Should You Consume Salt Pre-Workout?

Salt, or sodium, will get a foul rap in nutrition culture — possibly for good purpose. A weight loss program too excessive in sodium from processed meals can contribute to well being issues like hypertension. 

However salt additionally performs an necessary position in hydration and muscle capabilities. Athletes who train often might be able to use it to their benefit. Whether or not you’re enthusiastic about maximizing your endurance and blood movement, or simply staying hydrated throughout intense exercises, salt may be a useful trick up your sleeve.

Salt spilled from a container
Credit score: Chones / Shutterstock

Does that imply you need to be utilizing salt as a pre-workout? First, let’s dive into the science behind salt, pre-workouts, and the potential advantages of mixing them earlier than your coaching session. 

Editor’s Notice: The content material on BarBend is supposed to be informative in nature, but it surely shouldn’t be taken as medical recommendation. When beginning a brand new coaching routine and/or weight loss program, it’s at all times a good suggestion to seek the advice of with a trusted medical skilled. We’re not a medical useful resource. The opinions and articles on this website are usually not meant to be used as prognosis, prevention, and/or remedy of well being issues. They don’t seem to be substitutes for consulting a professional medical skilled.

What Is Pre-Exercise?

Pre-workout is a powdered complement you can combine with water to give you a boost of energy and focus earlier than your coaching session. It’s meant to enhance your train efficiency whereas rising vitality and reducing fatigue. (1)

Pre-workout dietary supplements typically include a wide range of substances together with caffeine and creatine, and amino acids like beta-alanine, L-citrulline, and taurine. (2) If you happen to aren’t into dietary supplements, you possibly can alternatively get a pre-workout enhance of vitality by combining vitamins by means of whole foods and beverages.

There are a lot of manufacturers of pre-workout supplements, so the ingredients will fluctuate. Nevertheless, sodium will not be present in excessive quantities in most pre-workouts. There may be usually little to no salt in pre-workout dietary supplements. (2) Ought to there be? Is salt good for pre-workout?

What Is Salt?

To think about in case you ought to have salt pre-workout, let’s first take a look at the science behind salt. Salt, or sodium chloride, is a physiologically important nutrient. (3) It’s a mineral that exists in your physique and that you just additionally get from meals and drinks. Salt can also be an electrolyte that works with potassium to keep up fluid balance in your cells. (3)

The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) states that the majority Individuals eat an excessive amount of sodium. An excessive amount of sodium can enhance your blood strain and put you in danger for cardiovascular disease and stroke. (4)

Nevertheless, some sodium is required in your physique to operate, and it will possibly have an impact on your workouts as properly. Does it then make sense to have sodium pre-workout?

How Does Salt Have an effect on Your Physique?

Though having an excessive amount of sodium in your general weight loss program may cause well being dangers, salt continues to be wanted to carry out important bodily capabilities. It serves to conduct nerves, performs into muscle contraction and rest, and helps to keep up a stability of water, electrolytes, and other minerals. (3)

How Does Salt Have an effect on Exercises?

Extra sodium could be detrimental, however context issues. If you happen to work out often, you’re used to sweating a lot. Once you sweat during your workout, you possibly can lose from half a liter to 4 liters of water. That quantity of water can include as much as 1000 milligrams (mg) of sodium. (5

So, any pre-workout salt you eat could also be misplaced if you sweat, and wouldn’t essentially contribute to overconsuming sodium. Along with hydration, salt additionally performs into blood flow, muscle contraction, and rest. Let’s take a look at some potential advantages of timing your salt consumption before you hit the gym.

Potential Advantages of Salt Pre-Exercise

Is salt a very good pre-workout? An efficient pre-workout will include a number of vitamins to assist boost training performance. Solely consuming salt as pre-workout could not do a lot, however together with salt with your pre-workout could have a number of advantages. 

Could Assist You Keep Hydrated

Sodium is an electrolyte that helps preserve fluid stability. (3) Once you sweat throughout a exercise, you lose water, electrolytes, and sodium. Having salt before your workout might help you keep your energy levels balanced whilst you practice, reasonably than feeling depleted on the finish of your session.

A person wiping his sweat after working out.
Credit score: Adamov_d / Shutterstock

Sweating additionally reduces your plasma quantity, which might trigger reductions in efficiency. (6) One research confirmed that ingesting sodium pre-exercise can develop your plasma quantity, which results in improved efficiency, measured by time to exhaustion. (6

Ingesting salt pre-workout has been proven to boost electrolyte stability and stimulate water retention within the physique. (7) This profit is the important thing to understanding additional advantages to utilizing salt as pre-workout — together with muscle contraction and train efficiency. 

Could Enhance Train Efficiency

Analysis repeatedly hails pre-workout salt ingestion as an ergogenic — meant to boost bodily efficiency — assist to train. (6

Ingesting salt pre-workout could enhance your train efficiency over time. It could possibly enable you keep hydrated, get your blood pumping, and work out longer. With all of those adjustments, the general high quality of your work can enhance over time. However, extra analysis is required on direct hyperlinks between pre-workout salt consumption and strength gains

Could Enhance Endurance

Including salt to pre-workout could enhance your endurance. Research present {that a} optimistic impact of pre-exercise sodium consumption is a discount of bodily fatigue in endurance sports activities brought on by enhanced electrolyte stability. (7

You might be able to push a bit of tougher and longer in your periods if in case you have sufficient sodium in your system. 

These advantages could also be solely accessible to people who find themselves much less skilled, nonetheless. A research on extremely skilled endurance athletes confirmed that top sodium supplementation didn’t have a major impact on the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) or time to exhaustion. (8)

Could Enhance Blood Stream

Sodium in your bloodstream fills your blood cells with water, which will increase blood quantity, after which blood strain. (9) That’s why you usually hear that an excessive amount of sodium may cause hypertension. 

However, you need to use it to your benefit in case you’re taking in salt earlier than your workout. Greater blood quantity will increase blood movement, which helps ship blood and oxygen to your muscles. This will come in useful when your muscle groups want all of the vitamins and oxygen they will get throughout a troublesome exercise.

Could Enhance Muscle Contraction

Elevated blood movement results in improved muscle contractions. Salt performs a direct position in telling your muscle groups to contract and calm down. Taking salt pre-workout could enable you really feel your muscle groups contract extra, so you possibly can squeeze the most out of every rep

Higher muscle contraction in additional periods over time might help you attain your targets and get the positive factors you’re coaching for.

Could Give You A Greater Pump

Some lifters affiliate salt with a greater pump throughout these biceps curls and triceps pushdowns. That’s due to the additional water that sodium floods into your bloodstream. (9) Sustaining intracellular water retention results in bigger pumps

A person sweating on the treadmill, drinking water.
Credit score: LightField Studios / Shutterstock

The non permanent enhance in your muscle dimension, or pump, could also be brought on by the elevated blood movement. Analysis exhibits that vasodilation — or elevated dilation of the blood vessels — permits for extra blood movement to the skeletal muscle groups, which creates your pumps. (10) Since sodium will increase blood movement, bodybuilders could use salt for pre-workout to gasoline that satisfaction.

How one can Devour Salt Pre-Exercise

If you wish to check out the advantages of consuming salt pre-workout, it’s possible you’ll be questioning what sort of salt to make use of and what to do with it. Do not forget that a very good pre-workout consists of a number of vitamins to provide you vitality and cut back fatigue, so solely utilizing salt as pre-workout most likely received’t provide the results you need. 

Let’s check out potential methods to eat salt pre-workout.

Himalayan Pink Salt vs. Desk Salt

Are you able to merely eat one thing with salt with pre-workout? You may be questioning in regards to the salt content material of your meals in case you’ve ever seen somebody on social media displaying off a pink Himalayan salt pre-workout recipe. If you happen to’ve contemplated what the distinction is between common (or desk) salt and pink salt pre-workout, it comes right down to processing.

Desk salt is highly processed, has every other vitamins eliminated in its refining course of, and should embody components. Pink Himalayan salt, which comes from the Khwera Salt Mines in Pakistan, is claimed to embody many different vitamins and minerals

Nevertheless, there haven’t been any research reporting extra advantages of pink salt versus desk salt as pre-workout. If you happen to are inclined to desire extra pure, unprocessed foods, then having pink Himalayan salt pre-workout could also be a more sensible choice than desk salt for you.

How A lot Salt Pre-Exercise?

How a lot salt you need to put in your pre-workout relies on a couple of elements — how a lot are you sweating, what’s the temperature in your setting, and the way lengthy you might be exercising. The American School of Sports activities Medication (ACSM) recommends a sodium consumption of 1.7-2.9 g (0.3-0.5 of a teaspoon) of salt for extended train over two hours. (7

You’ll additionally need to take into account the pre-existing sodium ranges of the pre-workout combine you utilize. Most pre-workouts include little to no salt. However in case you do occur to be ingesting a combination that incorporates sodium, it may not make sense to be placing salt in pre-workout.

It could be finest to begin small and experiment — you possibly can start with 1 / 4 teaspoon of salt and assess the way it makes you are feeling in and after your workout, earlier than working your method as much as a full gram. 

Combine in Pre-Exercise

How a lot salt is in your pre-workout? If in case you have a favorite pre-workout supplement, test the substances. It’s probably not a lot. You possibly can strive mixing in 1 / 4 teaspoon of salt into your pre-workout, and see the way it makes you are feeling.

Combine With Water

Does it work to have salt with water as pre-workout? If you happen to don’t do pre-workout dietary supplements and like to get your pre-exercise nutrition by means of meals and drinks, you possibly can strive mixing salt and water pre-workout to reap the potential advantages of salt. Solely having salt water as pre-workout most likely received’t provide the full enhance, however having it together with a pre-workout meal or snack might help. 

Let’s Get Salty

Although sodium is commonly linked with hypertension and cardiovascular well being dangers, there’s one other facet to the story. If you happen to’re an athlete who likes to train intensely and for lengthy durations, there are potential advantages to having a small quantity of salt together with your pre-workout. It could get your blood flowing and muscle groups pumping, hold you hydrated, and enable you practice longer.

If you happen to are inclined to work out for lower than an hour or don’t sweat a lot, or in case you’re somebody with greater blood strain, additional salt pre-workout could not profit you. It’s finest to at all times be particular about your individual wants and physique — and seek the advice of with a physician — earlier than incorporating a brand new pre-workout variable.


Nonetheless have questions on consuming salt pre-workout? Let’s take a better look.

Is it protected to take salt pre-workout with hypertension?

If in case you have hypertension (hypertension), pre-hypertension, or have been suggested by a physician to eat a decrease sodium weight loss program, it’s most likely not advisable to eat extra salt pre-workout. If in case you have a medical situation — and even in case you don’t — it’s at all times finest to seek the advice of with a doctor about your well being and desires.

Is salt a very good pre-workout for much less intense train, like a stroll?

The quantity of water — and sodium — that you just lose whereas sweating relies on how intense and long your workout is. The extra salt you might be dropping, the extra it is sensible to have salt together with your pre-workout. Whereas a low-intensity stroll is a good train by itself, having additional salt earlier than could not present any advantages.

Is having one gram of salt pre-workout ample?

It’s nice to begin slowly — however one gram of salt is one-sixth of a teaspoon, which is a bit of bit lower than the advisable beginning quantity of one-quarter teaspoon. So, it’s possible you’ll need to add a bit of extra.


  1. Tinsley GM, Hamm MA, Hurtado AK, Cross AG, Pineda JG, Martin AY, Uribe VA, Palmer TB. Results of two pre-workout dietary supplements on concentric and eccentric power manufacturing throughout decrease physique resistance train in men and women: a counterbalanced, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports activities Nutr. 2017 Nov 28;14:46. 
  2. Jagim AR, Harty PS, Camic CL. Frequent Ingredient Profiles of Multi-Ingredient Pre-Exercise Dietary supplements. Vitamins. 2019 Jan 24;11(2):254. 
  3. Nationwide Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medication; Well being and Medication Division; Meals and Vitamin Board; Committee to Overview the Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium; Oria M, Harrison M, Stallings VA, editors. Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium. Washington (DC): Nationwide Academies Press (US); 2019 Mar 5. 8, Sodium: Dietary Reference Intakes for Adequacy.
  4. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. Sodium and Meals Sources.
  5. Turner MJ, Avolio AP. Does Changing Sodium Excreted in Sweat Attenuate the Well being Advantages of Bodily Exercise? Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2016 Aug;26(4):377-89.
  6. Mora-Rodriguez R, Hamouti N. Salt and fluid loading: results on blood quantity and train efficiency. Med Sport Sci. 2012;59:113-119. 
  7. Veniamakis E, Kaplanis G, Voulgaris P, Nikolaidis PT. Results of Sodium Consumption on Well being and Efficiency in Endurance and Extremely-Endurance Sports activities. Int J Environ Res Public Well being. 2022 Mar 19;19(6):3651.
  8. Earhart EL, Weiss EP, Rahman R, Kelly PV. Results of oral sodium supplementation on indices of thermoregulation in skilled, endurance athletes. J Sports activities Sci Med. 2015 Mar 1;14(1):172-8. 
  9. Sodium (2022) www.coronary https://www.coronary
  10. Hamann JJ, Valic Z, Buckwalter JB, Clifford PS. Muscle pump doesn’t improve blood movement in exercising skeletal muscle. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2003 Jan;94(1):6-10.

Featured Picture: Chones / Shutterstock

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