Cranberry Juice for Water Retention

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Water retention, also known as fluid retention or edema, is more commonly a mild condition that is not life threatening. Symptoms of mild water retention include a feeling of puffiness in the face and fingers, as well as as swelling in the feet and ankles. (Ref 1) Cranberry juice contains a significant amount of water, which can be used as a self-treatment for water retention in some cases.

Water Retention: Causes, Symptoms and Self-Treatment

Water retention can result from not consuming enough fluids throughout the day, as well as exposure to high temperatures. If you do not drink enough fluid to rehydrate after physical activity, you can also experience water retention. Hormonal fluctuation as well as pregnancy are common causes of water retention. Symptoms of mild water retention include swelling in your extremities, and can be treated by consuming more fluids and lying down and raising your feet about heart level. (Ref 1, 2)

Cranberry Juice for Water Retention

Cranberry juice is mostly water, and so it can help you rehydrate, relieving the symptoms of mild water retention. (Ref 3, 7) Staying hydrated will not only relieve water retention, it can help prevent it. (Ref 2) A 1 cup serving of cranberry juice has over 220 grams of water. (Ref 3) MedlinePlus recommends that you drink six to eight 8 ounce glasses of fluids per day, more if you have been sweating a lot because of hot weather or physical activity. (Ref 4) While water is the ideal hydration choice, juices, such as cranberry juice, are also good options. (Ref 4)

Severe Water Retention

In cases of severe water retention, you need to seek medical attention. (Ref 2) Avoid self treatment as the underlying cause may be worsened if you consume more fluids. Undiagnosed kidney failure, especially in later stages, can lead to water retention, which, if treated with increased fluid consumption can lead to excess fluid in your body, including in your lungs, known as pulmonary edema. This is a serious and life-threatening condition. (Ref 5) Symptoms of severe water retention include extreme difficulty breathing, abdominal bloating, changes to your mental state, including coma, coughing up blood and indentations that stay in your skin after pressing down for a few seconds. (Ref 2, 6)

Cranberry Juice Nutritional Profile

Cranberry juice is naturally sour, so it is most often mixed with other juices, or diluted and sweetened to make it more palatable. (Ref 7) However, unsweetened cranberry juice that is not blended is rich in a number of nutrients and low in calories and fat. A 1 cup serving of unsweetened cranberry juice contains 116 calories and under a half gram of total fat. (Ref 3) It has around 30 grams of sugar per serving, and is a good source of essential vitamins, especially vitamins C and E, which are also natural antioxidants. (Ref 3) Antioxidants protect your body’s cells from damage from toxins and free radicals, which are produced by your body during metabolism. (Ref 8)