Salt is a vital component for human health. Sodium, obtained through it, helps to regulate blood pressure and keep you hydrated. However, excessive consumption can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure and increased risk of heart attack or stroke. To lower your body's sodium levels, stay hydrated, exercise regularly, and plan a balanced salt diet. Be careful when making changes in mineral consumption to avoid health risks.
Method 1 of 4: Staying Hydrated
Step 1. Drink lots of water
One of the best ways to eliminate excess toxins and nutrients from the body is to keep the body well hydrated, ie, consuming water. The exact amount to drink each day varies by person, but the following instructions apply to most individuals:
- Men should drink, on average, 13 glasses (3 L) of water daily.
- For women, it is recommended to consume about 9 glasses (2, 2 L) per day.
Step 2. Drink liquids from other sources
Drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated, but you can also get fluids in other ways. In addition to liquids, they can be found in foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables and sodium-free soups. They are all great ways to hydrate your body.
Step 3. Drink less isotonics
Such liquids, such as Gatorade and Powerade, are great for helping you rehydrate after an intense workout or while sick, but they're also high in sodium. Avoid them unless you train for a long time (an hour or more) or your doctor recommends them to fight dehydration caused by an illness.
Method 2 of 4: Exercising
Step 1. Sweat a lot
When sweating, the body eliminates water and sodium; Strenuous exercise (or other activities that make you sweat) are good ways to get rid of sodium from your body.
- Try a high-intensity workout, like a circuit, to get in shape and get rid of more sodium.
- An alternative is to carry out activities with less impact and that may cause you to perspire, such as “hot yoga”. However, be aware that it can be dangerous for individuals with poor heat tolerance; before enrolling in classes, consult a doctor.
Step 2. Stay hydrated during exercise
Letting your body become dehydrated during physical activity can cause you to retain salt; there is a risk that you will develop a serious condition called hypernatremia. Always drink water while exercising, especially if you are hot and sweating.
The amount of water that should be ingested when practicing physical activities varies according to the individual needs of the body and the duration of the exercises. When doing a lighter workout (half an hour at the gym, for example), 400 to 600 ml more water will probably suffice
Step 3. Ask your doctor how to maintain a good electrolyte balance
Losing too much sodium during training can be dangerous; on the other hand, consuming too much water at this time can make your electrolyte and sodium levels too low, leading to the risk of exercise-induced hyponatremia. Go to a doctor or a sports nutritionist to find out how not to lose so much sodium during physical activities, especially if the diet is already low in minerals.
For longer or more intense workouts, isotonics will help prevent salt levels from dropping to dangerous rates
Method 3 of 4: Changing the Feed
Step 1. When consulting a doctor, talk about salt intake
If you are concerned about excessive intake of salts in the diet, discuss these points with a nutritionist or your doctor. Professionals will be able to help you know if you need to cut your sodium intake and the right amount to incorporate into your diet.
Your doctor (or nutritionist) will likely recommend that you cut back on your salt intake if you have certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes
Step 2. Decrease salt in the diet
Doctors recommend taking no more than 2,300 mg of salts daily for most healthy adults. If you eat a lot of “junk food” (snacks, snacks and fast food, for example), it is likely that you consume a much higher value than indicated. With a few simple measures, you can drive away excess salt:
- Swap processed foods for fresh ones. Bacon, sausage, and pre-packaged meats are loaded with sodium.
- Look for products with a “low sodium” label and read the nutritional chart of foods to find out how much is present in them.
- When preparing dishes, cut out the sodium when possible. Season the food with other flavorings, such as unsalted pepper or garlic powder.
Step 3. Increase your potassium intake
Like sodium, this is an important electrolyte that the body needs to stay healthy. The vast majority of people overintake sodium and ignore foods with potassium; however, it can help the body get rid of excess sodium. Good sources of potassium are:
- Baked potatoes (leave the peel).
- Vegetables with green leaves (spinach or Swiss chard).
- Dairy products (yoghurt or milk).
- Beans and lentils.
Step 4. Try the DASH diet
It is aimed at decreasing sodium intake so that food portions are healthier. Depending on your needs, your doctor may recommend the standard DASH diet or the low sodium diet. In the first type, you can take up to 2,300 mg per day; in the second, it is not allowed to consume more than 1,500 mg of sodium daily.
Method 4 of 4: Handling Salt Contents Safely
Step 1. Be wary of “detox” or too drastic diets
Several “fad” diets, such as juice or lemon water, promise to eliminate toxins and impurities from the body, reducing problems such as water retention and bloating. However, there is little evidence that they are effective. Additionally, they can disrupt the body's sodium levels, sometimes with dangerous results.
- A “detox” or fasting diet with only juices can lead to a drop in sodium levels to very low levels, causing hyponatremia, which interferes with the nervous system and the heart.
- Drastic diets, such as water and lemon, can tax the kidneys, leaving the body with extremely high levels of sodium and causing dehydration, swelling, edema, and high blood pressure.
Step 2. Excessive drinking and hydration is also harmful to health
While it may seem counterintuitive, forcing yourself to drink plenty of water while exercising or to flush out toxins from your body is one way to develop hyponatremia or a deficiency of salt in your blood. There is a risk of brain swelling, which is fatal.
It can be tricky to judge how much “too much water” is, especially during strenuous exercise and intense workouts. The best option is to “listen” to your body: drink when you feel thirsty and stop as soon as you are satiated
Step 3. See your doctor to find out about drastic lifestyle changes
Changing your sodium intake too suddenly or starting a new workout routine can have serious health consequences, especially if you suffer from certain conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Before, consult a doctor or nutritionist, who will help you develop a safe plan to achieve your health goals.