Does Salt Break Intermittent Fasting | Why Consume Salt While Fasting | Consuming Electrolytes During Fasting | Does Himalayan Salt Break a Fast | How to Have Salt While Fasting
Let’s jump in, does salt break a fast? People have different connotations about consuming salt while fasting. Those who fast for religious reasons might believe that having common salt would break their fast. While in most intermittent fasting diets, consuming salt is encouraged since it has the much-needed electrolytes that help sustain the fast.
Some researchers claim that having pink salt or Himalayan salt while intermittent fasting curbs hunger. It can be because it completes the body’s requirement of essential electrolytes, which the body loses while intermittent fasting. Moreover, having salt keeps the cells hydrated and maintains blood volume. The minerals in a pink Himalayan salt have lots of minerals that your standard iodized table salt do NOT have. So always use a good salt in your cooking and food.
Let us look a little into the various aspects of consuming salt while fasting. We will break down the ins and out around the question, does salt break a fast?
Does Salt Break a fast?
It doesn’t have any carbohydrates or proteins to trigger an insulin response, and anything that does not raise insulin is likely good to go while intermittent fasting. The chemical name of common salt is sodium chloride with the chemical formula NaCl. Pure sea salt predominantly contains sodium chloride.
What about the other minerals found in salt? Other minerals found in common salt, such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium, can be eaten without breaking the fast? So, if you’re wondering whether sodium breaks a fast, the answer is no.
Why Consume Salt While Fasting?
When the fat-burning process begins due to low insulin in the body during fasting, the kidneys start using sodium. Sodium is vital for many bodily functions, including transmitting neurological messages from the brain to the rest of the body.
That is why having salt while fasting is ideal.
The body expels more water and electrolytes when using its glycogen stores instead of carbohydrates. Since the body does not produce electrolytes on its own, the scarcity of electrolytes might cause weakness and fatigue. In extreme cases, it has a detrimental effect on the bones.
Consuming Electrolytes During Fasting
You might be wondering if it is okay to consume sports drinks like Pedialyte or Gatorade while fasting?
The fact of the matter is even though such beverages have the goodness of electrolytes, they have added sugar to balance the salty taste of electrolytes. While electrolytes won’t break your fast, sugar would do the opposite.
So does salt break a fast in water? The answer is obviously a no, but you need to make sure it is pure saltwater without any additives. If you buy any drink from the market, it might have preservatives to enhance the taste. While having plain saltwater while fasting is fine and would not break the fast, you shouldn’t go for other drinks or supplements.
To know more on various supplements that can be taken during fasting, read – Top 7 Intermittent Fasting Supplements And How To Use Them.
Does Salt break a fast, if its Pink Himalayan salt?
As stated earlier, many experts recommend consuming pink salt or Himalayan salt instead of common salt while fasting. It is because of the additional minerals that Himalayan salt has compared to common salt for fasting. Now, you might have a question about will Himalayan pink salt break a fast.
Himalayan salt is mined from the Himalayan salt range mountains. It is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium. Though common salt also has a small percentage of these minerals, pink salt is considered more nutritious and does not break the fast just as common salt.
However, there isn’t a direct confirmation of the touted benefits of pink salt over common salt for meeting the body’s micronutrient needs while fasting. Pink salt, however, has a lesser amount of iodine as compared to common salt. So if you have pink salt, you might consider supplements to get optimum iodine for your body.
How to Have Salt While Fasting?
It is recommended not to take an excessive amount of salt during fasting as too much sodium increases the risk of blood pressure. You can talk to a medical practitioner to know the amount of salt that is good for your body. In most healthy people, the daily requirement of sodium is <500 mg/day, which is less than half a teaspoon. The amount of salt needed also depends on how long you fast and your eating habit.
If you exercise regularly, your body will lose electrolytes through sweat, and your body will require more salt than usual. In such time aim for 800 to 1000mg or 1 teaspoon salt per day.
For dealing with hunger while fasting, you can also fulfil your electrolyte requirements from nutritious food sources such as prunes, nuts, beans, and bananas. If you are strict on fasting, you can try having salt mixed in warm water to save yourself from hunger pangs.
Now, you need not worry about does salt break a fast? Because you now know that it doesn’t. However, for optimal physiological functions, you must be careful about how much and how you consume it. Always consume a good salt, I like to use Himalayan Pink Salt, I’ve found it has the best mineral profile.
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