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Old 02-18-2013, 10:33 AM   #24
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 7,543

Originally Posted by Buford T Justice View Post
BTW I am asking this in earnest...not to be a wise @ss!

It just seems like the bank account can only have so much in it and it one overdraws the account, things go awry.

I have definitely noticed that if I take supplemental salt in the summer when exercising that I have a very very dramatic increase in energy levels. I wish it were psychosomatic, but it definitely isn't......the science behind why I assumed was simple as the bank account analogy, but perhaps the is more to it than that....I dunno.
Sodium is depleted in exercise through a number of mechanisms within the body. Approximately 85% of the sodium in the body is contained within the bloodstream. Sodium levels are constantly influenced by the generation of perspiration and urination. A healthy person requires a maximum of 3,000 mg of sodium per day to maintain proper sodium/fluid balance. The body does not possess an organic facility in which sodium can be stored and accessed at a later time. In vigorous exercise, or in warm weather conditions, an athlete may lose more than 1,000 mg of sodium per day. The primary cause of sodium loss is through perspiration and resultant fluid loss. When sodium and fluids are depleted together, a chain reaction is triggered. The sodium in the bloodstream that is necessary to maintain the body's balance will be depleted as fluids are lost, which creates a reduced blood volume. Lower blood volumes will result in lowered blood pressure in the cardiovascular system, which generally will reduce the ability of the system to function at an optimal level. A common physiological result of this sodium loss progression is muscle cramps, particularly in the lower leg and calf muscles.

When an athlete replenishes the fluids lost through perspiration with water only, producing an unequal replacement of water versus sodium, the desired sodium balance, or osmolarity, present when the body is in homeostasis (balance) is correspondingly reduced. This condition is known as hyponatremia, or water intoxication. This conditions renders the athlete extremely fatigued, uncoordinated, and at risk of significant further dehydration, as the water ingested into the body will flood the cells, and it will not be absorbed into the bloodstream to boost blood volume, as the body will involuntarily seek to maintain as high a sodium level in the body's fluids as possible. This condition also causes poor carbohydrate metabolism, which reduces the ability of the body to generate musculoskeletal energy.
This is the problem. Your body does not excrete salt when it sweats, rather, there is salt in your sweat and your body excretes that. As said in this article, it's simply a consequence of sweating a lot, and rehydrating with just water doesn't typically solve much because although you are rehydrating, you don't have the salts you just flushed out to regulate the fluid balance throughout your body.
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