This is what happens when your sodium levels are too low

This is what happens when your sodium levels are too low

When sodium levels are too low, the body responds with painful symptoms. But what exactly causes those nasty headaches, high levels of fatigue and painful muscular cramps? SaltStick is founded on the understanding that adequate sodium levels (along with other key electrolytes such as potassium, calcium and magnesium) are fundamental to endurance success. For an athlete to perform optimally, he or she will need to replace calories, water and electrolytes lost during exercise. Otherwise, the body will be forced to slow down. It is the “be forced to slow down” part of that last sentence that we cover in this week’s blog. Sodium is crucial to a wide swath of physiological processes, from muscle contraction to the management of blood pressure. Thus, an inadequate supply has equally far-reaching consequences. If levels fall outside the optimal range, the body mainly compensates by shifting water reserves around to avoid further sodium dilution....
SaltStick - Apr 06, 2021
Suffer from swollen hands? Here are the causes and solutions for athletes.

Suffer from swollen hands? Here are the causes and solutions for athletes.

A search through endurance-related forums will reveal hand-swelling is a common malady, with posts complaining that hands look like “a rubber glove that's been blown up” or fingers that “feel very tight and hard to bend.” Although the condition is most common to ultra runners, hand-swelling can affect hikers, walkers and triathletes as well -- pretty much anyone who is part of the endurance community. But does it mean anything? All smart endurance athletes know it is important to pay attention to their bodies, and it’s natural to wonder if sausage-like fingers are the symptoms of something gone wrong. This article focuses only on edema (swelling) due to exercise. There are other causes of edema that may require medical intervention: see your doctor if in doubt. The answer, as with many biological systems, is complicated. At the very least, hand-swelling is nothing more than an annoying response to exercise, but...
SaltStick - Apr 06, 2021
Thinking of going ketogenic? You’ll need extra salt.

Thinking of going ketogenic? You’ll need extra salt.

The ketogenic diet is growing in popularity these days, due to perceived benefits of weight loss, nutrient density and mental clarity. Commonly overlooked with this diet, however, is the resulting need for increased sodium consumption. As we have discussed many times before, the body’s hydration system operates on a ratio basis; not on a basis of absolute intake quantities. Thus, when it comes to something like blood pressure, the total amount of sodium you consume matters less than the amount of sodium relative to potassium. As SaltStick CEO Jonathan Toker, Ph.D. wrote about in a recent slowtwitch.com article, in attempts to lower blood pressure, it is often as effective to increase dietary potassium as it is to reduce sodium, because it is the balance that matters more. This same ratio-based lens is necessary when analyzing the effects of a ketogenic diet on the body. In this blog post, we discuss...
SaltStick - Apr 06, 2021
It's Hot: Humid vs. Dry Heat

It's Hot: Humid vs. Dry Heat

Unless you live in the Southern Hemisphere, you’ve probably been enjoying the steady rise in outdoor temperatures. Gone are the 100(+) inches of snow in Boston, as well as the single-digit temperatures most of us dealt with in January. In its place is lovely spring-time weather, meaning you no longer have to grit your teeth in order to get out the door and train. However, summer is around the corner, and with it … summer heat. It’s about to get hot. Very hot. And if it’s not hot, it will be humid, which still feels awful. (We’ll explain why in a second…) Just as running in sub-freezing temperatures takes a certain kind of toughness, running in the heat requires extra mental and physical stamina. It also requires a different approach to training and nutrition. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of hot: dry hot, in which humidity levels are at...
SaltStick - Apr 06, 2021
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