I see it and hear it happen week in week out and it has to stop.
Too many people want to “lose weight” so they immediately cut their sodium for a quick fix and a few pounds lost on the scale.
Bad move, very bad move.
What Is Salt?
Salt is an essential nutrient – your body requires both sodium and chloride, and cannot manufacture these elements on its own. This is why there is a human gustatory receptor (taste bud) specifically for salt, forming one of the basic components of “taste”. Salt is an electrolyte and has a slight charge. Salt preserves food by making it difficult for microorganisms to live – the salt draws water from the cells of microorganisms and dehydrates them.
From Onnit Labs Website
“There is an old expression “worth ones salt” which has its root in ancient Roman linguistics. Soldiers then were paid a ‘Salarium’ which was an allowance for the purchase of salt, and in fact the roman word for soldier literally translates to ‘one who is paid in salt.’ In those days salt was a rare and valuable commodity. Why? Naturally acquired Pink Himalayan salt is packed with 84 essential trace minerals and electrolytes and plays a valuable role in the regulation of myriad bodily processes. However, after the invention of artificially produced sodium chloride (table salt), the overuse and abundance of this type of salt — which is completely devoid of trace minerals — gave salt a bad name. In fact, after the invention and proliferation of this type of artificial salt, doctors started noticing health conditions among the population that were related to lack of mineral intake, so they decided to insert iodine back into this artificial salt. That is where we get ‘iodized salt.’ But even with the added iodine, table salt does not come anywhere near the mineral packed powerhouse that mother nature created.”
Like the “Low Fat” craze that has hit North America in the last 25 years, add on to this we now have a “Low Salt” craze where everyone is concerned about lowering their salt and keeping salt out of their diet.
Here are 10 Reasons why you NEED Salt/Sodium in your diet for building muscle, losing fat, and being healthy.
1. Table Salt is not the best salt.
Our notion of salt is table salt, this is not good healthy quality salt. Westerners are typically eating the hyper-refined salt that I explained above – it’s true that we shouldn’t eat this kind of toxic salt,
What we should be eating is a Wild Himalayan Pink Salt that is unrefined.
2. Salt Recommendations Are Not Always Right.
Recommendations for salt intake are based on the theory that a low salt intake will result in lower blood pressure, and that lower blood pressure will decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and related diseases. Check out this blog post from Charles Poliquin for more info.
3. High-Protein Intake Requires More Salt.
The higher your protein intake, the more salt you need.
To get the most out of protein supplementation you need to have adequate salt in the diet. If you are lifting weights and training regularly then you NEED more quality salt in your diet.
4. If you are an athlete you need more sodium.
Athletes and strength trainees are likely to need more salt, partly because they have higher protein needs and partly because training depletes the muscles of certain nutrients. In addition, electrolytes (potassium, magnesium, sodium) may be lost in the sweat, requiring greater salt or nutrient intake.
5. Salt Should Have a Color.
Salt should be colored, not that bland white stuff that we see on tables across north America. Salt should be pink, red, beige or grey. When salt has a color, it indicates that it contains trace minerals and has not been highly processed. Also, consider that decent colored salt should not cost an arm and leg. Good salt is readily available at any health food store at a reasonable price. I highly recommend Wild Himalayan Pink Salt.
6. If you sweat a lot you need more sodium.
Sodium/Potassium imbalance can lead to all kinds of problems both in the gym and outside of the gym. If you sweat a lot you need more salt for performance and for health.
7. It’s important to maintain a salt balance in your diet.
If you have a treat night or a bad food night pay attention to how you feel. Many people who eat healthy throughout the week and then treat themselves to a “splurge” meal sometimes feel nauseous and can even experience elevated heart rate and blood pressure: it is the body’s reaction to the sudden increase in salt intake.
8. Be careful with low salt diets.
Low sodium diet is one of the main causes of dehydration and low blood volume. This leads to many negative effects for those seeking improvements in their physiques and overall performance.
9. Pay attention to sodium and potassium.
If the ratio of potassium to sodium gets too high, aldosterone levels can rise too. On top of the already large increase in aldosterone from cutting sodium. That means more water taking shelter under the skin, making you look soft. Not good. If you want to look tight and dry and lean then you need to pay attention to aldosterone.
10. Do you crave salty foods?
If you are craving salty foods, that is indication number one that you need more sodium. Also, if your performance is starting to suffer and you aren’t as lean or hard or vascular as you used to be it could be because you are sweating more in the hot summer sun and need more sodium.
For great information on Satl/Sodium check out this blog and this blog from The Poliquin Group.
Don’t be afraid of salt and be sure to get a quality salt in your diet. It will help you build muscle, lose fat, increase pumps, keep you healthy and much more.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. If you did please comment, like and share.
Rob King is a Competitive PowerLifter, Coach and Writer.