Kitchen salt is often called white death, and for many years there have been ongoing various campaigns aimed at inducing us to reduce its consumption. As a result, the view was established that sodium is an undesirable component of our diet and at any price should be limited its supply with food. In fact, this belief is unjustified, and intense restriction of consumption of this element, in particular in the case of physically active people can lead to adverse consequences, and sometimes even pose a threat to life.
Sodium is an essential ingredient in our diet and must be supplied with food.
If we wanted to completely abandon its consumption, quite quickly we would experience very unpleasant symptoms, the finale of which would certainly be tragic for us. Sodium participates in the regulation of water and electrolyte management, and together with potassium creates a sodium-potassium pump, an enzyme that regulates the volume of the cell, participates in the stimulation of nerves and muscles and enables the transport (called active) of many compounds necessary for the functioning of the body’s cells. Adequate supply of this element is necessary to maintain the acid-base balance.
Sodium is particularly important for active people, especially athletes of endurance disciplines.
Physical effort leads to increased losses of this element from the body along with sweat, which can quickly lead to water and electrolyte imbalance, muscle cramps, weakness and reduced efficiency. Drinks for athletes are especially enriched with sodium (adding sodium chloride, or kitchen salt), to prevent the above symptoms, optimize the hydration process and allow the effort to continue. Some athletes make a shameful mistake by consuming low-sodium fluids during prolonged efforts. The result of such practices may be hyponatremia, a state threatening not only health but also life!
In the light of the information provided in the above paragraphs, one important question arises: why so much is said and written about the negative consequences resulting from the consumption of sodium and why so much emphasis is placed on reducing its consumption? The answer to this question is simple – an important problem nowadays is excessive consumption of this element. Not only is processed food is a rich source of sodium, but also many people have a habit of reliably seasoning meals before eating. As a result, it is estimated that in the case of a large part of the population of our country, it may exceed the WHO recommendations twice, which in fact may pose a health risk. It’s just that the problem of excessive sodium supply does not affect everyone.
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