A person loses fluid through sweating, among other things. The composition of sweat is different for everyone, and by understanding what kind of sweater you are, you can better influence your hydration. The composition of sweat can be examined with tests, but in everyday life, certain things can indicate if you are a “salty sweater”.
Sweating and hydration
A person needs about 2–3 litres of liquid per day, some of this comes with food. The amount of sweating is affected by temperature, exercise and many other things, these also increase the amount of fluid needed. In addition to hydration, it should be noted that when you sweat, you also lose electrolytes, especially sodium, i.e. salts.
If you have white sweat marks on your clothes or skin, you may be losing more salt on average through sweating. However, it is good to consider the air and air humidity here, as dry and hot air may leave more visible marks than more humid air, even if the composition of the sweat is the same. Your skin may also taste salty. Many people may taste a salty taste when they lick the edges of their lips or arm.
Weakness and headache after or during sports can be a sign that you are depleting salts. These are because the blood pressure drops, but it is also good to consider other hydration and nutrition in this context. Dehydration or insufficient energy intake can also cause weakness. Muscle cramps and difficulty exercising in hot weather can be a sign of salt loss. In this case, it is also good to consider other options. Getting used to the heat can take time, especially if the heat is only available for short periods. Muscle cramps can also be caused by temperature differences, starting too hard, and dehydration.
If you crave salty food after exercise, it may be that you have lost salt. Your body wants to correct the situation.
What you can do?
If you recognized more than one of the signs above and have ruled out other possible issues, it may be that you are a salty sweater. There’s nothing wrong with this. There’s no need to worry about it because everyone has their own sweat composition, but it’s worth noting. During long-term sports performances, it is worth ensuring an adequate intake of salts. The recommended intake of sodium is 300–700 mg per hour during sports. The saltier the sweat, and the more sweat, the greater the amount of sodium needed. Salty sweaters may exceed the recommended amount if the amount of sweating increases.
Various electrolyte drinks and sports drinks are good ways to replace lost salts. Energy gels rarely contain enough salts. You can add salt to other food before and after the performance, to maintain balance.