Sodium intake article from Davita. - Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease

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Sodium intake article from Davita.

orangecity41 profile image
orangecity41NKF Ambassador

Here is a link to article about sodium intake and importance.

9 Replies

Hi OC,

My sodium levels have always been on the low end but I'm still careful.

Thanks for caring and sharing.🤙

Bet117 profile image
Bet117NKF Ambassador

Excellent article, OC With many important and valid points.

Thanks for sharing!


A good article. One thing that caught me off-guard was how even a restaurant baked pizza still contain a ridiculously high amount of salt. Little to no additive but still very high in sodium.

One thing that isn't mentioned often is sodium intake when exercising, I have always been a heavy sweater and got all the sign of heavy sodium excretion. My sweat taste salty and leave white streak. It improved after a few years of constant exercising (prior to have any kidney issues). Now I aim for the lowest effective amount and I still add sodium whenever I sweat enough.

I have one bottle of diluted juice with ~1/8 teaspoon of salt and a second of plain water. I alternate between the two bottle and instinctively drink more water at first and then more of the electrolytes drink (diluted juice) as I sweat and feel the exhaustion building up. I have not read much about it yet but runners use hearth rate monitor to detect electrolytes depletion. My limited understanding is that under a steady exercise the heart rate would creep up as the electrolytes deplete, mostly lost sodium. I gave it a try by walking on an incline at a steady pace and it seems to work for me.

With all that said not everyone need to worry about sodium intake when or after exercising, it's generally something that athletes working out for an extended period of time and/or multiple times a day need to worry about. I do not add any more sodium after working-out, unless I'd feel particularly weak. Otherwise, it is said that the body will re-balance itself over the course of a few normal meal. I aim for 2,000mg/day or slightly less, plus the little I add to my sport drink as I exercise.

But I am wondering, anyone else has their electrolytes in check when they exercise? I am still at an early stage of CKD, no known issue with electrolytes imbalance and despite all of this still struggle to reach the exercises guidelines for CKD, an RPE of 12-15 when I exercise.

What is RPE of 12-15 when exercising? I aim for 2,000 mg of Sodium per day, and when I sweat heavy I generally go by how I feel and if my fingers swell as to whether I am retaining water or have sweat it out. I do not sweat as heavy as a lot of people even when exercising. I also monitor my BP daily.

RPE stand for Rate of Perceived Exertion, also known as Borg scale. It goes from 6-20 though most people nowadays use the modified version which goes from 1-10.

ok, thank you

Why are you struggling to reach that goal of 12-15 RPE?

It's a good question! I can manage to reach the lower end (11-12) for low impact cardiovascular activities such as walking on an incline on a treadmill (constant) or a hike (intermittent). But for training with weight with everything that I tried so far I had to stay around RPE 7-10. Something moderately hard such as doing goblet squat for 30-40 reps -holding 15-20 reps in the tank- feel like too much work. Nowhere close to be sore or gaining strength over the course of a week, merely a light stimulus and it feel like it's too much. The recovery felt impossible or felt unwell overall. That was despite being in caloric surplus so I am quite puzzled by that one.

It might be cause by that hip flexor injury that have been nagging me for nearly 6 months and I don't feel as drained anymore. But I have (edit: not) done much exercises involving weight since I started physio.

Also I have regained an appreciable amount of cardiovascular fitness despite walking on that treadmill at low to medium-low intensity and it just feel good. So I am waiting to have the result of a MAG-3 renal scan and possibly to meet with the nephrologist to see if they can make sense of it and ideally have a better idea of what I should expect to do or not.

I am not an expert, but I do know some stuff. For weight lifting, you may not need to be in the RPE zone you mentioned. Aim for a different kind of goal such as a number of reps with a certain amount of weight, or holding a position for a certain time frame. You of course never want to go over your safety zone for someone with Kidney Disease. When you have Kidney Disease just maintaining muscle is a challenge due to the many issues associated with Kidney Disease. But, it is super important to try not only to maintain muscle, but to try and build new, plus maintain bone health. Try to evaluate your strength in a new way besides RPE. I bet you will see you are much stronger than you were before you started weight training, and it is super great for your bones.

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