T Nation

Salt Intake Help


I've been having some digestive issues recrntly, without much luck in terms of food intolerances, allergies etc. After lots of reading around, I'm concerned that it might be related to salt intake. Whilst I avoid adding salt to food like the plague, I did a little calculation the other day and worked out that some days this last week, my salt intake from lunch and dinner alone (ignoring breakfast, PWO and snacks) totalled 8g.

Is this level of salt excessive every day, or am I being a pansy? Could excessive salt intake be causing some of my GI disturbances? I've wondered for a long time about why I seem to have puffy-ish cheeks, ankles and thighs- could this also be due to salt intake?



puffy ankles (take off your socks and see how long the marks stay there) is a sign of water retention.

I don't even recall if 8g of salt is a "lot", but try to eat less processed food, drink a lot of water, and see what happens.

Unlikely it would cause much problem with indigestion or poop or anything though.


Scott Abel wrote an article on salt a little while back. It might be worth taking a look at.


Eat vegetables and stop being fat. 2 problems solved.


8 grams a day is perfectly normal.

Listen to bonez.


Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) recommends keeping sodium around 1.5 grams a day (1,500 milligrams). Their diet recommendations are sometimes too stringent for bodybuilders though. Still, you are way above their recommended amount. And they say the average American man eats 4 grams (4,000 milligrams) of sodium a day (and the average American diet is probably pretty bad). So you are eating double the sodium of the average American fat-ass Mickey Dee's-loving dork.

Even if you have normal blood pressure now, it tends to go up as you get older, after long-term excessive sodium consumption. And there is something called pre-hypertension (readings in-between optimum and high blood pressure) where your risk of heart attack and stroke is increased. So excess sodium isn't as benign as some people think. Personally, I stopped adding salt to any recipes, and I try to avoid processed and packaged foods (which can have a lot of sodium).

But I'm a little older, from the Peary Rader ("Iron Man" magazine) generation where people who trained with weights were also interested in healthy lifestyles. Todays younger bodybuilders might not share those same health concerns.


I would avoid reading anything written by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, they've spewed some stupid stuff in the past. In the 1980's they petitioned against the use of deep frying with animal fat (saturated fat) in fast food joints and had everyone switch to trans fat filled oils. They're also very vegetarian centric.


In terms of BP, that's certainly not an issue. If anything, mine is borderline hypotensive, taken at 94/56 mmHg yesterday evening. Before you ask who took it, I work in a Dr's surgery so a professional took it. The worries I had were more regarding digestive complaints and possible water retention.


Unless someone carelessly dumps huge amounts of salt on their 2 to 6 meals per day, they have NOTHING to worry about unless they have renal disease or hypertension!


What? ; )


Sodium =/= salt. The sodium in sodium chloride makes up a little more than a third of the weight, so if you eat 6 grams of salt you only eat something like 2-2,5 grams of sodium. So this dude will be fine.