Craving Salt: A Sign of Adrenal Fatigue

by lydia on July 13, 2012

Craving salty foods is a classic sign of adrenal fatigue. Salting foods before tasting them can be as well. It can also indicate a need for electrolytes. This symptom is typically found in someone with low tissue sodium levels.

If you find yourself regularly craving salty foods, you may want to consider having testing done to assess your adrenals via a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Test. In the meantime, do not fear adding good quality sea salt to your diet, as those with adrenal fatigue really need it. Unless, of course you do indeed have blood pressure and high sodium levels. In this case, avoid table salt at all costs and only use small amounts of quality sea salt so long as your doctor says it’s okay.

It’s also really important to make sure you are getting electrolytes in your drinking water. Drinking too much purified water without adding electrolytes can flush out more minerals and further exacerbate your condition. Unfortunately, this is something we have to keep in mind because our water supply is no longer safe and we can’t all just get it from a nearby mountain stream or even from safe well water.

The adrenals help with mineral balancing through the mineral corticoids. The hormone aldosterone causes the re-absorption of sodium and chloride. It helps to regulate the sodium and potassium levels in the body, as well as the concentration sodium, potassium, magnesium and chloride in the blood. Often aldosterone is compromised in those with adrenal fatigue, and the craving for salt is a direct result of that. Imbalanced aldosterone, namely low, will cause excess sodium and chloride to be be lost.

Craving Salt: A Sign of Adrenal Fatigue //

Why You Crave Salt

If you crave salt, and have adrenal fatigue (remember you can determine this by a simple hair analysis test), it’s likely because you have low levels of aldosterone. When aldosterone levels are low, sodium is excreted in the urine and it takes water with it. It is really critical to stay hydrated appropriately in this situation. You also want to be sure you are getting a good balance of water, salt and potassium.

In his book ‘Adrenal Fatigue, The 21st Century Stress Syndrome’, James Wilson recommends drinking small repeated doses of water accompanied by a little food sprinkled with kelp powder. Kelp contains both potassium and sodium.


Ways to Consume More Minerals & Electrolytes

  • Bone broth would be good to sip on throughout the day. I personally think we all could stand to consume more bone broth. 1-2 cups per day is a good idea for anyone with adrenal fatigue, up to a quart would be even better.
  • Beet kvass is another great addition for those with AF, as it is loaded with bio-available minerals and electrolytes, not to mention a good source of enzymes and probiotics. I wouldn’t recommend drinking it all day, but a small glass in the am and pm would be a great way to help balance those electrolytes, as well as offer added benefits.
  • Kombucha, is also a great option with bio-available minerals, electrolytes, vitamins and probiotics.
  • Another good option would be to add some Cell Food to your drinking water. Cell Food is a liquid mineral, electrolyte, amino acid and enzyme solution all in one, it’s a bit more expensive than just using sea salt, but it has way more to offer.
  • Nettles Tea is a fabulous option as well. I recommend 2 cups a day. At least 1 quart during times of stress or more (I’ve consumed 2 quarts at times and found it to be a huge support). Here are two of my recipes for nettles: Cranberry Nettles Tea and DIY Kool-Aid. Other mineral rich tonic herbs are oatstraw, dandelion, horsetail and chickweed.

Proper Hydration

Ideally you want to get 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water per day. You could certainly mix this up by choosing to drink some of the other options I mentioned. It’s really important to make sure you get your electrolytes in – there have been issues with people drinking way too much water, flushing out minerals and creating unwanted health concerns. There is no exact formula for everyone, that is just a basic guideline to follow as we do need water for many biological processes in the body. (See here for more on the role of water in the body.)

It’s also important to avoid diuretic beverages when you have adrenal fatigue. This just further depletes your electrolytes and adds to issues of dehydration. If you do drink diuretic beverages such as coffee, caffeine, juices or alcohol be sure to add 1 1/2 times the amount of what you drank along with some sea salt, or choose one of the other options I mentioned above to ensure adequate electrolytes are consumed.



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Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures July 14, 2012 at 9:55 am

Great post! Salt is essential, and it’s a shame to see people avoiding it.

Rebecca July 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm

I think that OxyLift works way better than CellFood, and is less expensive. That is my experience…

A1ne January 3, 2014 at 12:13 pm

‘Ideally you want to get 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water per day.’ ???? Can you give an example of your conversion, please as it seems very high. Does that mean someone who is 18st (4032oz) should drink 2016oz of fluid per day ?

I’ve heard the advice 8x8oz glasses per day or 2-3litres per day.

lydia January 3, 2014 at 3:47 pm
A1ne January 3, 2014 at 8:31 pm

I have read this. Am not discounting the necessity of water but just querying the formulae you suggested as it seems excessive. Am interested in seeing an example. By my reckoning an 18st adult would have to drink 15.75gallons of water per day. People can drown by drinking too much water. A ratio against weight is often suggested for children but I haven’t seen one for adult.

Adam January 8, 2014 at 11:14 am

The recommendation is to have your weight in pounds and then drink that many fluid ounces of water per day. E.g. 200lbs / 2 == 100 fluid ounces of water (fluid ounces being a volume measurement, not a weight measurement).

An1e January 8, 2014 at 1:23 pm

That still is very high. An 18st person is 256lbs / 2= 128 fl Oz. Which is 8 pints or 4.54 litres. The recommended for an average adult male is approx 3 litres. The fluid by weight ratio is normally applied to children. I only bring this up because it can be quite damaging to not cover all information. People will take things literally and not double check with not so good results.

lydia January 8, 2014 at 2:19 pm

I do not recommend going over 1 gallon of water per day for anyone on a regular basis. The key really is to make sure one is also getting adequate electrolytes with their water consumption – also to consider that if one consumes lots of fresh fruits/veggies, herbal teas, broths etc…they won’t need to be drinking 1/2 their weight (lbs) in ounces (ex: 130 pound person would need 65 ounces of water a day). It’s just a template so of course it is not a black and white thing that works for everyone across the board, just as stated.

Jema August 12, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Fluid ounces do not equal weight ounces. A gallon of water weighs 8.34lb (1037.52 ounces).

So, someone weighing 2oolb should drink 100 oz (weight) of water = 0.78125 gallons of water – not even one gallon.

ALICIA April 20, 2016 at 10:39 am

ex. man weighs 200lbs, half would be 100, but oz. so he should drink 100 oz of water per day

400lb man= 200 oz

150lb woman= 75 oz


Ruth Baker January 4, 2014 at 7:12 pm

Some women also crave salt when menstruating~~true fact.

Tom R June 8, 2016 at 12:52 pm

I started drinking a gallon of water a day back in March of 2006 and won a Body For Life Contest. I never quit drinking the gallon of water a day. Now 10 years later I am constantly craving anything salty. I never knew there was a difference between Sea Salt and Mortons salt in every grocery store. I’m buying some sea salt today.

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