Reasons You May Weigh More After A Workout

People start exercising for many reasons. You may want to lose some weight or get stronger, for example. Imagine you have been working out regularly, eating right, and feeling good about yourself. You step on the scale and are shocked to see a few extra pounds. Naturally, you wonder where that weight came from when the numbers should be going down. You may not have gained or lost any fat, but several factors can affect how your weight fluctuates. It's best not to weigh yourself too often because that can negatively affect your self-esteem, unless you understand that it is entirely normal for your body weight to fluctuate constantly.

Endocrinologist Kathleen Wyne, M.D., shared that, depending on your body size, it's normal for anyone's weight to fluctuate approximately 5 to 20 pounds in one day's time (via Verywell Fit). Some factors that can influence daily weight changes are your salt intake, the quantity of food you've eaten in that day, constipation, certain medications, and even hormones. Adding regular strength training to your routine can make you stronger and build more muscle, which is denser than fat, too. According to Healthline, building muscle, in the beginning, will show up as some weight gain. However, it's nothing to worry about. The more muscle you make, the quicker your metabolism will be, which will help you lose fat with your workouts.

Ultimately, even the best workouts aren't exceptions when it comes to why we gain weight. Here's why.

Gaining weight after a workout is more common than you think

You'd think that you should lose weight after exercising, but sometimes you see the numbers creeping up on the scale, which can be annoying and confusing. When you incorporate a new workout into your lifestyle, it adds some stress on your muscle fibers, which sometimes causes micro-tears and inflammation. "That stress and micro-tearing damage to the muscle fibers induces water retention in the body," physical therapist Gary Calabrese, D.P.T., told the Cleveland Clinic. However, this is temporary, and it should go away within 24 to 36 hours. Plus, if you're staying hydrated during a workout, you have to consider water weight.

If you've noticed sudden weight gain immediately after a workout, there's a reason behind that, too. A person's weight comes from a combination of their bones, fat, blood, the brain and neural tract, connective tissue, muscle, and even the air in their lungs, among other factors (via Shape). "Immediately after a workout routine, the percentage of mass in each of these categories can shift as much as 15%," Jeffrey A. Dolgan, a clinical exercise physiologist at Canyon Ranch in Miami Beach, Florida, told Shape. That will appear as extra weight, but this is temporary, too. Don't let the higher numbers on the scale discourage you from continuing to work out.