Updated: Jan 19, 2022
You've probably heard of the importance of electrolytes and sea salt with Intermittent Fasting. But how do you actually use it? Does salt break a fast and ruin your results? Today, I'm breaking down the details of Intermittent Fasting and sea salt!
Does Salt Break a Fast?
Pure, high quality sea salt does not contain any protein or carbohydrates that will cause an insulin response and therefore will not break a fast. However, if you are using fasting for religious or certain therapeutic purposes, then it may break your fast.
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Why You Should Be Using Salt While Fasting
One of the main perks of Intermittent Fasting is the decreased insulin levels that typically result from the fast.(1) This is great for a weight loss goal because higher levels of insulin cause the body to shut off fat burning (aka lipolysis) while lower levels of insulin allow fat burning to be turned back on. When insulin levels are high, it also tells the kidneys to hold on to sodium. However, when insulin levels begin to drop while using a fasting period, the kidneys can start to release more sodium as a result. This release can lead to a loss of sodium that requires a replacement from the diet.
Sodium gets a bad reputation, but it's highly important for literally every single function in the body. Sodium is necessary to maintain electrolyte balance. It's also used in nerve transmissions, meaning it's needed to transmit a signal from your brain to the rest of your body. Not to mention, the previously held bad reputation of salt isn't based off of much research. In fact, a 2014 review found no evidence that reducing salt is actually beneficial for heart disease prevention.(2)
However, the quality certainly matters. Getting your sodium from sugary, processed packaged foods is not quite the same as adding a pinch of high quality Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt to your water.
How To Take Salt While Fasting
Every person's salt and sodium needs will depend on their activity level, how much you sweat, how long you're fasting, etc. Personally, I like to aim for around 1/8 tsp. of Celtic Sea Salt paired with my morning 12 oz. of water to get my electrolytes in. This is around the amount I typically recommend with the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle protocols during the fasted state.
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Autumn Elle Nutrition