View Full Version : Sodium, Potassium, and Water Retention---Please HElp
07-11-2002, 11:31 PM
Out of a desire to appear as cut and lean as possible, my sodium intake is around 1000-1200 mg a day, and on each meal that is relatively high in sodium, I liberally sprinkle with No-Salt (a potassium-chloride salt substitute.) Due to this substitute and to the amount of vegetables, fish, and carbohydrates I eat, my potassium intake is, I'm assuming, quite high.
My question is this: As a 18 yr old, 148 lb male with low bf%, one who drinks copious amounts of water throughout the day, is this sodium/potassium intake balance dangerous? How does the water retention mechanism work? If one drinks quite a bit of water, does one have to worry about sodium intake? Am I concerned over nothing? Please, if anyone can shed some light on how this process works, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.
07-12-2002, 08:56 AM
07-13-2002, 12:05 AM
07-15-2002, 12:17 AM
07-15-2002, 12:20 AM
Why are you so worried about water retention. Unless you're getting ready for a bb competition or something, just eat normal.......water retention ain't gonna make you look like fat albert or something. It just might cover up a few cuts here and there......
I am cutting right now and I eat a lot of sodium. I bloated slightly at first, but it went away within a week. I put this salty cajun spice mix on all of my chicken, salt or tabasco sauce on all of my eggs, salt and seasoning on my steak. My sodium intake is well above the "healthy" level, but I'm not bloated, my blood pressure is perfect and I feel great.
Your body should naturally balance sodium induced water retention assuming 3 things:
-Kidneys are healthy (filters and reabsorbs sodium)
-Aldosterone levels are good
-Potassium levels are high enough (sodiums INTRAcellular counterpart)
Only dramatic short-term increases and decreases in sodium intake will affect water retention - the key is to simply maintain a consistant intake day in and day out .
Here's an article I pulled off my hard drive that I used in a report. I forgot where I got it.
As a whole, bodybuilders who think they are serious about their diet, generally cut out all extra sodium intake. Most are under the false notion that sodium will make them fat by causing them to retain extra water, cause high blood pressure or is just overall an unhealthy mineral. None of which is true. First off, sodium does not cause hypertension. This is a disease sodium can aggravate but not manifest. Secondly, sodium will not make you fat in any way, shape, or form. Thirdly, sodium is an essential nutrient your body canít live without. Many functions in the body are
"sodium-dependant". They require the presence of sodium. Many amino acids are transported by sodium carriers.
With these fallacies out of the way let's see how we can manipulate our sodium intake to help increase muscular size and strength.
Sodium and Muscle Growth
Sodium is the primary positively charged ion in extra-cellular fluid. Sodium regulates blood volume, acid-base balance, muscle and nerve function and ATP-hydrolyzing activity in skeletal muscle. Potassium is the primary positively charged ion in intracellular fluid. Potassium regulates intra-muscular fluid levels, muscle and nerve function and ATP-hydrolyzing activity in skeletal
As you can see, sodium and potassium perform very similar functions with the major difference being in the intra and extra-cellular fluid regulation. Potassium has its effect on fluid inside the muscle cell. What most donít realize is that these two minerals are constantly striving for equilibrium. When one gets out of line with the other your system will strive to adjust to the underlying situation.
When you cut your sodium intake, your body will quickly compensate by holding more sodium in and releasing potassium out there by decreasing fluid inside the muscle cell. When you increase your sodium intake your body will compensate by holding more potassium in (increasing intra-muscular fluid) and
increasing the excretion of sodium.
Sodium, potassium and the balance between the two can have a prominent impact on muscle size and anabolism (increased cellular fluid inside the muscle cell promotes an anabolic response in muscle tissue) as well as strength through increase joint leverage. Also, elevated sodium and potassium levels will tend to prevent soft tissue injuries so common in heavy training.
The typical athlete that eats a disciplined diet low in fat is probably not benefiting from proper sodium intake as he should. Forget the myth of avoiding table salt. Donít be afraid to use salt liberally. This is important. I know, over the years the media has pounded the ďavoid saltĒ routine down your throat but you must
understand, not only this is geared towards the ďaverage personĒ - if you train and eat like a bodybuilder, you are not an average person - it's opposite of what recent science has shown to be healthy.
Sodium and potassium are regulated by aldosterone. Aldosterone is produced in the adrenal cortex. Steroids have a direct influence on the adrenal cortex which also produces cortisol and other glucocorticoids. In the meantime, for a serious anabolic jolt, simply increase your sodium intake by salting your food a little
more. It doesn't take a ton of salt. Just get in the habit of salting your food at every meal. Steadily increase the amount you use over a one month period. You'll be bigger, stronger, and much less susceptible to progress halting injuries. And guess what? It costs only about 27 cents for a 3 month supply.
07-15-2002, 08:21 AM
Fill us in on your spicy cajun mix ingredients ;)
Not sure exactly what's in it... Bought a bottle of it at the grocery store - it's simply called Cajun Spice
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