How Much Sodium Treats POTS

A person salting a basket of french fries with a milkshake in the background. A caption reads
A person salting a basket of french fries with a milkshake in the background. A caption reads "How much sodium treats POTS" with the NormaLyte logo at the top.
If you’ve been diagnosed with POTS, a form of dysautonomia, then you’re asking yourself how much salt you should be taking to treat your symptoms.  Before we jump into that, let’s talk about salt.

 

For me, late night cravings can overtake me.  Do you have late night cravings?  If you’re like me, my go-to snack is something salty.  It’s my body's way of telling me the exact thing I need, sodium.  And, for good reason.  Salt is found in every single cell of our body. 

Every cell?!  Yep.  Every single one.   

Our bodies need sodium to function.  It is an essential mineral within electrolytes that literally give our cells an electric charge.  Learn more about what electrolytes are here.

WHAT IS TABLE SALT?

Table salt is most commonly used by individuals to season our food.  It can bring out the flavors of food in a way that makes it more enjoyable to eat.  It is also used as a preservative for foods because table salt is resistant to bacteria.  Bacteria cannot survive in an environment high in salt.  Salt has been used to preserve meats and other foods since the Mesopotamia era (around 3,000 BC).

Sodium chloride is the technical name for what we would call the salt that sits in the shaker on your table at dinner.  As the name suggests, table salt is made up of both sodium (40%) and chloride (60%).  If you purchase iodized salt you will also find iodine as an ingredient, another element your body needs.  Iodine was added in the 1920s within the United States.  Not all table salt in the United States contains iodine.  Interestingly, a study done in 2018 stated that adding iodine to table salt has raised intelligence levels and increased income by 11%.  All ingredients within table salt are electrolytes.

Electrolytes are minerals like sodium and chloride that create a literal electric charge inside our body, giving you energy your organs need to keep going.  According to Harvard, the average person needs a minimum of 500mg of sodium daily to survive.  Be aware when you reach for that salt shaker that sodium and salt are not the same thing.

IS SODIUM AND SALT THE SAME THING?

No.  All salt has sodium in it, but sodium is not salt.  Sodium on its own is a mineral.  Salt is the combined mineral makeup of both sodium and chloride.  In fact, 1 gram of salt is equal to 400 milligrams of sodium.  This is especially important to understand if you are someone who is watching your sodium intake.  

IS SALT BAD FOR YOU?

The short answer: it depends.  The American Heart Association says that the average person should get no more than 1,500mg of sodium (or 3.75g of salt) per day.  They go on to say that 70% of sodium Americans get is from packaged, prepared, and restaurant foods.  The average American eats 3,400mg of sodium daily, almost twice the recommended amount.

Not everything is one size fits all.  On the flip side, if you are someone who has postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome or other forms of dysautonomia you may not be getting enough sodium in your diet due to chronic dehydration.  Thus, you may be reaching for the salt shaker more often in an effort to combat your symptoms.

HOW MUCH SODIUM TREATS POTS

Here at NormaLyte we get these questions a lot.  This isn’t a one size fits all answer.  There are a lot of co-morbidities of POTS and other medical conditions that can affect the answer.  You should always consult your physician treating you with this question.

The Cleveland Clinic recommends someone with POTS to get between 3,000mg - 10,000mg of sodium daily.  That’s up to 25 grams of salt daily!  Holy cow!

Your physician may have said to take a particular amount of salt a day.  Or, they could have said you need a particular amount of sodium a day.  That can be very confusing knowing that salt and sodium are not the same thing.  To help you sort it out, we’ve created a simple calculator for you to ensure you’re getting the correct amount a day.

HOW MUCH SODIUM IS IN NORMALYTE?

This is the most asked question we get.  NormaLyte contains the exact amount of sodium needed to be effective as an oral rehydration solution (ORS).  An ORS is a sugar and electrolyte solution that is intended to treat and prevent dehydration.  Recently, the World Health Organization and UNICEF have recommended a new formula of ORS that is low in osmolarity, highly effective, and quick acting.  NormaLyte uses that formula.

In NormaLyte’s orange, apple, and grape flavors you will find 852mg of sodium.  In NormaLyte PURE you will find 861mg of sodium.

NormaLyte has been a game changer for so many with POTS.  It’s a great way to get the amount of sodium you should be taking in a day.  Many people have told us they take 2-3 sticks a day and have had great success in keeping all symptoms of their POTS at bay.

Get it here.