Why You Need to Be Consuming Sodium
Sodium isn’t bad for you.
I’m sure that you’ve heard from countless people that they avoid certain foods because of sodium. They have no rhyme or reason behind this choice except for someone’s else’s doctor saying it. There is a lot more to sodium than you realize, and we have to consume it.
Sodium is necessary for life. Without it, you could actually face some serious health issues. It’s used for nutrient transportation, movement, and electrolyte balance. All of which are EXTREMELY important for your everyday life, and even more important if you are physically active.
Why Has Sodium Been Demonized?
As the risk for heart failure and cardiovascular disease have increased, so has the reduction of sodium in diets. Individuals who are diagnosed with these issues have to reduce the intake of sodium, or they could have adverse health outcomes. This is because sodium can increase your blood pressure. If you have clogged arteries, the rise in blood pressure could create a situation that may lead to a heart attack. To avoid this, doctors have these patients massively decrease the amount of sodium they consume. So much so, that they rarely use table salt. This is for good measure, but it doesn’t apply to everyone.
If you are someone who DOES NOT have a pre-existing heart condition, and your doctor has not told you to reduce your sodium intake; you are FINE. Sodium should not be removed from your diet, and you’ll notice that it can actually start to cause problems for you if you do. Cramps, brain fog, and sluggishness are just some of the symptoms that come from a lack of sodium in the diet.
Sodium isn’t the killer. The real issue is the rising of obesity levels. This is what puts people in the position to even have the existing heart condition. Instead of boycotting sodium, maybe the problem should be focused on at the source. Instead, there should be a focus on a balanced diet and lifestyle change.
What is Sodium’s Role?
There are a ton of things that sodium is responsible for. For starters, it is an electrolyte. Meaning, it works to keep hydration balance. Yes, we need water to stay hydrated. However, you have to have sodium and other electrolytes as well. If you ever have problems with cramps, this typically is from a lack of sodium. Gatorade, a popular hydration drink, has sodium as a main ingredient. You also lose sodium in your urine and as you sweat, and yes, it has to be replaced. The more you sweat, the more you need. So, for someone who is highly active to avoid sodium, would not be the smartest decision.
As you consume sodium, it also helps to transport other nutrients. The blood pressure increases, which increases the rate at which things are transported. In addition, there are certain “pumps” within the body that are actually turned on by sodium. If sodium is not present, the rate of transportation decreases. This can also help with the “pump” when you are working out. That’s right, sodium can help you get those incredible pumps! You may also notice that you feel fuller when working out. This is due to the water being transported in the body, as well as the nutrients in the blood.
You can’t move well without sodium! It helps to control muscle contraction as you work out, lift things, or run. Regardless of what you are doing, you can’t do it without sodium. If you are working out and tend to feel sluggish, you may be lacking sodium! Before your next workout, get some sodium in and see how you feel.
Sodium is great! It gets a bad rep for being what causes heart issues. Little do people know, sodium has a very important role. If you have a pre-existing heart condition, then you need to follow your doctors advise. If you are perfectly in good health, make sure you are consuming sodium.
It’s okay to salt your food!