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Do you need to eat more salt when you exercise intensively?

  1. If you have exercised intensively, for example an hour of cycling, a boot camp or spinning lesson, an hour of running or heavy hockey training, you no longer need to eat salt. You already get enough salt through your food. It is important to drink enough water during and after your hour of exercise. You lose moisture by sweating. By drinking you replenish the amount of fluid in your body. The body needs sufficient moisture: about 1.5 to 2 liters per day.

Shortage of salt due to sports

  1. The chance of a shortage of salt is very small, even if you exercise intensively. After exercise, you do not have to replenish the lost amount of salt by eating extra salt. This goes without saying, for example by eating your normal meal or an extra wholemeal sandwich with 30+ cheese. It is sufficient to only drink water during and after training or competition.

Sports drink

  1. If you exercise intensively on a hot day, drinking enough water is extra important. Because you sweat even more at warm temperatures, you lose even more moisture, and therefore also a little more salt. Because it is difficult to eat during intensive exercise, it is wise to use a sports drink in very hot weather. This way you keep the stock of energy, salt and minerals and moisture up to standard. This is also smart for long-term intensive exercise. Think of running a marathon, a 4-hour road bike tour, or a long race day. Sports drinks can be divided into hypotonic, isotonic and hypertonic drinks. It is best to choose a hypotonic or isotonic sports drink. These are absorbed by the body more quickly than hypertonic sports drinks. A side note: Sports drinks are often high in calories. Those extra calories are not really necessary for most athletes who exercise for about an hour. Certainly not if you also want to lose weight.

Prevent dehydration

  1. Dehydration is very dangerous, and it is more common in athletes than you might think. The symptoms include: thirst, drowsiness, less sweating, less urination, less elasticity of the skin or fainting due to a drop in blood pressure. Confusion is indicative of severe dehydration. Make sure you have had enough to drink before training or competition. And drink again during and after exercise. How much you should drink depends, among other things, on how intensively you exercise. If you get thirsty during exercise, you have actually already drunk too little. Another indicator: If your urine is light in color, then you have drunk enough. Is your urine dark yellow? Then you should drink more.

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