The one about running, protein, salt and sodium…

I had a plan. I was going to write about protein (see my post on Living Healthy).

So I researched protein. My research, however, showed that protein isn’t something to worry about too much as a runner. According to WebMD, the majority of us get enough protein through their daily diet. Just make sure you take your protein with carbs after a workout to refuel!

So I decided to skip protein, but focus my attention on something else: salt and sodium.

Did you know that a slice of bread can contain more salt than a single serving bag of salted chips?

Our normal diets tend to be sodium rich. In fact, most of us eat too much salt. As a runner of course we lose some salt. However, our daily intake of salt through our diet replenishes the salt we lose while we workout. Be sure though to replenish if you are a heavy sweater (TMI, I know) or when you run for more than 3 hours. Salted pretzels are a good choice and hearty soups. Also, check the sodium in your sports drink.

My quest for eating healthier is challenging at times, but after nearly 3 weeks of selecting healthier foods I start seeing the difference. There is still a lot for me to learn and un-learn from previous training seasons. I used to add quite a bit of extra salt to my foods at the time as I thought I was losing so much more. Now I know better…

If we’re not willing to settle for junk living, we certainly shouldn’t settle for junk food.
    ~ Sally Edwards

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~ by tatjana.k on February 18, 2012.

3 Responses to “The one about running, protein, salt and sodium…”

  1. It is crazy how much salt is in our diets. I rarely add salt to my food while cooking {with the exception of when I cook beans} and then add it sparingly if the food needs more flavor at dinner. But, post runs and hard workouts, I drink salted water to help balance me out.

  2. Useful reminder – I hate salt! I search out foods without it (or with very little) and never ever use it in cooking. When training though, I do make sure I replenish with proper sports drinks!

  3. Great subject! Hyponatremia is a serious problem with runners. Sodium with fluids is so important.

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