Female Athletes & Sodium

National health advice has recommended the population lower their salt intake for the past two decades. But does this recommendation apply to athletes? In short, no! This is a good recommendation for an overweight, sedentary population eating mainly very heavily salted processed food.

Most fighters, however, could actually do with having more sodium day to day. Here is why:

Sodium is lost through sweating, urination, certain medications reduce it, vomiting and diarrhea.

Sodium plays a key role in many of our bodily functions such as:

Muscle contraction: Low sodium affects our ability to contract our muscles.

Fluid balance: Sodium helps to control the movement of water in and out of our cells.

Nutrient absorption: It plays a role in the active absorption of some important nutrients such as glucose and amino acids.

Nerve function: Sodium is required for your brain to communicate with your body via electrical signals in nerve cells

Blood volume: Helps bring blood into our blood vessels meaning more blood volume.

❓What does this mean for athletes❓

If you are not taking in enough sodium or if you are not replacing the sodium you are losing in training. You are compromising your:

💪Muscle contraction

⚡️ Nerve function

🥗 Nutrient absorption

🩸 Blood volume/blood pressure

💦 Fluid balance

🚨 We also know hormonal fluctuations in the second half of the menstrual cycle can affect fluid balance so it is extra important to be on top of sodium then!


👉🏻Eating natural foods (meats, fruits, veg all contain sodium).

👉🏻Using good quality rock salt on our foods.

👉🏻Eating fermented foods.

👉🏻Adding electrolytes to our water

👉🏻Eating salted snacks such as salted nuts etc.

If you found this helpful, please like & share so we can spread the word that salt is not all bad!!

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience.