What You’ve Always Heard About Salt & Sugar Might Be Wrong!
Most people believe that salt makes you retain water, but have you ever seen what happens to a slug when you pt salt on it? It shrinks. Any idea why? The salt is imbibing (sucking up like a sponge) the water from its cells. What we call “water retention” is actually inflammation or intramuscular water retention fromglycogen, which is how sugar is stored within your muscle cells.
When you eat sugar, the glycogen that it’s broken down into actually grabs water molecules and hangs onto them, thus adding a few extra pounds that you didn’t know you had. The number I’ve heard varies, but it’s about 2-4g of water for each gram of glycogen! The epitome of the saying “a little goes a long way.”
Salt, on the other hand, is needed to make the hormone Adiponectin, which is vital to increase the rate you burn fat and increase your metabolism, according to Dr. Michael Roussell in his article for Shape magazine. I won’t bore you with the science here, but that’s great news for those of us who actually like flavor in our food. So when we assume we need to reduce salt intake to keep from being bloated, it’s actually sugar that’s doing it, not the salt. I hear people say that eating salty chips makes them feel fat. What’s actually happening isn’t the salt’s fault,though; it’s the carbs from the chips that causes the water to hang around in your BOD
What happens when you eat a low sugar/carb diet for health reasons (like not wanting to become diabetic over time from too much carb consumption) is that your BOD flushes salt from your system anyway, so you actually need to replace it so you can keep burning fat.
The other way to help flush your BOD from water retention is to drink plenty of water, somewhere around 3-4 liters each day. Your BOD retains water when it isn’t getting enough. It’s called a NEGATIVE FEEDBACK LOOP. So when you provide enough water to your BOD, it will flush what it’s been holding onto. I drink at least 3-4 liters of water each day, and eat as much salt as I want (I don’t measure the mg…ever), and I have low blood pressure and low body fat, so it must be working!
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And by the way, if you want to learn more about the relationship between stored carbohydrates and water retention, check out Gary Taurbes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories. The gist is that for every gram of stored carbohydrate (Stored as glycogen) in your body, there is a set amount of additional water storage that is required.
In great health,