T Nation

What is the View on Salt/Sodium? Good/Bad?

If one wanted to decrease water retention as much as possible, for aesthetic reasons, should they be avoiding salt?

Normally whenever I eat high salt I always bloat and look puffy. So, I restrict salt. However, I was reading this T nation article and it was saying that salt has a host of benefits, including increased metabolism. It was also saying that when someone adds salt, they will have water retention…but it will go away? Is this really true? For those that are accomplished on this site…what are your views on salt?

You need sodium to live, so don’t stop eating it. Over-consuming sodium may make you look puffy because you’ll hold extra water. Another thing that can cause bloating is variation in your water intake. If you are drinking a lot of water you signal your body to reduce the need to hold it, so then if you stop drinking it, you’ll lose a lot, and look less puffy. This works in reverse too. If you are barely drinking water, then down a gallon, you’ll retain extra. High cortisol can also cause puffiness.

You can’t maintain a dried out physique all the time. Eat a normal amount of salt, and maybe a little extra if you sweat a lot.


I assure you that unless you find yourself almost naked on a stage infront of an audience with other near naked males then nobody is noticing the amount of water you are retaining.

If they are, there is no decision those people are making based on your water retention. Nobody is going to sleep with you, give you a job or strike up a conversation or anything else because you are carrying less water.

That said, there is a minimum recommended amount of sodium per day and minimum levels with exercise, you can take that.

If that is not minimal enough then there symptoms of low sodium levels in the bloodstream. They are dizziness, fatigue, lethargy, malaise, thirst, headache, insufficient urine production, mental confusion, or nausea.

If you experience these then death is a real possibility. Is not looking puffy worth it?

1 Like

Hey baby, you look real thirsty. What are you doing tonight?