Okay, so neither salt nor sugar is nutritionally whiter than white. However, both serve a purpose and in moderation can be part of a healthy diet, but the real question is: which deserves a place at your table?
We’ve tasted, tested and evaluated the latest scientific studies to find out.
Salt won’t actively boost your biceps, but consuming less than a teaspoon per day will hamper your growth. A deficiency can reduce creatine absorption by almost 80%.
A sugary pre-workout snack can sink your T levels and inhibit muscle growth by as much as 11%. But drinks containing sugar maltose can boost your cycling speed by 4%.
Exceeding your RDA by just 1g per day can spike your obesity risk by 26%. Fall below 0.5g, however, and your insulin resistance rises, also potentially spurring weight gain.
Those who obtain 10% of their daily energy from table sugar are 54% more likely to be overweight. Plus, the fructose in fizzy drinks inhibits leptin, leading to cravings.
A salt intake of 8g per day raises your odds of dying from cardiovascular disease by 10%. Consume less than 3g, however, and your outlook is just as daunting.
Sourcing 20% of your calories from sugar raises your blood pressure, upping your heart-disease risk by 38% – even if you’re not overweight, warns a Harvard study.
Taking on an Ironman? A salt supp could help you shave 26 minutes off your time by maintaining the blood pressure you need to transport fuel and water around your body.
Swigging a blend of glucose and fructose every 15 minutes can replenish your energy and increase your speed by 19%, the University of Birmingham found.
The MH Verdict: Salt Wins
We won’t sugar-coat it: the sweet stuff contributes little to your health and fitness goals. While giving yourself carte blanche with the salt shaker will grind away your six-pack aspirations, a sodium deficiency can be just as debilitating. Time to change your popcorn order.
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