Wed July 18, 2018


Our friends at the Bessborough Hotel are welcoming us back for another afternoon of fun in the sun - all for a great cause! Grab a partner and get your fitness on in the beautiful Bessborough Gardens on Sunday July 29 starting at 11am. Stick around after for a drink, some great food, and a DJ on the patio of the Metric Lounge! Entry fee is $20 and 100% of the proceeds raised will be donated to Telemiracle!! Sign in via the BRIO app or on our website here.

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OTM x 4: Pause Clean Pull + Hang Power Clean + Front Squat + Jerk 25-35-45-55% (of 1RM Clean and Jerk)

OTM x 4: 1 Clean & Jerk 65-75-80-85%

15 Min AMRAP 5 Double DB C&J (50/35) 25' DB Racked Lunge 15 Toe To Bar 25' DB Racked Lunge

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"Am I consuming too much sodium?"

By Coach Courtney, RD www.vitalitynutrition.ca

Like most nutrition questions, the answer is: it depends. For many active clients or CrossFitters, however, it isn't likely they are over-consuming sodium. This is especially true with the hot summer days we have been enjoying! I've written about this important topic in the past (see this link).

The recommended daily intake for sodium is 1500 mg with a suggested upper limit of 2300 mg. While reducing sodium is an important consideration for many Canadians, adequate sodium intake is a essential for active individuals.

Consider these facts:

  • Athletes sweat between 400-2400 mL per hour of exercise (average of 1200 mL per hour)

  • Sodium is the main electrolyte lost in our sweat

  • Sodium content of sweat can vary across athletes (studies have found a range of 115mg-2000mg of sodium per 1000mL of sweat)

  • Sweat losses can increase in hot, humid, or windy conditions

  • An athlete who is a “salty sweater” may lose well in excess of the recommended daily intake

  • Unprocessed foods contain very little sodium compared to processed foods. Many athletes consume a largely "whole foods" based (unprocessed) diet.

You may be a "salty sweater" if:

  • You notice white streaks on dry dark clothing or hats

  • You feel salt crystals on the skin after exercise

  • You experience muscle cramping that doesn’t go away when drinking water

  • Your muscles cramp or ache in the night

  • You taste salt or sodium when you lick your lips after exercise (sounds gross, I know!)

Consequences of insufficient sodium intake include:

  • Muscle cramping

  • Heat illness

  • Inability to properly rehydrate

  • Exhaustion

  • Stomach upset or bloating

  • Risk of hyponatremia (diluted levels of sodium in the blood usually caused by excessive water intake)

Example:

If a CrossFit athlete sweats approximately 1000mL per hour in 30˚C and is predicted to be a "salty sweater" they could lose up to 2000mg in an hour CrossFit class alone. That is close to the upper end of the sodium recommendations for the general population! If this athlete were to limit their sodium intake to the recommendation of 1500mg-2300mg of sodium, the diet would be insufficient to replace what was lost during the CrossFit class. This considerable deficit could cause muscle cramping, exhaustion after exercise, or other symptoms of low sodium as described above! Of course, in using an example of a CrossFit athelte, it may be workout dependent. The entire duration of a one hour CrossFit class may not be spent at a higher intensity as would an hour long bike or run. Additionally, the sweat rate would be effective by temperature and other environmental conditions.

If you are exercising in the heat, it is crucial that you understand the importance of sodium to rehydrate. Athletes should:

  • Understand their typical sodium intake by reading food labels or tracking food and sodium intake in an App like MyFitnessPal

  • Consider if they are a "salty sweater" - if they are, additional sodium intake may be beneficial

  • Recognize that working out in the heat requires careful attention to hydration needs. When it is hot you will sweat more and require more sodium (and water!) to rehydrate

It isn't necessary to over consume sodium but consider a starting recommendation of consuming between 500-750mg of sodium in a post-workout meal for each hour of strenous exercise (Eg. CrossFit class, running, cycling, or hot yoga). A1/4 tsp of salt has 575mg of sodium but you can obtain sodium from sources outside of table salt! Consider enjoying a post-workout meal with saltier ingredients like:

  • Pickles

  • Salsa

  • Saurkraut

  • Condiments: mustard, hot sauce, sriracha, soy sauce, and other.

  • Soup

  • Deli meats, sausages, or turkey bacon

  • Cottage cheese

  • Wraps

  • Flavored rice cakes or pretzels

Of course, there are hydration and performance nutrition considerations outside of sodium alone. For the context of this blog post, I chose to focus solely on sodium!

Below is a photo of a post-workout breakfast I enjoyed that was "whole foods" based. Unprocessed foods do not contain nearly the levels of sodium found in processed food choices. If you consume a diet of mostly processed foods, consider adding sodium from the sources highlighted above. In order, to increase the sodium content of the meal I added 1/4 cup of salsa (389mg of sodium) and a sprinkle of salt to my potatoes to increase the sodium content of the meal closer to 500mg. The salsa is not pictured as I thought to add it afterwards (oops!).

This post-workout meal includes unprocessed food choices of eggs, egg whites, strawberries, blueberries, and sweet potato. I had to add sodium to my meal (from salt and salsa) to increase the total sodium to recommended levels.


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Photos featured on this website are all the work of Emma Love of

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