Sodium Needs and Athletes

 

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Use of pH buffers to improve performance during high intensity exercise Sports Nutrition

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The Importance Of Sodium For Exercise Performance!

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Dr. Stephen Phinney: How much sodium should you consume on a ketogenic diet?

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Video taken from the channel: Thomas DeLauer


 

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Sodium To Improve Athletic Performance

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The Importance Of Sodium For Exercise Performance!

Video taken from the channel: Paul Salter Weight Maintenance Expert


 

Use of pH buffers to improve performance during high intensity exercise Sports Nutrition

Video taken from the channel: Nestlé Nutrition Institute


 

Dangers of Low-Salt Diets & Impacts on Athletic Performance w/ Dr. James DiNicolantonio

Video taken from the channel: Dr. Bubbs Performance Nutrition Podcast


Athletes and active people typically need of more salt than the average person. Sodium is lost through sweat, and athletes can have very high sweat rates. All athletes, from crossfitters to football players to endurance runners, are prone to sweating during exercise, which is a key mechanism in cooling the body’s core temperature while working out.

Athletes and other active people should consider the amount of sodium in their diets and whether they may need additional sodium based on their exercise and training. For regular exercisers (30-60 minutes a day, five to seven days a week), the dietary guidelines for sodium in the diet is likely adequate to replace any sodium lost in the sweat. Sweating is the main way athletes lose sodium and fluids during exercise. That’s why those of us who train regularly have different needs when it comes to replacing sodium than those who don’t. The thing is, everyone loses a different amount of sodium in their sweat, from as little as 200mg of sodium per liter of sweat, to as much as 2,000mg/l.

And everyone sweats at different. Weiss did concede that athletes need a higher salt intake than the general population. Too much sodium in the blood can throw off your blood pressure, but the point is that athletes tend to lose a. Athletes need more sodium because it is lost while sweating.

The amount of sodium excreted in sweat is large and depends on many factors, such as body mass, training level, temperature, clothing, gender, and heat/humidity acclimatization. Sodium (Salt) Intake for Athletes Every person in the Western world consumes more than sufficient quantities of salt through their diet to satisfy their bodily needs for sodium, one of the two elements that form salt; 90% of all dietary salt consumed is. Sweating is the main way athletes lose sodium and fluids during exercise.

That’s basically why those of us who train regularly have different needs when it comes to replacing sodium than those who don’t. Everyone loses a different amount of sodium in their sweat. Moderate your salt intake by eating less processed food. Having parents with low blood pressure also helps How much salt does an athlete actually need? For non-athletes, the body only needs 500 mg sodium and the U.S.

Dietary Guidelines recommend no more than 2,400 mg sodium/day. Current dietary guidelines recommend healthy adults get 2,000 to 2,300 milligrams of sodium, with runners and endurance athletes taking more as necessary, so long as their blood pressure remains in. The body needs only a small amount of sodium (less than 500 milligrams per day) to function properly.

That’s a mere smidgen — the amount in less than ¼ teaspoon. Very few people come close to eating less than that amount. Plus, healthy kidneys are great at retaining the sodium that your body needs.

List of related literature:

Because sodium and chloride are the main electrolytes lost in sweat, rehydration without replacement of these electrolytes will eventually lead to dilution of their concentrations in the body.1 One way to prevent hyponatremia is to have athletes ingest sports drinks containing electrolytes, particularly sodium.

“Practical Applications In Sports Nutrition BOOK ALONE” by Heather Fink, Alan Mikesky, Lisa Burgoon
from Practical Applications In Sports Nutrition BOOK ALONE
by Heather Fink, Alan Mikesky, Lisa Burgoon
Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2011

Athletes experiencing any of the initial symptoms of hyponatremia, such as muscle cramping, may find that consumption of salty foods and sodium-containing sports beverages satisfactorily resolves the symptoms.

“Advanced Sports Nutrition” by Dan Benardot
from Advanced Sports Nutrition
by Dan Benardot
Human Kinetics, Incorporated, 2011

Sodium supplementation in the form of salt tablets, salty snacks, or sports drinks will not prevent the development of EAH, although some evidence suggests that such supplementation retards the rate of blood sodium decline in athletes who drink in excess.

“Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine” by Lyle J. Micheli, M.D.
from Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine
by Lyle J. Micheli, M.D.
SAGE Publications, 2010

For youth athletes who participate in events that are prolonged (i.e., last more than an hour) and involve vigorous exercise or take place in a hot and humid environment, it may be useful to use a sport drink containing carbohydrate and sodium chloride in order to maintain energy provision and electrolyte balance.

“Essentials of Youth Fitness” by Avery D. Faigenbaum, Rhodri S. Lloyd, Jon L. Oliver, American College of Sports Medicine
from Essentials of Youth Fitness
by Avery D. Faigenbaum, Rhodri S. Lloyd, et. al.
Human Kinetics, 2019

If there are large amounts of sodium chloride in an athlete’s sweat, or an athlete replaces his or her sweat losses with low-sodium drinks or plain water, diluting the sodium in the blood, or both, the chance of getting a muscle cramp increases.

“Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, 3rd Ed.” by Monique Ryan, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN
from Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, 3rd Ed.
by Monique Ryan, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN
VeloPress, 2012

In addition to consuming sodium during exercise, athletes acclimatizing to the heat should also consider a temporary increase in their daily intake of sodium, possibly as high as 4–10 grams of sodium per day.”

“Practical Applications in Sports Nutrition” by Heather Hedrick Fink, Lisa A. Burgoon, Alan E. Mikesky
from Practical Applications in Sports Nutrition
by Heather Hedrick Fink, Lisa A. Burgoon, Alan E. Mikesky
Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2006

Though plain water is effective for rehydration, athletes should consider a sport drink or consume their water with foods that contain electrolytes such as sodium and chloride to replace electrolyte losses (Dunford 2006).

“NSCA’s Guide to Sport and Exercise Nutrition” by NSCA -National Strength & Conditioning Association, Bill Campbell, Marie Spano
from NSCA’s Guide to Sport and Exercise Nutrition
by NSCA -National Strength & Conditioning Association, Bill Campbell, Marie Spano
Human Kinetics, Incorporated, 2011

When athletes are training or competing for hours at a time, they will need to replace sodium to promote fluid retention and can typically do so by salting foods and drinking sport

“Successful Coaching” by Rainer Martens
from Successful Coaching
by Rainer Martens
Human Kinetics, Incorporated, 2012

Additionally, the day before a long training bout or competition, an athlete can help promote optimal levels of body sodium by eating salty foods such spaghetti with red sauce or lightly salting their meals.

“Essentials of Exercise & Sport Nutrition: Science to Practice” by Richard B. Kreider PhD FACSM FISSN FNAK
from Essentials of Exercise & Sport Nutrition: Science to Practice
by Richard B. Kreider PhD FACSM FISSN FNAK
Lulu Publishing Services, 2019

Athletes who exercise hard for more than four hours in the heat, such as tennis players, triathletes, and ultrarunners, may be putting themselves at risk of developing a sodium imbalance that could contribute to cramps if they consume only water during the event and no foods or beverages that contain sodium.

“Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook” by Nancy Clark
from Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook
by Nancy Clark
Human Kinetics, 2019

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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55 comments

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  • Interesting. my understanding from medical reseach is that the ideal potassium to sodium is 3: 1 or 2: 1 respectively depending on the study. This is the first time I’ve heard of a 1:1 ratio.

  • Salt packets from McDonalds, dishwashing gloves as training gloves, protein jugs for forearm strength, Lee is the “everymans” body builder!

  • Sodium bicarbonate-aka baking soda is a negative ion and helps to buffer toxic build up as well as excess lactic acid from exercising. Baking soda is also a type of salt(sodium)

  • I entered everything I ate into Cronometer one day last week (I ate the same way I eat any other day) I just went back to that day and went to check the sodium and potassium. My sodium was 2,782 but my potassium was 5,203. Am I having too little sodium, then? Should I consume more?

  • Sean please answer my question!
    i run your free program and do reps from 5-7 reps for about 1 year on legs and i got knee pain when bending, the right leg
    , i took 1 week off and pain still exist even after 2 weeks from resting, should i train with low reps or stick with high reps from 15 + and more? the pain go away when training!, by the way i got knee pain from squating wrong, realized the knee go forward alittle bit when squating and didn’t take a serious deload week or full week of rest since i started training for 1 and half year ago, so what i have to do now? continue training with low/high reps or skip legs if it might be sign of injury?!
    @Sean Nalewanyj

  • I always avoided salt, because a lot of fitness gurus told not to eat salt, because it’s dangerous for the body, but always when I train very long, I got so fatigued and got horrible headaches….thanks for the tip! But tell me why do some bodybuilders avoid salt and talking bad about salt and sodium?

  • been on a low sodium diet and drinking a ton of distilled water and still cannot lose the water and get ripped can you help me out please

  • Salt packets from McDonalds, dishwashing gloves as training gloves, protein jugs for forearm strength, Lee is the “everymans” body builder!

  • It would be even better to take a natural unrefined sea salt or rock salt. I like Keltic Sea Salt the best. Let it dissolve in water and drink that. Can be good with a bit of lemon juice.
    Unrefined salt has trace minerals that are removed from white table salt. The table salt can have toxic additives like aluminum that aren’t present in natural unrefined salt.

  • Dislike, you should try to minimise your sodium intake, ideally under 1500mg. Just another meathead giving potentially deadly misinformation, you can be proud of yourself

  • i never get muscle cramps. but i get really shaky towards the end of a good workout. is this mostly for cramps or the twitching? love your videos man!

  • Usually i would recommend drinking much more water with any added mineral or vitamin or protein or whatever, but this amount of salt isnt really much a health risk, just dont go eating like 5 packets

  • so how do you explain that diuretics work to drop blood pressure by removing salt from the blood? that must mean the more salt in the blood the higher the blood pressure. or are you saying that once you get below a certain amount of sodium in your blood then diuretics no longer work to drop blood pressure?

  • I went from less than 2300mg of sodium to 4000mg. BP stayed the same. AND I am more alert, and can think better. Overall, I just “feel” healthier.

  • Lee, how much sodium should I intake a day, on average I consume about 4000-4500 mg, Im 16 years old, 6 foot 1, 145lbs. Is this enough, I generally dont feel to crampy.

  • however I never needed them from working out, but when at work in summertimes…when you work where it is real humid and hot in summer you kind of need salt pills and tons of water to stay moving

  • What is 4 5 grams of sodium? I think table salt is 39% sodium. How many grams of table salt do I need to take to reach that 4 5 grams of sodium? I’m starting keto (4 weeks in) and I feel light headed and weak.

  • Even Elephants are risk there life’s because of salt. By going deep in to the caves, and eating salty of the walls. Elephant can eat Up to 20 kilos of salt over night. 20 kilos = 44.092 pounds.
    https://vimeo.com/35525821

  • Well potassium can cause you to be bloated as well. So why would you give the same equal amount of them in your body…. I disagree. Stayimg hydrated is key… as long as you stay full hydrated the sodium is not a major factor. Just dont over due it. I take 2500 mg sodium daily work put 3 to 5 x per work and it has gave me a perfect body.. remember as well people each and everyone our body except and discharge differently what works for 1 person may not work for you.. it’s literally test and try and see what’s fits for you…..

  • @james9689 salt is not the only electrolyte..you might lack potassium or calcium…correct me if i’m wrong..but as far as i can remember back in college i learned that the influx of potassium and calcium causes muscle contraction..lacking one of these electrolyte could cause muscle cramping…i dont disagree with lee..im just making a suggestion..just trying to help out:)

  • why not drink Gatorade instead or any other sport drink with electrolytes…low sodium is not always the reason you feel weak or get cramps in the gym..it could be lack of potassium, calcium or magnesium… thanks for the vid lee..it made me do a little research of my own:)

  • How can you specifically make sure that the reason for feeling weak or muscle cramps is the result of low sodium? I’m just curious Lee. Thanks and nice video

  • Very insightful, have been cutting and definitely realize how much it affects the weight but never really tracked it. Will for sure try it now ������

  • Interesting. my understanding from medical reseach is that the ideal potassium to sodium is 3: 1 or 2: 1 respectively depending on the study. This is the first time I’ve heard of a 1:1 ratio.

  • you missed stating the differences of available salts. table salt Isn’t the same as other salts. so just generalizing sodium and not giving proper information will get ppl hurt.

  • Love the honesty & practicality you bring w each & every video/article you make. This is one of the many reasons I started following you. Keep up w the posting! ������

  • Why do you need to have your potassium lvl the same what’s the reason. I’m lost. I understand the 1:1 ratio an it’s not evil. Get the whole bloated scene.

  • Kazakhstan greatest country in the world all other countrys are run by little girls.
    Kazakhstan number one exporter of potassium! Other countries have inferior potassium.

  • however I never needed them from working out, but when at work in summertimes…when you work where it is real humid and hot in summer you kind of need salt pills and tons of water to stay moving

  • Low sodium can cause muscle cramps. I cut my sodium so low it’s somewhere between 600-1200 on most days. My muscles are extremely sore after workouts, and they stay sore for 10-14 days causing me to miss some workouts the following week. I don’t have proof, but I am going to assume this is because I messed up my sodium levels. I will have to find some ways to increase my sodium without eating junk food now. Also, the Potassium ratio to sodium is actually about 2:1. That’s 2500 sodium, and 4500 potassium

  • It’s super hard to get under 2k sodium. I’m taking about 4500 and my BP is still low. Hard to get your protein intake and have low sodium

  • you are wrong about salt. you only crave salt when you’re used to eating salt and then you stop eating it but if you wean yourself off it your body adapts and it retains more salt and no longer craves it. once you’ve learnt yourself off salt you can’t stand to eat anything salty.

  • Hi Sean,.great info in this video. Appreciate it!
    what would be a reasonable amount of sodium and potassium? Asking because I’ve never really tracked sodium and will not but just curious if I’ve been taking in a high amount…. and if I have been consuming high.amount wouldn’t lowering it be a.good.idea instead.of just balancing it with potassium. confused
    ….:(
    Thanks Sean!

  • One simple question, I was a guy who used to sweat alot during exercise and could drink alt of water, but NO more sweat and dehydrated, is it because of salt deficiency?

  • Hey Sean I am eating bananas for the potassium. How does this help our recovery when it comes to the gym? Does it do anything to lower cortisol levels.
    Thanks

  • i never get muscle cramps. but i get really shaky towards the end of a good workout. is this mostly for cramps or the twitching? love your videos man!

  • It would be even better to take a natural unrefined sea salt or rock salt. I like Keltic Sea Salt the best. Let it dissolve in water and drink that. Can be good with a bit of lemon juice.
    Unrefined salt has trace minerals that are removed from white table salt. The table salt can have toxic additives like aluminum that aren’t present in natural unrefined salt.

  • Redmond real salt. Dr James spoke about a year ago and I listened and bought it. Best salt I’ve found so far and incredibly high in needed nutrients.

  • is this ONLY to be used if you are experiencing muscle cramps? wondering if i can do if say trying to push out an extra rep when going heavy

  • Bro I’ve been trying hard to get to 200 lbs by mid march or early April for baseball and I usually go around 6000 mg no problem and around 3800 potassium should I be concerned about going so high in sodium regularly?

  • How you get people show ready is one of your damn secrets that you haven’t given away yet. You do some amazing shit with your clients that I haven’t seen other coaches achieve. I know I am not in a situation where I can have the discipline and dedication to obey your coaching, but maybe in 5 years after I have earned my PhD and just have to work 40.0 hours per week flex time and live in a household with a weight-loss supportive woman or alone because I am not hoe ready I’ll hire you.

  • If I consume sodium and potassium in 1:2 ratio, will that help me to get leaner and look more shredded? Thanks in advance.
    By the way, good information video Sean. Love it!

  • Hey Sean, couple of questions. If I play tennis for an hour a day, which involves a hell of a lot of sweating all over my body, does that mean I can consume more salt each day? And also, my primary goal is fat loss, so does a higher intake of salt affect that? Thanks.

  • Dude this is probably my greatest discovery ever. Sodium gives you amazing performance. Things feel 40% lighter for me I had pizza to test it out and holy fuck I was strong.

  • So for ex. If I consume around 10,000 mg of sodium a day, while supplementing with potassium in that same ratio.
    Would that be ok in a long term? btw, GREAT content as always Sean. Thank you

  • Thanks, Lee
    This was very helpful. I have been having long recovery times after hard workouts and the advice to replenish salt helped speed up my recovery time. I live in a very hot country. Many times when I workout the temperature is between 87 and 93 degrees, with the humid at 90%. So, the sweat just rolls off of me. To get through a twenty minute workout I drink three 12 ounce bottles of water. Now, when I notice muscle cramps I add a cup of beef or chicken broth to my recover meal to replace the salts. This brings the recover time down to normal lengths. 
    Thank you again.

  • Brah u hve done videos on so many imp. Topics but never done a video on probiotics. When actually the data shows that it is becoming one of the biggest hot topics among bodybuilders.

  • i notice that if i eat a high sodium meal my face puffs right up. i dont know if that’s from water retention or what.. it’s always been like that.

  • Thanks man! One nutrition related questions is it possible to keep your weight but bring your body fat percentage down? So basically gain muscle and lose fat?

  • i notice that if i eat a high sodium meal my face puffs right up. i dont know if that’s from water retention or what.. it’s always been like that.

  • Hey Sean. I know you have some articles on your website about training routines, but could you post a video about intermediate training routines like a push pull legs about twice a week with sets, reps, and etc.

  • If your sodium does spike one day, that can really throw off your weight, feelings, etc. So, the day-to-day consistency is so important.

  • If you suffer from chronic diarrhea, make sure you have a glass of warm water with some sea salt afterwards. I stumbled on this trick quite by accident, and it changed my life!

  • Hi guys I am here to provide you Himalayan pink salt in a good in United Arab Emirates Dubai it will be very very very cheap real Himalayan pink salt in rock shape

  • What was the purpose of having that big red Appliance on the counter next to you during this video?
    Just something I was wondering but I appreciate the truth about salt