Posted April 16, 2012

The Truth about Salt

 

So today is actually the first day of my vacation, and tomorrow me and the missus will be heading out on a jet plane to Las Vegas so we can get some sun and have some fun. I figure we’ve each earned the time off, as I’ve worked like a dog these past few months and Lindsay just rocked out her courses this semester.

Since I’m planning on taking a vay-cay, I wanted to make sure you all had something fantastic to read while I was away, which is why I have a series of guest posts lined up to keep you entertained and educated as much as humanly possible.

Today’s post comes from Liz Becker. Liz is a blogger, freelance writer and recent college graduate. She currently performs market research for an online marketing firm when she is not contributing her own thoughts and observations to the online community. Enjoy!!!

It seems that we are always on the look out for the best diet combination. Whether it be higher concentrations of fish proteins vs. beef proteins or vegetarian diets vs. the traditional omnivore diet, there is always researched being released that backs up the latest diet trend, and the “new found” research easily sways the minds of countless work out fiends desperate to find the best diet to keep them looking great.

One dietary issue that continually seems to come up is sodium intake. For certain individuals, such as diabetics or those with high blood pressure, the consumption of salt must be closely monitored in order to minimize or stabilize the effects of their health conditions. However, this obsession with reducing salt intake may not be as necessary for those in good physical condition.

While drinking salt water may be overkill, salt is actually needed in your diet. Believe it or not, but salt is one of the main reasons why your body functions as well as it does. Salt, or sodium chloride, does several things for your body which you need for it to be in the best physical condition:

-The sodium in it actually helps regulate your blood pressure and the volume of fluid used to line your blood vessels. This helps your body with your heart’s muscle contractions, as well as your brain function. Too little sodium can actually leave you with blood pressure that is to low or feelings of dizziness or even blackouts.

-The chloride in salt is a natural ph balancer, keeping the acid-base level of your body in balance. The chloride also helps your body eliminate carbon dioxide by carrying CO2 from your respiratory tissues to your lungs so that they can expel it.

-Salt keeps your body from expelling too much water so that you can stay adequately hydrated both throughout your day and when you workout.

-Salt is also a what allows nutrients to be so easily transported throughout our cells.

However, just because salt is required in your diet, doesn’t mean you should be using it as an excuse to completely indulge. You want to limit your intake to about a 1 teaspoon a day to maintain proper body function. Too much, and you could put yourself on a path to high blood pressure and could be reducing the amount of calcium that is absorbed from your general diet. A few easy ways to simply keep your salt intake on a more natural level include:

-Skip pouring salt over every meal

-Choose fresh produce over canned veggies

-Make your meals instead of purchasing frozen, prepackaged ones

-Hook up a reliable water softener that doesn’t use salt as a water treater

While none of these tasks are new or anything out of the ordinary, they can help you keep your salt intake at a more natural level. As an athlete, you need salt in your diet. Even those who wouldn’t consider themselves athletes, but workout and workout hard on a regular basis need salt in their diets to help with blood pressure and hydration control. Simply make sure that you are not overdoing it.

If you want to get a hold of Liz, shoot her an email HERE.