Sarah Ohm

Why Does Salt Make Me Feel Sooooo Bloooooooooated

Hey guys,

I had a crazy busy weekend, and I definitely did not prepare or bring my own food, which means I ate out A LOT and I’m so not feeling good now. My stomach is protruding (more than normal), I’m thirsty, my clothes leave lines on my skin (dehydration) and I feel just sluggish overall. This is what happens, my friends, when I eat like crap. 

Friday I had worked early in the morning and had to teach a spin class at night, so by the time I made my way home I was exhausted and grabbed a slice of pizza (this is a problem living in the city, fast food is available any time you feel lazy – ugh), sat on my couch and then fell asleep. Saturday comes and I had to work early again, I met up with a friend after, we grabbed a snack of tacos, then later ate all you can eat (which is also referred to as AYCE, which I just learned) sushi… so much salt in everything. THAT’S NOT ALL. Later, because the food was not really that nutritious, we got hungry again and ordered pizza. WTF MORE SALT. Sunday rolls around and I’m at a trade show all day, but before it we grab some teriyaki stir fry (MORE SALT) and then after we go for Chinese food (THIS IS WHY I FEEL HORRIBLE).

Needless to say when I got home last night, food was the last thing on my mind.

But now it’s Monday night and my stomach just feels horrible. I taught a spin class at lunch today so that dehydrated me more than I was when I started, from all the salt yesterday. Which got me thinking… I understand that when you eat salt, it dehydrates you and bloats you… but like, I don’t REALLY know why it does that. So I did some research.

  • Sodium causes your body to retain water. When you hold onto water, you get all bloated.
    • On the opposite – too little sodium can cause you to lose too much water, weird.
  • Sodium is a fluid balancer in the body. Eating a large amount of sodium triggers a sense inside the brain that your body needs to match the amount of sodium with fluid until the sodium-to-water ratio is back to normal. This causes more blood volume in the body, which means it raises your blood pressure, and it makes your heart work harder.

And, if you’re like me and totally binge on salty foods more than you should, there are a few ways to help flush it out of your body….

  • Definitely cut back on your intake of salt/sodium; avoid seasonings that have salt in them, choose fresh or dried herbs instead. Avoid adding salt to foods because so many foods already have a ton of sodium in them (like bread or whole wheat wraps – look at the label!)
  • Opt for fresh foods (fruits and veggies) and avoid pre-packaged or processed foods. A diet that’s rich in potassium (fresh veggies and fruits have lots!) helps flush excess sodium from the body.
  • Get physical! Exercise increases blood flow which helps get rid of that sodium through urination.

I’ve also heard before that drinking more water helps to flush out some of the excess sodium thats in the blood, so I’ve been drinking some lemon infused water all night to see if that helps. God why do I do this to myself? I will admit though, the chicken corn soup and soft shell crab fried rice were pretty friggen delicious and I don’t really regret eating it.

I’m totally addicted to salty foods guys.. help – how do I get over this!?

Talk soon,
S

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