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Cyclists and Salt?

Old 08-24-15, 07:01 PM
  #76  
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T
Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
Interesting question. I guess an avid rider will sweat out a lot of salt but still have enough salt in system to cause some 'bloating' ie excess water weight retention. Water is heavy so I'd guess perhaps a kilogram or more? Opinions on salt intake for cyclists, body-builders etc all over the map. But if I eat a high-salt dinner I see noticeable eye puffiness the next day which seems to indicate significant water retention.
I see it in the numbers on the scale. This winter I'm going to be giving more attention to salt intake when the only riding I do is on the trainer.
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Old 01-17-16, 05:24 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by Marvelousmarkie View Post
^^^

I'm on a low salt diet because of Meniere's disease.
Ah, then maybe you can answer a question - my ENT is telling me not to "sweat" the low salt diet (we tried it, no improvement, and the stress of trying to follow it was causing more problems) - but I'm not sure what to drink on a long enough ride. I mean a couple of hours I'm fine with just water, but past that I've been trained to have some sort of electrolyte drink - and they're all just full of sodium. So what do you drink on a long ride?
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Old 01-17-16, 06:01 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
My blood pressure is typically 110-120/80, so that's perhaps a good sign that my salt intake isn't a problem. But the question is meant to be general- are recommendations for salt intake for endurance athletes different from the standard advice?
It's probably less a question of athletics and sweat than one of genetics. There's plenty of debate about salt, with a minority consensus that the correlation btween salt and health is weaker than assumed. This is another example of the problems of basing medical advice on general population data.

For many, there is solid evidence that reducing salt intake helps prevent or moderate hypertension. But for a large number of people there is no correlation at all. So if you have high salt intake, and do not show signs of hypertension, you have little or nothing to gain by reducing salt. Salt loss through sweat may be a factor here, but the kidneys handle the job of managing salt and water levels, and many of our kidneys have no problem at all removing as much excess salt as we take in.

Like the OP, I have very high salt intake levels, yet have blood pressure so low that one physician characterized it as barely adequate. But what works for myself and the OP, or anyone else doesn't translate to the general population, so each person needs to look at his own situation and make any adjustments that may be necessary (or not).
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Old 01-18-16, 05:48 AM
  #79  
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I always have salt cravings during my rest days but not so much during training. I wonder what that means and why it happens.
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Old 01-18-16, 10:30 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by JakiChan View Post
Ah, then maybe you can answer a question - my ENT is telling me not to "sweat" the low salt diet (we tried it, no improvement, and the stress of trying to follow it was causing more problems) - but I'm not sure what to drink on a long enough ride. I mean a couple of hours I'm fine with just water, but past that I've been trained to have some sort of electrolyte drink - and they're all just full of sodium. So what do you drink on a long ride?
I don't supplement with electrolytes on a 2 hour ride in typical PNW weather, but I can sure see doing it when it's hot.

I believe in separating food/water/electrolytes from each other so that I can vary them separately. On long rides, I use Hammer Endurolytes. I judge how and when to take them by "am I thirsty?" I drink to thirst, so if I'm not thirsty and not drinking as much water as I think appropriate for the conditions, I take one or more Endurolytes. Thirst is a reliable indicator of adequacy of electrolyte intake. Not drinking when not thirsty is a good way to avoid hyponatremia.

Studies show that appropriate sodium intake is a U-shaped curve. Too little is as bad as too much. 3/4 t./day is about the right amount, the bottom of the curve. My wife and I don't eat processed food at home and have to make sure we get ~1/4 t./meal or my wife gets night cramps. Of course one gets bloated from too much salt. It's usually quite noticeable if you have an accurate scale. One restaurant meal will do that to us. They way over-salt. My BP 106/60 at 70 yrs.

Here's some reading:
Does a High Sodium Diet Inhibit Endurance Performance and Health? | Hammer Nutrition
http://www.hammernutrition.com/downl...nghandbook.pdf
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Old 01-18-16, 11:19 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I believe in separating food/water/electrolytes from each other so that I can vary them separately. On long rides, I use Hammer Endurolytes.
I use those as well.

Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Studies show that appropriate sodium intake is a U-shaped curve. Too little is as bad as too much. 3/4 t./day is about the right amount, the bottom of the curve. My wife and I don't eat processed food at home and have to make sure we get ~1/4 t./meal or my wife gets night cramps. Of course one gets bloated from too much salt. It's usually quite noticeable if you have an accurate scale. One restaurant meal will do that to us. They way over-salt. My BP 106/60 at 70 yrs.
That's not why I was asking.

Pretty much the standard treatment for Ménière's disease is diuretics and a low sodium diet. That's why I phrased my question as I did. I have seen that article from Hammer in the past, but of course they wouldn't know anything about MD or it's treatment, it doesn't cover diuretics, or any of the other particulars of someone prescribed a low sodium diet. Perhaps because if you're a coronary patient (which is the "usual" reason someone gets prescribed a low sodium diet) you're not likely to be doing endurance riding. In fact, we had some problems at first because the diuretic lowered my already pretty low BP. (Guy's my size usually don't have 105/70 BP and a resting heart rate in the 50s. Yay bike.)

Now, admittedly, controlling sodium hasn't made much (if any) of a difference in my symptoms and my neurotologist is telling me not to stress - just try not to overdo the sodium. (My daily target is 1500mg, it didn't seem to help. I have had the occasional high sodium meal and it wasn't a trigger.) So I've tried to cut back on sodium intake on rides, but I also don't want to overdo it and end up going too far.
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Old 01-18-16, 11:37 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by JakiChan View Post
I use those as well.



That's not why I was asking.

Pretty much the standard treatment for Ménière's disease is diuretics and a low sodium diet. That's why I phrased my question as I did. I have seen that article from Hammer in the past, but of course they wouldn't know anything about MD or it's treatment, it doesn't cover diuretics, or any of the other particulars of someone prescribed a low sodium diet. Perhaps because if you're a coronary patient (which is the "usual" reason someone gets prescribed a low sodium diet) you're not likely to be doing endurance riding. In fact, we had some problems at first because the diuretic lowered my already pretty low BP. (Guy's my size usually don't have 105/70 BP and a resting heart rate in the 50s. Yay bike.)

Now, admittedly, controlling sodium hasn't made much (if any) of a difference in my symptoms and my neurotologist is telling me not to stress - just try not to overdo the sodium. (My daily target is 1500mg, it didn't seem to help. I have had the occasional high sodium meal and it wasn't a trigger.) So I've tried to cut back on sodium intake on rides, but I also don't want to overdo it and end up going too far.
1500mg would be correct for sedentary. The docs are talking sodium balance, so if you lose salt during exercise, OK to add a little back in. If you've read the Hammer articles, you know they don't advocate replacement and Endurolytes are low in sodium, only 80mg each. I would say, not an issue. The other side, hyponatremia, can be dangerous to life.
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Old 01-18-16, 12:08 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by JakiChan View Post
Ah, then maybe you can answer a question - my ENT is telling me not to "sweat" the low salt diet (we tried it, no improvement, and the stress of trying to follow it was causing more problems) - but I'm not sure what to drink on a long enough ride. I mean a couple of hours I'm fine with just water, but past that I've been trained to have some sort of electrolyte drink - and they're all just full of sodium. So what do you drink on a long ride?

Unfortunately, I am very sensitive to sodium intake. I typically keep my daily intake to about 1500 mg.
I do not sweat heavily, so for rides of about 3 hours or less in moderate temperatures, I drink only water. Even taking a diuretic, I have not run into problems. On hot days (temperatures of 85 Degrees or above), I anticipate more sweating and sodium loss, so I will use half strength Gatorade or Powerade, especially if I am going to be doing a long ride.

If you are concerned about hypontremia, consider getting your serum sodium checked a few times after exercise using a variety of fluid replacement regimens.

Of course, if a low salt diet didn't help your Meneire's, then perhaps you don't even need to worry about Na intake as much as those of us who are Na sensitive.
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Old 01-18-16, 12:30 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
1500mg would be correct for sedentary. The docs are talking sodium balance, so if you lose salt during exercise, OK to add a little back in. If you've read the Hammer articles, you know they don't advocate replacement and Endurolytes are low in sodium, only 80mg each. I would say, not an issue. The other side, hyponatremia, can be dangerous to life.
Again, that is advice for the masses. I was asking Marveousmarkie specifically because of how sodium can interact with Ménière's, which is not something I could expect Hammer to know about. In fact I did call them and discussed it with them and they had no idea. (I didn't expect them to.)

Originally Posted by Marvelousmarkie View Post
I do not sweat heavily, so for rides of about 3 hours or less in moderate temperatures, I drink only water. Even taking a diuretic, I have not run into problems.
I sweat like the proverbial pig, and I often end up with the salt crustys. However, I find it interesting that as your blood sodium level drops the salt content in your sweat drops as well, so it's interesting how that plays out.

Originally Posted by Marvelousmarkie View Post
If you are concerned about hypontremia, consider getting your serum sodium checked a few times after exercise using a variety of fluid replacement regimens.
Yeah, I've been trying to figure out how to accomplish that. Wouldn't it be cool if there was a sodium checker that's just like a glucose checker?

Originally Posted by Marvelousmarkie View Post
Of course, if a low salt diet didn't help your Meneire's, then perhaps you don't even need to worry about Na intake as much as those of us who are Na sensitive.
Well, it's like the betahistine. It hasn't made things better, but maybe it's helped things from getting worse? It's so hard to tell. I had a recent flair up and for the last 4 weeks I've been getting the intratympanic dexamethasone injections, for example. The first one really seemed to help (got a chunk of hearing back) and then from there it's been slowly going back downhill. So did the injection help? Maybe. Dunno. I wish this disease was more predictable...

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Old 01-18-16, 09:28 PM
  #85  
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I am on a maintainence diuretic to ensure I get rid of sodium.
I will hold it on race days (running, I no longer race bikes) until after I am done, likewise if I am doing a century. If for no other reason, having to urinate a lot would be a big inconvenience, but I also don't want to compete with an empty tank, so to speak.

i use Valium 2-4 mg as needed for a severe spell. Meclizine has been of no help, and often makes me feel worse. I have not used betahistine, I know it is more popular in Europe than in the US for treatment of Meneire's. The disease really stinks, I have at least a small degree of imbalance all the time, and periodically will get severe vertigo with nausea and vomiting. I am trying to avoid a gentamicin injection and/or surgery.

As far as sweat, I notice that my sweat still tastes salty, although I have never been the type who has white sweat residue or crystals.

if you have a nearby hospital, MD office, or urgent care center, your MD can write a "standing order" for you to have your serum sodium drawn. You can exercise, using water to hydrate, and stop by the lab immediately post ride to have the blood draw. Then get another draw after up you ride and use an electrolyte drink. Obviously, that's not a perfect comparison, as ride conditions might not be the same, but it may give you an idea if you can use water safely (vs. a sports drink).
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Old 01-18-16, 11:53 PM
  #86  
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I ride fairly big mileage every year. I have high blood pressure. It runs in my family. Don't assume because you exercise, you don't have to check your intake and it's effects on the body.
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Old 01-19-16, 04:23 AM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
We all read stuff about cardiac health and the dangers of a high salt diet, but does it apply to us? I have a very high salt diet, but I figure it doesn't matter because I pour out quarts of sweat on a regular basis. On very long rides, of course, I take electrolyte supplements, but apart from that, I enjoy my pickles and quite a few other salty foods.

So, my operating assumption is, I work up a serious sweat several times a week, some times for hours at a time, and therefore I can eat as much salt as I want. But am I mistaken?
I take a big dump every day, flushing food out of my system. Therefore I can eat as much as I want with no negative effects.
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Old 01-19-16, 11:25 AM
  #88  
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Salt can really mess up a winter ride. The roads get slushy and......ooops, wrong thread.
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Old 01-19-16, 12:03 PM
  #89  
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I don't add salt to any foods. There's usually enough in what ever preservative they place in the food. On long runs/rides I drink a 50/50 mix of G2 or similar. Basically dilute the sports drink with water. For really long runs/ rides. A protein bar, pretzels. Too much water as you have read in previous post can be bad. My favorite take along snack is a good ole payday candy bar! Protein and salt all in one
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