Water is essential for life. It’s critical for regulating body temperature, preventing constipation, flushing out waste and toxins, and performing all major bodily functions. As with all essential inputs, there is such as a thing as too little or too much. Interestingly, water and sodium go hand in hand. Our bodies require both in a proper balance. Like water, sodium is essential which means it must be consumed to have it. Sodium is an electrolyte that helps regulate the amount of water that’s in and around cells
Even though sodium is in meat and vegetables, our primary source for it is salt. Salt is a chemical compound composed of two minerals paired together--sodium and chloride (NaCl). Salt is called an ionic compound which means the ions are held together by electrostatic forces termed ionic bonding. Sodium atoms weigh less than chloride atoms therefore 100 grams (g) of NaCl contain 39.34 g Na and 60.66 g Cl.
When we consume salt, we are ingesting two elements. Did you know that chloride is also essential for life? We’ll get back to chloride momentarily. But first there’s more we need to know about water and sodium.