Salt For Fasting Success

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Have you tried intermittent fasting (IF) only to find yourself suffering from the following symptoms: headaches, sluggishness, cramps and sleeping difficulties? Well, this doesn’t mean that IF isn’t for you. It means that you may be losing a critical mineral that your body needs…SALT!

You’ll often hear me say that when you try IF, your diet also needs to change. Eating high carb foods won’t get you to your weight loss goals. Eating a balanced diet of protein/fat/non-starchy low carb veggies is a great place to start.

When you start to eat lower carb, insulin levels drop, as does the production of the hormone aldosterone. This hormone helps retain sodium, but when your diet changes to lower carb, you excrete more sodium than your body is used to through your urine. Too low sodium in your body can result in various different symptoms, as described above. Additionally, when you don’t feel at your best, are low energy, nor sleeping well, cravings and hunger will kick in, which is exactly what you are trying to avoid while fasting. 

Hydrating is important when you are fasting, however you will want to incorporate electrolytes into your water to help replenish the sodium that is depleted. If you just drink water throughout the day, you will be losing even more sodium when you use the restroom, so be sure to add electrolytes into your water! Electrolytes are often made up of a mixture of sodium, magnesium, potassium, and other minerals that people are often deficient in. You can also just use plain salt in your water, but you’ll want to make sure it is high quality natural salt, but I like the idea of the electrolytes simply because you are getting those other needed minerals. 

It’s important to note that the type of salt you use is just as important as the need to have salt in your diet. Table salt (salt found in restaurants for example) is not the same as mineral rich natural salt. Table salt is man made, chemically produced, and contains little to none of the minerals you actually benefit from incorporating salt into your diet. Throw this salt out, and choose your salt wisely. I’ll share my favorites below. 

Dynamic Electrolytes-These electrolytes can be found in my store here and are liquid drops you add to your water. These electrolytes do not break your fast so are perfect to use while fed or fasted. I developed these electrolytes after hearing from you needing an option to use while fasted. 

LMNT Electrolytes-These have become a staple in my house and are convenient because of their individual packets. The raw/unflavored are perfect for use while you are fasting and the flavored can be used once you break your fast. The orange salt has become my favorite but the chocolate salt with hot water tastes like an indulgent hot chocolate. I usually dilute 1 packet into 30 oz of water and sip/refill throughout the day. 

Redmond Real Salt-I never appreciated the taste of real salt until I started using the Redmond brand. Because we limit the amount of processed food we eat, it’s important to salt our food to ensure we are reaching sodium goals. I can honestly say that I taste a difference in the flavor of my food, for the better, when using Redmond salt. All of their products are amazing. They even sell mini salt shakers you can plop into your purse for when you eat out. Use code: CYNTHIA for 15% off of your order. 

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

~ cynthia

15 thoughts on “Salt For Fasting Success”

  1. Hi Cynthia,
    How or why does the flavored LMNT break a fast? Is it the Stevia? I prefer the orange flavored packets. They are a life-saver on the tennis court in the Texas heat. It’s really hard for me to drink the unflavored ones. Thanks!

  2. Hi Cynthia!
    I had a bout of kidney stones once, 5 years ago. It was never determined which kind it was, but at the time I was eating ALOT of almonds and spinach salad, which could have led to it; I have an otherwise very healthy diet. Since that time, I have limited foods high in oxalates, limited amount of animal protein serving size at each meal, limited added salt, and increased water. This change made a recently 24 urine test score EXCELLENT! I have been doing IF since 1/1/22 (I am 56) and have been in maintenance since about 4/20, and feel wonderful. I recently bought LMNT packets but now wonder if I should be holding off on it due to my past. I doing HIIT classes 2x/week, do a lot of walking, and drink about 100 oz of water per day. My fasting schedule is about 19/5 or 18/6. Thanks!

  3. Cynthia,
    I’m also an NP and so glad I found you. I’ve been doing IF for one month and feeling good but I’m getting headaches at times. I’m on spironolactone for my acne (hate being on it but it works for me). Do you think the potassium in the LMNT would be too much for me since that’s a potassium sparing med? Thank you! Love your vacation pictures!


  4. Hi Cynthia, I also listened to you on Megyn Kelly. I have been doing IF for over 2 years but felt I must’ve been doing something wrong and sure enough! I had been told that if you keep your calorie intake to less than 50 it would not break your fast. Working on my magnesium game also. I drink a lot of water and work out every morning. My chiropractor had also told me about the LMNT recharge as I have restless leg syndrome and am trying to get off prescription medicines. For the first time in a very long time, I have had no leg or hip pain throughout the night. I eat a lot of salt already so my husband thought I was crazy adding more sodium to my diet. But so far I have only seen the benefits. Thank you for sharing the information!

    • Thank you for sharing Sheri! And yes- LMNT/salt has some amazing benefits! … I am a strong believer in a “clean fast” which means only black coffee, bitter teas and water during the fasting hours!

  5. Hi Cynthia!

    I just heard your guest spot on the Wellness Mama podcast. You do great work! I had tried IF and although a very healthy eater, hydrating well, active and holistic health minded, my ND told me that given my higher cortisol from GAD creating insulin resistance that I was not yet a good candidate. I’m working on getting my system to be more parasympathetic. ITMT, when talking about adding a pinch of quality salt to your water for electrolyte support, I believe you also mentioned Celtic sea salt, along with Redmond’s and Himalayan, etc. But you do not list Celtic above in your piece. I drink 3 liters/day of water. Should I try a big pinch of Celtic salt per liter? Thank you!

    • Hi Christina- It is absolutely true that if you have high cortisol you should not be fasting right now. Focus on sleep, hydration and keeping your stress levels down to help lower your cortisol. I mention Redmonds salt because I love it. I also love LMNT electrolytes added to my water. Celtic is fine to use too!

  6. Hi Cynthia, I recently listened to your podcast with Megyn Kelly and you totally inspired me start IF again! I had no idea about the need for electrolytes so that was super helpful – curious how many of the LMNT packets a day? I’m currently doing one of the non flavored during fasting and another flavored one during the eating window…both mixed with 32 ounces of water- just didn’t want to do too much or too little thank you!!

  7. Hi, Can you let me know please which of your podcasts features the fellow from Redmond Real salt?
    Thank You,

  8. I just finished listening to your most recent podcast on salt consumption. I am an intermittent faster and I’m curious does adding pink Himalayan salt to my coffee and or water throughout the day break my fast? I know you said adding certain electrolytes doesn’t and I believe you said adding salt to your food helps with the fast (which implies the fast has been broken). Will adding salt to my liquids during my fast break it?

    • Hi Rachel,

      Adding pink Himalayan salt to your black coffee or water will not break your fast. If you are consuming unflavored electrolytes such as my Dynamic electrolytes or LMNT’s unflavored electrolytes those also will not break your fast.

      I hope this helps!

  9. Dear Cynthia,

    I have purchased the Redmond Real Salt brand, and agree it makes food taste better!
    My questions for you… because this superior salt is not a source of iodine, what is a good way to add iodine back in my keto/IF diet, and is it really necessary?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Bridgid,

      Stay tuned for my podcast with Dr. Alan Christianson. He talks about the role of iodine and thyroid issues.

      Short answer: you are likely getting plenty of iodine between your food and personal care product sources.



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