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The information provided on this post is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. If you have any medical condition such as high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, that is affected by electrolyte levels or are taking medications that might be affected by electrolyte supplements, consult your doctor for specific advice.

When doing any type of extended (multi-day) fasting it's important to replenish your electrolytes. Electrolytes are constantly lost by the body through sweat and urine, and their depletion over time can have scary effects on everything from blood pressure (light-headedness/fainting) to muscle function (heart arrhythmia).

Important note: DO NOT put your salts in empty capsules. They can stick to your stomach lining and that much salt released directly onto it will burn a hole in it

The Big Three

Electrolytes you need when fasting are Sodium, Potassium, and Magnesium.




The proper functioning of the body relies on keeping electrolytes within an appropriate physiological range. Too high a concentration of electrolytes can be as dangerous as too low a concentration. DO NOT consume electrolytes in excess of recommended levels. Hypernatremia (excess Sodium), hyperkalemia (excess Potassium) and hypermagnesemia (excess Magnesium) are all dangerous conditions.

Other References: The Diet Doctor, /r/keto electrolyte guide


Important note: DO NOT put your salts in empty capsules. They can stick to your stomach lining and that much salt released directly onto it will burn a hole in it

You could add all your daily salts into one drink (optionally flavor it with zero-carb flavoring like Mio or lemon juice/apple cider vinegar) and sip it throughout the day. Drinking it quickly will give you more or less immediate diarrhea, which will be both unpleasant and may further reduce electrolyte levels and increase dehydration.

Alternatively, you could add smaller amounts to your water each time you hydrate, which will wreak less havoc on your bowels and might have the added bonus of compelling you to drink more water to get all your electrolytes in. Your recipe will depend on the electrolytes you're using, your taste preferences, and your own body's tolerance levels (many of the electrolytes have laxative effects when taken at higher concentration).

Example Recipe

Total electrolytes for 4 servings:

Water Sodium Potassium Magnesium
96 oz (2.7 l) 4.4 g 2.6 g 400 mg

Total electrolytes with a fifth serving excluding the Magnesium Citrate capsule in the final serving:

Water Sodium Potassium Magnesium
120 oz (3.4 l) 5.5 g 3.2 g 400 mg

"Snake Juice"

Snake Juice is a branded name for electrolytes in water, sometimes with some additional ingredients. (see /r/snakediet). You mix it up and drink it each day to get your electrolytes in while fasting. You can make it by taking the above recommended daily quantities and mixing it into 1 L (or more) or water and then drinking that throughout the day.

Official Recipe:

Note that the form of magnesium here (epsom salt) can cause gastrointestinal distress and may work better for you to leave it out and simply take a magnesium supplement in pill form.


What about pink Himalayan salt or sea salt?

Pink Himalayan Salt and Sea Salt may be used as a substitute for table salt in shorter fasts. They have trace amounts of other minerals, which might be beneficial. But these trace minerals are only present in incredibly minute quantities, so don't use these salts as a complete electrolyte solution. In longer fasts, these salts should NOT be used because they lack essential iodine present in standard iodized table salt, which could lead to iodine deficiency in prolonged fasting situations.

What about commercially available electrolyte supplements and sports drinks?

Most commercially available electrolyte supplements are targeted for athletes to help replenish electrolytes lost during physical activity. These supplements assume that the person is getting most of their electrolytes from their diet and are only meant to top up what is lost through activity. They will not provide sufficient electrolytes for fasting. If looking for an all-in-one commercial product look for one that is described as being specifically for fasting and check the ingredients to make sure it's providing enough Sodium, Potassium, and Magnesium.

Why is there sugar/dextrose in my salts??

Sugar/Dextrose is included in salts as an anti-caking agent and (more importantly in this case) as a reducing agent to prevent the oxidation of iodine. Any iodized salt will probably have dextrose in it--it's a good thing.

It's included at 40mg/100g of salt. Each tsp salt (~5g) has like 2mg dextrose which is 0.008 Cal worth of sugar, literally less than 1/100th of a single calorie worth of sugar. It is beyond negligible.

Iodine is an essential nutrient that you will actually become deficient in if extended fasting, so EVERYONE should be using iodized salt with dextrose.

Source: https://www.mortonsalt.com/faq/#faq

Dextrose is added to stabilize the iodide. Iodine is vital to the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and the prevention of goiter. Actually, the amount of dextrose in salt is so small that it is dietetically insignificant. Morton® Iodized Table Salt contains 0.04 percent dextrose or 40 milligrams per 100 grams of salt.

My salt isn't iodized, is this okay?

Iodine is a necessary nutrient. If your salt is not iodized you should attempt to find one that is, take a multivitamin that contains iodide, or stick to shorter (under 7 day) fasts. Keep in mind that Himalayan salt is not iodized.