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Thread: How much sodium for a bodybuilder?

  1. #1

    Default How much sodium for a bodybuilder?

    This is something I've always wondered, for my first contest diet in 2004 I cut ALL my sodium out from about 8 weeks out, I got into great condition but I was weak as piss in the gym and totally exhausted even just walking up stairs - Not good!

    After this, I did my homework and learnt that sodium IS needed in a contest diet until the very last final stage of your contest prep...

    For normal people, the FDA says no more than 6 grams of salt a day for good health, but for bodybuilders we all need more of many nutrients, vits, mins and elements, right?

    So, the question is, how much sodium/salt is right for optimum gains and good health for a bodybuilder and how do we administer it into our daily diets? Anyone please?
    UK MARKET MANAGER FOR RONNIE COLEMAN SIGNATURE SERIES! YEAH BUDDY!!!!
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  2. #2
    Spotter layitdown's Avatar
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    for me it's hard to pin point. on days where i'm succeptable to cramping up (legs, back) i'll up the sodium by adding extra salt to almost all my meals. but i also have to keep in mind that my blood pressure shoots up with too much sodium. I think you have to be instinctual with sodium. add it when you need it. and don't go overboard. as for prep. i have my guys keep sodium in almost all the way through then depending on howthey look peak week we make adjustments. i am NEVER with cutting sodium out completely for ANY reason. it is vital for a lot of things.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by layitdown View Post
    for me it's hard to pin point. on days where i'm succeptable to cramping up (legs, back) i'll up the sodium by adding extra salt to almost all my meals. but i also have to keep in mind that my blood pressure shoots up with too much sodium. I think you have to be instinctual with sodium. add it when you need it. and don't go overboard. as for prep. i have my guys keep sodium in almost all the way through then depending on howthey look peak week we make adjustments. i am NEVER with cutting sodium out completely for ANY reason. it is vital for a lot of things.
    Cool thanks, I was using Lo-Salt (two thirds potassium and one third sodium) but recently opted for a sea salt grinder and put that on at least 2 meals a day...
    UK MARKET MANAGER FOR RONNIE COLEMAN SIGNATURE SERIES! YEAH BUDDY!!!!
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    Beast TGC's Avatar
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    I do what layitdown does. I pretty much go off how I feel, if I am cramping or craving it I go for it.
    "I think Arnold had the sexiest body of all time... Arnold had that charming boy look and a body of a stallion"-google&pubmed

  5. #5
    JP_RC
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    What is a bodybiddler?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by JP_RC View Post
    What is a bodybiddler?
    A man with BIG muscles! Duh.
    UK MARKET MANAGER FOR RONNIE COLEMAN SIGNATURE SERIES! YEAH BUDDY!!!!
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  7. #7
    JP_RC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giles View Post
    A man with BIG muscles! Duh.
    You changed the title.

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    Amateur Threat MrsRockyStar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giles View Post
    Cool thanks, I was using Lo-Salt (two thirds potassium and one third sodium) but recently opted for a sea salt grinder and put that on at least 2 meals a day...
    Sea salt is key. No table salt. You need the natural occurring minerals in sea salt. You don't need the chloride in table salt.

  9. #9
    Editor-in-Chief Adina Zanolli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP_RC View Post
    You changed the title.
    No...that was me. I'm an English major...I can't help it!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by FitAdina View Post
    No...that was me. I'm an English major...I can't help it!
    Aaaarghhh, BAAAAAD!!!!
    UK MARKET MANAGER FOR RONNIE COLEMAN SIGNATURE SERIES! YEAH BUDDY!!!!
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  11. #11
    Bro Scientist UriahMcGee's Avatar
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    My nutritionist has me put 1/4th teaspoon of sea salt on every meal
    Like all true bodybuilders I get my supplements from the manufacturer instead of a marketing company I get my supplements at www.truenutrition.com

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    Beach Body Yourlastchance89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FitAdina View Post
    No...that was me. I'm an English major...I can't help it!
    I think Giles is more English than you are

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    Quote Originally Posted by UriahMcGee View Post
    My nutritionist has me put 1/4th teaspoon of sea salt on every meal
    I have all my clients using sea salt in all of their solid measl,regardless of their individual goals,unless they have any health condition or HBP history that needs to be addressed
    I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by Me.
    JESUS THE CHRIST

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    Amateur Threat MrsRockyStar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyIII View Post
    I have all my clients using sea salt in all of their solid measl,regardless of their individual goals,unless they have any health condition or HBP history that needs to be addressed
    Sea Salt has no effect on blood pressure.

  15. #15
    Atlas
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    Does it really matter that much as long as it is consistent? Like if you regularly have 4000mg then just continue with that. I never monitors mine at all during prep, only the very last week I had to actually take some sodium because I felt very light headed and had low blood pressure

  16. #16
    The Physique Architect str8flexed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giles View Post
    This is something I've always wondered, for my first contest diet in 2004 I cut ALL my sodium out from about 8 weeks out, I got into great condition but I was weak as piss in the gym and totally exhausted even just walking up stairs - Not good!

    After this, I did my homework and learnt that sodium IS needed in a contest diet until the very last final stage of your contest prep...

    For normal people, the FDA says no more than 6 grams of salt a day for good health, but for bodybuilders we all need more of many nutrients, vits, mins and elements, right?

    So, the question is, how much sodium/salt is right for optimum gains and good health for a bodybuilder and how do we administer it into our daily diets? Anyone please?
    there is absolutely no reason to restrict sodium, even in the final week unless for some reason your body does not efficiently eliminate excess sodium (less than 10% of the population). From the sodium section of one of my articles on peaking:
    ---------------------------------------
    Another aspect of a typical peak week that goes hand in hand with cutting water is sodium, the results of which can be just as disastrous. “But Layne, we know sodium causes water retention, almost everyone drops sodium.” Yea, well a thousand years ago everyone KNEW the world was flat. How’d that work out?
    The sodium balance in your body directly affects fluid dynamics and blood volume. Because it affects blood volume it also affects blood pressure. Since blood pressure is kind of a big deal (I mean it only controls blood delivery to your heart) there is a very tight regulation on blood sodium levels. Blood sodium is maintained in an extremely tight range around 140mEq/L. The kidneys will decrease or increase sodium excretion depending upon fluctuations in sodium intake in order to prevent changes in blood sodium. For example, if you eat more sodium than normal, the kidneys will increase sodium output in urine. If sodium from the diet is reduced, the kidneys will conserve sodium by reabsorbing more sodium back into circulation with less being excreted into the urine. The following study by Rogacz et al. that was done at Harvard back in 1990 illustrates this point perfectly (2). The researchers restricted dietary sodium to practically nothing for 6 days and examined the results on serum (blood) and urinary sodium, as well as aldosterone.
    Restricted sodium diet results

    Initial Levels
    1 day
    2 days
    6 days
    Urinary Sodium
    217 (mmol/day)
    105
    59
    9.9
    Aldosterone
    10.4 (ng/100ml)
    11.7
    22.5
    37
    Serum Sodium
    139 (mEq/L)
    139
    139
    138

    As you can plainly see dietary sodium was almost completely eliminated, blood sodium concentrations were unchanged! In fact, by day 6, the kidneys have almost stopped excreting sodium all together! So all that sodium depleting you did in the final week… it didn’t even change your actual blood sodium levels! There are some things that sodium depletion will did do however; it will increase the hormone aldosterone big time. For those of you who are not familiar with aldosterone, it is a hormone that causes reabsorption and retention of water and sodium. After two days of depleting sodium (standard in most peak week protocols) your aldosterone has already doubled! For those gurus who cut sodium out even earlier you can see that by day 6 it has more than tripled! So not only did you not change blood sodium levels by dropping dietary sodium, you also increased aldosterone levels by double or triple!
    Elevations in aldosterone will cause increased water retention as the kidney reabsorbs both sodium and water back into circulation. Compound this with the fact that deficiencies in dietary sodium will lead to a drop in blood pressure, meaning that plasma water has been pushed out of the vascular system. Now instead of having water in your blood vessels making you look full and vascular, it will be around the vessels interstitially (i.e. subcutaneous water) making you appear softer. Furthermore, you are now reabsorbing more water back into circulation due to elevated aldosterone, but without sufficient pressure in the blood vessels that reabsorbed water will also be heading into the subcutaneous layer exactly where you DON’T want it. So instead of being hard, full, and vascular, you are soft and flat because you’ve pushed water where you didn’t want it by trying to trick your body.
    That isn’t the end of the problems however. During the sodium depletion phase of most peak week protocols, it is advised to load potassium in order to keep electrolytes elevated. The idea is that sodium is ‘bad’ and potassium is ‘good’ and having none of one and a bunch of the other will have you looking your best. Guess what, your body is smarter than you are. Loading potassium also presents its own problems. In fact, if the ratio of potassium to sodium gets too high, it can actually cause an increase in aldosterone levels (3)! This on top of the already large increase in aldosterone from cutting sodium! That means more water will be coming home to take shelter in that comfy place we call the subcutaneous layer.
    Finally, cutting sodium actually can interfere with a proper carb load. As shown above, during typical peak week protocols, sodium depletion will coincide with carbohydrate loading. The idea being that depleting sodium will make you tighter and loading carbs will help fill you out to skin stretching proportions. Unfortunately, this is not the case as depleting sodium will actually impair carbohydrate absorption. SLGT-1 is the cotransportor in the intestine that is responsible for glucose absorption. It is called a cotransportor because it uses sodium concentrations to drive glucose from the intestine to be absorbed. Research has demonstrated that sodium restriction will actually reduce the expression and activity of this transporter, limiting your ability to absorb glucose and thus preventing you from achieving the great fullness you desire (4)! Now all that undigested glucose is going to remain in the small intestine and pull water into that area in order to maintain proper osmolarity and it will cause bloating in the small intestine. So now you have managed to put water in the two places you don’t want it: the subcutaneous layer, and the gut.
    Now you understand why competitors say they look so much better after they went out after the show and had a cheat meal after following a typical peak week protocol. Most people think this means that they didn’t carb up enough, but that simply isn’t true because they loaded carbs for 2-3 days! The cheat meal contained lots of sodium and they drank a lot of water with it. That sodium and water finally allowed them to fill out properly and that is why they looked so much better!
    BioLayne LLC
    PhD, Nutritional Sciences
    Scivation Athlete
    MD Columnist
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  17. #17
    IFBB Pro Anth Bailes's Avatar
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    I add sea salt to all my meals...even the night before contest.Keeps you full.....

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