Symptoms, conditions and causes

Why do I have salt cravings?

Craving salt is an indicator of salt (or sodium) deficiency in your body. There are ways you can restore your salt levels to normal. Additionally, the side effects of not having enough sodium are way worse than the effects of having too much sodium.


  • Craving salt

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle fatigue

  • Muscle cramps

Cause #1: Sodium deficiency

If you are not consuming enough sodium in your diet it can result in salt cravings.

One thing to know is that potassium and sodium work together to maintain the usual healthy functions of your body. You need 4,700 mg of potassium and 1,000 mg of sodium per day. That’s a 4.7 to 1 ratio. If you are consuming a quantity of vegetables that contains a lot of potassium this can result in your body’s requiring more sodium.

Having an imbalance of salt and potassium can cause the risk of heart problems, stroke and even insulin resistance.

Consuming large amounts of potassium (for example in vegetables) will require more salt to balance it out, because they work together. Having too much potassium and not enough salt can create salt deficiency and cravings.


  • Take sea salt (1 to 1.5 teaspoons a day)

  • Eat olives

  • Eat salty cheese

  • Eat salty nuts and seeds

  • Maintain the ratio of potassium and salt (4.7 mg to 1 mg)

If you eat a lot of vegetables or potassium-rich foods, consume more of the above.

Other causes:

  • Blood pressure medications that block aldosterone (salt-retaining hormone)

  • Diuretics

  • Excess water

  • Keto diet

  • Aging

  • Liver damage (as in cirrhosis)

  • Exercise

  • Being in the heat

  • Addison’s disease

  • Hypothyroid

  • Adrenal fatigue

Last updated: May 28, 2023 17:00 PM