Salt In Pre-Workout FAQ
Next, I’ll answer more frequently asked questions about adding salt to your pre-workout supplement.
Can you use salt as a pre-workout?
Salt does have some benefits when taken before workouts, such as increased blood volume, improved performance, and faster rehydration.
However, salt alone doesn’t provide all the benefits of multi-ingredient pre-workout supplements. For example, it will not dilate blood vessels like l-arginine, increase endurance like beta-alanine, or boost energy like caffeine.
Therefore, salt is not a substitute for a pre-workout supplement. But you could add it to your pre-workout to get more benefits.
Is there salt in pre-workout?
Some pre-workout formulations do contain salt in the form of sodium chloride or sodium citrate. However, the amount of sodium in pre-workout supplements is around 50 mg on average, with the upper end being 310 mg.
To get salt’s performance and recovery benefits, you need to consume at least 500mg of sodium. So pre-workout supplements won’t cut it on their own, and you will need to add extra sodium.
Is salt a good pre-workout ingredient?
Adding salt to your pre-workout can make your muscles feel fuller and might help you squeeze out an extra rep or two. However, the downside is that you will also retain excess water unless you up your potassium intake.
So if you’re trying to look shredded, be careful about adding salt to your pre-workout.
How much salt for pre-workout?
Generally, starting with about ½ teaspoon of salt in your pre-workout is good. You can bump this up to 1 teaspoon if you have multi-hour workouts in temperatures above 80oF.
However, you should not exceed 1 tsp of salt before your workout unless you’re doing a triathlon or marathon. Also, you should limit your pre-workout sodium intake to less than 1/2 teaspoon if you already get a lot of sodium in your diet.
What are the side effects of salt in pre-workout?
Taking too much salt before your workout could result in immediate side effects like stomach discomfort. If this should happen, reduce your salt intake or spread it into multiple smaller doses.
Other side effects of excess sodium in the diet include water retention or “bloating” and high blood pressure. So make sure you’re not overdoing it with your daily sodium intake.
Related: 19 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Water Retention
Who should not add pre-workout salt?
The salt pre-workout hack is not for everyone. If you already have a high sodium diet, then you shouldn’t add more salt on top of that.
I recommend logging your food intake for several days in a free app like MyFitnessPal. Then review your average sodium intake. If it’s more than 3,000 mg daily, you should first reduce sodium in your diet.
Another situation where you should avoid salt in pre-workout is if you don’t have intense workouts or your workouts are short (i.e., <1 hour). Added salt is generally only beneficial for those who train hard and often.
Finally, if you have high blood pressure or excess water weight, you should avoid added salt.