As I look back at my childhood and young adult life, I vividly recall of my Grandma Hais. She was an athletically built swimmer who continued to swim every day even into her early eighties. She had this preference to putting salt on just about everything she ate excluding breakfast cereal. I recall my family trying to take the salt shaker away from her, but with limited avail. What intrigued me is that even with salting her food with almost every bite, her BMI was excellent and blood pressure was always low. I guess the long living genes in my German and Italian heritage continued thru me as I have many of the same habits as Grandma. I have managed a very healthy lifestyle of mostly fruits, vegetable, moderate level of exercise with minimal bad habits that I admit (my wife says I have more than just 2.5 cups of coffee a day).
The CDC results from 2011 records show that 31% of adults have hypertension and 30% of American adults have prehypertension which basically means that they are above the normal range. These prevalent levels of poor health condition have created a very restricted level of sodium intake in our society. The USRDA recommends somewhere between 1,500 to 2,300 mgs of sodium per day for the average adult while the average intake is more than 3,4000 mgs. This number easily changes with moderate to intense exercise activity especially with higher temperatures.
I sweat profusely when I exercise and the term “salty sweat” easily characterizes my glistening. A normal athlete will lose an average of 1200 ml of water during 1 hour of exercise with the higher concentration of the sweat comprising of the electrolyte sodium. While perspiration has an average of 500 mg. with a very wide range of 220-1100 mg per lb. of the precious mineral sodium. Exercising at high temperatures for extended period of time your body can lose easily over 2,000 mg of salt thru perspiration.
My history with salt as you can see is not of a heath condition concern by purely a symbol of muscle contraction during intense levels of exercise. During the higher temperatures in Cincinnati, I’ve always dealt with Charlie Horses and severe bouts of cramping in my calves especially when hammering up the 8% grade plus hills ascending from the Ohio River Valley. There are several hypo sodium or hyponatremia consequences that the body will demonstrate which are muscle cramping, thermoregulation problems and dizziness to name a few. Most Americans don’t consume the recommended amount of 8 glasses of water which typically we have dehydrated society. I have found that for each pound of weight a person loses during exercise, drinking 16 oz of water is required to restore balance and replace proper water content in the body.
Many sports drinks claim that that they replenish electrolyte balance and sustain energy from consuming their product. These drinks have an average of 95-110 mgs of sodium with moderate levels of carbohydrate, artificial sweeteners and additives/colors. Years ago, I was introduced to Infinit Nutrition system, while they have preset formulas which is excellent for the general population of athletes, I prefer my own saltier experience. My Custom Dr. Joe Hydration Formula efficiently balances fluid, electrolytes and carbohydrates in one bottle without gels or bars. The Sodium content per serving is approximately 500 mg. which during intense exercise is essential for proper muscle contraction and temperature regulation. The Infinit Nutrition Hydration Formula is naturally sweetened, with no unnecessary sweeteners, additives or dyes but only the lost electrolytes and energy that your body requires to properly perform during exercise. The Custom Formula of Infinit Nutrition allows me to maintain my high level of exercise during year round cycling without any muscle cramping and of course less of the table salt as my Grandma is smiling from above.