Salt is an important consilient of our diet that plays an important role in regulating the fluid and hydration levels in our body. Research has confirmed that taking salt before exercise in heat aids performance. But how much should you take before a workout?
The recommended amount of salt that you should take before working out is between ½ and 1 teaspoon for moderate climates. For hotter climates, it is between 1 and 2 teaspoons.
Read on to learn more about the amount of salt you should take before working out and find answers to other related questions.
Should you take salt before working out?
Whether or not salt should be consumed before a workout is a common question many people have. There is no doubt about the fact that salt is a very important component of our diet and there are numerous health benefits associated with its use.
In fact, salt is also a key ingredient in many workout supplements such as protein powder, shakes, electrolyte tablets, etc. It brings about several benefits that make your workout and training sessions more effective. This is the reason many health and fitness experts recommend taking salt before exercising.
So, yes you should consider including salt in your pre-workout snack. In the next section, find out the ways in which taking salt before workouts is beneficial to your body.
What are the benefits of taking salt pre work out?
Here are some of the many benefits of taking salt before working out:
1. Improved blood flow and circulation
Taking salt before a workout increases the volume of blood flowing in your body. This means more blood is supplied to the working muscles throughout the exercise, resulting in a more effective workout. Salt can also improve blood circulation and reduces the time it takes for your body to cool off after exercise.
Improved blood flow and circulation mean more endurance and strength during workouts.
2. Improved performance and increased strength
Salt can also significantly improve your overall performance during exercise and can give you more strength and endurance. This results in longer exhaustion times and thus longer workouts.
Moreover, since consuming salt leads to better hydration, it gives you more strength, energy, and stamina.
3. Increased electrolytes in the body
When you do intensive exercises or workouts, a lot of electrolytes are lost through the sweat your body produces.
Electrolytes are vital substances that play an important role in maintaining fluid balance and hydration levels in your body. When they are lost through sweat, they need to be replenished. Consuming salt helps restore these electrolytes in your body.
4. Better pumps
Since salt improves the blood flow in your body and increases the volume of blood flowing through your veins, the muscles in your body also receive more blood. This leads to better muscle pumps and greater satisfaction after your workout.
Moreover, including sodium in your pre-workout supplements helps prevent muscle cramps during or after workout sessions.
How much salt should you take before a workout?
So exactly how much salt should you take before your workout? There is no fixed amount that works best in all cases. On average you should consume between ½ and 1 teaspoon of salt before you work out.
The amount of salt you should take before a workout depends on the type of climate you live in. In cool or moderate climates, about ½ teaspoon of salt is ideal. In such climates, less salt should be consumed since you’ll be sweating less.
In hot or very hot climates, the recommended amount of salt before exercising is between 1 and 2 teaspoons. Since you sweat more in hotter climates, more salt will be needed to replenish the electrolytes lost from your body during sweating.
How to take salt before working out?
There are a number of ways in which you can consume salt before you work out. You can try out all the methods listed below and pick the one that you prefer most.
- Consume salt directly. You can consume salt dry if you’re comfortable with it or mix it with water to create a salty solution. Some people may find consuming salt directly difficult but it is quite effective.
- Add salt to your shake or juice. Adding salt to your protein shake or juice before your workout is another effective way of getting salt in your body.
- Take electrolyte supplements or salt tablets. This is perhaps the most common way of consuming salt before a workout. You’ll find numerous electrolyte supplements and salt tablets in supermarkets and stores. Pick a supplement or tablet from a reliable brand and consider consulting a fitness expert or dietician.
Are there any side effects to taking salt before workouts?
One concern many people have about taking salt before workouts are that it may potentially lead to some negative side effects on your health. The concern is valid and yes, salt can sometimes adversely impact your health but only if you consume more than the recommended amount.
As previously mentioned in this guide, you should consume between ½ and 1 teaspoon of salt before working out. In colder climates, you should consume less salt and in hotter climates, you should consume more.
Consuming more than the recommended amount of salt before a workout can lead to problems such as high blood pressure, kidney issues, and headaches. It can also increase the chances of a stroke or heart attack occurring.
In a nutshell, consuming excessive amounts of salt can lead to various health issues. It is always best to consume the recommended amount of salt before you work out.
To sum it up, taking salt before working out provides numerous benefits and makes your workout more effective. The recommended amount of salt you should consume before a workout is between ½ and 1 teaspoon. In colder climates, less salt should be consumed while in hotter climates, more salt can be taken.
Sticking to the recommended amount of salt is important since excessive consumption can bring about a host of different health risks and problems.