Athletes lose extra salt because they sweat profusely, more than a normal citizen. In such cases, they need a higher sodium intake than the usual recommendations.
Sometimes salt can be serviceable, not just delicious!
- Valentine, V. 2007, ‘The Importance of Salt in the Athlete’s Diet’, Current Sports Medicine Reports, vol. 6, issue 4, pp. 237-240, https://journals.lww.com/acsm-csmr/fulltext/2007/08000/the_importance_of_salt_in_the_athlete_s_diet.9.aspx.