Why Do I Crave Salt?

by NateB11

Maybe you crave salty food or like to cover dinner with salt. And you wonder why. Find out why!

Do you like eating lots of salty chips or do you use extra salt on your food at the dinner table? Does it feel like you really need that salt or, at least, it seems like you can't get enough?

It could be habit. Or it could indicate you need more salt or at least need some other substance that your brain and body thinks you might get from salt.

Fact is, we need salt. In the old days, before we had easy access to salt, we had to struggle to get it. The body got used to craving it so that we'd take in enough of it. But nowadays, salt is everywhere; in processed and packaged food, in those burgers and fries from the fast food joint and in the salt shaker at the dinner table. We get too much of it. This has led to such conditions as high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney disease. So, the advice to be wary of salt, of course, is valid.

However, some conditions could be the reason why you really want more salt in your diet. Let's find out more about them.

Mineral Deficiency

Our bodies need minerals such as calcium, magnesium and zinc. Such minerals have a salty taste. Your bodies, looking to replenish with necessary minerals, might mistakenly crave salt to make up the difference. In such cases, clearly, you would do well to eat more mineral-rich foods or take supplements to get those minerals into your body.


Athletes actually intentionally take in more salt because of how much they sweat. The reason why is that salt helps balance out the fluids in the blood and body and is necessary for the healthy functioning of our bodies.

Salt aids in the regulation of electrolytes in the body, which are mineral salts that conduct electricity and help us keep water that we need in our system.

So, to keep that salt craving in check, you might want to drink more water and consume more electrolytes like potassium. In fact, potassium specifically helps with the healthy functioning of nerves, heart and muscles. Eat more bananas or take a potassium supplement.

Do you crave salt?

Athletes often consume more salt because they sweat and lose electrolytes that help balance out fluids in the body.
Athletes often consume more salt because they sweat and lose electrolytes that help balance out fluids in the body.


Some disorders deplete the body of salt and therefore will make you crave it. Conditions that affect the adrenal glands, like Addison's Disease, will make you crave salt because adrenals help balance minerals in the body; particularly they help with a hormone called aldosterone that regulates salt and potassium in your system. When there is adrenal fatigue, the hormone is compromised and you lose salt.

Stress and low blood pressure can also affect the adrenal glands and cause you to crave salt. Certain kidney disorders like Bartter Syndrome will also make you crave salt.


As we get older our taste buds dull a bit. Food can taste bland and you might feel it needs a little flavor. Therefore, you are liable to salt your food a bit more so that you're not eating bland food, or what seems bland because your taste buds are old and worn out.

Why Do I Crave Salt?
Why Do I Crave Salt?

It's important to understand that we actually need salt in our diets; it's necessary, for instance, for bone growth and reproduction. And studies have found that salt depletion can cause depression. You might be reaching for the salt to deal with being down in the dumps.

Of course, it is equally important to understand that we can get too much salt and it can lead to serious health conditions and disorders. We have a lot of salt everywhere in foods marketed to us and right up there in the cupboard. Be wise and careful and study what you can to find out what is happening with your body. And, obviously, consult a doctor when necessary.

Updated: 01/28/2016, NateB11
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greentree on 03/22/2016

Eating fast food, which is often quite salted, can make you crave salt. It's pretty much a psychological thing. Few days of not eating fast food and craving goes away. Drinking mineral water that naturally contains some sodium (salt) can help you drink more water, because sodium makes the water more tasty.

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