You Need Salt | Reasons to Add Salt into Your Diet
This is one of the most important articles you could possibly read if you actually care whatsoever about your health. I could write all day about this, it is SO important on every level in life.
Whether you are an elite performance athlete, or a stay at home parent, THIS article is for you.
Nutrition has always been a battleground of back-and-forth debate and contradictory advice. Which diet is the "new" thing, which one works better than others and why. Which ones to throw away forever only to come back in a few years.
Even so, the topic of this post challenges some of the longest-standing and least questioned advice in all of health and fitness; which is to always avoid salt no matter what, and drink more water.
Straight up fact is, that idea is completely wrong.
The advice comes from a fear of the effect on blood pressure salt intake can cause.
Blood pressure is one of the most directly correlated factors in heart disease risk, but the idea that lowering your salt intake is the best way to lower your blood pressure is suspect at best. I will continue with evidence to support the information you are reading, so you know what I'm saying is accurate, then in turn I hope you follow my advice.
Salt is one of the most important ingredients for your body.
In nature the Carnivore, omnivore, or herbivore, all have the need for salt. For humans, it’s not much different. Do you know the word salary is Latin for salt? This mineral is so valuable, it’s one of the oldest bases for currency. I’m all about the wisdom of nature, but we don’t need to go that far to see the value.
If for no other reason, salt should be valued for being one of the main electrolytes our body needs. Electrolytes literally transport electrons in our biology.
They keep us running at the atomic level!
Other electrolytes like calcium, magnesium, and potassium are promoted, and we’re all told to drink as much water as we can handle. Without salt though, all that water can lead to loss of these essential minerals.
SO I NEED TO EAT ALL KINDS OF SALT?
NO. Do not do that.
Salt has been linked to increased blood pressure in many studies, but the problem is most of these studies use table salt.
Why does that matter?
Well, what if your only source of hydration every day was if you drank water that had aluminum, and lab-processed chemicals in it?
That’s what it’s like.
Table salt is artificial, lab-created man made garbage.
Using studies on table salt to make statements is like telling someone water is bad without mentioning it may have been sourced from lead pipes.
Real salt from natural sources is like spring water is compared to tap water.
SALT actually does what most people think water is for: It HYDRATES you!!!
OK then, what type of salt should you use?
You want natural stuff like Himalayan pink sea salt, Aztec salt, Celtic, or Redmond’s brand sea salt.
Simply put and don't look beyond that.
What does it look like when you use real salt instead of the artificial stuff? Many studies find the CDC recommendations to consume less than 2 grams of salt a day, higher consumption was correlated with better health up to 5 grams.
Actually most countries consume an average of 3 grams of salt a day with no negative consequences, and only China, with a level of 5g being common, showed a significant relation between salt consumption and cardiovascular disease. (Chinese food is salty)
Salt also may help reduce cortisol, which happens to be the stress hormone that we American's know so well. As long as it’s quality salt and you aren’t over-consuming processed foods.
We need a level of water for hydration, but we also desperately need electrolytes for this process. While most of us drink our fill of filtered, low-electrolyte water, if we don’t get enough electrolytes, this will actually dehydrate us.
Every year, athletes die from over-consuming water.
They actually drink themselves to death, it's real and can happen.
You can drink enough water that it gets into your brain cells and causes swelling, hemorrhaging, more often the culprit is water depleting your electrolytes.
It’s thought that heart attacks in young athletes occur due to severe depletion of electrolytes.
As I said in the beginning of this article, this is really important stuff.
Many people focus on magnesium or potassium in this equation, but salt is essential for maintaining the equilibrium of both. Coaches used to give their athletes salt pills before games, but I think young athletes get too little salt nowadays, I've seen this first hand.
Young people are VERY under-hydrated.
Still eating processed foods, many people opt for the low-sodium versions of nearly everything they eat. This stuff is still processed junk, but in an athlete who sweats often, the combination of low-sodium foods, over-hydration, and training can be disadvantageous and at worse, deadly.
We need water, but not as much as we might think. If you get enough salt you tend to feel less need to drink water all day. Once you figure out your salt intake, you can play around with your water. You shouldn’t feel dehydrated and your pee should be somewhat light in color, but beyond that, it’s more about your mineral status than the amount of liquid you drank.
Thats right- perfectly clear pee is a bad thing, and something to avoid.
GET THE SALT
Choosing a healthy diet means you need to add salt manually.
The types that I have listed above. Since you getting all that junk table salt from processed junk food, so you’re actually at an even greater risk of salt deficiency.
At the most basic level, stop being afraid of the stuff and salt your food to taste. Many people benefit from going even further, but if you eat healthily and don’t currently salt your food, start with that. Follow your cravings.
For anyone (especially athletes) following low-carb or keto, you’ll probably need more.
CARBS ARE YOUR FRIEND!!
Carbohydrates help with electrolyte retention. Low carb diets have a diuretic effect as your body depletes muscle glycogen and burns fat for fuel.
As an athlete or low-carber (or anyone) you might need extra salt if you’re feeling symptoms.
Minor electrolyte deficiencies usually aren’t noticeable, but major deficiency can cause fatigue, heart problems like palpitations, cramps, light-headedness, etc.
More and more athletes are trying low-carb and noticing many of these issues. If this is you, you need to be adding even more salt per day.
Easy Ways To Chase Salt
Add it to your water
Finally, the simplest way (and my favorite way) to immediately increase your salt is by adding half a teaspoon to a large glass of water in the morning.
Put it with your favorite morning drink. (maybe except coffee)
If you’re low-carb and/or an athlete who needs more salt, I suggest spreading it out through the day.
Always use Himalayan sea salt, Celtic sea salt, Aztec sea salt, and many others to choose from.
Just never use table salt.
GET YOUR SALT
Hope this finds you well.