Salt is a mineral made up of sodium and chlorine which is absolutely everywhere, especially when it comes to food. Many people don’t associate salt with affecting the body in neither a positive or negative way. By understanding the use and purpose of salt you should be better equipped to get your salt intake sorted!
Salt is a vital mineral to the body as it helps regulate healthy blood pressure for one. Salt also plays a vital role in the digestion of food which again is of great interest to any avid bodybuilder or athlete. This is because you need your body to be able to digest all of the nutrients you are cramming down so that your body can then assimilate more of the nutrients! Finally, salt supports nerve function which again is great because the better the connection between your muscles and brain the more your able to grow. Straight away, you have a handful of very important functions which salt plays a major influence over!
However, don’t go emptying the salt shaker over your meals because you now understand salt serves a purpose to the body. This is because unfortunately just by eating our dietary foods throughout the day our salt intake will be more than sufficient and sometimes too high even if we don’t add salt at all. In our bodies there is anything between 4-8oz of salt and we need approximately 500-1000 milligrams a day! Now that won’t mean anything to many people, but as an example just one tablespoon of salt which you scatter all over your chips contains 2000 milligrams! So right away you have taken in two to four times the recommended dosage of salt! To add to this, an awful lot of processed foods are loaded with salt. However, if you are eating totally clean, natural, wholesome foods there is sometimes room for a little salt seasoning, but make sure that you are taking count of your salt intake!
The health issues related with excessive salt are generally to do with your cardiac system. High blood pressure is perhaps the worst health issue which is heavily associated with too much salt. As a result ingesting too much salt over a prolonged period of time can lead to heart attacks and strokes in particular in the future.
From an aesthetics point of view, salt can also stimulate higher levels of water retention. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; all you need to do is lower your salt intake a few days before you are due to show off your abs!!!
There you have it, the pros and cons of salt. Now you should have a better understanding of how it actually affects the body, why you need it and why you don’t need to add much to your food!