Salt? The Unknown Performance Enhancer?

As I have mentioned in the past it seems as if every supplement brand is promising to carry the next best performance enhancing product, when the truth is like 95% plus products on the market today are complete non-sense. Yes that’s right, the supplement guru is here to tell you that most of the crap you probably use is just that….Crap! A total waste of time and money. But occasionally we do stumble across great tips of information and nutrients that will aid us in achieving the results we are after, whether that be to put on muscle mass, or drop body fat. And by now you’ve guessed it, one of the best, if not the best performance enhancing product may very well be a good quality sea salt. Most people, especially athletes do not realize that they expel approximately 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt per hour of physical activity, depending on how rigorous. And on top of this, if you are a coffee drinker, your body will lose an additional 1/2 to 1 teaspoon on average of salt per day depending on how much coffee, pre-workout, energy drink, or whatever stimulant you are having during your day. Now, here is where the problem lies. If you are only taking in the suggested amount of sodium per day that conventional wisdom has recommended since the middle 1970’s then you are having about 2.5-3 grams or 2500-3000mg per day. A teaspoon of salt is between 4.5-5 grams or 4500-5000mg. So if you are a coffee drinker, or energy drinker in general, and work a 9 to 5 regular job, you may be borderline deficient already, without doing any regular exercise. So if you are a gym goer, or an athlete of any kind there is a good chance you are sodium deficient. Simple ways to tell if you are deficient are if you are having muscle cramps during or post workout or low energy on a consistent basis, so much that you feel gassed during your workout. These are the easy signs to watch out for. Most people initially think of magnesium and potassium deficiency when it comes to the cramping and fatigue, but you must remember that sodium is the main driver for these nutrients. And if there is not enough sodium in the blood available the body will start to pull from magnesium and potassium stores to compensate for this. So really think of sodium as the building block behind some of these very powerful minerals. Now, here is the best part in terms of what salt can do to elevate sports performance. Salt is quite literally the best vasodialator on the planet, better than any marketed supplement out there, period. It helps drive more blood into the muscle tissue, preventing the build up of lactic acid, so you can train harder for longer. Additionally, a recent study was conducted on collegiate athletes using salt as a pre workout supplement. Subjects took approximately 1 teaspoon 30-45 minutes before exercise, and on average the athlete’s were able to perform at a high level for an extra 21 minutes! The workout was normally 60 minutes and they were gassed, but after adding in extra salt, they were able to buffer lactic acid better, and fight off fatigue, bumping there workouts to 81 minutes on average. That’s a 35% increase in workout capacity! After reading this study, and also knowing some of the benefits sodium can offer, I decided to try using a teaspoon of salt pre-workout. What the hell, why not right. And I didn’t go cheap either, I actually went out and bought the good stuff. Redmond’s Ancient Sea Salt, which contains 20x more iodine in it’s salt than it’s competitors which is very important to me, being Iodine is a main driver for thyroid function. This is another topic for another day by itself. But I must say that using the teaspoon of salt pre workout definietly gave me a great pump during my workout without a doubt. And post workout I didn’t have any issues with muscle cramps like I normally do when I workout very hard. I have been following this protocol for about 2 weeks now and will continue to do so to see how my performance continues to go. I can say my energy is better not just during my workouts but during the day as well, and I am having no cramping anymore and my recovery is faster, so no complaints thus far. Give this a shot, especially for all you athletes out there or gym goers. It’s worth it.

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