Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Lab results in, pass the chips!

Every year I have to complete a health physical for work (to maintain my certification as a "hazardous materials worker" even though I really don't work with bad stuff anymore). They test lung function, hearing, vision, BP, weight, pulse, all the usuals.

They test our urine and blood for the basics as well: cell counts, proteins, sugar, cholesterol, iron, etc. You know what was interesting from a running perspective? My ELECTROLYTE levels!

Sodium = 135 mmol/L     (normal range = 136 - 146)
Potassium  = 4.8 mmol/L     (normal range = 3.5 - 5.1)
Magnesium = 1.70 mEq/L     (normal range = 1.5 - 2.3) 

Notice something amiss?

Low sodium! I think it's from all that sweating that the kick-ass Furman FIRST program is making me do. Yup. I don't eat many processed foods at all and I don't salt my foods (except eggs) so my overall salt intake is pretty low. I eat a lot of dark, leafy greens and other veggies so I think that may explain why my other electrolytes aren't low even though my sodium is? Who knows.

Maybe I should eat more potato chips?

Or drink NUUN with wild abandon and swallow my Salt Stick Tablets along with my 4000 IU VitD and multivitamins every night?

My calcium levels also were low (8.7 mg/dL, average range = 8.9-10.5), which is disappointing. I've been slacking on my milk intake (yes, even in Latte Land you can have low milk consumption), so I need to boost that and probably take some Ca supplements. I thought the kale would help in this department but maybe calcium in veggies isn't as bioavailable?

This makes me wonder what other tests would be interesting to gauge my running health. Also, how much does the serum sodium level fluctuate, or, how representative of my average sodium levels was this one test?


  1. If my information is correct caffeine inhibits calcium consumption. That's why I take my multi at dinner time instead of the morning like my other vitamins (Vit D and a B mix)

  2. I swear everyone in the PNW needs vit D pills. Interesting post...

  3. They say us Americans love salt, but now I'm curious what my level is because yes, I love salty foods over sweets, yet I sweat a good amount.

    Go for the Nuun over chips! :)

  4. I take a multivite, vit D and calcium. You know, just to be safe.

  5. Interesting. My vit D was low recently. I have no idea how. I'm outside a lot, I eat leafy greens,etc. weird. So far I'm skipping any supplement. :)

    drinking nuun with wild abandon sounds like a great idea ;)