Listen to this podcast or watch the video. CLICK HERE
Wendy Myers: Hello everyone. Thank you so much for listening to the podcast. Today, we have a very good friend of mine, Dr. James DiNicolantonio on the show today. He is the author of “The Salt Fix”, and he’s going to be talking about the different types of salt you should be eating. The differences between sea salt and regular table salt that a lot of people are consuming every day. How there are micro plastics in sea salt. And his top recommended salts, and how salt creates more energy in the body, and how you should dose with salt. How much salt do you need every day? This is a very, very good show, and definitely recommend his book, “The Salt Fix”.
Our guest today is Dr. James DiNicolantonio. He is the author of “The Salt Fix”. He is a cardiovascular research scientist at St. Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri. Dr. DiNicolantonio’s research focused on nutrition and cardiovascular health. He is the author or co-author of over 200 publications in the medical literature. Dr. James also serves as the associate editor of BMJ Open Heart, which is a cardiology published partnership with a British Cardiovascular Society. You can learn more about Dr. DiNicolantonio on the links below.
James, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Dr. James D.: Thanks for having me, Wendy.
Wendy Myers: Why don’t you tell the listeners a little about yourself and how you got into the health field.
Dr. James D.: I’m a Doctor of Pharmacy. I’m also a cardiovascular research scientist at St. Luke’s Mid-America Heart Institute. I started publishing almost a decade ago. It stemmed from, in regards to salt, from when I was a community pharmacist working with hypertensive patients, and they were being put on these low salt diets and actually suffering a lot of consequences. They were dizzy, elevated heart rate, exercise intolerant all of a sudden, especially orthostatic hypotension, like going from a seated to a standing position. I really pushed back to my patients, saying, “This low salt advice doesn’t seem to be doing you any good.”
Thy would go to their doctors, and sure enough, their blood sodium levels were super low. As soon as they upped their salt intake, all of their symptoms went away. Their heart palpitations went away, their muscle cramps, all of that. Really, that spawned me into researching salt and writing the book. That’s how it all happened.
Wendy Myers: So, how did we get here? Why is it that medical doctors are telling people to not eat salts? And haven’t made that differentiation between table salt, which is very toxic, and sea salt, which is necessary for life and perfectly matches our body chemistry?
Dr. James D.: I think it’s two questions. How did we get to where we’re recommending the low salt advice? And then, why is there no differentiation between salts that are out there?
Really, the low salt advice, basically, it stems from the same thing why we believe low fat, low cholesterol, it all comes back to those 1977 dietary goals. I’ve said that so many times, but that’s literally where, basically, our nutritional whiplash that we’re dealing with now, stems from. Basically, it was just the opinions of a few people. Senator George McGovern, he created this select committee, and Nick Modern, who really wasn’t a research scientist or anything like that. He didn’t really even have any type of nutritional training, was tasked with creating these dietary goals. He mainly relied on Mark Hagstadt.
It was written just by a few people. The advice to go on a low salt diet, and a low-fat diet, and a low cholesterol diet, and a high carb diet, it all stems from just a few people, back in 1977. It’s crazy that we were brain-washed for 40 years. But, there was never any systematic review or meta-analysis of studies back then. There was no need for evidence. It was like, if you had a high enough position, you had enough clout, and you said salt was bad, and you recommended low salt, that’s literally what happened.
That got integrated into our 1980 dietary guidelines, and the low salt advice was just updated every five years ever since. No one’s ever said, “Did we even ever have any evidence to recommend low salt diets?”
Wendy Myers: Now, we have the internet to get educated.
Dr. James D.: Exactly. The other question that you asked … We’re just starting to realize that table salt might not be the healthiest salt. Even beyond that, in my book, I push even beyond even sea salt. Some studies are coming out that even modern day oceans are contaminated with modern day pollution, and that gets into modern day sea salts, like micro plastics and things like that. I even go a step beyond in the book. My number one recommended salt is Redmond Real Salt, because it’s from an ancient ocean, and it doesn’t have those potential micro-plastic and heavy metals that are found in some modern-day sea salts. Not to say that they can’t remove some of those things, which some of the higher-tier modern day sea salts may do. But, it’s up in the air. I don’t want to risk that, so I go for an ancient ocean salt.
I have a nutrient analysis table of some of the more common salts. I show that a lot of the salts don’t necessarily have very high minerals, except for iodine in general. Certain salts have a good amounts of iodine. Himalayan salt does have good amounts of iodine. It just depends on the batch you get. You can get less than 100 micrograms of iodine per 10 grams of salt, and I’ve seen some as high as 1000 micrograms. It just depends. Whereas, Redmond has about 170 micrograms of iodine.
So, good amounts of iodine in Redmond, and it has good amounts of calcium, which we sweat. We sweat not just salt, but we sweat out iodine. Actually really good amount of iodine, like between 50 and 100 micrograms of iodine per hour of exercise. When I discovered that, I was like, “Whoa, that’s crazy.” Because we’re supposed to be consuming 150 micrograms a day, and you could be losing 100 micrograms an hour of exercise, which is cool. So, if you’re not eating a salt that has good amount of iodine, you’re obviously potentially becoming depleted in iodine. I think a lot of people who are exercising, just constantly sweating out salt and iodine are slowly depleting themselves of those important minerals.
Of course, your metabolism is tied to iodine, because your thyroid hormones are made of iodine. You’re going to be storing more fat simply because you’re not getting enough salt. It’s crazy to think that, but there’s definitely a link there.
Wendy Myers: I recommend all of my clients take iodine, unless they don’t tolerate it for some reason. But, yeah, the 150 micrograms, they’re not accounting for all the chloride and fluoride that block its uptake in the thyroid. You have to take a lot more than 150 micrograms per day, that’s recommended by the RDA. But also, a lot of people are eating table salt for iodine. I was at my aunt’s house one day, and I’m like, “Why are you eating table salt? Why would you eat that, the Morton’s garbage, when you could be eating sea salt, and that’s a very similar price point?”
She said “It’s for iodine.”
I’m like, “You could just supplement iodine separately, you don’t need to get it in your salt.”
Dr. James D.: Right. What’s kind of crazy too, is we don’t even know the bio-availability of the artificial potassium iodide that they put in table salt. Apparently, some people say that the bio-availability is less than 10%, whereas natural iodine apparently has a bio-availability of about 100%. You think you’re doing something good by consuming iodized table salt, and it may not necessarily be the best thing. I never even realized until a couple years ago that, you’re regular old Morton table salt, when you look at the back of it, it’s got dextrose added to it. It’s bleached white. It’s highly refined. It has anti-caking agents in it.
Wendy Myers: Aluminum. They use aluminum as an anti-caking agent.
Dr. James D.: Right. So, I don’t think a lot of people really understand that. Once you realize it, then it’s easier to make the case of why you should be consuming more natural salts.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. Is there micro plastics in the table salt? Like regular table salt? Or you think that’s just the oceans?
Dr. James D.: I think it’s just the oceans. Yeah. Because table salt is mined, so I don’t think it necessarily has those micro plastics.
Wendy Myers: What exactly is in table salt? What is that the majority of Americans are eating? Say, when you go to a restaurant. A lot of us go out to eat, and you have a meal full of table salt, I feel so sick. I know it’s the salt. I’ve gotten way too much salt, and it creates an imbalance in your body because there’s way more sodium content in the regular table salt than there is a sea salt. Can you explain what’s in the salt? What’s going on there?
Dr. James D.: Regular table salt, like you just said, is just plain salt. It’s sodium and chloride. The rest, maybe the 2% of the salt is composed of dextrose and other things. Other salts contain up to 84 different types of minerals. Some salts have decent amounts of magnesium. A lot of the sea salts seem to be decently high in magnesium, by they generally lack iodine. It just depends on the person. Some people, their diets really are low in magnesium, and you might want to consume a salt that’s higher in magnesium. Some people, they’re exercising all the time and sweating lots of iodine. Maybe they should be consuming Redmond real salt, because the iodine content. It just depends on your individual self.
Wendy Myers: So, with sea salts, it has 84 different minerals. Can you explain how we need that because our blood plasma has 80 plus different kinds of minerals. We need that to replenish the minerals in our body, because the minerals are the spark plugs of the body. They make our body work in so many different ways. Can you talk a little about that?
Dr. James D.: Yeah. The medical community and health associations that pin everything on salt, have lost the overall picture. That’s really overall dietary pattern. Salt is fine to consume, as long as it’s balanced with … A few particular minerals seem to be very important that you need to be consuming adequate amounts of. That’s potassium and magnesium, with sodium. So, potassium does have a mild type of diuretic effect, and so if you’re consuming 4 to 6 grams of potassium a day, all the population studies show that even consuming 4 to 6 grams of sodium per day, is completely fine.
The Japanese, they consume a much higher amount of potassium than we do in America. About two to three times the amount. We wonder, “Why do the Japanese … how can they consume so much salt and live the longest?” Well, they’re eating a real diet. Salting to taste and getting salts from seaweed and things like that.
What’s crazy is, a lot of the selling point for salt is that salt helps actually helps maintain our magnesium status. The reason is, if we don’t get enough salt, our body’s going to pull it from somewhere to maintain normal sodium levels in the blood. What ends up happening is the body will strip the bones of sodium. At the same time, it’s stripping them of calcium and magnesium. Literally, if you want to go on a low salt diet, there’s been numerous balance studies that have shown, it actually causes people to go into a negative sodium balance, and the bone is being stripped of magnesium as well, and become a negative balance of magnesium and calcium. So, if you want to maintain healthy bones and you don’t want to strip them of calcium and magnesium, you need to be in a positive salt balance.
Wendy Myers: I’ve heard that sodium and potassium, they are minerals that keep calcium dissolved in the blood. So, if you don’t have adequate amounts, you can’t hold onto calcium. It’ll metastasize into your soft tissues, where it doesn’t belong.
Dr. James D.: Magnesium controls the sodium-potassium pump. What ends up happening is, if you don’t have enough magnesium, you start accumulating sodium within the cell, which causes an accumulation of calcium, which causes vascular calcifications and arterial stiffening. Vassal constriction, hyper tension, you name it. Everyone’s focused on salt, and it’s like, “magnesium controls sodium accumulation in the cell, which is much more important than salt intake.” I think magnesium’s the missing mineral in a lot of people’s diets. If you can balance that and eat adequate amounts of potassium, magnesium, eating a normal salt diet does not appear to be detrimental. It actually appears to be very beneficial.
Wendy Myers: What are some of the other arms you can talk about, about cutting salt out of your diet?
Dr. James D.: Salt is composed of sodium and chloride. Most people understand some of the benefits of sodium, like maintaining a blood pressure. We need a blood pressure. Everyone fears blood pressure, but if we didn’t have a blood pressure, you and I wouldn’t be talking right now. It maintains blood circulation, and sodium allows, actuality to absorb vitamin C in the intestines. Sodium brings in vitamin C. Sodium also bring in vitamin C into the brain, and into our bones. It’s very important for brain health and bone health. We know low sodium levels in the blood is associated with instable gait and falls and fractures. People with cognitive impairment that are diagnosed pre-dementia actually might just be literally deficient in salt.
Then, there’s the other part of salt, which is chloride, which makes up our stomach acid. Hydrochloric acid. If you want to break down the food that you eat into, and absorb the minerals, you need to have an adequate amount of chloride. Salt, literally gives us chloride, which allows us to digest our food, absorb nutrients, prevent bacterial overgrowth. Salt is extremely important.
Wendy Myers: So, what are some of the ways that salt helps to give us energy? Is one of the signs of salt and mineral deficiency, fatigue?
Dr. James D.: Yeah. Absolutely. Salt gives us energy in so many different ways, from making sure the adrenal glands have enough vitamin C, giving us iodine. Obviously, in order to have healthy thyroid function, you need iodine and you need good amounts of salt. That gives us energy, having a good thyroid function. Salt gives us energy by maintaining our magnesium status. ATP energy is not ATP. It’s not activated until it’s bound to magnesium. Everybody wants to take caffeine, and this, and this, and that, it’s like, “No. Energy is magnesium ATP, and if you’re not getting enough salt, you’re depleting your body of magnesium, and you’re not going to have activated ATP.” That’s another way how salt gives us energy.
Also, low salt diets cause insulin resistance. Giving higher amounts of salt to diabetics has been shown to reverse their insulin resistance. We know that when you’re insulin resistant and you have high levels of insulin, that is locking in your ability to access your stored fat and protein for fuel. You’re starving of energy when you’re more insulin resistant. Salt provides insulin sensitivity, and that way, it also provides energy.
If you go on a low salt diet, heart rate generally goes up pretty dramatically. You’re a less efficient human, when you’re consuming low amounts of salt, because your heart rate is so elevated, and you’re literally … You could go up. I’ve seen studies showing that people have a 25% elevation in baseline heart rate. Instead of their heart rate being 80 beats per minute, it could be 100 beats per minute. That is just a huge energy suck on the body, having to be 20 beats per minute every minute, because you’re not consuming adequate amounts of salt.
Wendy Myers: I am going to read your book. You have a book called “The Salt Fix”, can you talk a little bit about, in there, what people can expect? I think it’s a really important book, and you mentioned when we were talking before the show, that you spend three years writing it. I think it’s really important for people to educate themselves about this, because adequate salt intake is one of the most basic, foundational things that you need to do for your health. You need to be educated about it, so you know what salts to choose, and what salts to avoid.
Dr. James D.: The book, basically, it starts where we got it wrong with salt. It goes into, then, a little bit of an evolutionary perspective of sources of salt. A lot of people think, “We didn’t evolve eating nearly the amount of salt that we eat today.” I show that we used to consume the entire animal, which contains blood and interstitial fluid, and lymphatic fluid, and skin, and organs, and all these sources of salt. We used to access the brains of kills in the African savanna, and we were able to get salt that way as well. I show and make a case that we didn’t necessarily evolve on a low salt diet, and there’s many ways to get salt, including going to salt licks. If animals were smart enough to go to a salt lick, I think humans are smart enough, too, to find sources of salt and consume them, when they didn’t get enough.
The book goes into a little bit of the lack of evidence of the low salt advice. It shifts over a little bit into how low salt diets cause us to cause [inaudible 00:18:25] and insulin resistance, and how eating more salt can improve insulin resistance. Then it goes into a connection between low salt diets causing sugar cravings and sugar addiction.
I talk about, “How do animals know to go to a salt lick when they’re depleted in salt?” The mechanism is, the brains reward system becomes hyper activated. That’s smart, because that will then cause the animal to like the salt more and crave it more. Unfortunately, this other white crystal that is available nowadays, can hijack that system, and low salt diets can potentially make sugar more addictive. And so-
Wendy Myers: That’s a really interesting point I wanted to elaborate on. At one point, I was very, very mineral deficient. I wasn’t paying attention to salt. I wasn’t eating a good diet, and I was craving sugar all the time, and definitely a sugar addict. I was also craving potato chips all the time. Anyone out there craving Doritos, or things flavored with regular salt, or MSG, that’s just your body crying out to feed it more salt. If you’re craving potato chips all the time, at least try to get the ones with the natural salts, the sea salt on them. Or, just don’t eat those, and heavily salt your food with regular sea salts.
When I started supplementing with minerals, on top of sea salt. I was amazed. I never looked at another potato chip again. I was giving my body the minerals that it needed, and I didn’t go towards those craving.
Dr. James D.: That’s a great example. A lot of people do crave potato chips for the salt. Then they’re just poisoning themselves with this toxic amount of refined carbohydrates and sugars, and that can cause people to over-attain salt. So, it’s like, “Don’t blame salt for what the sugar did.” A lot of people can just cut the sugar and then they can lose their salt-sensitive high blood pressure. The focus has always been on salt, and it really needs to be the other white crystal, because salt is an essential mineral, and sugar is a non-essential macro-nutrium. Don’t need to eat a single gram of exogenous sugar, whereas, we obviously need to consume a lot of salt.
Probably the most important chapter in the book is where I discuss what things cause us to become salt depleted. Things like caffeine, and low carb diets, and exercise, and all these different disease states like Celiacs, and inflammatory bowel disease where we don’t absorb salt well. All these conditions that can cause damage to the kidneys and cause salt loss. Just consuming four cups of coffee, we can lose over a full teaspoon of salt out in the urine. So, it’s become a craze. People are putting mineral salt on their coffee. I do a little bit, but not much. I just-
Wendy Myers: Screw it, replace what you’re losing.
Dr. James D.: Yeah. Exactly, but I like to, honestly, just salt my food rather than put it in my coffee. I’ll do, maybe a pinch of it.
Wendy Myers: Or salted butter in your coffee.
Dr. James D.: Yeah. Exactly, I wouldn’t do too much butter, but a lot of people are into that bullet-proof coffee.
Some of the final chapters are going into, what are some healthy high salt foods, like clams, seafood, crab, lobster, olives, cheese. Healthy foods that you can eat and integrate more salt into your diet. Then, how to dose yourself with salt before exercising. How much salt we lose per hour of exercise. We lose about 1/2 a teaspoon of salt per hour of exercise, and that obviously goes up, as outside temperature goes up.
Wendy Myers: I don’t sweat, so I don’t have that problem. Except for when I’m in my infra-red sauna. When I exercise, I don’t really sweat that much, I don’t know why. A little TMI there, but, so who needs more salt?
Dr. James D.: Lots of people need more salt, and one of the signs of salt deficiency isn’t really low sodium levels in the blood. A lot of people get confused, like, “My sodium levels in the blood are normal, so I must have enough salt.” It’s actually more symptomatic. If you are going from a seated to a standing position and you have an elevation in heart rate, you can feel that, you have POTS, which is Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, it’s pretty common in women. Over 3 million Americans have that syndrome. Or, if you go from a seated to a standing position and you’re dizzy, or you are exercise intolerant, you have muscle spasms, muscle cramps, heart palpitations. Those are real signs of potentially salt deficiency.
I’ve had a ton of people email me and say, “James, I’ve had muscles cramps, muscle spasms, or heart palpitations for years. Literally, after three days of upping my salt intake, it’s completely gone. That may have, also, something to do with not pulling magnesium from the bone any more by consuming more salt, and upping your magnesium status. Salt, magnesium. There’s this huge interplay between the two, and I think symptomatically, you can treat salt deficiency better than just a lab test.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. So, let’s talk about sodium and high blood pressure. A lot of people have hypertension., have high blood pressure. They go to the doctor, the doctor says, “Eat a low salt diet.” Can you make some distinctions for them, to help them feel more comfortable in consuming sea salt, and why that’s just a ridiculous notion?
Dr. James D.: Honestly, most of the evidence shows that a low salt diet actually causes hypertension in the long run, because a low salt diet causes insulin resistance, and it causes an increase in all these stress hormones, noradrenaline, and adrenaline, and it increases all the artery stiffening hormones. Literally, low salt diets increase the progression and acceleration of atherosclerosis in animal studies. That can cause hypertension, by just stiffening the arteries.
Whereas, it’s solely based on blood pressure. They think that its going to prevent hypertension or chronic elevation in blood pressure, because it may reduce blood volume, and that may lead to a reduction in strokes and heart attacks. But, you’re just dehydrating the person. That is not preventing hypertension. That is just, literally, dehydrating someone and reducing their blood volume. Yet, you’re actually worsening peripheral vascular resistance with low salt diets. Literally, low salt diets, most likely cause hypertension,.
People who can’t tolerate salt, where they consume salt, and they have swelling in the legs, and they have massive rises in blood pressure, there is something underlying going on. We should not be blaming this central mineral for causing that, that people can look for to treat. One of the main causes of salt sensitivity and over-retention of salt is insulin resistance. Simply cut the refined carbs and sugar and so many people have told me, that they don’t get elevations in blood pressure anymore. Their legs don’t swell anymore. There’s two other main underlying causes of over-retaining salt. One of them is high aldosterone levels. Some people can have benign tumors on their adrenal glands, and they’re over-secreting aldosterone. We can treat that with spironolactone, and other medications to inhibit aldosterone, or we can just remove the benign tumor that’s causing that person to over-secrete aldosterone.
Then, some people have Cushing Syndrome, where they have an increase in cortisol levels, which is causing them to over-retain salt, and causing the release of salt in areas where it shouldn’t happen. Then, some people have leaky blood vessels from low magnesium, and that’s literally causing the salt and volume to go into the interstadial fluid, which is causing the edema in their legs. It’s due to leaky blood vessels, it’s not due to the salt that their consuming. The leaky blood vessels can be due to a low salt diet, leading to magnesium deficiency, and causing the leaky blood vessels in the first place. It’s not intuitive, all this stuff, but it’s important to know that people shouldn’t be blaming salt for those issues when they consume it, and trying to discover what the underlying cause is.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. Let’s talk a little bit about the best salts out there. You’ve done a lot of research on different salts, and I’m a salt freak. I have ten different kinds of salts, I love salt. What are some of the best salts that you recommend?
Dr. James D.: My number one in the book, for five main reasons, is Redmond Real Salt. One, it’s super cheap. For being an ancient salt, and for having good amounts of other minerals, it’s super cheap. If you compare that to other salts, it’s just not even funny. Himalayan salt is probably five to ten times the cost of Redmond Real Salt. So, that’s one reason why I like it. It also has good amounts of iodine. It also has good amounts of calcium. It is from that ancient ocean source, you’re avoiding the modern day sea salts, which can potentially have that modern day pollution. That’s probably my number one.
Himalayan’s not bad either. It also would lack the micro plastics from sea salts from modern day oceans, and it has good amounts of iodine as well. But, it doesn’t have the calcium that Redmond does, and it also has some radioactive elements in it, like plutonium and polonium, and rubidium, and some of these other things that are a little concerning. They’re at low amounts, but it’s like, “If I can get a salt that doesn’t have that, why would I not do that?”
Wendy Myers: So you’re saying that’s in the Himalayan salts?
Dr. James D.: Yeah. The Himalayan salt has some radioactive elements in it.
Wendy Myers: Okay. Do you know anything about Maldon salt?
Dr. James D.: Nope. Never heard of that one before.
Wendy Myers: Okay. I think it’s from Spain or something. It’s something that I’m eating right now. So, let’s talk a little bit about sea salts, and some of the toxins that are in sea salts. Because a lot of people are out there are eating sea salts, feeling like it’s a healthier alternative. I know the plastics and the micro plastics are a huge problem in the ocean right now. A lot of fish are eating those and dying because of them. So, what is it, exactly, that you can find in some sea salts?
Dr. James D.: There’s been numerous studies that have come out recently, where they’ve tested 14 batches of modern day sea salts, and 13 out of the 14 will contain micro plastics. Mainly, the plastics that are used to make plastic water bottles, which makes sense, right? You know, we just don’t know the health effects of consuming these micro plastics, but I think 95% of us test positive for those type of micro plastics in our urine. All of us are exposed to it. But if you are consuming salt that contains that, versus an ancient ocean salt, that’s definitely one way can cut and reduce your amount of potential micro plastics in your body.
The other potential things that are in modern day sea salts, is potentially heavy metals. I don’t think it’s in super high amounts. We’re talking trace amounts. We don’t have a study saying, “You’re going to live longer if you consume this salt over that salt.” But, to me, if you can get a cheap ancient ocean salt, why wouldn’t you?
Wendy Myers: Yeah. Metals are also a concern. The ocean is full of mercury, and the sea salt does not escape that. Is mercury a concern in some of those sea salts?
Dr. James D.: I think there are definitely traces of mercury in some of those sea salts. Another underestimated heavy metal is cadmium. Cadmium is in our food, and it’s in our water. Eating organic foods … a lot of people hate on organics, that there’s no evidence, blah, blah, blah. But, a systematic review, a huge meta-analysis of randomized studies have shown that organic foods contain less heavy metal, the heavy metal cadmium. The high amounts of cadmium have been associated with stroke, and hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. It just builds up in your body, especially the kidneys. Cadmium is also in cigarettes. Heavy metals and minerals … Minerals balance the heavy metal toxic load in our body. A lot of people fear mercury, but if you have a good amount of selenium, like a fish that has some mercury, but really high amounts of selenium, is probably less toxic than a fish that has low levels of mercury, but really low levels of selenium, because selenium balances it out. So, it’s like, these good minerals can fight against those heavy metals.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. Minerals help to detox your body. They replace metals and enzyme binding sites in the body, push them out. Cadmium, that causes more cancers than all of the other metals combined. It’s in the oceans, just like mercury, because of fossil fuel burning. It’s gotten into the air, and then it settles in the oceans and has accumulated there, in the fish and the salts, and etc. Did you want to add something to that?
Dr. James D.: No. You hit it right on the head.
Wendy Myers: So, is there anything we haven’t talked about that you wanted to add to our conversation about salt?
Dr. James D.: Yeah. A lot of people always ask me, “How do I dose myself with salt?” So, I went into the lab and started doing different things, too, to try to see … I can take it straight up and wash it down with water, but a lot of people find it nauseating, and some people were posting and showing that they were putting salt in capsules, because it was making them very nauseated. People are coming up with cool ways to dose themselves, and get salt into their body. Just like with everything, people can handle taking salt straight up, and some people can get really funky with how their dosing their selves with salt, but what works really good for me, is I’ll put a 1/2 a teaspoon of Redmond real salt in a cup, and I’ll put just enough lemon juice to coat the salt, and then I’ll put about two ounces of water. I’ll just mix it up a little bit, and I’ll take it, and it tastes like a lemon shot, and it’s done. It’s super simple and I don’t ever feel any nausea from it.
People use what’s called Keto-aid, so it’s like salty Gatorade without the glucose in it. You can take 1/2 a teaspoon of salt, and you can put lemon juice and lime juice, and then fill it up with water, and it’s like a lemon-lime Gatorade but without the sugar. That’s a cool way to get salt in, before you work out. What’s interesting is, I never realized that even these salty sports drinks like Gatorade and PowerAde, they are about 1/4 of the concentration of salt in your sweat. They don’t provide nearly enough salt.
It’s not even about replacing what’s being lost, dosing yourself with salt increases blood volume and blood circulation.There is a real pharmacologic effect to giving it to yourself, beyond just replacing what’s going to be lost. I don’t ever work out now, without dosing myself with salt, because I’ll start getting the workout headaches within five minutes, if I don’t do it. I always can work out harder, faster, longer, when I dose myself with salt. The wait time between my sets goes down. My recovery seems to be quicker as well. A lot of people have told me that.
The other cool thing is low carb diets. People, the keto flu, it’s such a salt waster. So many people can’t get on the low carb diets because they’re losing so much salt, but they don’t realize that, that’s what’s causing their keto flu, where they’re dizzy and they’re exercise intolerant. They just feel really bad. Even if you talk to some of the experts like Dr. Phinney and Volek, they really recommend, for at least the first couple weeks, people need an extra couple grams of sodium per day.
Wendy Myers: That’s really, really interesting. When I’ve tried keto a couple times, I’ve really had a problem with feeling the lightheadedness, and nausea and things like that. That’s a really interesting solution to that problem.
Dr. James D.: Yeah.
Wendy Myers: So, everyone, go get James’ book, “The Salt Fix”. It’s on Amazon. How long has your book been out?
Dr. James D.: About three months.
Wendy Myers: Okay. Fantastic. Highly recommend it. I’m going to go get it myself, and I think it’s going to be really, really interesting. I talk a lot about minerals on the podcast, and on my website. It’s really, really important to educate yourself about minerals and salt and dose adequately. People can also take, as a tip to get salt in the body, they can do Epsom salt baths, correct?
Dr. James D.: Yeah. I think that has more of a local effect, to the muscle. But Epsom salt baths, so many people say their skin psoriasis or eczema goes away. There are real benefits of people will go into the Dead Sea, and all the sudden their psoriasis is gone. Literally giving high doses of salt … People with cystic fibrosis, or some people with these lung issues that go into these salt caves and inhale salt. There seems to be some benefit too, of topical and aerosolized saline. So, there’s some interesting other ways. I don’t talk about that in the book, but it’s cool how salt seems to be therapeutic, more than just ingesting it.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, there’s a Korean spa that I go to. They have a Himalayan salt room, where you walk in and you’re obviously breathing it in and absorbing it in some way. It’s interesting. I go in there. I’m not really sure of the benefit, but I go in there. You don’t really feel anything, but you are being affected by the salts, positively. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Why don’t you tell the listeners where they can find you, and get your book.
Dr. James D.: People, they can get my book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, nationwide. And, they can find me at Dr. James DiNic on Twitter, and Facebook, and Instagram.
Wendy Myers: Fantastic. Thank you so much James, for coming on the show.
Dr. James D.: Thanks for having me.
Wendy Myers: Everyone, if you want to learn more about minerals, you can go to my website, myersdetox.com Thank you so much for listening the Myers Detox podcast.