Sodium

Overview

SOURCE
Brittany, France

FORM
Natural low sodium sea salt

FOUND IN
Beets, celery, carrots, spinach, chard, and beef

Fast Fact

Sodium is one of three principle electrolytes and is crucial to delivering water to your body’s cells.

Especially Important When

Exercising, drinking alcohol, outside on hot days, sick, eating refined and processed foods

Benefits

  • Energy booster
  • Muscle cramp preventer
  • Memory sharpener
  • Immunity builder
  • Blood sugar stabilizer
  • Fluid balancer
  • Heartbeat and blood sugar regulator
  • Deep sleep promoter

Why it’s important for hydration

Sodium maintains fluid balance through osmosis. Without proper amounts, you’re either losing more water than you can take in, dehydration, or consuming more water than your body can get rid of, hypervolemia. Both are bad.

Sodium also triggers accurate feelings of thirst and reduces fluid lost in urination.

Why it’s important

Although sodium gets a bad rap for cardiovascular health, you shouldn’t avoid it entirely. Your body needs it to function. Instead, focus on choosing better sources of sodium that aren’t processed or manufactured.

Sodium plays a pivotal role in your small intestine. It helps your body absorb and use the chloride, sugar, water and amino acids you’re intaking.

Your body needs sodium to transmit electrical signals. Getting the right amount of it promotes proper nerve transmission.

In athletes, sodium helps stabilize core temperature and heart rate during longer workouts by maintaining higher blood volume.

Proper sodium levels will promote proper muscle contraction and help prevent muscle cramps, especially for those who workout.


Evidence-based claims, or bust

ORTHOPEDIC NURSING
Electrolytes and their relationship to normal and abnormal muscle function.

MOLECULAR CELL BIOLOGY
The Action Potential and Conduction of Electric Impulses.

SPORTS MEDICINE
The role of sodium in 'heat cramping'.

JOURNAL OF ATHLETIC TRAINING
Sodium Replacement and Plasma Sodium Drop During Exercise in the Heat When Fluid Intake Matches Fluid Loss.

ELECTROLYTE BLOOD PRESS
Fluid and Electrolyte Disturbances in Critically Ill Patients.

CLINICAL JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF NEPHROLOGY
Acid-Base Homeostasis.

FRONTIERS IN MEDICINE
Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia.

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