Should we be adding even more Sodium (3-6 grams)?


Dash of Salt Does No Harm. Extremes Are the Enemy.

Even after adding an extra 400mg of salt (1/4 Tsp), The Soylent I’m consuming is only giving me about 1500mg of salt per day (I’m eating about 1500 calories of Soylent each day).

According to the article above, studies that found that too much salt (more than 6g per day) can lead to and increased risk of a Major cardiovascular event (2% risk). How ever, they also found that too little salt (less than 3g per day) leads to an even higher risk (2.6% risk).

They found the lowest risk is associated with 3-6g per day of sodium.

Here is the post from @rob regarding sodium content


So what do you think, should we be supplementing Soylent with even more sodium or perhaps not feeling as guilty about a salty snack?

Because of the need for data from large studies examining the association between sodium intake and cardiovascular disease in general populations,8,17 we conducted a prospective cohort study that included 101,945 people from five continents. We examined the association of urinary sodium and potassium excretion with death and incident cardiovascular events.

In this study in which sodium intake was estimated on the basis of measured urinary excretion, an estimated sodium intake between 3 g per day and 6 g per day was associated with a lower risk of death and cardiovascular events than was either a higher or lower estimated level of intake. As compared with an estimated potassium excretion that was less than 1.50 g per day, higher potassium excretion was associated with a lower risk of death and cardiovascular events. (Funded by the Population Health Research Institute and others.)

Here is the link to the actual study:
Urinary Sodium and Potassium Excretion, Mortality, and Cardiovascular Events

A couple of questions about sodium, electrolytes, and working out
Raising Sodium Recommendation

Yeah, the salt issue issue is incredibly contradictory. I hadn’t seen that quoted citation before, it’s a doozy.

I’m still waiting for sodium to be vindicated the way fat has been recently, with studies demonstrating that salty diets do NOT exacerbate high blood pressure, do NOT cause eclampsia in pregnant women, and do NOT worsen edema associated with heart disease etc. And that furthermore, sodium restriction to under 1.5g/day or less may make those conditions worse.

If there’s solid evidence that 3-6 grams of sodium per day is the most healthy, then obviously I’m in favor of putting that in Soylent.

Beware conflating “salt” and “sodium.” Table salt is 40% sodium by weight. It’s debatable whether 1.5g of sodium per day is enough for an adult; but 1.5g of salt is clearly not enough.


Some people’s hypertension is salt sensitive, some not so much. If you aren’t hypertensive, you probably aren’t salt sensitive. Cardiologists recommend limiting your salt intake to 1500 mg if you’ve had a cardiac event. If you haven’t, and you don’t have high BP, it’s not as critical. Those are pretty small percentages you’re taking about. Much more important not to smoke, not to stress, exercise, and to choose your parents very carefully.


Oops, I screwed that one up already (well, half of it anyway).


Sigh. Tell me about it! In oh so many ways …


At some point in our evolutionary history, there was strong selection pressure towards making salt so appealing to our palette.

As such, I do think the importance of salt towards healthy metabolism is probably underestimated. We know that sodium is core to maintaining an electrical gradient across cell membranes, a process that bestows upon cells a potential energy for work that is core to many processes including consciousness itself.

The problem is, Western diets contain too much salt and thus salt is demonized in modern culture…


You mean salt and not just sodium. I can tell you that sodium is about 2.4 recommended in nordic diy for some reason… Don’t forget to consider how much sodium is in 1 gram of salt. 6 grams of salt is a about 2.4 grams of sodium. (Multiply by 0.4)


No, the study looked at 3-6 grams of Sodium per day, not salt.

I started adding an extra 480mg of sodium (Mortons Kosher Salt) on top of the 480mg I was already adding to see if it makes a difference in the taste.


hmm but 6 grams of Sodium would be a total of 15 grams of salt :3 sounds like a lot. since Soylent contains 1gram sodium already basically, that would be 12.5 grams of Salt extra in Soylent to reach the 6 grams sodium.

Something tells me they really meant Salt while saying sodium…

Another thing I believe I heard regarding this study… which makes me think they did in fact mean “Sodium” was the way they measured how much salt people were consuming… by measuring salt in peoples pee.


No,I’m pretty sure they are talking about sodium. 1/4 tsp of Mortons Kosher Salt has 480mg of sodium. I should change the title to this thread.

We obtained morning fasting urine samples from 101,945 persons in 17 countries and estimated 24-hour sodium and potassium excretion (used as a surrogate for intake). We examined the association between estimated urinary sodium and potassium excretion and the composite outcome of death and major cardiovascular events.


That would mean between 1.5625 - 3.1250 teaspoons of salt daily.

1 teaspoon == 1920mg
3000 / 1920 == 1.5625 teaspoons
6000 / 1920 == 3.1250 teaspoons


3 teaspoons of salt per day seems like a reasonable amount when eating mostly savory foods. It probably wouldn’t taste that good in a day’s worth of slightly-sweet soylent.

Maybe there are analogues of salt that provide the sodium without the saltiness? The same way there are analogues (if that’s the correct term) of sugar, that provide varying amounts of fructose and glucose, with varying levels of sweetness? That might be worth looking into if there’s a desire to add more sodium to soylent without totally changing the taste.

In the meantime, glugging a shot of salt & water might be the best way to supplement sodium.


If anything, what these kinds of findings hint to me isn’t so much that adding salt is a good idea, but that eating plenty of potassium (fruits and vegetables, in the case of a non-soylent diet) brings the two electrolytes in better balance for cardiovascular health. It’s probably a mistake to look at one electrolyte in isolation and expect a whole picture. :smile:


I have found that pickles work well for me. Go through a jar of them a week or so.


For both to be in balance shouldnt both be in the proper amount required to maintain that balance?


I alternate between pickles, salted nuts, and feta cheese. And whiskey. There’s salt in whiskey, right? Why not.


But, Soylent has 100% potassium and only about 50% RDA sodium.


It depends who you ask about the RDA. :slight_smile: Some say that the human body only needs 300-500mg of sodium (element) per day, others 800mg, and most agree that the USA’s 2300mg is harmless unless one happens to be sodium-sensitive (a rarity).

Of course, the downsides of high sodium (2-3x RDA) are even debated these days, so who knows if it’s even harmful to begin with and we should really care. But how much is truly necessary? It seems that not everyone needs that much. I’ve spent several years sub-1000mg for that matter when my GP scared me about hypertension and I didn’t get digestive or adrenal issues, which of course doesn’t prove anything, but is worth mention.

One thing which resonates with me personally though: if you look at our paleolithic diet (with a grain of salt ;)), the potassium-sodium ratio we ate seems to have been 10:1+, whereas the RDA is around 2:1 at most. There just isn’t that much sodium around in basic foods. I often eat more than 8000mg of potassium in a day these days, simply because of greens, fruits and vegetables.


United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): 2300 mg. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND): 1500 to 2300 mg. American Diabetes Association (ADA): 1500 to 2300 mg. Food and nutrition board of the Institute of medicine and the Linus pauling institute: 3800mg (Adequate intake based on the amount needed to replace losses through sweat in moderately active people and to achieve a diet that provides sufficient amounts of other essential nutrients).

These are for people without hypertension.


There is a lot of sodium in todays basic foods. Infact even more than the above RDA in a lot of them. As for the paleo diet (the ancient one) we cannot say they didnt even have the minimum of sodium.How can we assume they didnt add salt to their diet? Paleo people used to grind, process and even cook their food, they are not as dumb as we think they are.