Arash Rahbar reveals the misconceptions behind sodium for bodybuilders.
For the average person interested in fitness, one of the biggest things you’ll hear is to avoid sodium in your diet. Sodium can lead to high blood pressure and weight gains. If unchecked, it can lead to some serious heart problems long term. While this is true, removing sodium completely from your diet is also not the answer. Like many things, it’s all about moderation. This becomes even more complicated, though, for bodybuilders. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Arash Rahbar details the misconceptions people have about sodium in a bodybuilding diet.
In the modern world, everything has added sodium. According to Arash Rahbar, this is for two reasons. The first is as a preservative. It helps keep food longer which is essential for our current era of canned goods and instant meals. The second reason for sodium is more simple – it makes things taste better. You’d be surprised how many processed foods actually contain sodium – even sweet food. It’s a key ingredient to making things taste better.
Of course, we know that relying too much on processed foods is bad for you. It all contains too much sodium and when eaten consistently can lead to high blood pressure, weight gain, and long term heart problems. But when it comes to bodybuilding, things get a little more complicated.
A competitive bodybuilder’s main goal is to appear as dry and conditioned on stage. This is to show off the massive muscle they have built. But sodium plays a key role in that process. If a bodybuilder were to remove sodium completely, not only would they feel worse, they would also appear “flat” on stage.
Check out our latest GI Exclusive with Arash Rahbar above!
Without getting into the science or technical details, Arash Rahbar explains how sodium essentially regulates your blood pressure. This is why too much gives you high blood pressure (also known as hypertension). In fact, having high sodium is the best way for a bodybuilder to achieve the pump during a workout.
It might sound backwards, but it’s true. Arash Rahbar keeps himself on a high sodium diet. But he makes sure to stay as healthy as possible in his overall diet. His sodium isn’t coming from chips and snacks. Much like anyone, balanced sodium in your diet is important. For bodybuilders – what is considered “balanced” might be a bit different than the average person.
Arash Rahbar admits that he is no doctor or scientist. But he does know from years of experience and experimentation that no sodium in your diet is also bad for you. For bodybuilders it’s even worse. It can lead to bloating and when combined with fasting – can make your muscle look flat.
Of course, too much sodium can also lead to more water retention, which will make a bodybuilder’s muscle puffy and soft. It’s all about balance. What that balance is might be different for each bodybuilder.
You can watch Arash Rahbar go into even more detail about sodium in bodybuilding by watching our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above!