Why Salt Causes Water Retention
Our bodies rely on electrolytes, most significantly sodium and potassium, to carry the electrical impulses that control our bodily functions. In order for our bodies to function properly, it is important that the concentration of electrolytes in our bodies remain constant.A high concentration of electrolytes in our blood triggers our thirst mechanism, causing us to consume adequate amounts of water to return to the proper concentration of electrolytes. This is one of the reasons bars provide free salty snacks like pretzels and peanuts. The salt causes us to become thirsty and purchase more drinks.When we consume an adequate amount of water, our kidneys are able to keep the concentration of electrolytes in our blood constant by increasing or decreasing the amount of water we retain. The result of our retaining more or less water in our bloodstream can also affect our blood pressure.The water moves beyond our bloodstream, too. Through the process of osmosis, water flows from a lower salinity environment to a higher one in an attempt to balance the levels of salinity. After we consume large amounts of salt, it is the water moving from our bloodstream into our skin that gives us that "puffy" look and makes it hard to get our rings off. Then, when we consume lesser amounts of salt, the same process works in reverse to remove the excess water from our bodies.