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

by (253)
Updated about 19 hours ago
Created June 26, 2012 at 6:22 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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2688 · October 18, 2012 at 6:12 PM

^ This comment really helped me. I had been having morning headaches for a few weeks when I saw this. I've been drinking some salt water with my morning supplements for the past few days and bam no more headaches and a lot less "need" to pound water. I've never been low sodium, I use tons on my food. But since I now only eat once per day in the evening, it looks like I need some sodium in the morning as well. Thanks!

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26182 · October 11, 2012 at 7:04 PM

What kind of salt was this? Sea Salt or Table? What it sounds like to be is an iodine deficiency...

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7592 · October 11, 2012 at 6:41 PM

If I have a headache I eat some salt and it takes away my "fog" too.

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4176 · June 27, 2012 at 12:23 AM

What a fantastic idea. Coffee recently broke up with me and I think salted bone broth will really help ease the rejection. I love having a hot beverage in the morning but am not much of a breakfast person. I am so happy you posted this!

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431 · June 26, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Wait, isn't this a colon cleanse? I mean, I've done this only for colon cleansing, and it is very effective as such.NOT the effect one always wants, though.

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2904 · June 26, 2012 at 8:37 PM

You can also avoid a lot of that icky effects of the Low-Carb Flu by simply taking in more electrolytes.

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868 · June 26, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Pickles are my version of this. I used to be afraid of them because of the high salt content. Now I eat one whenever I feel like it!

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4875 · June 26, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Good thing to be cognizant of; I want to keep this info here - can you make this into a question, so we can do so?

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8014 · June 26, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Good for you! The adrenal glands love sodium...very easy to actually UNDEReat salt/sodium on a clean Paleo diet, since most of our salt these days comes from processed food. So at the level you were working out and the amount of water you were glugging gown, it makes good sense that you probably needed *more* salt. (*Sigh.* Like fat, like cholesterol, there are many pieces to the salt issue and conventional medicine seems to have missed at least part of the boat.)

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9 Answers

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3794 · June 26, 2012 at 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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2904 · June 26, 2012 at 8:37 PM

You can also avoid a lot of that icky effects of the Low-Carb Flu by simply taking in more electrolytes.

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24538 · June 26, 2012 at 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.

A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb
4176 · June 27, 2012 at 12:23 AM

What a fantastic idea. Coffee recently broke up with me and I think salted bone broth will really help ease the rejection. I love having a hot beverage in the morning but am not much of a breakfast person. I am so happy you posted this!

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2407 · 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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1032 · October 11, 2012 at 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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7592 · October 11, 2012 at 6:41 PM

If I have a headache I eat some salt and it takes away my "fog" too.

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2688 · October 18, 2012 at 6:12 PM

^ This comment really helped me. I had been having morning headaches for a few weeks when I saw this. I've been drinking some salt water with my morning supplements for the past few days and bam no more headaches and a lot less "need" to pound water. I've never been low sodium, I use tons on my food. But since I now only eat once per day in the evening, it looks like I need some sodium in the morning as well. Thanks!

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604 · June 26, 2012 at 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 at 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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354 · June 14, 2013 at 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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3870 · June 26, 2012 at 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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2626 · June 14, 2013 at 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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