Do Salt Pills Boost Athletic Performance

Posted 05/29/2015 | By HealthCorps

A small study with 11 participants challenges the theory that salt pills can boost the athletic performance of endurance athletes. The study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine took the group of 11 athletes and put them through two exercise sessions.  In one session they were first given a salt pill containing about 1800 mgs of sodium and then put through their exercise paces. A placebo was given to them before the second exercise session. In each session, the athletes performed endurance exercise for two hours.

The researchers found no difference in performance in the exercise efforts.  Many athletes routinely consume large quantities of salt or electrolyte drinks with the belief that this will improve performance.  Given growing concerns about salt intake and its health risks, athletes should probably reconsider their salt intake. Considering the current guidelines of daily sodium goals (under 2000mgs daily), a large dose of salt that may not provide a boost to athletic effort is just not worth it!

-Amy Hendel, PA/HealthCoach

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