Sodium intake

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    May 01, 2009 5:26 AM GMT
    According to my log at fitday.com I eat 120% of the recommended daily value of sodium (thanks to my affinity for instant gratification frozen meals). I know that preservatives and stuff aren't good so I try to buy the preservative free stuff at my natural foods store. However, the sodium content is still pretty high.

    My question is this, I'm running between 30-40 miles per week outside. Spring's here, and I'll be sweating til November. Do I need to be concerned since I'm sweating out so much salt? I'm thinking about just trying to cook a week's supply of food on a particular night, but that's hard since I'm in work or school on into the evening. I usually usually hit the gym then do my run afterwards, by the time all is said and done I'm just unmotivated to cook most evenings.

    Any thoughts?
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    May 01, 2009 9:26 AM GMT
    The body closely regulates Na (sodium) and serum osmolality through various hormones like ADH, renin angiotensin . If serum Na would fall, various receptors would sense the abnormality. Areas of the brain would be activated and you would begin craving salt (NaCl). You will not run into problems as long as you consume salt when the brain is telling you to do so. There are medications like diuretics used to treat blood pressure which cause the kidneys to secrete Na into the urine. These medications can be dangerous if one exercises in hot weather. In some rare cases individuals may have deficiencies of the above mentioned hormones and run into problems regulating Na.
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    May 01, 2009 12:53 PM GMT
    Forgot to mention this in the earlier post.
    Your body needs approximately 500 mg of salt a day. If you are an athlete or work hard physically, and sweat a lot, you will need more. The FDA's recommended daily salt intake is 2,500 mg a day for the average adult. Most North Americans' daily salt intake is over 5,000 mg.
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    May 01, 2009 1:32 PM GMT
    Why is there such a disparity between the US RDA and what the body needs?
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    May 01, 2009 1:41 PM GMT
    What you absolutely need to function without getting sick, and what is optimum are just different values.

    I wouldn't worry that you're 20% over the US RDA too much; the issue, like an above poster said, is that average Americans eat 200% or 300% the RDA, which especially can increase blood pressure in some people.
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    May 01, 2009 1:57 PM GMT
    McGay saidWhy is there such a disparity between the US RDA and what the body needs?


    When I was in school, we were taught that diets with only 500mgs of salt a day are unpalatable and nearly impossible to comply with.
    When a person has abnormal fluid retention such as occurs in congestive heart failure, the physician will choice a restriction of 1 to 2 grams of salt a day. A lesser amount of salt in the diet would result in the patient not complying.

    2500 mg of salt will keep the diet palatable and not cause problems with most cases of high blood pressure.

    The recommendation for sodium in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as the American Heart Association is 2,400 milligrams (mg) daily for adults. This is about the amount in 1 teaspoon of salt (2,300 mg to be exact)

    The article I read said the FDA is okay with 2500mg a day
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    May 01, 2009 3:42 PM GMT
    Thanks!
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    May 01, 2009 4:03 PM GMT
    I'm able to stick to the guidelines daily, as long as I don't go out to eat. But, I wouldn't worry too much! As was mentioned, the average American goes well beyond the recommendation thanks to fast foods and other poor diet choices. 120% is good, and could be lowered, but I'd just recommend not increasing it any.

    Prepping food in advance helped me in my early dieting days, as I didn't feel like cooking then as often as I do now. Try dutch oven baking - it can cook anything, can be stored in the pot, and you can just reheat in it as well. This will help in whatever easy-eating you're doing.
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    May 01, 2009 5:44 PM GMT
    Low Sodium V8 is hard to find around here.
    I would drink a lot more V8 if they didn't add so
    damn much salt to it.

    Prep your own food in a crock pot too.

    For instance throw in some water, chicken,
    veggies and a little barley in the morning.
    Then in the evening put it in single serving
    size plastic containers. 2 in the fridge and
    the rest in the freezer.

    Every day or so grab a different flavor out of
    the freezer so you have some variety.

    Right now I have elk stew, beef stew,
    chicken mushroom, and turkey with beans
    to choose from.

    I might throw some lentil/chicken/spinach
    together in the next few days