replacing sodium and high blood pressure
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  1. #1
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    Question replacing sodium and high blood pressure

    Hi all,
    I have recently found out that I sometimes have high blood pressure. I found this out when I went to see my doctor for a bad cold. He said it might be the cold medication (I have never had HBP before) and I have a physical scheduled in April. Any way, we have a nurse where I work and I have been getting my BP checked every week..............Well it seems to be high, and when I cut way back on sodium for a week it went down. As an experiment I used sodium again and it went back up. So, I'm wondering about replacing sodium on long rides, seems I would still need to replace it but not sure how much. Anyone else have this problem? Any help would be apperciated.
    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Sodium.

    Indeed, you have confirmed the fact that cutting back in our salt intake (ubiquitous in most American foods) can reduce a high BP by 4-8 points (mm). If you engage in a vigorous aerobic activity (i.e.- cycling) can also help further reduce the HBP by another 4-6 mm. Eating more fruits and veggies, and a DASH diet will also help control it in a similar fashion. The greatest reduction may be achieve also by a prudent weight loss plan, i.e.- 10% of your total body weight in 6 months, granted there are no contraindications to doing so. It is always prudent and reasonable to get a wellness exam by a qualified HCP- healthcare provider, like a physician assistant, a nurse practicioner or a physician, in order to best assess/evaluate your current concerns, since the encounter will provide valuable insights that will definitely influence any treatment decisions. As a physician assistant, I am an avid advocate for health and the prevention of disease, like arterial hypertension, since as a "silent killer" and if untreated or mis-treated, causes most of the cases of heart failure and heart disease, with its overwhelming burden to us all.
    Quote Originally Posted by hurtbac2fat
    Hi all,
    I have recently found out that I sometimes have high blood pressure. I found this out when I went to see my doctor for a bad cold. He said it might be the cold medication (I have never had HBP before) and I have a physical scheduled in April. Any way, we have a nurse where I work and I have been getting my BP checked every week..............Well it seems to be high, and when I cut way back on sodium for a week it went down. As an experiment I used sodium again and it went back up. So, I'm wondering about replacing sodium on long rides, seems I would still need to replace it but not sure how much. Anyone else have this problem? Any help would be apperciated.
    Thanks in advance

  3. #3

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    replace what you lose

    Oh, you were asking if you still need to replace the sodium that you lose when you ride a long time, and I answered as if you were asking if you can replace the sodium with something else besides sodium, which you can't. So ignore what I said before.

    Yes, you still need to replace the sodium you sweat out on long rides to avoid hyponatremia that might happen if you just replaced your sweat with pure water. You want to take in about as much sodium as you sweat out, but not too much more or the kidneys will have to excrete the excess and that could raise your blood pressure somewhat. I can't give you an exact figure for how much salt per hour to take in, because people will sweat at different rates under different conditions and their sweat will have different concentrations of sodium. Gatorade (or its equivalent) is probably fine and has a similar salt concentration compared to someone's idea of the average person's sweat. Homemade gatorade with half as much salt would also probably be fine.

    I would worry more about the salt in your everyday diet (most of this gets handled by the kidneys) than what you take in exercising (mostly lost through sweat).

    That may not have been helpful at all. Oh, well.
    Last edited by cwaltond; 03-07-2006 at 01:37 AM. Reason: ignore what I first said - I misread your original question

  4. #4
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    "That may not have been helpful at all. Oh, well."

    Thanks, It helps a little bit. I'm going to talk to my doctor as well, but like you said, it seems I would have to replace some sodium, I mean we have to have sodium to live right? But I was wondering if doing the gatoraid type of thing would be OK or what. In the past when I have gone for long rides I have usually used some type of replacement drink, usually a half and half mix. Also I can't be the only cycle nut with high blood pressure, so I thought I would try to find out what worked for other people. Maybe I'm going to have to do the old weigh before and after to see how much I sweat exactly, but it still seems like every time would be different,
    ( different amount of heat, humidity, hills etc.). Getting old is a whole new adventure!!!
    Thanks again

  5. #5
    Cowboy up
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    I've heard that the salt concentration in sweat is 1/4 tsp per liter or 700 mg/L. This may vary as noted above. You can weigh yourself before and after a workout to estimate your fluid loss and correct for any fluids and salt you took in during the workout to estimate salt replacement.

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