sodium chloride

Salt or sodium chloride is an essential part of our daily foods. It enhances the taste of foods but one needs it in limit amounts for body well being. There are some people who have intense cravings for salty and savory foods. Know the reasons for such salt cravings.

Salt or sodium chloride

The common salt is sodium chloride. These are the body electrolytes that play a major role in electrical activity in the body such as muscle contraction. Moreover, they also control blood pressure, blood pH, nerve function and fluid balance.

sodium chloride
Common salt (Source: Assignment Point)

It is an essential part of everyone’s daily diet. But it has gathered a bad reputation over the years due to its association with high blood pressure and heart disease. Some people have an intense craving for salty foods. This is not without reason. It implies that the salt is less in the body and its time to replenish it.

Below are 6 most common reasons for salt cravings


Dehydration is less fluid in the body. When this happens, the body craves for salt. This is because with water loss in dehydration, there is also salt loss. And consuming salt at such times can help retain the water in the blood compartment of the body. This overcomes dehydration and also low blood pressure.

Premenstrual syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome or PMS occurs for a few days before the woman gets her monthly periods. Some women have mental symptoms and mood swings during these days. Others have altered appetite and food cravings. These cravings can be for salty foods too.

sodium chloride
Salty foods (Source: Health digest)

The cause for salt cravings is not clear. But hormonal changes probably play a role.


With stress come changes in body hormones and chemicals. Cortisol levels rise. These come from the adrenal glands and cause changes in heart rate and blood pressure. One study published in the Journal of Neuroscience revealed that in people with higher blood sodium level cortisol release was lower with stress. Thus it might be the body’s attempt to crave and eat salty foods to up blood sodium levels during stress. Hence cortisol production would be less. And one can cope with stress in this way.

Electrolyte disturbances in body

Whenever there is an imbalance of electrolytes in the blood, salt cravings occur. Salty foods and electrolyte solutions help at such critical times.


Pregnant women experience morning sickness and have nausea and vomiting. Vomiting leads to fluid and electrolyte loss. This leads to electrolyte imbalance and dehydration. In turn, this causes salt cravings.

sodium chloride
Salty foods (Source: Eat this not that)

Moreover, pregnancy causes hormonal changes. The women has altered appetite and taste. The altered preference may be for salty foods.

Read here: The best drinks to control elevated blood pressure!

Low blood pressure

Blood pressure readings include systolic (higher) and diastolic (lower) blood pressure readings. When either or both of these readings are low, the person feels dizzy. Moreover, a hypotensive person might crave for salty foods. This is a natural attempt to procure electrolytes, normalize them and build up the pressure readings.