Used to prevent and treat fluid retention, diuretics are used in a number of scenarios. People who are more susceptible to water retention often experience joint stiffness and swelling. Changes in cardiac function and blood pressure can occur when fluid levels are not at an appropriate level.

You may also notice that increased water retention is causing your weight to go up. There are prescription medications that your doctor can prescribe to alleviate this issue, but they often come with side effects such as headache, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.

A more serious condition sometimes caused by prescription diuretics is extracellular volume expansion. This is a condition that affects the heart and the kidneys, often resulting in high blood pressure that can increase the risk of stroke or heart attack. There are over the counter products that are much safer and still provide diuretic effects.

In this article I am going to outline important information about the use of over-the-counter diuretics. It’s important that you use caution with this type of medication in order to prevent side effects or complications. I also want to talk about how you go about choosing a diuretic and some of the different options out there which use safer and more natural ingredients to help your body flush out excess fluid accumulation.

Quick Table of Our Top Picks and a Diuretic Buying Guide

Product Name


Key Ingredients

Avg. Rating

1st Phorm Symmetry


Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Potassium, Dandelion Root Extract, Green Tea Extract, Celery Seed Extract


Zhou Nutrition Water Away


Vitamin B6, Chloride, Potassium, Apple Cider Vinegar


Vitamin Energy


Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Green Tea Extract, Vitamin B12


1Up Nutrition Water Shred


Vitamin B6, Calcium, Phosphate, Potassium, Magnesium


Stage Ready Diuretic


Vitamin B6, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium


What is a Diuretic?

diuretic water retention

A diuretic is a product that helps your body get rid of excess salt and water. The process is often completed by encouraging the kidneys to release more sodium into your urine output. That release of sodium will remove water from the blood, which decreases the amount of fluid that is moving through your blood. A drop in blood pressure is usually the most noticeable result. They can also treat conditions such as pulmonary edema, renal failure, intracranial pressure and heart failure.

How to Choose a Diuretic Supplement

choosing diuretic supplement over the counter

If you have been advised by your doctor that you would benefit from the use of a diuretic, you’re probably wondering how to start your search. Here are some of the things to consider about a diuretic brand.

Reputable Brand

Wondering if a supplement brand is too good to be true? Looking into the reputability of the brand in question is a good place to start. Some of the key things to look for is the use of lab testing, batch testing all products, sourcing ingredients from sustainable and reputable options, public reputation, the ability to provide exceptional customer service and being transparent about products and the brand’s goals.

If any of these things are missing, it can lessen the reputability of the brand / company. Disclosure of ingredients is great, but you may still be uncertain if you don’t know where the ingredients come from, and third-party testing hasn’t been used to check the quality and safety.

Success Stories from Customers

The best way to predict if a product is going to work for you is to look into what other people experienced while they were using the product. While their situation may be very different from yours, you can usually get a good idea of what people have accomplished with a product and what side effects they may have experienced along the way.

Success stories can motivate you to try a product, and negative reviews can provide you with valuable information as well. Just make sure that you’re looking at reviews from different sources. Verified customer reviews from a company’s website are trustworthy but try looking around at other retail sites to see what people have said there. You never know when a company is choosing to omit some of the negative feedback that comes their way.

Transparent Ingredients

Never take a diuretic or any other supplement without knowing exactly what is in it. Don’t assume that a diuretic is going to be safe until you know the ingredients, the type of testing that has potentially been used to verify its integrity, where the ingredients are sourced and whether or not there are additional ingredients and additives to think about.

If you’re not sure what a certain ingredient is or why it’s included, you can do some additional research on your own. You can also try contacting the company to see what kind of information they can provide you with.

The 5 Best Over the Counter Diuretic Supplements

Now it’s time to talk about five of the best over the counter diuretic supplements that you should consider if you could benefit from eliminating excess fluid and sodium from your body.

#1. 1st Phorm Symmetry - Best for Weight Loss

1st phorm symmetry diuretic weight loss

This natural diuretic from 1st Phorm contains botanical ingredients that will help support your body while it reduces the amount of water that it is retaining. Magnesium and potassium have both been added to prevent an imbalance in electrolytes while excess water is being eliminated. When your body is deficient in magnesium and potassium, this can lead to symptoms such as nausea and muscle cramps.

1st Phorm Symmetry is intended to be used on a short term basis. It can help you reduce bloating and excess water storage due to things like PMS, menstruation, being out in the heat, etc. If you feel you’ve gained a few pounds in water weight, this is a great diuretic option to use so you can achieve the look that you want.


  • Non-synthetic and does not contain any artificial ingredients
  • Contains natural ingredients such as dandelion root, uva ursi and cranberry fruit juice
  • Can be taken with other 1st Phorm products, including multivitamins
  • Prompt and helpful customer service
  • Reduces excess water and bloat


  • You can only use this product for four to five days at a time, with at least a seven day break in between

#2. Zhou Nutrition Water Away - Best for Edema

zhou nutrition water away diuretic

A healthier alternative to weight loss pills, Zhou Nutrition Water Away helps get rid of that bloated feeling that makes your pants feel tighter and makes you feel sluggish. Gentle support is provided by natural ingredients like dandelion, potassium, juniper berry, and apple cider vinegar.


  • Contains natural ingredients
  • Can boost energy and performance thanks to vitamin B6
  • Maintains balance of electrolytes
  • Green tea leaf extract can reduce inflammation and boost your immune system


  • Doesn’t work for everyone
  • Product is in beginning stages, but they are working to make it better

#3. Vitamin Energy - Best with Vitamin C

vitamin energy reduce water retention

Vitamin Energy has a large lineup of products that contain a variety of essential nutrients that can help you reduce fluid buildup in the body. Their products that contain vitamin C are beneficial, as vitamin C acts as a natural diuretic that flushes sodium out of the kidneys. This helps to relax the walls of your blood vessels, lowers blood pressure and reduces bloating.


  • Replenish essential vitamins and nutrients that may be lost from putting your body through the stress of an intense working out session
  • Naturally reduce fluid buildup and excess sodium in the body
  • Certain products from Zhou Nutrition may help boost your mood, energy levels, focus and immune response
  • Keto friendly


  • Certain varieties can cause jitteriness

#4. 1Up Nutrition Water Shred

1up nutrition water shred

Targeted specifically for weight loss, 1Up Nutrition Water Shred is diuretic workout solution that can reduce bloating and swelling, it promotes lean mass, creates definition and flushes out excess water and sodium. It contains premium ingredients such as dandelion extracts, uva ursi leaf, hawthorn berry, juniper berry, horsetail stems, stone root and celery seed extract. Electrolytes have also been added to keep your body balanced. You are encouraged to drink extra water to help flush out the sodium and water released by the body when taking this product.


  • You get two free samples of protein powder with your order
  • High quality ingredients are used for a premium product
  • Free of artificial ingredients
  • Can be taken in preparation of a big event when you want to look your best
  • You can combine this product with the use of other 1Up Nutrition products


  • Can only be taken for ten days at a time, once per month

#5. Stage Ready Diuretic by 5% Nutrition

stage ready diuretic

5 Percent Nutrition has designed their Stage Ready diuretic to be powerful enough for competitors but safe enough for people who are just looking to lose a few extra pounds at home.

The formulation has been proven effective by Rich Piana, who won the 1998 Mr. California competition. It’s incredibly important to drop water weight leading up to the competition day. The special combination of dandelion root, shavegrass and uva ursi helped him achieve success.

Electrolytes have been added as well, making it a great product. This is what you’ll find inside of Stage Ready diuretic. There are other products from 5 Percent Nutrition that you can also use prior to the use of Stage Ready, such as their Sweat It Out Complex. This helps you increase your core body temperature to start up the process of flushing out fluid.


  • Made with natural ingredients such as dandelion root, shave grass, juniper berry extract and cranberry powder. All are very gentle yet effective.
  • Boosts your immune health
  • Increases antioxidant consumption
  • Offers fast results


  • One serving is six capsules
  • Contains tree nut ingredients

The Bottom Line

There is a point in many people’s adult lives when they experience some degree of fluid retention. Most people find that this issue comes and goes from day to day, but it can affect how you feel about your body. Having just a few extra pounds of excess water weight can increase the size of your stomach, hips and thighs. Women often experience these changes during certain points of their menstrual cycle. These issues often worsen as a woman ages and gets closer to menopause. Men are susceptible to water weight as well, which can make their muscles look less defined.

Diuretic use can make a big difference in how you look, but you should use as natural of a product as possible that will work to safely reduce bloating, swelling and much more. Prescription medications don’t use plant-based ingredients that are generally safe and beneficial to the body. Over the counter options from reputable brands tend to be the better option, which is what we’ve talked about here.

Are Diuretics Over The Counter Safe?

When you obtain a prescription diuretic, you are typically being monitored by a trusted medical professional to ensure that you’re taking the right dose and that you don’t develop any dangerous complications from its use.

However, you might be wondering if taking a more natural, over the counter product is safe as well. When you research over the counter products and find one that you think is going to provide you with the benefits you need, you can proceed with taking the product.

Potential Side Effects

You should be cautious of any side effects that could be dangerous. In general, diuretics are very safe, especially when you use them as directed. The most common side effects are increased urination and sodium loss.

Other potential side effects can include headaches, muscle cramps, dizziness and issues with your joints such as gout. You also need to be careful that you’re not throwing your electrolyte balance out of whack. This could lead to high levels of potassium or low levels of sodium and magnesium in the body. Neither of which are preferred.

Many of the over-the-counter diuretics that I’ve talked about in this article are designed to be used just a few days at a time. Then, it’s recommended that you take a break before using it again. Because you’re not using the product every day for months on end, you’re not likely to cause serious health issues. You end up getting the results that you want and then can reap the benefits without having to take the product any longer.

If you have any questions prior to taking an over the counter diuretic, reach out to your doctor. You should check with them anyway if you are taking prescription medications that could be affected by diuretic use. You shouldn’t use diuretics if you are dealing with kidney disease, have a history or irregular heart rhythms or are pregnant.

About the Author
Tami Smith, CPT, Nutritionist

Tami Smith is a certified Macro Coach, Nutritionist and an ACE certified fitness trainer, specializing in pre and post-natal fitness. She studied business and earned her bachelor's degree in Business Economics. Tami is a mom of two and women's health advocate. Her passion is to help people live a fit, healthy life through proper nutrition and exercise!

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