Have you ever said something like…
- “I have to be careful around salty foods, they tend to make me bloated.”
- “Processed foods are high in sodium, so I try to stay away from things like that.”
- “I better check the label to make sure I’m not eating too much salt without realizing it.”
Or maybe you’ve wondered…
- “Should I worry about my salt intake?”
- “How bad for me is sodium?”
- “Is too much sodium really bad for my health?”
At Lady Leader Lifestyle, we get comments and questions like these all the time. Unfortunately, if you do an online search for sodium & salt, the majority of the information you’ll first see speaks to how bad it is. A deeper look screams information overload!
We understand both your frustration around salt and sodium.
And we appreciate your curiosity because although salt and sodium are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. I’ll save the details for another time, but for a quick perspective…
- Salt is a compound made up of two elements: sodium and chloride.
- Sodium is a mineral found in many different forms, including salt.
Simply put…not all salt is created equal. Different salts can be beneficial for different nutrients, however in this blog we’re talking about using salt to get more sodium.
I know that can sound “off” or even wrong, but…
Did you know sodium is good for you?
I salt my meals, our coaches do the same, and we often recommend increasing salt intake depending upon client needs and goals.
Today I want to share with you some of the benefits of sodium. Let’s get into it.
Sodium Is Good For Women’s Health and Performance
Sodium is an essential mineral that plays a critical role in many bodily functions, including fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction. It is often demonized as a “bad” nutrient, but the truth is that it is necessary for optimal health and performance. Here are some benefits of sodium:
One of the most critical roles of sodium in the body is to maintain fluid balance. Sodium helps regulate the amount of water in and around your cells, which is essential for proper hydration. When you sweat during exercise, you lose both water and sodium.
If you don’t replace the sodium, you may become dehydrated, which can lead to decreased performance, muscle cramps, and even heat exhaustion. Adequate sodium intake can help you maintain proper hydration levels during exercise and prevent these issues.
Improves Muscle Function
Sodium is also essential for muscle function. It helps stimulate muscle contractions, which are necessary for movement and exercise. When you exercise, your muscles rely on sodium to work properly. Without adequate sodium intake, your muscles may become fatigued more quickly, which can limit your ability to exercise at high intensities.
In a study by Dr. James DiNicolantonio, Author of The Salt Fix, consuming 2-3 grams of sodium an hour before your workout will improve performance 10-20X better than any other “performance-boosting” supplements you find in the store. Heck, dosing salt correctly can save you $30 or more per month alone. No need for those fancy name-brand pre-workout supplements anymore. Boom!
Sodium can also help boost endurance during exercise. When you sweat, you not only lose water and sodium but also other electrolytes like potassium and magnesium. These electrolytes work together to maintain proper muscle function and energy production during exercise. If you don’t replace them, your endurance and performance may suffer.
Adequate sodium intake can help maintain electrolyte balance during exercise and support optimal endurance. If you want to keep getting stronger and have better endurance it is important to have sodium in your daily food intake.
Finally, sodium can also support recovery after exercise. When you exercise, you create small tears in your muscles, which need to be repaired to grow stronger. Sodium helps transport nutrients and fluids to your muscles, which can aid in this repair process. Adequate sodium intake can help support muscle recovery and reduce soreness after exercise. Who else is done with being crazy sore after working out? Me, me, me, that’s for sure!
A Summary on Sodium Intake
Adequate sodium intake can enhance hydration, improve muscle function, boost endurance, and support recovery after exercise. High sodium, often correlated to diet and lifestyle habits, can increase blood pressure and other related illnesses. Deficient sodium negatively affects other health markers, including increased triglycerides & LDL, and elevated stress hormones.
All in all, while many of us may have indirectly learned that sodium is a “bad” nutrient, it is in fact essential for women’s health, fitness, and next-level performance. Contact us here if you need assistance pinpointing the delicate balance of sodium you need for improved fitness, fat loss, and recovery.
If you like this content or want to learn more about other topics feel free to reach out and share or follow me on Instagram.
–Ashlee, Lady Leader Lifestyle Athlete, Ambassador, & Content Creator