The typical American diet is full of salt. Even if you don’t add salt to your dishes, hidden sodium lurks everywhere—in restaurant meals and packaged foods—can lead to heart disease, diabetes and weight gain. So should you completely cut it out? If you’re a healthy, active woman, you may not have to limit your sodium intake—despite all the government warnings.
Here is a surprising fact sodium is critical to maintaining every cell in the body. It helps control your heart rate, aids digestion and keeps you hydrated during exercise, among other things.
The sodium in your bloodstream helps keep your muscles functioning optimally when you exercise. You lose the mineral when you sweat, though; the average person may perspire away about 500 milligrams of sodium during an hour-long workout.
Still too much salt can potentially reduce your calcium. Researchers have found that increasing your intake of potassium, calcium and magnesium helps to counteract the negative effects of sodium and balance your mineral levels.