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The Great N=1 Salt Experiment (AKA How I found the final piece to my energy puzzle)

by 253 · June 14, 2013 7:58 PM

Me- After growing up borderline obese as a kid (235lbs in 7th grade), I trained myself into a pretty athletic 23 yr old male, working 4days a week at crossfit and doing ~20 miles per week running. I have experimented with Intermittent fasting with some success. I eat healthy at almost every opportunity and searched for any advice that made me feel better. But some days just seemed off.

At first it was because of too many carbs. Then, after VLC carbing, I decided I must be eating too few carbs. That seemed to help... a little. I tried eating at a surplus. There were definitely some days where I had great energy... and others where I should have but couldn't explain why I didn't. The inconsistency was frustrating.

One thing that I knew was good: Water. Drink atleast 8 cups a day they said. It can only make you healthier! I didn't go anywhere without my water bottle. I sipped on it. I took big gulps. There were times when (I thought) I was really thirsty so I chugged 8oz at a time. I was wrong.

So after reading Salt we misjudged you, I decided to perform my own little experiment. I took my salt shaker and upturned it, letting the crystals fall like rain into a cup for a good 10 seconds. I added enough water to dissolve it. Then I drank. It was the saltiest thing I've ever tasted. But it was delicious. I swear, not 15 minutes later, It was like I was reborn. Tons of energy. And the best part? THE THIRST WAS GONE. I no longer feel the need to obsessively sip water all day.

So if you're struggling with your own paleo paradigm and you feel like you're doing everything right, give the salt experiment a try. As I've discovered, overhydration is just as bad as dehydration.

Has anyone else found success by adding more salt? Is there anything I should watch out for as far as possibly getting too much salt?

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9 Replies

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3735 · June 26, 2012 8:33 PM

Lots of low-carbers have found success by adding salt. Failing to supplement sodium is one of the most common mistakes on a low-carb diet.

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24412 · June 26, 2012 9:36 PM

I feel soooo much better since I started consciously adding salt to my diet.

Salted broth first thing in the morning for the win! Better than coffee at waking me up.

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2401 · June 27, 2012 at 12:23 AM

Wow. Me too. I bought the low salt line for years. During my first few months of VLC, I remaine low salt. Then I read "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living", added 10grams of sea salt to my existing 10g of potassium bicarbonate supplementation, and man I felt (and slept) better!

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1022 · October 11, 2012 6:07 PM

I read this post a few months ago, but didn't pay it much attention. The past few days I've been having some salt at work throughout the day. So far, I have avoided my afternoon slump. If this is the cause, I will be amazed. I guess IF'ing most or all of the day and drinking coffee/water might have been causing me to have a net loss of sodium. Thanks for posting, Stall.

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570 · June 26, 2012 8:57 PM

I have been drinking the left over pickle juice from my Bubbies pickles! I crave salt.

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351 · June 14, 2013 6:08 AM

That sounds like me! I chug >8 cups of water a day... And I get very little salt.

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353 · June 14, 2013 5:32 AM

I wish I'd known this sooner! I've been dragging physically, fatigued, not sleeping well (although my brain has been getting sharper ever day--I'm doing a high fat, med protein and 30g carbs daily plan). Luckily, I found a similar message about salt on the Low Carb Friends BB today, and just licked salt from the palm of my hand several times. I'll have to get some sea salt tomorrow. Will also be drinking salt in the morning, first thing. I feel a bit better already, but think (because of what I suspect are adrenal problems) I have a sodium deficit of serious proportions. I may also try salted broth. Like a lot of people, I've fallen for the low-sodium-is-better message, and generally don't salt my food because I don't like the taste of salt. But that's behind me now! Stall, thank you for your message. I appreciate it.

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3854 · June 26, 2012 8:37 PM

I seem to hate the day after a Crossfit workout less when I've eaten some salty potatoes. Yum.

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2611 · June 14, 2013 6:43 AM

The same thing happened to my wife, except that for her the miracle was potassium salt (she eats pretty standard American and gets lots of added sodium, plus she was never afraid of salt in the first place). Another thing worth trying for people who are interested in fixing up their electrolytes.

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