The salt we eat daily in medical terminology is called sodium chloride. It is made up of 40% sodium and 60% chloride by weight. In fact salt is the most important source of sodium in our body, thus the name salt and sodium are used interchangeably. Sodium the essential ingredient in salt is important electrolyte to maintain fluid balance in the body besides helping transmission of nerve signals and proper muscle function.
Small amount of salt is normally added in food to give a pleasant taste. We all know too much of salt addition in diet can have negative consequences on health.However, some people such as athletes may need some extra amount of salt to compensate loss of salt in their sweating.
Sweating is normal function in the body. It is important to regulate body temperature and flush out accumulated waste products. Sweat is salt based fluid that is released from the sweat glands. Although some amount of salt is lost through perspiration, people with normal physical activity does not require extra amount of salt in their diet. A normal healthy person between 18 to 50 years who eats food and performs regular physical activity needs 1 teaspoon of 1.5 gram of salt in a day.But a person who loses considerable amount of salt through excessive sweating may need a little extra salt intake. For example athletes, those exercising intensely in humid climates, sportsperson, may need some more amount of salt intake however not exceeding the upper limit of 2.3 gm in a day.
People performing strenuous exercise or labor, especially in summer days or in humid environment may benefit from little extra salt intake in their diet. Usually sweat loss in moderation during regular exercise may not need extra salt as 99 percent of sweat consists of water and only 1 percent of sweat is made up of electrolyte. However, if a person performs exercise for more than 2 hours continuously in hot climate he may have to drink sports drinks that will replace the lost electrolyte which also includes potassium necessary for muscles.
Together with salt the person must drink enough fluid and water to replenish lost fluid from the body and prevent dehydration. Person who is sweating intensely may need 2 to 3 liters of water in a day. He must drink enough water before, during and after exercise.
Home Remedies To Stop Excessive Sweating
Normal amount of sweating may not require any specific treatment. However, if you are perspiring excessively, here are some of the tips that will help to reduce sweating to large extent:
- Wear cotton and light colored clothes that will allow air to circulate and keep the body cool.
- Avoid wearing too many layers of clothes during hot climate or in heat.
- Change wet clothes caused due to perspiration as this may lead to bacterial infection.
- Drink sports drinks and water to replace electrolytes and fluid loss that occurs in heavy sweating.
- Apply deodorant or anti perspirant in underarms to control sweating and bad odor.
- Avoid spicy and foods that produce more sweating.