“We cry salt, we sweat salt, and the cells in our bodies are bathed in salty fluids. Without salt we would not be able to live.”
I recently read a booked called “ The Salt Fix“ by Dr. James DiNicolantino. It’s about the myth laid on the public that salt is bad for our health, bad for our hearts, causes high blood pressure and hypertension among other things. After reading the book and experimenting myself, I really can feel the difference of how I perform while training, the ease of muscle soreness and short recovery periods, my booming energy levels and increased hydration.
Excerpt from ” The Salt Fix”:
“Your body drives you to eat several grams of salt (around 8–10 grams, equal to 3,000–4,000 milligrams of sodium) every day to remain in homeostasis, an optimal state in which you put the least amount of stress on the body. But you could literally live the rest of your life—and probably a much longer one—if you never ingested another gram of added sugar.
“We’ve all heard the recommendation: eat no more than a teaspoon of salt a day for a healthy heart. But there’s one big problem with this: the vast majority of us don’t need to eat low-salt diets. In fact, for most of us, more salt would be better for our health, rather than less. (Not to mention, much tastier.) Now, Dr. James DiNicolantonio reveals the incredible, often baffling story of how salt became unfairly demonized—a never-before-told, century-spanning drama of competing egos and interests. Not only have we gotten it wrong, we’ve gotten it exactly backwards: eating more salt can help protect you from a host of ailments, including internal starvation, insulin resistance, diabetes, and even heart disease. (The real culprit? Another white crystal—sugar.)”
Some of my big take-aways from the book:
The recommendation of a little over 1 teaspoon of salt per day (2,000 mg/ 5 grams) increases exponentially with every coffee or caffeinated drink you have, how active you are or they type of medication you may be on. For Example, if you have a coffee in the morning and a coffee in the afternoon, you will have depleted 2 whole teaspoons of salt from your body. If you workout daily or use saunas you’re loosing another teaspoon of salt every time you sweat. Also, are you drinking the recommended 2-3 litres of water per day? Then you’ll need even more salt.
Tips in increase salt if you use these salt wasters:
- In the morning after coffee, have half a teaspoon of salt washed down with filtered water ( I even add a pinch of salt to my coffee to bring out the flavours even more )
- Before a heavy work out have a half to a full teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon for every half hour after during your workout to feel super energized and powerful. ( It’s actually amazing how well this works. No need for expensive, sugar laden Gatorade for electrolytes!)
- Take salt like a medicine for an afternoon pick up. Half a teaspoon of salt after your mid day caffeinated drink. ( I carry a little bottle of Redmonds Real Salt with me every where and knock it back like I used to knock back tequila when I was 20. Shots for fit people! )
- Ask your Doctor if any medication that you’re on has a diuretic effect (depletes water/salt from your body )**
** Before adding more salt to your diet (especially if you’re on medication) ask your doctor to test your salt levels. Remembering their recommendation of salt in take will be the standard 1 and 1/3 teaspoons of salt per day.
Salt causes high blood pressure
Excerpt from “The Salt Fix”:
“When we eat salt, so the theory goes, we also get thirsty—so we drink more water. In the salt–high blood pressure hypothesis, that excess salt then causes the body to hold on to that increased water, in order to dilute the saltiness of the blood. Then, the resulting increased blood volume would automatically lead to higher blood pressure. That’s the theory, anyway. Makes sense, right? But evidence in the medical literature suggests that approximately 80 percent of people with normal blood pressure (less than 120/80 mmHg) are not sensitive to the blood-pressure-raising effects of salt at all. Among those with prehypertension (a precursor to high blood pressure), roughly 75 percent are not sensitive to salt. And even among those with full-blown hypertension, about 55 percent are totally immune to salt’s effects on blood pressure”
Instead, we focused on those extremely minuscule reductions in blood pressure, completely disregarding the numerous other health risks caused by low salt intake—including several side effects that actually magnify our risk of heart disease—such as increased heart rate; compromised kidney function and adrenal insufficiency; hypothyroidism; higher triglyceride, cholesterol, and insulin levels; and, ultimately, insulin resistance, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
Recent research even suggests that chronic salt depletion may be a factor in what endocrinologists term “internal starvation.” When you start restricting your salt intake, the body starts to panic. One of the body’s defence mechanisms is to increase insulin levels, because insulin helps the kidneys retain more sodium. Unfortunately, high insulin levels also “lock” energy into your fat cells, so that you have trouble breaking down stored fat into fatty acids or stored protein into amino acids for energy. When your insulin levels are elevated, the only macronutrient that you can efficiently utilize for energy is carbohydrate. See where this is headed? You start craving sugar and refined carbs like crazy, because your body believes carbohydrate is your only viable energy source. And, as the now-familiar story goes, the more refined carbs you eat, the more refined carbs you tend to crave. This overeating of processed carbs and high-sugar foods virtually ensures fat cell accumulation, weight gain, insulin resistance, and eventually type 2 diabetes. ”
Salt and the Kidneys
“Research has shown that patients with normal blood pressure and kidney function can easily excrete ten times as much salt as we normally consume in a day. The reason why humans cannot solely live on seawater is not that our kidneys cannot handle excreting the high salt content—it’s that in order to do so, water must leave with it, which would eventually cause dehydration (and eventual death!). But if we had enough access to freshwater to replace what is lost during the excretion of that salt, humans would absolutely be able to drink seawater.
Salt for Hypothyroidism
I’m sure that you or someone you know is effected by Hypo/hyperthyriodism. It is incredibly common today, effecting men and women and their hormone production. All hormones are linked so If your thyroid, adrenals or sex hormones are off, you’ve kicked one of the three legs out from underneath your hormonal stool. Iodized salt is a man-made addition to salt to prevent iodine deficiency and Iodine plays an active role in promoting healthy thyroid hormone function. “Worldwide, iodine deficiency affects about two billion people and is the leading preventable cause of intellectual and developmental disabilities. Deficiency also causes thyroid gland problems, including “endemic goitre“. In many countries, iodine deficiency is a major public health problem that can be cheaply addressed by purposely adding small amounts of iodine to the sodium chloride salt. If you lower your salt intake and have thyroid issues this can exacerbate your symptoms.
The right kind of Salt
Different types of salt contain various types of minerals. Not all salt is created equal.
Table salt although iodized, could be bleached, contain anti-caking agents to prevent it from getting stuck together, and even dextrose (sugar) as a filler!
The Best on the market:
Redmonds Real Salt:
“According to geologists, the Redmond salt deposit is the remnant of an ancient inland sea, probably part of what they call the Sundance Sea, which places the deposit within the Jurassic Period. Over time, the salt that settled at the bottom of the sea was trapped within the earth and then pushed up near the surface close to the town of Redmond, Utah.
The deposit occurs with over 70+ natural trace minerals which gives the salt its unique color, unique flavor, and numerous health benefits. Because this deposit comes from an ancient sea bed, nature created the salt long before the earth experienced anthropogenic pollution and contaminants that are troubling our oceans today.”
Himalayan crystal salt comes from salt mines 5,000 feet deep below the Himalayan Mountain Range. The salt from these mines has experienced tremendous pressure over millions of years and is said to be over 99 percent pure and contains high amounts of potassium and many other trace minerals but no iodine unless added.*
*Keep in mind if you’re using this salt before or after workouts or have a thyroid condition as iodine depletion is much higher in those who workout regularly or have thyroid dysfunction.
(Watch out for labels that just say Pink Salt, it could just be died sea salt!)
Celtic Sea Salt (grey salt) :
Celtic sea salt is comparable to Himalayan crystal salt in its composition and health benefits, but it’s a completely different salt that comes from a different source (Brittany, France).
Sea water contains minerals such as sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, plus many trace elements such as iron, zinc, and manganese. The human body uses the minerals & trace elements in sea salt to create electrolytes, maintaining the ‘œinternal ocean’ which is vital to the proper functioning of every system in the body.
Regular Sea Salt:
Because some brands do not state where they gather their salt from keep in mind some of our oceans aren’t the cleanest anymore! But likely most sea salts are better than table salt!
In general, salt is essential for maintaining healthy functioning of the body’s cells, nerve conduction, digestion, as well as the absorption of nutrients and the elimination of waste products. So, Pass the Salt!
Get a copy Here
PHYSICAL: Functional Training
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, build strength or endurance, Functional training has it all. By challenging the body in areas of balance and sometimes unilateral resistance ( 1 limb being used at a time) you can achieve a full body workout by recruiting other muscles to work and stabilize. Instead of plain old squats, why not try Kettle bell swings, box jumps, or weighted squats on an upside down Bosu-Ball. Instead of bicep curls, utilize the entire arm while whipping the battle ropes, or picking up medicine balls and then slamming them down (super fun to just throw sh*t around actually!). Each functional variation requires the core to be fully engaged because balance is a huge factor for each movement. It also requires more speed/more repetitions to bring your heart rate up and burn more fat. We’re not against heavy lifting ( actually we encourage it for EVERYONE) but we do believe it’s better to break up your workouts with endurance training and challenge the body to work in different ranges of motion. We think more holistically when it comes to working out. Core stability and balance are areas of concern and harder to maintain as we age so why not get a head start?!
Try F45 (Functional 45) Training. They have studios popping up all over Toronto. You sign up for classes with their easy to use app. In and out in 45 mins, sweat like crazy, and feel a great pump!
and of course come check out our 12pm Saturday class at Whole Life Balance if you haven’t already! The reason why we started Pulse Pump Prana was because of it’s super functional order of Pilates, HIIT and Yoga 🙂
PRACTICAL: Biko App
We downloaded the Biko App on our smart phones this summer, which tracks your distance travelled ( via GPS not data), it helps plan the easiest route for bikers and the best spots to lock up. In an effort to reduce C02 emissions, Biko rewards you for riding your bike everyday! The rewards range from discounts on Yoga gear, coffees, smoothies, juices, beer, spa services, bike repairs and even discounts on Zipcar. Participating companies include; Jimmy’s coffee, Fresh, Foodoora, Carnivore Club, BGood, Big Rock Brewery,BYoga Urbane Cyclist, Sweet Pete’s and 2 Wheel Gear. You can also add friends and see who has the most points racked up! It’s a great way to stay active and earn for being healthy and cleaning our air 🙂
Download Biko in the App Store
We hope you enjoyed your weekly dose of Health Hacks and Fitness Tips.
Check back weekly for more!
AND Don’t forget to download our FREE PPP exercise E-Guide! Free only for a limited time.
Plus if you complete the challenge we have merchandise and trips to BALI to give away! Check it out you won’t be disappointed!
Andy and Brit