200818 "Just A Pinch; 3 Reasons Why You Should Add More Salt"

So there I was, my muscles frozen from cramps, my stomach in knots, my vision blurred... and I still had 5 more hours of running! Worlds Toughest Mudder in 2015 was a huge disaster. It was my first 24 hour endurance race and my nutrition was completely wrong, and I was feeling it. Strong headed and unprepared, my will got me through but I learned a valuable lesson from the other racers on the course who were smashing pizza, and pickles and Coke the entire race... Salt is your friend. Since then I have paid way more attention to the quality of Sodium levels in my blood and my athletic performance. Lets dive in on why you should be paying closer attention to Sodium levels if you want to become the best athletic version of yourself.

Like any good Sport Scientist I analyzed the shit out of my circumstance when I got home from that race, vowing never to repeat it again. So I went back to the beginning. Why is Sodium so reviled? Why was it not even in my consciousness to utilize the most important electrolyte I have in my body? I found out that it was all about marketing...

Around the time that Food Product companies began to find unique ways to lower production costs by adding High Fructose Corn Syrup there was a shift in the American food culture from foods that were salty to foods that were ultra sweet. Because of the science of the time, high fat and high salt were enemies number 1&2. It was truly believed that heart Health was intrinsically tied to elimination of both of these primal nutritional components. But alas, what we do, we must do to the extreme. Ignoring basic physiology, we have now practically cut all fat and sodium out of foods and put a stigma on them. 

But we are here to change the thinking about all that old science right? Dont you want to be a badass athlete, capable of running a 19 minute 5K or the ability to do Fran in 2:30? If you answered yes, then you need to be reevaluating your Sodium intake. Here are 3 Reasons Why.

1) Decrease Illness.
Athletes push their bodies to the max on a daily basis. Even if you are simply a 1 Hour per day exerciser, if you are not properly fueling your body correctly there is a high probability that your internal organs are suffering because of it. Sodium Is Regulated by the Kidneys. The Kidneys are responsible for waste elimination, hormone production and a host of other functions that keep everything in balance. While too much Sodium is touted as a precursor to High Blood Pressure and associated Heart Disease, the Science says that our Natural moderation of Salt keeps most of us out of danger. The Real Danger is in HYPONATREMIA. This is the condition that can kill you much faster because you body will simply shut down if the right minerals are not present. "HYPO" means deficient by the way. Salt in your diet helps keep metabolic disease in check and as athletes, this is big deal. So dont be afraid to add a pinch. 

2) Potassium in the Cells. 
If salt is the Bad Cop in your Diet, then Potassium has got to be the Good Cop. Seriously look at all Marketing around Electrolytes and you will see that Potassium is the Golden Child. While an essential part of the Performance Cycle, the trend of trying to get as much of it in your diet is a waste of time if your Sodium levels are off. As I have explained Countless times before, nature is amazing when it comes to balance.. Sodium lives on the outside of the cell and Potassium lives on the inside. When activity occurs, there is a healthy exchange of these two minerals which allow you to perform work. When the balance is off or you have two much of one then things can go sideways. Remember my experience in 2015? Chances are my fatigue, weakness, cramping, blurred vision were all because my cells had started to release so much Potassium because there was NO Sodium left to exchange with. When Potassium goes, so goes your cells. When your cells are not functioning properly the whole system shuts down. Simple. Period. So add a pinch. 

3) Keep your Brain Sharp. 
There are 2 types of Salt that generally grace your table. The two types are Table Salt and Sea Salt. There is a bit of difference between the two and both have important functions. 
Table Salt Contains Iodine. Iodine is an important nutrient for thyroid function. The Thyroid hormone (T3, T4) that is produced is responsible for assisting the Hypothalamus produce the chemicals and hormones needed to keep your power button on. Infants that have iodine deficiency have huge cognitive problems that lead to impairment in adulthood. Adults with iodine deficiency have heart problems, cognitive behavior problems and potentially cancer if left untreated. 
Sea Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt is essential for creating a situation in the brain that allows for thought and motor function to occur without fail. Sodium is a Positively charged ion that lives on the outside of cells and is utilized not only in the metabolic process but also in the neural synapses as well. Sea Salt keeps the electrical signals and transmissions that are happening in your brain at this very moment on track. So for optimal brain function and thyroid health, add a pinch. 

2016 was a much better year and it wasn't because of training but because I came armed with the best weapons in athletic performance, Pickles.. You may chuckle but these salty tubes of goodness increased my milage by 15 over the previous year. Along with other foods like mustard, pizza, and yes.. Coke I was able to avoid cramping and keep my vision from blurring even after being up for over 24 hours. But the work was still not done. I dug into he optimal numbers that we need as athletes to keep us on track. 

 The recommended daily amount of Salt is 1500 mg per day. As athletes we may even need to double that if training or conditions are causing us to sweat even more. 1500mg is approximately a teaspoon of salt per day. I have done some checking and here are some helpful breakdowns;
Chicken Breast = 104mg.
Steak = 145mg
Pickle = 875mg
Apple = 2mg
Kale = 25mg
Almonds (1 cup) = 2mg

Myths and Misconceptions are everywhere in the Nutritional world. Our job is to Be conscious enough to find out the truth. If you want to rise to the level you SHOULD be at, then it takes experimentation with aspects of your nutrition like your Sodium Levels. Remember that life is about balance and to keep the machine running smooth we need to ensure that what goes in or on our bodies is in tune with everything else. I will keep my head down and search for the best ways to help you reach that goal. 


Programming Notes 8/20-8/24 **This is a transitory week as the cycle off the speed/endurance cycle and into some ‘Grit” work over the coming months. Expect to see Hero workouts on the menu, more Olympic Lifting and our next strength cycle begins next week with unilateral work being the focus. Muscular Endurance will still be tested, especially Thursday and Friday. Enjoy and train hard.

4X :30 @ Each
-Jumping Jacks
-PVC Pass Thru
-Inchworm Push Ups
-Lateral Lunge + 180 degree Turn
-Deadbug Ipsalateral Reach

Challenge #1:—
For Total Time,
7/5 Minute Plank Hold
*every time you fall out, Row 250m .

Challenge #2:—
5 Rounds, NOT for Time
5 Sumo Deadlift 345/275
50’ Heavy Stone Carry
50’ Handstand Walk
*scale the handstand walk to 3 Wall Walks.

Cool Down:

Scorpion Stretch
Lateral Lunge/ Splits
Cobra Pose

50 Calorie Row
12 Kip Swing
10 Jump Squat
8 Negative Pull Ups

Squat Flow: Squat Flow: Kang Squat, Internal Rotation, Ankle Roll Out, Bootstraps, PNF Stretch, Squat W/ T Spine Stretch

Clean Warm Up:
W/ Barbell
7@ Each
-Clean Grip Straight Legged Deadlift
-High Pull

-Muscle Clean
-Front Squat
-Shrug + Pull Under
-Hang Clean

30 Squat Clean 95/65
30 Pull Ups
800m Run

Cool Down:
Lat Band Mobility
Bully Stretch
Banded Hip Flexor Stretch

-5 KB Goblet Squat
-4 KB Windmills (each Side)
-5 KB Swing
-4 Reverse hand Push Ups (push up with hands turned backwards)

Rotator Cuff Series: W/ 2.5# plates . Scarecrow+ External Rotation, reverse flys, superman’s, Front Raises, lateral Raises, corkscrew, Y presses, narrow Cross Over Presses

Snatch Warm Up:
7@ Each W/ Barbell
-Snatch Grip DL
-High Pull
-Muscle Snatch
-Overhead Squat
-sotts Press
-Snatch Balance
-Hang Snatch

A- 3 Snatch *increasing Each Round (ex. 155,185,205,215,225)
B- :30 Ring Support Hold
C- 20/18 Wall Ball Shots
D- Full Rest

1:00 Bike At 60-75 RPM
8 Divebomber Push Up Plus Calf Pulsing
8 Alternating Knee To Elbow
8 Banded Press + Rip

Shoulder Primer:
W/ Light Dumbbells 5-15#
20 Reverse Flys
20 Bent Scare Crows
20 See-Saw Press
20 Front Raises
20 Lateral Raises

For Total Time,
30/25 Cal Bike

30 Double Unders
5 Push Press 155/115

30/25 cal Bike

30 Double Unders
5 Push Jerks 155/115

Roll Out Lats and Upper Back for 3-4 Minutes
Row 5 mins @ Easy Pace
5 Kip Swings
5 Pull Ups
5 Bar Dips. *use a barbell on a low rack

Gymnastic Conditioning:
2 Min OTM,
1:20 of Rowing @ 1:55/2:10 Pace
:40 Max Bar Muscle Ups in Remaining Time
*scale to Chest to Bar Pull Ups

Toes To bar