View Full Version : Salt and breathing

09-03-2006, 05:09 PM
Hi there.
Today I did a rather fast ride in pretty humid air. Temp was cool-ish, around 65 F.
I felt okay riding, but whenever we stopped -- for a traffic light -- it felt like my chest closed up and my throat got really tight. I'd end up coughing.
When I was moving, it was okay...not great, but okay. The group of us - about 15 - waited at the top of this hill for the rest of the group to catch up, and I was complaining about my chest/coughing issue. A woman said she has allergies with similar symptoms and carries little packets of salt with her. When she feels that coming on, she breaks open the salt and takes a small shot right on her toungue, which she then washes down with water. Like gargling with salt water, she said, it helps to break up the mucus and stops her from coughing.
She had some salt with her, I tried it. I'm not sure it worked, but perhaps it did, as I didn't cough for the rest of the ride.
Has anyone ever heard of this???
FWIW, I've never been tested for allergies or asthma, but I do tend to cough when exercising in cold or humid weather.

09-03-2006, 05:27 PM
It sounds like you might have exercise-induced asthma. I do as well, and I have never heard of salt as a cure. I have been using albuterol inhalers for years, and just recently started on Advair, which seems to be helping quite a bit. I suggest a doctor visit as asthma is nothing to play around with. You'll do better cycling with proper treatment!

Good luck,

10-08-2006, 04:39 PM
I have exercise-induced asthma. Not pretty, especially on a long ride. Do you also cough under stress? I find that Advair works for me also, but I only need it when the weather changes to cold. If you have a lot of coughing spells over the winter, you might want to try putting on a scarf and breathing through it. For whatever reason it works for me.

10-23-2006, 11:48 AM
Sounds like exercise induced asthma, and I'll reiterate what Emily and Bikechick said - go see your doctor.
As to why the salt solution helped, probably for the same reason it helps when you have a cold or sore throat - the salt solution sooths the inflamed passages. But the WHY they're inflamed is the concern, and thus the reason for the trip to your local Doc.
Once you're on the right inhaler, you'll probably find you're riding better ... clear breathing, what a concept. :o

Good Luck!