Top Reasons You May Need to Increase Your Salt Intake

We’ve all heard the advice – put down the salt shaker. Control how much salt you eat.  

However, this piece of advice isn’t always the right one. There are times when we’re not only craving salt – but we actually need to increase our salt intake, often to an amount higher than the daily recommended limit of 2500 mg. But why is this the case? 

There are several situations in which giving into your salt cravings is a good idea, not a bad one. Here are some of these situations and what you can do if you find yourself in them.


You’re an Athlete

When athletes sweat, they lose two things – water and salts[1]They usually replenish their water levels by drinking water when they’re done with their activity – however, many athletes forget to consume enough salts to offset the salt lost through sweat. 

This risks causing hyponatremia[2]which occurs when blood sodium levels are abnormally low. Essentially, you’re drinking so much water that you excrete the salts that are present in your body through urine – but you don’t consume enough sodium to make up for this loss. Since you’re already low on sodium, your blood sodium levels drop dangerously low. 

Symptoms of hyponatremia include[3]:

  • Changes in your mental status, including headaches and confusion
  • Seizures
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Drowsiness, fatigue, weakness, and loss of energy

 In severe cases, it can also lead to a coma. 

Because of this, it’s essential to balance your water intake with sodium, especially as an athlete. This is usually done through the help of electrolyte drinks and salt capsules, such as Klaralyte.

Some professionals recommend slightly increasing your salt intake in the week leading up to a major competition, especially for distance runners[4]Before applying this advice to yourself, it’s essential to consult a doctor. 

However, should a medical professional recommend increased sodium intake for days prior to a race, salt capsules are the best option. Electrolyte drinks are not always palatable to the mouth, and salt capsules prevent having to make changes to your preferred flavor profiles by adding more salt to the dishes.


You’re on a Trip Somewhere Hot

As mentioned above, increased sweating leads to salt loss, even when you’re not drinking too much water and losing salt as a result of hyponatremia. 

Aside from exercising a lot, one of the other reasons that people sweat a lot is because they live in hot weather. However, most of these people don’t need to consume extra salt – their bodies adapt to the weather around them[5].

That said, if you’re planning a short-term trip to a place with hot weather, things might be different[6]If you find yourself sweating excessively in these conditions, remember to replenish both your salts and fluids – consume loads of water, and balance out your water intake and salt loss by boosting your sodium intake with the help of salt capsules. 

Each Klaralyte salt capsule contains 250mg of sodium and 50mg of potassium, helping you boost your salt intake in the heat. That said, if you’re concerned about the effects of additional salt or think you may need to significantly boost your salt intake, make sure to speak to a medical professional before your trip.


You’re on a Low Carb or Clean Diet

More than ever, people are turning to a variety of diets as a way to lose weight or simply improve their health. Of these, low-carb and clean diets (where you eliminate packaged, processed foods from your diet) are some of the most popular.

However, no matter whether you’re going keto, turning to another low-carb diet, or just choosing to eat clean, they all have the same issue in common – you won’t get enough sodium.

The first reason for this is probably the very reason that you’re turning to these diets – the fact that you’re eliminating packaged foods from your meal plans.  

Today, most of us get most of our sodium through packaged foods, whether they be crisps or cookies. Even sweet foods have some salt in them, usually to act as a preservative. Without these foods, you’re eliminating a major source of sodium from your diet[7].

Additionally, people on a low carb or keto diet will experience a reduction in their insulin levels[8]Insulin has a number of functions in your body, and one of these is helping your body retain sodium.

Without adequate amounts of insulin, your body will start to excrete sodium rather than retain it. This can result in fatigue, lightheadedness, and headaches – all reasons why people tend to quit low-carb diets relatively quickly.

The simplest solution to these concerns is to opt for salt capsules. Usually, people increase their sodium intake by snacking on salty snacks, like chips. However, since you’re eliminating packaged foods from your diet, this is out of the question. Alternatively, you can add extra salt to the food you are eating – however, that will also alter the taste of the food and may make it unpalatable.  

Salt capsules like Klaralyte offer an easy, convenient way to boost your salt intake. All you need to do is take 1-2 Klaralyte pills with water. You can have up to 10 pills daily, depending on how much sodium you need.

Remember to speak with your medical provider before significantly boosting your sodium intake. They’ll be able to advise how many pills you should take and how many are too many.


You Have a Medical Condition that Requires You to Have More Salt

There are several chronic medical conditions that require patients to include more salt in their diets. There are several for this added need, including having a chronic deficiency in salt levels in your body or having a condition that uses up your blood sodium very fast. 

 Some include:

  • Migraines[9] 
  • Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)
  • Addison’s disease
  • Bartter syndrome
  • Cerebral salt wasting syndrome
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome 

In these cases, an increased intake of salt can reduce severe symptoms and help patients live a relatively normal life.

Because salt is part of treating their medical condition, in most cases, patients will be advised by doctors to increase their salt intake and how much to increase it by. If you have a new diagnosis of any condition that can be managed by increasing your salt intake, speak to your medical professional about how to proceed.

Once you have a better idea of what your new salt intake should be, you can boost the salt in your diet in several ways:

  • Adding more salt to your food
  • Eating naturally saltier foods
  • Eating salty snacks between meals or when you feel you need a salt boost

However, because of the many lifestyle adjustments that come along with these conditions, many people prefer to avoid further changes to their diet, especially if they aren’t fond of overly salty foods. 

A good solution in that situation is to opt for salt capsules like Klaralyte. You can supplement your salt intake by taking Klaralyte capsules as directed by your medical provider with water, and you may not need to significantly alter your diet.

When it comes to increasing your salt intake more than the recommended DV for any reason, especially over a sustained period of time, it’s always best to consult a medical provider. While there are some genuine reasons why you may need to increase your salt intake, salt cravings arise for all sorts of reasons, including[10]:

  • Menstruation
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep 
  • Boredom 

Not all of these conditions warrant an increase in your dietary intake of sodium. It’s very easy to consume too much salt, and speaking to a professional before increasing your salt intake will ensure you’re not going too far overboard.

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Additional Information

*Not Evaluated by FDA: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. Klaralyte LLC manufactures dietary supplements and medical food products that should be used under the direct supervision of a licensed healthcare practitioner.

Designated Medical Food: Klaralyte Salt Capsules are classified as a medical food under 21 U.S.C. 360ee(b)(3), and are intended for specific dietary management based on recognized scientific principles, as evaluated by a physician.

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