Day 21 Fitness Challenge: Is Salt Sabotaging Your Workout?

Posted By Lori Painter on Sep 21, 2011 | 2 comments

Every now and then I have a cooked ethnic meal and last night my kids and I went out and had Japanese food. For those who are curious as to what I ate, I ordered the following items:

Miso Soup
Cucumber Salad
Seaweed Salad
Veggie Roll w/ Low Sodium Soy Sauce and Wasabi

Now to some people the items I ordered above might look like a pretty healthy meal, but I woke up looking and feeling OFF. I realize it was because of all the sodium in one meal. When you are eating relatively a clean, simple, high raw, high green, low salt diet, a meal like that can really throw you off your game….well, it did for me anyway. This was WAY TOO MUCH SODIUM for me! The cleaner the diet, the more responsive the body becomes. Here is what I experienced:

  • I felt salt around the rims of my eyes upon waking up this morning. I normally wake up with nothing around my eyes.
  • My face and body looked and felt puffy. I was retaining so much water! I normally wake up with a flat tummy!
  • Slight aching in my fingers/ joints (as though they were at the pre-signs of arthritis), they were retaining water!
  • A lack of drive to workout. Probably due to the dehydrating effect of sodium.
  • My face didn’t look nearly as attractive.

I have talked with a couple other friends who have experienced the same symptoms. It’s as if I aged 10 years overnight! My friend and I joked that salt was an instant ugly pill. We agreed that to hydrate and to stay away from the mirror for the day until the water retention is calmed down.

I knew after reading 80/10/10 that salt was not as healthy to our bodies as we are told it was, but I wanted to refresh my memory a bit more since I was feeling so much discomfort and I wanted to share the information with you!

Did you know that salt is a stress food?

Salt is a stimulant! It stimulates Sympathetic Nervous System and adrenal glands and creates stress arousal. That’s why it comes under the category of stress food. We all know what stress does to the body (first thing that comes to my mind is pre-mature aging).

This was news to me that salt affected the adrenal glands! Being a person who has been diagnosed with a sub-optimally functioning thyroid this caused a red flag for me. Most people who have hypo-thyroidism know that the adrenals are also related to thyroid function.

I know that sodium is important to the proper functioning of the body and many foods naturally contain salt. Actually, there is some salt present in every natural food we eat which is enough to meet the needs of the body under normal circumstances. So there isn’t really a need to shake the salt onto our foods. However, since it is an excito-toxin it can be hard to break the habit.

According to Dr. Douglas Graham it can take about 2 weeks without salt to really lose the craving for salt and to really heighten our ability to taste flavors fully and with a refined palate.

I am inspired to lay off the sodium especially after what I experienced.

TIP: Salt is dehydrating and can really zap your energy! 

If you are noticing more lethargy and are not as inspired to workout you may want to see if it is due to your salt intake.

Today’s Workout
60 min walk at Santa Rosa Plateau w/ Alex
60 min walk in my neighborhood


Until tomorrow,



  1. I’ve also had similar experiences after eating salt. Even if it was considered “low sodium” …
    As a raw vegan eater, with mainly simple foods (even with my gourmet raw treats) I, too, find I’m very sensitive to the rapid “ugly” and puffy affects of salt; also the joint pain, which quickly goes away again after returning to the simple raw vegan foods, greens and juicing. Thanks for the reminder and voicing it.

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