ELi5: Salt


Salt is important for performance, hydration, and being alive.

In healthy people there’s no reason to worry about salt, (unless you’re going to be dieting for a show or a photo-shoot, when it’s necessary to look ‘dry’ and veiny, like the majority of bodybuilders on magazines)

The one exception to this is when eating pre-cooked meals, especially ones found in the frozen food section. These can have up to 75% of your daily recommended dose of sodium.

Salt is actually an electrolyte, and is helpful in re-hydrating after a workout. That’s why they put it in Gatorade. If you sweat a lot, then only drink water, you can flush out the electrolytes in your body, and actually become MORE dehydrated as a result.

I enjoy eating a pickle before I workout in order to keep my body more hydrated during the workout, and have a better muscle pump.

Salt (or sodium) often gets thrown under the bus because of the effect it can have in increasing blood pressure, which is a fair concern if you suffer from hypertension.

When salt is consumed, water is needed to absorb it, which increases the amount of fluid in your body. Much like a dry sponge, salt needs water to be effective, and when it gets wet, it gets larger.

Hypertension is simply the state of having higher blood pressure for long periods of time. The majority of the time this is because tiny particles of shit can build up in your veins restricting them, kind of like what would happen if you slowly pinched off a garden hose.

So if you try to increase the amount of water running through a pipe that is slowly getting choked off, eventually the pipe will burst, leaving you with a big mess, especially since this pipe is inside your body.

Bottom Line: Salt is good for you unless you have hypertension. Try to limit frozen meals, but you’re cooking at home though, go nuts. As two wise philosophers once said:

salt shaker