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Your body is dependent on sodium to help maintain fluid balance and cognitive function.

Sodium also plays a key role in the absorption of nutrients in the gut, muscle contraction and the transmission of nerve impulses. The amount of sodium The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention recommend: 2,300 mg, or 1 teaspoon, per day.

What does that mean for swimmers who are sweating on a regular basis and losing important minerals and electrolytes?

Swimmers sweat. They just don't notice it as much as athletes in other sports. As a result many swimmers underhydrate during and after practice. For swimmers, especially those in the pool and dryland over 90 minutes a day, and under conditions where they are losing a significant amount of sweat, replacing that salt (and other electrolytes) lost in sweat is important for maintaining hydration.

Sweat rates vary from person to person and everyone loses sodium at different rates. Still, on a whole, athletes need to take in additional sodium and other electrolytes during and/or after practice sessions and competition, due to sweat sodium losses.

1 gram per hour is recommended.

You can also talk to your doctor, who can perform individual evaluations for athletes who want to know more about their sweat fluid and electrolyte losses. Athletes can lose around 1-2% body weight in the form of fluids, within an hour after exercise, so replenishing your sodium and electrolyte levels is crucial to proper recovery and overall health.

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