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TOPIC: Need to increase Sodium consumption...need advice

 
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February 19, 2011 8:25 AM
Hi all, maybe someone here can help me out here.
I recently went to the Dr over some issues I was having while working out. When I would get my HR up to the 165-170 mark I would feel dizzy, my whole body felt tingly and I just felt really "odd". I was afraid it was my heart, so I went for a stress test.
Turns out my blood pressure wasn't getting high enough. When I got my HR up to 170-175 during the stress test my BP was only 140/60, but during 90% of the stress test it was only 110-118/54-60. The heart Dr said the feelings I was having was due to my heart being so efficient coupled with my BP not being high enough and I wasn't getting enough blood pumping in between beats. So he told me to "eat more potato chips." Meaning, I need more salt to increase my blood pressure.
Problem I am having here is, everyone tells you to watch sodium intake if you are having issues with not losing lbs, that it could be water retention. So I drink 100oz of water and am trying to increase my sodium but I am not sure by how much. I typically eat around 2500mg of sodium as it is, so how much SHOULD I be eating? And if I eat more sodium, isn't that going to hurt my weight loss??
I am so torn. I want to lose these last few pounds (or more) but I want to be able to workout and not feel like I am going to pass out.
Some of my friends think I am like an athlete, but honestly (like my husband says) I work out about as much as everyone should, so more sodium than a "normal" person shouldn't be needed.

I don't know what to do. I work out for an hour 5 days a week, cardio Mon, Wed, Fri (treadmill right now) and cardio mixed with calisthenics on Tues and Thurs.

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!
Edited by QueenofCups On February 19, 2011 8:26 AM
February 19, 2011 8:32 AM
Maybe instead of increasing it significantly, you could try eating sodium enriched foods directly before & after a workout? So maybe not increasing amounts, but changing the times when you eat most sodium?
February 19, 2011 8:34 AM
My OH also suffers low blood pressure and has been told to increase his sodium intake. It's something you NEED to do. Your lucky right now your just going giddy, you could be passing out. Take your doctor's advice. Don't let your worry over a slower weight loss stop you. Your weight loss wont stop, it might just slow a bit. I reckon other's here will be much better advising than I on how much.
  3411672
February 19, 2011 8:35 AM
If you are working out a lot and sweating you need to replenish the lost electrolytes. So yes, try increasing your sodium intake. Maybe just add a dash of salt to your meals. Little bits at a time to see if that helps.
February 19, 2011 8:37 AM
Me personally, I don't worry about my sodium intake. I run, so I lose alot of sodium in my sweat, which I am guessing that you lose alot during your sweat sessions too. The only time I notice an increase in retaining water is when I eat soup. In the summer time, when I sweat even more, I actually add salt to one meal a day. Don't worry about what other people are doing with their sodium. You have to do what's right for your body. If your doc says you need more, then listen. I can't tell you exactly how much to eat...maybe your doctor could tell you the level? I don't even have it listed as one of my things I monitor.
  146152
February 19, 2011 8:37 AM
Try drinking gatorade about 20-30 minutes before your workout and just after as well. It specializes in replenishing your sodium level.
February 19, 2011 8:41 AM
Dairy has a decent amount of sodium and is healthier than just shaking salt all over everything. Try eating lowfat yogurt 30 min before a workout and a big glass of milk afterwards.
February 19, 2011 8:42 AM
Sodium doesnt effect fat loss, only fluid loss. it sounds like your kidneys are doing a very efficient job, so much salt is actually needed so I'd try upping in 250mg increments until you find a level that isnt leaving you dizzy and isnt having too much of a bearing on your weight.

Everyone panics so much about sodium but they dont know the whole facts and could be harming themselves. I have one on my friends list who is consuming 250+ oz of water but is keeping her sodium to 1500...that is probably too low considering her heavy work outs but some people will not be told.
February 19, 2011 8:43 AM
Couple of things come to mind. One, even if increasing your sodium intake might cause some water retention, my understanding is that your body will probably adjust to the higher sodium availability after a short while and it should pass. Besides, water retention isn't fat, so even if the number on the scale goes up for a little while, if it's allowing you to work out and burn FAT, isn't that the real goal? Seems a better option than not being able to work out due to dizziness, risk of injury, etc. So I wouldn't worry about a bit of temporary water retention.

Second, if I were in your position I'd increase the sodium amount gradually and keep a log of the effects. Did your doctor give you a goal range to reach on sodium intake? Anyway, I'd experiment with it and see what happens. If it works, great. If not, the doctor might be on the wrong track.

Did your doctor say anything about potassium? There's an important relationship between sodium and potassium in how our bodies function. You might want to do some research on that.
February 19, 2011 9:05 AM
This happened to me for a while about 2 years ago. I started having dizzy spells at the gym and I even passed out a few times while working out. My doctors did every test imaginable (brain scans, balance disorder tests, stress test, tilt table, etc.) before figuring out that it was due to low blood pressure. My BP would drop to 80/50 and I'd pass out. They recommended I increase my sodium, and I also found that difficult to do without also adding calories and fat. Eventually I did it by increasing my consumption of low-fat sandwich meats, adding table salt to my foods (even though I don't love salty foods), drinking sports drinks instead of water when working out. But also watch your water intake 100 oz. is a lot for you right now; you want to stay hydrated but not flush all of the sodium out of your system. And talk to your doctor to find out about your potassium intake; potassium levels will affect your sodium but I'm don't remember the specifics off hand. My doc put me on meds to increase my sodium but it caused me to have fatigue from low potassium, so I stopped the meds and tried to regulate my issues through my diet.

Whatever you do, take it seriously. Worry about your health more than your weight. I was tempted to dismiss my docs advice on sodium because I was worried about water retention, but once I got a handle on it, I felt much better. Good luck!
February 19, 2011 9:06 AM
QUOTE:

Couple of things come to mind. One, even if increasing your sodium intake might cause some water retention, my understanding is that your body will probably adjust to the higher sodium availability after a short while and it should pass. Besides, water retention isn't fat, so even if the number on the scale goes up for a little while, if it's allowing you to work out and burn FAT, isn't that the real goal? Seems a better option than not being able to work out due to dizziness, risk of injury, etc. So I wouldn't worry about a bit of temporary water retention.

Second, if I were in your position I'd increase the sodium amount gradually and keep a log of the effects. Did your doctor give you a goal range to reach on sodium intake? Anyway, I'd experiment with it and see what happens. If it works, great. If not, the doctor might be on the wrong track.

Did your doctor say anything about potassium? There's an important relationship between sodium and potassium in how our bodies function. You might want to do some research on that.


Sorry I missed this reply while I was typing mine. All great advice!
February 19, 2011 10:37 AM
Thanks for all the replies. I totally forgot about Gatorade. I could get that G2 which is lower on sugar and I bet drinking that while I workout would help. ??
I have tried to add some salt to broccoli and such, but like someone else said, I don't like salty foods very much and tend to eat my food exactly how it comes, I don't add salt or pepper or anything to my meals. Maybe in a recipe, but not afterward.
So yeah, I will experiment some.
They did not mention levels in my blood work. I should have asked. I am going back for a follow up in a month, so if I can't find a solution before then I'll get some more info from them about sodium levels in mg speech.

It was just so funny to me meeting with the heart Dr b/c he seems to act like I was crazy for wanting to exercise so much and eat healthy. He acted so surprised I was SO "in shape" (as he put it), and still working so hard to lose weight. Hello! I am at least 20lbs overweight still (according to BMI chart). Whatever. I am not trying to lose those 20 lbs, just trying to get toned and less fat looking. And I know the scale is not an accurate representation of health, but its still frustrating to see it go down and then back up and then down and back up when I am doing everything "right", supposedly.

Thanks again for all the helpful tips and advice!
February 19, 2011 11:00 AM
what do you think gatorade is for? it was created to make it easier for athletes to drink salt water. the more you sweat the more sodium the body needs. you may also want to up your iron and potassium.
Edited by soysos On February 19, 2011 11:01 AM
February 20, 2011 5:30 AM
I knew what Gatorade is for, but I just didn't think about it b/c I am all about "don't drink your calories" and Gatorade is filled with sugar and calories, so I didn't think about it. But I guess I could eat less and drink the Gatorade.
February 20, 2011 6:08 AM
The G2 is great though...45 cals for a 20 oz bottle, and it has the potassium AND sodium, and they have some good flavors (Blueberry-Pomegranate and Fruit Punch are my favorites.)

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