T Nation

Importance of Sodium


A lot of threads around here are devoted to carbs, fats, supplements, etc. I have a friend who is a former bodybuilder (just kinda amateur local shows) and he is constantly preaching the importance of watching your sodium intake. I don’t read a lot of that on here. How important do you feel sodium intake is to strength gains and/or fat loss? Also, if it is important, what is a good range to shoot for keeping your sodium intake under? Thanks!

assuming you don’t eat any meals out, it can be easy to get too little sodium actually. if you eat out just once though, assume you’ll be getting more than enough sodium for the day. The reason I say this is if you’re serious enough to eat inside every meal, you’re probably eating things like oats, plain simple meats, fruits, veggies, olive oil/healthy oil fats, dairy, nuts/eggs. These can all have really little sodium, except for the cottage cheese, which is pretty high in sodium actually (about 17-19% per 1/2 cup). I don’t worry about sodium at all, because I know that as long as I’m generally eating everything healthy, it won’t be that huge of a problem with the working out and sweating and all. The only time I could think of ever watching my sodium intake is near a competition for bodybuilding, and I won’t be in that kind of condition for another 2 more years.

As long as your renal system is working properly you needn’t worry about it. If your doctor has told you to limit your sodium, then you should. Your body needs sodium. It you eat too much, you just dump it.

Plus the more sodium in your diet the more water you should drink to help flush it out. But then we should be drinking alot of water anyway so I guess that’s a moot point.

a buddy of mine that plays college ball got dehydrated bad at his last game for no apparent reason, so they had him see a doctor and nutritionalist and they concluded it was due to a lack of sodium in his diet… my point is that too little sodium does have consequences
btw. his prior diet wasn’t anything fancy, just cafeteria food, now they have him drinking gatorade instead of water for a few weeks

Anybody got an opinion the link between sodium and high blood-pressure? Any reading for one way or the other. I’m inclined to say there isn’t a strong relationship, but then again I have no medical basis for the statement and am likely pulling that out of my ass.

Yes those of us who eat clean etc can have to little sodium it is important its an electrolyte much like potassium. we are active sweat a lot dont eat as much crap. It can be easy to be low on sodium.

No reason to limit it unless you have a problem/medical condition, high BP etc.

I personally LOAD on the salt I loive it always have and have very low BP verging on to low, good hemocrit etc.

Take that for whats its worth. The sodium scare in most cases IMO is over rated and many time like the above with dehydration, can be taken to far.