those who practice sports must be more careful not to alter the physiological balance and to take the right quantities of salt.
Salt plays a fundamental role in physiological functions, in particular in maintaining blood volume, water balance, acid-base balance and nerve conduction. The expulsion of salt from our system occurs mainly through urine and sweat: this is why those who practice a sport must be more careful not to alter the physiological balance.
Salt: not in excess, not in defect
During sports that involve intense and prolonged physical activity, the salt is expelled through the skin along with the water: this mechanism serves to maintain the right body temperature. The more you sweat, the more you lose fluids and, with them, sodium: by drinking only water, rehydration occurs incompletely because you recover the liquids but not the salts lost. Non-replenishment of sodium can have possible complications:
- Sodium deficiency (hyponatremia), which in a mild form can cause malaise, nausea, headache and cramps
- Lowering of the level of sports performance
Is the salt taken in your normal diet enough to do sports?
Not everyone sweats in the same way and there are cases in which no supplement is necessary, others in which the amount of sodium and salts taken in the diet is not enough to replace those lost during sports. However, the data collected show that in Italy we consume on average more than 10 grams of salt per day, a much higher quantity than the limit – set by the WHO – of 5 grams per day (which means 2 grams of sodium). The amount of salt to be replenished during sports therefore depends on the doses of salt taken in the diet, the tendency to sweat and the type of sports activity. Doctor and dietician will be able to advise you on the best solution for you.
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