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Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Increase Your Sodium
While most doctors and health professionals try to scare you into avoiding sodium at all costs,this could actually be the worst advice around for anyone looking to enhance their performance or build a better physique. In fact, there are studies which have shown that moderately high levels of dietary sodium produce very few negative effects or are not actually linked to hypertension and other diseases and conditions.
For most of my athletes and clients, eating too much sodium is never a problem; it’s actually consuming too little sodium that is the problem. Once I get them to consciously add more sodium to their diets things begin to improve across the board.
Optimal sodium levels will lead to greater energy and endurance and help produce a more muscular, rock hard physique. Not only that, but low sodium levels can sometimes be even more dangerous than high levels of sodium in the diet.
In fact, a low sodium diet is one of the main causes of dehydration and low blood volume. This leads to many negative effects for those seeking improvements in their physiques and overall performance.
Sodium is lost through sweat, and if you are training hard, especially in the summer months, you will be sweating a lot. If you are not consciously replacing the lost sodium, your performance and your physique will suffer.
The first thing I recommend to most hard training athletes and clients of mine is to start by adding a little sea salt to most of their meals. Sea salt is the kind of sodium you want, not regular table salt.
The next thing I tell them is to eat pickles. Pickles are my number one biggest secret physique and performance enhancing food. I’m dead serious. If you usually watch your sodium intake start eating a few pickles a day and tell me if you don’t start getting way better pumps and having significantly better workouts. I’ve never seen it fail to work.
Adding sodium, usually in the form of pickles, is also my number one trick for helping people maintain strength while dieting. We’ve all experienced it before; you start dieting strictly and cutting carbs and all of a sudden your physique is flat as pancake, you couldn’t get a pump if your life depended on it and your workouts start to suck.
This is one of the things that causes guys to abandon their diets within only a few weeks. They’d rather be fat then weak so they just call it quits.
Well, that can all be avoided by simply eating a few pickles or adding more sea salt to all of your meals. It’s so simple and it may sound crazy to some of you, but it works incredibly well.
If you are craving salty foods, that is indication number one that you need more sodium. Also, if your performance is starting to suffer and you aren’t as lean or hard or vascular as you used to be it could be because you are sweating more in the hotsummer sun and need more sodium.
I consulted with a mixed martial artist recently who was severely restricting his sodium levels in order to stay in his weight class. I got him to add more sodium to his diet and only restrict it around weigh in and his performance improved dramatically.
One thing I must tell you, though, is that if you are sodium deficient and start loading up on the sodium immediately after reading this, you will probably experience a water retention affect for a few days. Don’t worry, it will subside and you will be leaner in a few days once your body gets acclimated.