Sea Salt: Nature’s Premium Electrolyte Solution
Minerals are an essential component to the electro-conductivity and function of our bodies. We need them to conduct nerve impulses, to regulate fluid levels in the body and contract muscles.
Sea salt is an excellent source of minerals. Namely, sodium, chloride, potassium and magnesium. You need sodium to support magnesium and you need magnesium to support calcium! Therefore, getting adequate amounts of these easily-depleted minerals is critical to overall health and feeling your best.
Human Bodies Need Salt to Live.
People become concerned that taking in too much salt will increase their blood pressure. But salt is the reason that we have a blood pressure at all. Without salt, your body would cease to function. Many (if not most) people are depleted in minerals and sodium chloride, aka salt, is one of them!
If you are:
- Active (you need ½ teaspoon of salt for every 60 minutes of exercise)
- Working long shifts
- Not sleeping well
- Taking certain Pharma medications that deplete sodium
- Having a hard time digesting foods
- Drinking a lot of coffee
- Having sugar cravings, or
- Just feeling “off”…
You likely need more salt and other minerals! There are many commercial electrolyte solutions available (like Pedialyte, etc..) that contain unnecessary ingredients like sugar, fake sugars, flavoring and other adulterants. But the premier and most easily accessible electrolyte solutions is nature’s very own Sea Salt!
How much should you take? In what form? Which sea salt is best?
Start with ½-1 teaspoon of Sea Salt in the morning or before activity.
You can take it in water by mixing it in a few ounces or you can add it to 1 liter of water and then drink that over the course of several hours.
You can do a mix of your salt with squeezed lemon and a few ounces of water and shoot it down like a lemon shot!
You can also take sea salt capsules. I make my own sea salt/electrolyte capsules with size 0 gelatin capsules and good quality sea salt. I place ¼ teaspoon of sea salt in each capsule so I can be accurate about how much I am taking.
Since reading Dr. James DiNicolantonio’s thoroughly-researched breakthrough book The Salt Fix, I am a big fan of doing Redmond’s Real Salt . Dr. DiNicolantonio explains that out of all the sea salt’s to choose from, Redmond’s has a healthy array of minerals (iodine, magnesium, potassium, etc…) and is sourced from an ancient salt bed in Utah where it is not exposed to the contamination (Plastics, etc..) that occurs in today’s ocean. It also tastes great!
What is a Normal Sodium Intake?
Normal sodium intake for a healthy person is approximately 3-4 grams per day. In some cultures, sodium intake could get up to 6+ grams a day (Japan/Korea). Human beings have been doing this for millenia.
3-4 grams is approximately 1 ⅓ -2 ⅔ teaspoons.
½ teaspoon is about 1 gram
1 teaspoon is about 2 grams
Sodium Levels Are Tightly Regulated by Your Body
When you have consumed too much sodium in the form of salt, the kidneys will simply excrete excess sodium in the urine. When sodium is low, the kidneys will suppress salt excretion with hormones (the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system). If chronic, these salt-retaining hormones can put wear and tear on the kidneys, arteries and the heart. So, having a salt deficit in the body, for most healthy people, is more of a stress on vital organs than having a salt surplus!
Salt is Essential to Life & Without Enough Our Health Suffers
Have you ever heard of anyone going to the ER or the hospital for having too much salt in their blood? Perhaps, but it’s rare and it’s usually a young child who has ingested too much salt by eating too much playdough or over-consuming soy sauce (R). Have you heard of anyone going to the ER for having too little salt? Absolutely, it happens all the time! It is one of the most common clinical electrolyte imbalances seen in hospitals. Heat stroke, diarrhea, vomiting, excessive sweating and high blood sugar levels are all reasons for depleted electrolytes. In fact, one of the first thing they do in the hospital for a dehydrated patient is give them IV fluids with dissolved salts.
Athletic Performance is Enhanced by Adequate Intake of Salt
Many active people notice that their athletic performance improves dramatically when they take ½-1 teaspoon before a workout. In a study from 2015, triathletes replaced sodium depletion throughout the duration of their activity by taking salt capsules and dramatically improved their race time by 26 minutes. Whether you are running a race, doing a spin class or exercising enough to induce sweating for an hour or more, you may improve endurance (and just feel better) if you take salt before exercise.
Getting Enough Salt Can Help Sugar Cravings
Sea salt is your antidote to sugar. When sugar cravings arise, make sure you are getting enough salt. Sometimes the body’s feedback system will signal for sugar, when in reality, it is salt that is needed. Salt is essential and when your body is low in sodium, it will signal cravings for salt. Sugar is non-essential. If you are craving sugar, it’s possible that your feedback system is out of whack due to insulin resistance, blood sugar handling issues and not enough salt!
You Need More Salt If You Are Low Carb or Keto
If you are embarking on a low carb or keto lifestyle, you will most likely need more salt. Even if you are intermittent fasting without cutting carbs, you also may need a higher daily salt intake. Insulin production is reduced on a low-carb/keto lifestyle. Insulin is also reduced when fasting. Because insulin helps the kidneys hold onto sodium (insulin likes to help your body hold onto things, not just fat), as insulin becomes more normalized on a low carb diet, meaning it is being produced by the body in a pulsatile, rather than chronic fashion, the body will secrete sodium. The answer to this is to make sure you are getting enough salt every day. If you feel dizzy or lightheaded, try increasing salt intake by 1/2-1 teaspoon a day.
For more information about salt and salt research and references, please check out The Salt Fix by James DiNicolantonio.