Salt Restriction

I question the effectiveness of salt restriction. When you restrict sodium, in the beginning you might lose some water weight, but if you reintroduce it, you may suffer from water retention. The reason for this is that sodium restriction triggers a spike in the hormone aldosterone (one of the adrenocortex hormones secreted by the adrenal glands, which works to preserve sodium inside the tissue cells), and this process creates water retention. As long as you keep sodium intake fairly consistent and in a normal ratio (which, of course, should be slightly higher in warmer weather, and after extensive aerobic activity), you won't over-secrete this hormone, or trigger what I call the "aldosterone syndrome."

Healthy people who routinely consume sodium generally don't experience ill effects by increasing it somewhat. It's those who restrict sodium consumption and then suddenly increase it who usually suffer from water retention. This is unfortunately what happens to many body builders. During the competitive season, when sodium is restricted, they look leaner, but sometimes hours after the first meal thai's no longer sodium-restricted—boom—they can blow up like a balloon.

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