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Opinons on Salt

  • 29-01-2019 1:11am
    Registered Users Posts: 5,132 ✭✭✭

    So for many years I used to suffer with twitching espically in my calf muscles basically like this:

    Things that would happen to me that are related:
    1. After some races I would not be able to walk for a few days or a week. It's not like Tuesday legs. It would be like a week like that.
    2. After long runs my legs would be in dreadful pain that night. I couldn't get to sleep.
    3. During a long run I would "hit the wall" with a bit of a bang or so I thought.
    4. I would have general pain my legs most of the time. I just thought everyone was like this.
    5. My runs would be very up and down. Like one week I could do fine at a session while a week later I couldn't do the same intervals at 30 secs less. I thought this was sleep, food etc.
    6. Would always need to drink something on a run over 2 hrs.
    7. I couldn't run in hot weather.

    So the last few weeks leading up to a long run I drink some water with himalayan salt in it. A pinch of salt in it. Normal salt is a bit too processed (but thats another story).

    Anyways my long runs on the last 2 Sundays doing this have been 45 secs per mile quicker for the exact same effort level over the same route.

    Looking back it seems to make a lot of sence to me. I now have a post running drink with salt and cordial. About 7% carb in the drink is good level.

    Everyone is different and it is just something I have found good for me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 323 ✭✭AhhHere

    I think it depends on the person and what type of sweater you are. Some people need it more than others. I think I need it. I've run with a McDonalds salt sachet and put that into my water in a race and found it helps. We all need salt to hydrate. Water alone doesn't cut it. If you look in diorilyte or hi5 electolyte tabs, they have a high amount of sodium. If you're not hydrated, your muscles will feel it. Sounds like you've found something that works. I'm going to test salt chews/tablets for my next marathon as I believe that'll help me over the wall.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,208 ✭✭✭shotgunmcos

    Ooh story of my life here! I an a cramper. Everything cramps from my eyelids, when mentally tired, to the soles of my feet and calves when running tired. Been in the back of ambulances several times after races and been through all kinds of tests at the hospital looking for root causes.

    I've cramped for as long as I've known but endurance sports and longer work hours seem to bring it on more frequently. Calf cramps are horrible but when you get them in your sleep that sucks, or under water that sucks even more!

    I've tried effort regulation, juices, massage, food trials, rest etc... Bottom line is I sweat at a normal enough rate but my sweat is full of salt. At the end of a warm sunny run I could season my food.
    Thing is that "salt" is not just sodium, but contains potassium, magnesium and calcium).

    If you continue to replace sweat with just water, the balance of electrolytes will eventually be effected and you will cramp.

    I have a liberal dosing of bananas, full fat milk, avocados, greek yoghurt etc.. in my diet to ensure I get this stuff naturally but I use an electrolyte tab that I drop in a pint of water and neck after any long or hard session, or if I'm just fatigued.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,061 ✭✭✭cjt156

    We are used to hearing that too much salt is dangerous, and undoubtedly it is;
    that can be applicable to the average sedentary person with a poor diet.
    The case of sweaty athletes can be very different.

    Salt supplements, or isotonic drinks can be essential, depending on the individual.

    Hyponatremia (too little sodium) can be fatal.
    Endurance athletes (and 90's ravers) have died after drinking nothing but water during long periods of exercise.

    Interesting article here.
    Trigger warning - Triathlon content ahead!

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,132 ✭✭✭rom