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Weird Question: When You Sweat A LOT When Working Out Do You Crave Salt?

I have ramped up my cardio and I am sweating to point that it is just wrong ( am a woman doing pretty high intensity cardio) and my salt craving is off the charts unreal (I could happily lick the bottom of a pretzel bag). Does anyone else have this issue?

Thu. Jul 19, 6:43pm

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When you sweat heavily and drink a lot of water, the concentration of electrolytes (primarily salt) in your blood is reduced. A severely reduced plasma sodium level is called hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is a very dangerous condition that can cause seizures, coma, and death.

If you are relatively new to this intensity of workout level, or are working out under new conditions such as extreme heat, change in humidity or altitude, etc., your body may not have fully adapted to these conditions and you may be at increased risk.

I am not a physician, so I won't try to tell you the right answer for your specific health and exercise program.

What I can tell you is that what you're describing is very common. There's a lot of available information on the top either online or in magazines aimed at runners, bicyclers, and other athletes. You can do some reading and decide on an approach that's right for you.

FYI - that's what Gatorade and other sports drinks are for -- water with some salt and sugar added, and sometimes other little extras. That's one solution, but haviing a little more salt at your next meal is fine for the average non-extreme athlete.

Anecdotally, I remember an experience last summer when I'd spent a long day in the heat doing intense physical work with a group of friends. We'd been sweating heavily all day, but kept plenty of drinking water with us. Late in the day, I began to feel weak, dizzy, and nauseous. I ignored it, and went out with the same group of friends. We went to a local bar for a couple beers, and when the bartender placed a bowl of very salty popcorn in front of us, we dove in and wolfed that popcorn down. I started feeling better within minutes and realized exactly what had made me feel so awful. I don't ordinarily eat salt on my popcorn or anything else, but that's one time it was definitely the right thing to do. I



Thursday, July 19, 2007, 7:16 PM

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Thanks 7:16 - I will look into those resources, you were very helpful

Friday, July 20, 2007, 8:39 AM

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Drink a sports drink with a cardio workout, not water. They replenish lost salt and minerals. Don't drink them all the time though, save them only for post-workout.

Friday, July 20, 2007, 9:24 AM

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Me too.

I do crave salt after a hard workout, many people I know do. I typically avoid sports drinks, most have too much sugar in them for your body to make use of the nutrients.

For an hour of work out, I stick to water or unsweetened electrolyte drinks.
For an all day workout, I will drink water at breaks but add a sprts drink to my noon time calories.

You are the best judge of your body and your needs. If you crave salt, a hand full of pretzels or some airpopped corn with salt is a low calori/ low fat way to satisify it and avoid other higher calorie options.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007, 1:48 AM

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