Water: your simple salvation?

by Kate Shapland

I talked about how vital water is as part of the plan to reduce cellulite in a couple of instagram lives this week and I touched on how if you are able to drink the right kind of water it can be even more beneficial. Viewers picked up on this and asked me to write a blog post explaining more, so here goes.

Drinking water may seem counter-intuitive if you have a tendency to retain fluid, but you need to drink water to get rid of excess water and reduce puffiness. The body produces vasopressin, an anti-diuretic hormone, and when you are dehydrated, your levels of vasopressin rise, which makes the kidneys hold on to water. So keeping hydrated is key, as water is the best system cleanser ever; it also keeps your brain firing on all cylinders.

It doesn’t really matter if it’s from the tap or a bottle, just drink plenty. But if you have the choice, look for mineral water labelled low in dry residue and sodium.

The reasons for this are that sodium (salt) encourage the body to cling on to excess fluid; so just as you would try to avoid processed food and white carbohydrates while following the Cellu-Lite Plan, due to its high quota of salt and sugar (both are as bad as each other), to maximise your contouring aims, low-sodium water is key.  Now, dry residue. This is the amount of dissolved salts that a natural mineral water has depending on the characteristics of the land it has been extracted from. In other words dry residue represents the weight of the ashes (minerals and trace elements) obtained after the total evaporation of water because of the heat. If this residue is below 500mg/l, the water is considered low in minerals. On the other hand, a dry residue equal to or higher than 1,500mg/l means the water is highly mineralized. And the best waters for the kidney are those with less (low) dry residue because those with a higher dry residue are harder to process and flush through the system.


Bottled waters which tick the right boxes – and are the ones I recommend during the Plan – are these:


  • Contrex Mineral Water – rich in magnesium and sulphate, with little bicarbonate for such a high mineral water, this one has a really beneficial chemistry. In addition it’s completely free of sodium, chlorides or nitrates.


  • Highland Spring – high in magnesium, low in dry residue. For my palette this is probably the best tasting – wonderfully thin and refreshing.


  • Volvic – has a reasonably low dry residue and tastes especially good with a couple of slices of lemon in it.


Both tap and bottled water will help to flush your kidneys and keep you puff free, and I tend to consider tap the basic option and bottled the value-added option. So no, tap water is not inferior – or bad for you – it just has less added benefits.

What’s interesting about bottled water is that despite the backlash against plastic waste, sales have boomed during the pandemic. Stylus report that while emergency stockpiling stoked an initial uplift, sales will probably stay up as we are likely to choose plastic bottles when eating out for plastic’s perceived antiviral protection.

Sales of value-added water have risen from mid-March through to June 2020 in the UK, with alkaline water brand Actiph seeing a 1,000% increase on Amazon and a 300% rise on smaller online retailers (Gov.uk, 2020).

This is a strange paradox when you consider environmental concerns, but the most forward-thinking water companies are trying to eliminate plastic waste by developing fully recyclable plastic bottles. Since March this initiative has gathered momentum as we’ve started to rely on single-use plastics as a protective barrier against viral contamination during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Water is one of my non-negotiables for those following the Cellu-Lite Plan – along with oat bran and protein it’s part of the Holy Trinity that form the basis of this lifestyle plan. Sometimes, more water is enough: many women find that when they step up their water intake they see less cellulite irrespective of whatever else they do. Which proves my theory that addressing cellulite relies on draining the fluid (not fighting fat) by helping the kidneys and lymph. And it’s getting this moving that really makes the change.