A Look At the Relationship Between Salt Intake and Sports Performance

A Look At the Relationship Between Salt Intake and Sports Performance

A Look At Salt Intake and Sports Performance

The newest installment of Swimming World’s month-to-month have a look at diet by Dawn Weatherwax focuses on sodium consumption.


Table salt (sodium chloride) is a mixture of two minerals: sodium and chloride. The physique wants it to operate. Without it, you’ll die. It aids in constructing and recovering muscle mass, impacts blood strain, aids in staying hydrated and helps stop muscle cramps throughout exercise.


When you sweat, you lose from 200-2,000 mg of sodium per pound of sweat. No different electrolyte is misplaced in that quantity. Potassium hardly ever exceeds 70 mg per pound of sweat, and calcium and magnesium losses are method lower than that. (I do know this firsthand as a result of I take a look at electrolyte ranges at my workplace.)


Most athletes want a minimal of three,000 mg of sodium a day. Many want extra pending on how a lot they sweat per hour. This quantity can simply be met by way of each day consumption, however I’ve discovered many who concentrate on consuming clear don’t consumption sufficient. I extremely suggest logging on an app to see what your common consumption is. (Remember: This is an academic article and never to get replaced for medical recommendation. Seek out particular person assist in these conditions.)


If exercise is mild, lower than 90 minutes and also you don’t lose greater than a pound of sweat per hour, consuming water is often tremendous. Others who lose over 2-3 kilos of sweat an hour ought to intention for 200-500 mg of sodium citrate per hour. (Again, it is a advice and NOT an absolute. I’ve had athletes who want 1,000 mg of sodium an hour primarily based on the outcomes we acquired from testing.)


If you can’t get sufficient sodium by way of your each day meals consumption or in case you sweat profusely throughout exercise, then an athlete would possibly take into account supplementing with electrolyte merchandise specializing in sodium as its major supply. NUUN, Precision Hydration, Salt Stick, The Right Stuff and LMNT are choices. For others, in case you want carbohydrates throughout exercise, then a sports activities drink is perhaps a greater choice to get each concurrently.


Muscle cramping throughout exercise is often prompted from lack of water and/or sodium! The objective is to weigh earlier than and after exercise, and weigh the identical. The weight misplaced at the moment is simply water. Next, in case you are hydrating correctly and nonetheless cramping, don’t add extra water. Water dilutes sodium ranges within the physique.

So, now it’s worthwhile to add correct sodium quantities in the course of the day and through exercise. To scientifically measure hydration standing, get hydration strips. Measure your particular gravity ranges between dinner and bedtime. They ought to be between 1.000-1.005. To know the way a lot sodium you’re shedding per pound of sweat, you’ll need to hunt an skilled to assist.


Sodium is an important mineral and electrolyte, particularly for lively individuals and athletes. Remember: If you swim solely, you do sweat within the water. Aim for no less than 3,000 mg of sodium a day—and extra is probably going wanted, relying on a number of elements. If you do cramp up throughout an exercise, begin specializing in fluid and sodium pointers. I extremely suggest looking for out a sports activities dietitian or medical skilled if the muscle cramping persists.

* * *

This article and the next pattern coaching menu is academic solely and shouldn’t be used instead of medical recommendation:


Pre-Training (4:30-5:15 a.m.)
1/3 cup Chia seeds
3/4 cup Unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup Blackberries
1.5 T Honey
1 tsp Vanilla
16 oz Water an hour (quantity wanted will depend on sweat charge)
(Might add 1 pill Nuun or Precision Hydration electrolyte pill per 16 oz)

Training (5:30-6:45 a.m.)
4-16 oz Water or sports activities drink an hour (quantity wanted will depend on sweat charge)

Breakfast (6-7:30 a.m.)

MUST HAVE WITHIN 30-45 minutes after coaching
Tofu Bowl (To save time, you may make it forward of time and warmth up)
Sauté in a skillet:
1 T Olive oil
1 Chopped garlic clove
1 cup Kale

Put the remainder within the skillet and blend till heat:
4 oz Tofu
1/4 cup Kidney beans/pinto beans
Seasonings: soy sauce, turmeric, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper

Put combination on prime of:
1 cup Brown rice (pre-cooked)
Sprinkle with dietary yeast, salt and pepper (elective)

2 Mandarin oranges
16 oz Water (electrolyte product if wanted)

1 Multivitamin and mineral pill
1 Vegan Omega-3 capsule excessive in DHA and EPA
1 B12 capsule

Lunch (11 a.m.-12:45 p.m.)

1 Baked candy potato
1 T Olive oil butter
2-4 cups Greens
1 cup Mixed veggies of selection
1-2 T Oil-based dressing
1 cup Edamame
1 Daiya’s Greek Alternative Yogurt
1 cup Berries
16 oz Water (elective: add one NUUN electrolyte pill)

Afternoon Snack (2-3:30 p.m.)

1 No Cow Bar
Trail Mix
1/8-1/4 cup Mixed nuts/seeds
1/8-1/4 cup Dried fruit
16 oz Water (elective: add one NUUN electrolyte pill)

Training (3:30-5:30 p.m.)

4-16 oz Water or sports activities drink an hour (quantity wanted will depend on sweat charge)

Post-recovery inside 30-45 min: 10-20 oz soy milk or Garden of Life efficiency bar

(If you possibly can have dinner inside that point, then this snack is elective)

Evening Meal (6-7 p.m.)

Bean and Avocado Wrap
1-2 Organic tortillas
3/4 cup Black beans
3/4 cup Red peppers
3/4 cup Purple cabbage
1 Avocado
Season with salt, pepper, chili powder—elective
1/2-1 Grapefruit

16 oz Water (elective: add one NUUN electrolyte pill)

1 Multivitamin and mineral pill
1 Omega-3 capsule excessive in DHA and EPA

Evening Snack (8-10 p.m.)

12 oz Almond milk
1 scoop Garden of Life protein powder
1 small Banana
1-2 T Nut or seed butter

Dawn Weatherwax (RD, LD, ATC, CSCS) is a registered/licensed dietitian with a specialty in sports activities diet and founding father of Sports Nutrition 2Go and Dawn Weatherwax Sports Nutrition Academy. She has been working with swimmers for over 25 years and has launched a web-based diet program for swimmers at Dawnweatherwax.com. She can be a board-certified specialist in sports activities dietetics, which is the premier skilled sports activities diet credential within the United States. In addition, she is an athletic coach with a certification in power and conditioning from The National Strength and Conditioning Association.

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