Causes Of Bloated Calves – Whether it’s a steamy bowl of udon, crunchy chips and guac, or a juicy burger, sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying than getting your salty food fix. But indulging in sodium-heavy meals can take a toll on your weight and how your clothes fit. “When you eat salt, it draws fluid out of your arteries, veins, and capillaries, and sends it into your tissues, causing you to retain water,” says Adrienne Youdim, M.D.
As a result, you might notice puffiness in your hands, fingers, face, and stomach. But it’s ultimately your lower legs that bear the brunt of the water weight. “Gravity pulls the retained fluid downward, so that it pools in your feet, ankles, and calves,” Youdim says.
If you notice your stems swelling, the trigger might be as obvious as a soy sauce hangover. But other times subtler habits kick off the cankle effect.
We break down the reasons why your calves are blimping out and what to do about it.
1. You’re A Restaurant Regular
The more often you eat out instead of cooking at home, the likelier you are to puff up, says Youdim. “The average restaurant meal contains approximately 2,300 milligrams of sodium, she says. That equals the FDA’s recommended daily limit—about a teaspoon of table salt—in a single meal. Yikes!
Because the human body is a wonderful thing, drinking tons of water or sipping a diuretic like coffee or tea won’t quell the swell. You just have to wait it out. “It will take your kidneys 24 to 48 hours to process a salty meal, depending on how much sodium you consumed,” Youdim says.