5 Reasons You Might Need Salt Pills

If you’ve ever visited a medical store, there’s a good chance you’ve encountered salt tablets. These are available over the counter in many places,[1] which may lead you to consider trying them if you’re suffering from low sodium levels. 

However, like most dietary supplements or medical foods, sodium supplements should be consumed carefully and appropriately.  When is it the right time to use salt tablets? Can they be used by people who don’t have low sodium levels?

This article will cover the following: 

1. Dysautonomia and Associated Conditions
2. Migraines
3. Hyponatremia 
4. Daily Use 
5. Athletic Reasons


1. Dysautonomia and Associated Conditions

Medical conditions like dysautonomia result in low blood volume[2], which leads to dehydration, blood pooling, shortness of breath, and a host of other lifestyle challenges for patients. One solution to this issue is increasing the amount of salt and fluids a person with dysautonomia or similar conditions consumes in a day. 

Most people need about 2300 mg of sodium and 2 liters of water a day. For patients with dysautonomia and POTS, the recommended intake is higher, and your doctor will likely have given you an action plan with instructions on what your salt and fluid intake should be. 

However, the challenge with increasing salt intake on a daily basis is many people don’t like overly salty foods. That’s where salt pills come in. They are a convenient and relatively  inexpensive[3] way for dysautonomia patients to reach their salt intake without changing the way they salt their meals. Salt tablets generally contain a generous amount of salt. For example, Klaralyte tablets contain 250 mg of sodium and 50 mg of potassium per tablet, making it easy to reach minimum daily targets. 


2. Migraines

Increasing your salt intake is a common home remedy for people who suffer from constant migraines. It is a treatment that was pioneered by American neuroscientist Angela Stanton[4],  who suffers from migraines herself. 

Furthermore, a 2016 study by researchers at the Huntington Medical Research Institutes[5] found people who reported the highest amount of salt intake in their diets also had the fewest number of migraines.

Some people also believe increasing salt intake can help a portion of people who suffer from migraines because they unknowingly suffer from hyponatremia[6]. This is a condition that results in very low levels of sodium in the body, and migraines are among the symptoms of the disorder. By increasing your salt intake, you may inadvertently be treating hyponatremia and finding a solution to your migraines all at once. 

It’s important to note increased salt intake does not work for all people with migraines. However, those that do find it helpful, salt tablets act as a convenient way to boost their salt consumption without making drastic dietary changes.


3. Hyponatremia

As mentioned above, some people suffer from hyponatremia, a condition characterized by abnormally low sodium levels in your bloodstream. Some of the causes of this disorder include a number of short-term conditions that can be addressed easily, such as the inclusion of certain medicines in your daily regimen and drinking excessive amounts of water. 

However, in cases where the underlying cause cannot be treated, another solution is needed. For example, if the medications causing hyponatremia are essential to your well-being, or you have chronic vomiting or hormonal changes, addressing the underlying cause isn’t as easy. In such situations, you will need to manage your hyponatremia in other ways. This can include regulating your fluid intake and increasing the intake of sports beverages when engaging in endurance activities like marathons. However, you may also need to increase your salt intake to treat the issue. 

There is some evidence that salt tablets are effective in combating the symptoms of hyponatremia. One 2020 study[7] found that people with hyponatremia who consumed salt tablets saw an increase in their blood sodium levels compared to those with hyponatremia who did not use salt tablets. 


4. Daily Use 

Even if you do not have medical reasons to increase your salt intake, you may find that salt tablets are a convenient way to receive your daily recommended dosage of 2300 mg of salt. This is especially true for people with a particularly low tolerance to salty foods – salt tablets make it easy for you to get your required dosage without necessitating a change in diet and food habits. 


5. Athletic Reasons

Exercise can cause exercise-associated hyponatremia. This is essentially a result of consuming too much water during any physical activity, but especially endurance activities such as marathons and other long-distance races. 

Sodium is lost when a person sweats, and exercise results in more sweating. Loss of sodium and other electrolytes can result in a number of issues that affect your ability to exercise, including heat exhaustion, cramps, and fatigue. If the exercise-associated hyponatremia is particularly severe, it can lead to vomiting, nausea, seizures, and even death.  

Given these concerns, ensuring your electrolyte and fluid balance is right during physical activity is critical. That’s where salt tablets come in. Athletes often take salt tablets before engaging in high-intensity activity. Sodium consumption can also help regulate fluid levels, reducing the risk of dehydration and excessive water consumption both.  

Though they are among the most convenient, salt tablets are only one solution to this issue. Another option is to regulate electrolyte levels by drinking electrolyte or sports drinks designed for this purpose.  

Sodium replacement may not be required in every athletic situation. However, it’s particularly important to be conscious of your electrolyte levels when exercising in hotter weather or higher altitudes than you are used to. Additionally, the longer your workout, the more likely you’ll need to replace lost fluids and electrolytes, which is why salt tablets are particularly common among marathoners and ultra-marathoners.

Salt tablets have also anecdotally been known to help reduce the intensity of cramps[8] that you may develop as a result of physical activity, which also helps boost their popularity among athletes.



While salt tablets have their benefits, it’s essential to keep in mind it is possible to consume too much salt. Excessive salt intake can cause hypernatremia, a condition in which a person has too much salt in their body. Symptoms of hypernatremia include headache, delirium, weakness, dizziness, a rapid heart rate, and high blood pressure. This is why it’s essential to ensure you’re consuming salt tablets as per the manufacturer’s recommended dosage.  

Additionally, if you’re consuming salt tablets to address medical conditions like dysautonomia and chronic migraines, make sure to consult with your physician first. They’ll determine whether adding salt to your diet can help you and, if so, how much additional salt you should consume. If you notice you are developing any symptoms of hypernatremia after taking salt tablets, make sure to get in touch with your doctor immediately.


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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.

Comparative Advertising: Klaralyte is a registered trademark of Klaralyte LLC. Registered trademarks, brand names, images, or any information that could refer to another brand are used solely for lawful comparative advertising. This follows FTC-defined criteria for objectively comparing brands based on attributes or price, while clearly identifying the alternative brand.