Salt and Pregnancy

I’ve been straight-up perplexed about my lack of energy as of late.  I tend to feel worse the “better” I eat.  By “better,” I mean the fewer processed foods I eat.

I’ll admit it, I have been eating a McDonald’s #10 (Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Bagel meal with Hash Brown) almost every morning since I’ve been preggo.  I know it’s not the best…  But I feel good on that until lunchtime.  It’s got 33g of protein, btw.  I also add 3 mustard packets, thank you very much.  🙂  Also, I’m addicted to Monopoly.

Anyway…  I recently put on a zillion pounds, so I figured a diet change might be in order since I’m in my second trimester now.  (By a zillion, I mean 5 pounds in 1 week.)  Did I mention I’m super paranoid about gaining too much weight?  I was already “obese” when I got pregnant, so I don’t technically need to gain a dang pound.  Well, I changed my diet to something like this: Granola + Kefir for breakfast, Greek Yogurt for snack 1, meat and mayo sandwich and veggies or fruit for lunch, cheese and pb crackers for snack 2, whatever Hubs wants for dinner, and then a snack of fruit after dinner.  Good diet, right?  Well, I did this for, like, 3 days before dying.  I felt horrible!

My symptoms were basically just extreme fatigue (think being so tired (not winded, but weak) after an hour trip to the grocery store that I feel like I need to rest 30-45 minutes before even putting away groceries) and I would get muscle cramps in my arms and legs.  Like, it just felt like someone punched me really hard.

Coping with my fatigue, I took a sick day yesterday.  I had to take my car to get a tune up, too.  I was planning on having my McD’s breakfast after I dropped off my car, so I didn’t eat right away.  Well, by 11 I finally got something to eat.  Fueling my Monopoly fetish, I got a Big Mac, large fries, and a Coke.  I ate, and felt like death afterwards…

I had to run by Kohl’s quickly before I headed home, so I did.  I got home around noon, and was so tired I had to take a nap.  I slept from noon to about 3!  When I got up, I still didn’t feel well…  So, I had a snack.

My snack was about 20 blue corn chips with Tostito’s Cheese salsa.  Fifteen minutes later, I felt great!  Like, REALLY great!  This is the same thing that happened to me in Taiwan (see earlier post), but I forgot about how awesome salty snacks are because I’m a pregnant woman who can’t remember squat.

Anyway, love salty snacks.

However, I feel like this is counter-intuitive.  Isn’t salt supposed to be bad for you and make you retain water?

I found this article: http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/salt.shtml.  It’s called “Salt, energy, metabolic rate, and longevity.”  And, though I’m not sure of how credible a source it is, it does have many interesting points.  

1. Salt actually helps reduce fluid retention in pregnant women (with increased blood volume):

“Tom Brewer, an obstetrician […] explained that sodium, in association with serum albumin, is essential for maintaining blood volume. Without adequate sodium, the serum albumin is unable to keep water from leaving the blood and entering the tissues. The tissues swell as the volume of blood is reduced.”

2. Sodium stimulates energy metabolism (you’ve seen the squid/soy sauce videos, right?  That’s an ATP / Sodium response.):

“One way of looking at those facts is to see that a lack of sodium slows metabolism, lowers carbon dioxide production, and creates inflammation, stress and degeneration. Rephrasing it, sodium stimulates energy metabolism, increases carbon dioxide production, and protects against inflammation and other maladaptive stress reactions.”

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Well, this article, as well as my own experience tells me that maybe eating salty chips every day is going to be something I need to do whilst pregnant.

P.S.  I just ate a bag of Fritos and I feel awesome!  🙂

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