This type of soreness is thought to be caused by a several factors including tiny tears in muscle tissue. As a result, the muscles become slightly swollen by fluid retention. Most people are motivated enough to put up with muscle soreness, but if they are watching the scale go up, they can easily become discouraged. Just keep in mind that this weight gain is fluid retention and not permanent.