The Effects of Salt and Sodium

By Scotty Gehlbach, AAS, ACE

Don’t get me wrong, we do need some salt in our diets, but it’s important we don’t have too much. Here's why! Typically, consuming too much salt is something that occurs over time and it contributes to chronic diseases. Too much salt in a small setting can lead to something called hypernatremia, or "too much salt in your blood". This occurs because of dysregulation of sodium, water or both.

Salt has several names including sodium, Na, Na+, NaCl, and KCl. Unsalted, no salt added, sodium free are terms you should look for on a nutrition facts label. Elevated sodium levels are associated with heart disease, heart attack, coronary artery disease, embolisms and blood clots, brain disease, stroke, dementia, kidney disease, kidney failure, osteoporosis, stomach cancer, kidney stones and headaches. Symptoms of too much salt include dehydration, bloating, puffiness, weight gain, increased thirst, an