Salt is essential, not optional.

Why is salt so essential for human life and what causes salt depletion?

In this blog you will learn

What is sodium?

What is magnesium?

What is potassium?

What causes salt depletion?

Let's break down sodium in a bit more detail.

As mentioned, Salt is predominantly comprised of Sodium Chloride. Sodium Chloride is vital to both human performance and survival. After digestion, in bodily fluids, salt turns into electrolytes, positively charged Sodium and negatively charged Chloride, found mostly in blood and the fluid that bathes our cells. Sodium levels are tightly regulated in the human body through a process called osmoregulation. 

Sodium plays an important role in regulating body fluids and normal nerve and muscle function. Having evolved with sodium, the human body has a variety of mechanisms to deal with it in times of excess and times of scarcity, however the body is better at dealing with more, than too little. 

Low levels of sodium can have a critical impact on healthy individuals, leading to chronic dehydration, increased heart rate and increased stress hormones in the body. Sodii contains 1000mg of straight sodium (2000mg of Salt)

What is magnesium, and why is it important?

99% of magnesium in the human body is found in bone, muscles and soft tissue. Along with potassium, it is a nutrient essential to numerous physiological functions in humans, including the body's ATP energy system, muscle contraction and relaxation, neurological function and release of neurotransmitters.

Low sodium levels can lead to magnesium being pulled from bone and muscle stores to maintain homeostasis. Our Everyday Hydration Salts contains 70mg of bio-available magnesium to compliment a balanced whole-foods diet, and aid in efficient hydration.

What is potassium, and why is it important?

In general terms, potassium is a nutrient, essential for normal bodily function. The role of potassium and sodium are tightly linked in the human body and hydration. Primarily found in cells, potassium's role in humans is to maintain fluid balance in blood plasma, cells and extracellular fluid.

Potassium is also key to nerve signalling, muscle contractions and maintenance of blood pressure. Like sodium, humans have evolved with potassium rich diets, where the body has mechanisms to deal with excessive amounts to maintain homeostasis. Our Everyday Hydration Salts contains 210mg of potassium, formulated to complement a balanced diet, along with optimal hydration. 

What causes electrolyte depletion?

The optimal range of sodium will vary from person to person. Due to ever changing modern health and lifestyle habits, you may be losing more sodium than you think throughout your day. The overconsumption of sugar, medication, caffeine, exercise and some dietary approaches can have negative effects on your blood sodium levels. Replenishment becomes extremely important to tackle salt depleting activities head on throughout the day.

Coffee and tea are both natural diuretics, increasing water and salt loss from our kidneys. The second and third most consumed beverages in the world respectively, are causing salt excretion from the body and usually not being accounted for in the standard dietary guidelines for consuming salt.

As people around the world turn to hobby fitness activities for their daily activity, more than ever must we look after our electrolyte intake and hydration. Whether you are an elite athlete or weekend cyclist, electrolyte intake is still vital to performance, feeling good and avoiding cramping. Even the consumption of lots of water, whilst important, without the replacement of electrolytes could be diluting you of electrolytes in your blood.

Thermoregulation is the body's ability to sweat, helping the body maintain optimal temperature throughout hot weather, exercise and physical activity. Sodium is a key driver in the body's ability to sweat and cool itself. 

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References

¹ Maughan RJ, Shirreffs SM. Muscle Cramping During Exercise: Causes, Solutions, and Questions Remaining. Sports Med. 2019;49(Suppl 2):115-124. doi:10.1007/s40279-019-01162-1