Saturday, September 11, 2010

How much salt should runners ingest?

While we are cooking something we sometimes think how much salt we have to add. If we read a recipe we'd see 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or more simply "salt". We could read on runners magazines that the loss of salt is connected to other running problems, including cramping. On the other hand, too much salt is linked to high blood pressure.
I've recently read that sodium isn't a big concern for runners unless they know they are hypertensive or have a family history of high blood pressure. Therefore, eating something salty after run can help the body rehydrate better.
That's why several manufacturers have recently developed sports drinks with higher sodium levels. But I'm sure that a salty snack such as black olives or salted almonds has more micronutrients, including zinc and iron, than regular sports drinks.
This week I ran three times. I did tempo run on Monday, 16 kilometers long run on Wednesday and 50 minutes relaxing run yesterday. On September, 19th, I'm running the Grosseto's 12 km race.
As I wrote last week, the Summer is almost over and with the cold weather I could slightly increase my speed. It really is much harder to run fast when it's hot!

Although the end of the Summer is near I can eat fresh figs again. Delicious Breakfast! In the photo you can see the last figs of this Summer. They're black and white fresh figs. Unfortunately, since next week I'll have only them dried.
Nice weekend to everyone!


Char said...

I do think that runners need extra salt, especially when we're running in warmer weather. We lose a lot of salt through our sweat and if we don't replace it we can end up cramping.

Ewa said...

Love figs. We still have fresh ones here in CA. Yum.
As for salt I have mixed feelings. I don't think stone age people ate as much as we do and they managed long exhausting hunts just fine. On the other hand there is this volume of science about salt preventing cramping. It is all so confusing and since I love salt maybe I'll go with what science tells us. :)

Julie said...

Hi Giorgio,
I love my salt! I always have...I remember when I was a little girl my dad would always say, "You need to lay off of the salt because you will end up with high blood pressure!" This was an interesting post Giorgio. Yesterday I ran my first 20 miler and I had the worst leg cramps after my race! I didn't take any salt tablets but I know that my gel has sodium. Maybe I needed more:)

Those figs look wonderful!

I hope that you are having a lovely weekend!

Fran said...

I use salt to prepare my food but not much.

I prefer this kind of weather more too than hot weather. Like you I run faster when it's cooler.

You've asked why I didn't go to Imola. First I've been to Italy a few times. My husband goes to Imola every year with his brother. There is this motor exhibition where he buys parts. My husband restores Ducati bikes (he's got about 7 bikes). What he does there is walk around the circuit of Imola for two days, is exhausted when he returns to the hotel and goes to bed early. I prefer to stay home instead of going with him and have to do things for myself while I'm there.

We will get back to Italy together next Summer, probably Tuscany.

Anne said...

Thanks for your encouragement Giorgio! :) I guess while on long runs is when we need our salt the most!

Johann said...

Good post! I don’t eat much salt with food and have only had one cramp in all the years I’ve been running. I only use salt tabs sometimes when I run and I get nauseous with too much sugar in my stomach. This is usually because I didn’t drink enough water. The salt balances the sweet feeling and helps me recover, although I remember only twice this year did I use the salt tabs. Good luck with the 12km!

Black Knight said...

Time to begin a program of long runs. Summer has gone and now we have to think about some quality workouts. We are ready for Grosseto, any news of Massimo? Will he join the Army?

Amy said...

Wow thanks for informing us about this one. I guess I must keep this in mind for my running career sake.


Amy said...

I never think too much about salt but I do think it is definitely necessary for runners. Love the figs! How do you serve them?

Meg said...

Awesome post. My husband adds salt to his sports drink and I sometimes take salt tabs. Once during a race, I ate a packet of salt and I literally felt about 90% better. Strange.
Have a nice weekend!

Black Knight said...

10/10 9,5 km a Montalto
24/10 12 km pianeggianti a Grosseto
Poi vedremo il da farsi a novembre.

Breandán said...

I recommend taking a pinch of pink Himalayan salt - which you can find in any health shop... this is very good for runner's re hydration.