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Salt addict trying to justify herself...

jenifer7teenjenifer7teen Member Posts: 205 Member Member Posts: 205 Member
I have a salt problem. I've always argued that my body craves it because I have low blood pressure. Lately I've wondered if because I sweat A TON during my workouts if I can justify my salt intake somehow that way... any thoughts? Or am i just crazy? How important is it in an otherwise healthy person to have low sodium intake??? It's hard for me to gauge but I'd say it's certainly more than 3000 per day? (I don't always include extra table salt in my diary and since I cook a lot it's really hard to know for sure how much sodium per serving ).
edited July 2017


  • HeidiCooksSupperHeidiCooksSupper Member, Premium Posts: 3,836 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3,836 Member
    If you are young it may not be a problem but as you get older it may become one. This article gives a fairly balanced take on the matter.

    The American Heart Association is adamant that we should all aim for 1500 mg sodium per day. Other agencies say to stay below 2300 mg. In both cases, it's really a best guess. We do need some sodium daily and, on average, we eat too much, but beyond that the science is pretty squishy.

    Hubby and I aim toward 1500 and try to definitely stay below 2300 but we both take daily blood pressure medicines and are in our 60s.
  • The_EnginerdThe_Enginerd Member Posts: 3,954 Member Member Posts: 3,954 Member
    BP sensitivity to sodium intake is highly variable among the population. For some folks, restricting dietary sodium intake improves their BP substantially. For others, it only mildly affects BP. And active folks tend to need more because they lose it through sweat.

    I average 5000+ mg of sodium a day an my BP is borderline low. I also run over 50 MPW on average...
  • ryborybo Member Posts: 5,432 Member Member Posts: 5,432 Member
    I used to eat a ton of salt. Could not shake enough onto my foods. Everything said that was bad, so I cut down, cut down and really reduced my intake. I enjoyed natural flavors of the foods I was eating and some, realized the salt was a cover for crappy taste.
    Then i read athletes need more, heavy sweaters, and salt intake isn't as bad as thought for normal healthy people. I eased some of my limitations on it for about the past year or so.
    All this to say...I never noticed any differences at the time, whether I was eating a high or low sodium intake. But looking back at some endurance events,(marathon, half marathon) I believe I might have been a little low on sodium entering them, which caused me issues during the races.
  • lporter229lporter229 Member Posts: 4,907 Member Member Posts: 4,907 Member
    I think the general population puts way too much emphasis on limiting sodium intake because we are told to think this way. I exercise a lot. I have a complete blood panel done every six weeks (for another unrelated health issue) and my sodium level is always borderline low, even though I do not intentionally restrict sodium. Two years ago, I had an very scary episode of barely being able to walk or move my muscles, which turned out to be in part due to dehydration and low electrolyte levels. I have known several people, mostly elderly folks, that have had similar episodes due to the same. Too little sodium can be just as bad as too much. If you exercise a lot and sweat a lot, you really need to make sure you have adequate sodium intake, especially in the hot summer months. This is why you see gallons of Gatorade on the sidelines of most sporting events rather than just plain water.
  • nvmomketonvmomketo Member Posts: 12,020 Member Member Posts: 12,020 Member
    Salt recommendations are changing. They've found that most people do best between 3000 to 5000 mg of sodium per day. There's 2300mg of sodium in a teaspoon of salt, so that's roughly 2 teaspoons worth... So enjoy! :)
  • jenifer7teenjenifer7teen Member Posts: 205 Member Member Posts: 205 Member
    Thanks everyone! I just sprinkled a little salt on my toast as usual, but felt less guilty ;)
    edited July 2017
  • tgcakeftgcakef Member Posts: 111 Member Member Posts: 111 Member
    Salt guidelines are rather controversial. Some meta-analyses are finding that there isn't a strong correlation between salt, and heart disease. The original study that linked salt to heart disease has also come under scrutiny. What we're seeing is that the link between salt, and heart disease seems to be dependent on genetics.

    We're also finding out that sodium intake of less than 3,000 mg per day increases your risk of heart disease. I believe more than 7,000 mg also correlates with higher risk of heart disease in hypertensive people.

    Basically, unless you're hypertensive, you probably don't need to cut down on your salt intake.

    And from my own observations, I used to be thirsty all the time a few years ago. I'd drink a glass of water, and I'd need more immediately. It was attributed to my diabetes but even when it was controlled, I was always thirsty. Then I increased my salt intake, and stopped being thirsty all the time. People were shocked when I went through a meal with one glass of water. So increasing my intake has been good for me.

    Studies: - Lewis Dahl and the genetics of salt-induced hypertension - Dr. Lewis Kitchener Dahl, the Dahl Rats and the ‘Inconvenient truth’ abou the Genetics of Hypertension - Associations of urinary sodium excretion with cardiovascular events in individuals with and without hypertension: a pooled analysis of data from four studies. - Compared with usual sodium intake, low- and excessive-sodium diets are associated with increased mortality: a meta-analysis.
    A PDF for the above mentioned study is available here:

  • lemurcat12lemurcat12 Member Posts: 30,886 Member Member Posts: 30,886 Member
    I add it in cooking, not at any other time, and mostly eat home cooked foods. How much do I eat? No clue, but it seems like it must be pretty easy to get to the 2300, and so far I see no reason why I should worry about it, so I do not.
  • Noreenmarie1234Noreenmarie1234 Member Posts: 6,819 Member Member Posts: 6,819 Member
    Many asian countries eat 10,000mg+ a day due to the use of salt and soy sauce etc. I usually have about 5000-10000 a day and no issues. I just hope I won't have issues in the future. I sweat A LOT LOT in my workouts and I think it is because my body is used to eating so much sodium thus holding onto water and then getting rid of it with exercise. If I don't get in my exercise for the day I really retain water.
  • zjpqzjpq Member Posts: 198 Member Member Posts: 198 Member
    My cardiologist once told me to eat more salt because it helps increase my BP and therefore makes me feel better overall (I have low BP too) ;) unfortunately I am not a salt monster...
  • beckycummingbeckycumming Member Posts: 74 Member Member Posts: 74 Member
    Fellow salt addict here... The way I justify my sodium intake is simply drinking enough water to offset it. If you're eating a lot of salt, fine, just be mindful to drink plenty of water to compensate! :)
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