Thursday, 12 April 2012

The Effects of Sodium

So I've been experimenting with sodium lately to see and understand the things I was reading about.  Nothing better than taking someone else's research and applying it to yourself to see how it (if at all) impacts you.  The basic adage is that sodium makes you retain water and too much of it will (among other things) make you retain more water than you should and thus you won't expend the water you would have if you never O.D'd on sodium LOL.  The studies say the average person should ingest no more than about 2300 mg of sodium per day.

So, on three separate occasions, I decided to try this out for myself.  Here are the results.

Sunday, April 1st - Ingested 4216.1 mg of sodium.  2 Day Weight was 2.4 pound gain
Thursday, April 5th - Ingested 5815.1 mg of sodium.  1 Day Weight was 1 pound gain.
Tuesday, April 10th - Ingested 5741.0 mg of sodium. 1 Day Weight was 1 pound gain.

What's important to note here is that all three of these days were at a calorie deficit for me, meaning that I should NOT have gained weight under normal circumstances.

So, we've gone and had too much sodium.  How do we fix it?  Well, to fix a sodium problem like I caused above, you spend the next day or two flushing with extra water and eating at or below 2300 mg of sodium.  Here are those results:

2 Days of water flush: 2.3 pounds lost in 2 days
1 Day of water flush: 0.7 pounds lost in 1 day
1 Day of water flush: 1.0 pounds lost in 1 day

These were the day(s) immediately following the day of high sodium intake.

What does this mean?

It means that for ME, high sodium intake causes weight fluctuations and sudden gains COULD be explained by analyzing how much sodium I took in even while I was in a calorie deficit.  The gains are temporary!


  1. Same for me. Sodium is everywhere!

  2. Looks like I'll have to give up sodium. But it makes food taste so good.

  3. I've heard the same thing about high carb intake affecting water retention too! But yes. Sodium is KILLER.

  4. Amen brotha! I have done a similar test and have seen the results myself as well. I have been amazed at how casual I was about salt. I don't use it at all while cooking with the knowledge that I can add it when done if needed (but has yet to be needed). And no more salt on my cantaloupe! Haha I was amazed :) And now when I eat at a restaurant you can taste so much salt in the food!