We've already talked about sodium briefly, but now let's examine it more closely. Sodium has been said to cause a rise in blood pressure and the retention of water.There is truth to both of these claims, but first let's look at the benefits of sodium. Sodium is vital for fluid balance, thus during exercise it.
increases your thirst, encouraging you to drink
helps you retain water to aid in preventing dehydration
replaces water lost through sweating
The human body needs sodium both to maintain proper water balance and for normal nerve and muscle activity.Sodium,more commonly referred to as salt, draws water to it, ensuring that the proper amount of water is kept both inside and outside the body's cells.Sodium's water attracting abilities explain why we often get thirsty after eating salty foods such as popcorn or potato chips.Salt in the food we eat draws water away from our cells, causing the body to excrete the water and leave us feeling dehydrated. As mentioned previously, sodium is an essential that people must ingest for their bodies to function properly.Too little sodium can cause health problems such as low blood pressure, dizziness, muscle cramps, and in the worst case, coma.However, the majority of Americans get far too much salt in their diets, leading to health problems such as high blood pressure.Americans tend to get too much sodium as a result of the highly processed modem diet.Sodium and potassium combine to regulate the balance of fluid in cells.However, when too much sodium is taken in ,the regulation does not take place. Too much fluid is left in the cells, causing blood volume to expand and thus causing high blood pressure.
High blood pressure affects nearly 25 percent of all adults in this country, and the risk of developing it increases as one gets older.High blood pressure is dangerous because its presence greatly increases a person's chances of having a stroke or heart attack or of developing heart disease or kidney failure.