When I get asked “what do I eat” I always get “how much sodium is in that meal” somewhere throughout the discussion regardless of what I’m eating. A lot of people are afraid of salt. Retaining water weight is usually what everyone is worried about. I’m here to tell you, salt is not the enemy. According to WebMD the government guidelines say people should consume less than 2,300mg of salt per day (which is 2.3 grams worth of salt) that’s a lot!!! While the ADA recommends limits should be around 1,500mg of salt per day. While those in the bodybuilding and training arena tell me if I stay under 1g of salt per meal and drink enough water you will be fine. The key phrase in that statement is “drink enough water”. Which is a topic for another blog post.
Hydration – Salt helps you stay better hydrated, water follows sodium throughout the body, so when you hear of someone saying they are retaining water which sodium is the usual suspect for this, its because they’ve consumed too much salt (which is sodium) and that sodium is being chased by water, and that water doesn’t know where to go since you have too much sodium flowing. But by consuming enough sodium opposed to, too much or too little your water will follow the sodium keeping you more hydrated.
Source of Electrolytes – Have you ever looked at the nutritional contents of some water or sports drink and wonder why there is sodium in the formula? Simple answer it is a great source of electrolytes which can help prevent, cramping during exercise, fatigue, nausea, and one study even suggests seizures. That is pretty amazing stuff for spice that gets a bad rap.
A key benefit that happens from being properly hydrated is you’ll get a better night sleep. Think about it, mornings when you wake up dry mouth, how do you feel? In my case more tired than normal. Or how many times do you wake up at night wanting water? Dehydration messes with your sleep cycles and causes you to not get a full night rest.
Are all Salts created Equal?
The six most common types of salt are Celtic Sea Salt, Sea Salt, Pink Himalayan Rock Salt, Kosher Salt, and your basic Table Salt. When it comes to salt just like about everything else we consume. Less process is typically better for you. So choose a more natural salt like a sea salt or rock salt and try to avoid the table salts (even the iodized ones) Those tend to be more processed with added ingredients (i.e iodized, which had its purpose years ago and doesn’t need to be consumed with our salt in today’s age for most of us)
For me I typically don’t add a lot of salt to my meal prep. Usually I add a pinch of salt to my oatmeal in the morning, and to most of the tofu it is usually one to two twist of Pink Himalayan Rock Salt per 16 ounces of Tofu. I don’t like things too salty so the spices I use on the regular day to day aren’t high in sodium, so I typically don’t even look at the sodium content. I also drink a lot of water everyday to offset any chance I would over consume sodium.
Have more questions on salt? Please contact me or start a discussion below, I’m sure others are thinking the same as you, but are waiting on YOU to start the discussion.