Great to see you! We haven’t promoted this page and it’s not indexed on Google, so you’re one of the savvy folks who scanned a QR code from an LMNT product insert and arrived here.
Please note: Each person is unique and we do not make health recommendations. We aim to provide a tool for you to use as an aid in determining what ranges might work best for your health. Always consult with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner.
We’re endeavoring to create one of the most comprehensive interactive tools related to optimizing your sodium and electrolyte intake. Admittedly, this is no small feat and we’re still in Beta with this tool - working to develop it in partnership with our community and health partners.
So jump in below and give us feedback. You’re one of the earliest to test out our Beta Calculator!
Sodium is one of the most present electrolytes in sweat. The more you sweat, the more sodium you lose.
Significant, prolonged sweating can decrease sweat rate [Learn More].
Sweating continues after exercise stops.
Exercise duration does not affect sweat sodium concentration [Learn More].
Exercise intensity does not directly affect sweat sodium concentration [Learn More].
You’ve probably experienced increased sweating in hot, humid, or even extra cold conditions (due to heavy clothing). In the heat, it also matters how acclimated you are. The next few factors can have a significant impact on sweat and sodium losses during your exercise session.
Ambient temperature does not directly affect sweat sodium concentration [Learn More].
Relative humidity does not directly affect sweat sodium concentration [Link].
It’s well established that about 10 days of heat acclimation can increase sweat rate by 20% [Link]. Here are a few studies which aimed to quantify this effect:
Acclimating to the heat decreases sweat sodium concentration [Learn More].
When you eat carbohydrates, your pancreas secretes insulin to store excess glucose for later use. But insulin serves other purposes as well—it tells your kidneys to retain sodium. So when you stop eating carbs (during a fast), the absence of insulin tells your kidneys to release sodium. Learn more.
Extended fasts cause significant urinary sodium losses [Learn More].
Folks who fast for shorter, 12–16 hour spurts may not incur super significant sodium losses, but our main source of sodium is the salt added to our food. And since they’re not eating, it’s important to prioritize consuming sodium through other means.
Low-carb diets are sometimes referred to as fasting-mimicking diets. Just like fasting, low-carb diets minimize insulin, signaling your kidneys to let go of sodium. The fewer net carbs you eat, the greater the natriuresis (excretion of sodium in the urine). Learn more.
Have some feedback on the Calculator? Drop a line to landon@drinkLMNT.com, the architect of this project. We’d love to hear about your journey to restore health through hydration and whether the Calculator helped.
Sweat sodium concentration increases linearly as sweat rate increases [Learn More].
“Am I getting enough sodium?” in itself may seem like an odd question. For decades, we’ve been led to believe that sodium is inherently bad. “In the name of heart health,” the World Health Organization and FDA recommend fewer than 2.3 grams per day, despite substantial scientific evidence that optimal health outcomes occur at 4-6 grams of sodium per day.
The truth is we need sodium. It’s vital for regulating fluid balance, facilitating nerve impulses, and enabling muscle contractions—dilute that balance, and fatigue follows. You feel the difference when you get it right, particularly when optimizing for exercise and cognitive performance.
Less is not always more. Moderate sodium deficiency won’t show up on a blood test, but it will present as brain fog, muscle cramps, headaches, and more. Ironically, many health-conscious folks mistake these symptoms for dehydration, chug water (diluting blood sodium levels), and then wonder why their symptoms worsen.
The good news? Your body will tell you what it needs. Our invitation, therefore, is for you to play with the Calculator to test your assumptions about the sodium range your body needs daily. Proximate your daily sodium intake, and then experiment. If your body needs less or more sodium than you’re giving it, you’ll truly feel the difference when you dial it in. In addition, we always recommend consulting a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner with your health modifications.
Why in Beta? The Calculator is an estimate informed by available research on the most common factors influencing sodium needs. We had to make inferences where the science leaves gaps, and we endeavor to discover more over time. As we learn, we’ll continue to improve the Calculator, with the long-term (admittedly ambitious) goal of establishing a point of reference that will help shape public perception of sodium.
People with high blood pressure (hypertensives) tend to be salt-sensitive due to underlying metabolic issues [Learn More]. For these people, it oftentimes makes sense to limit sodium intake while they work on improving their metabolic health. There are many other common causes of high blood pressure to consider as well. One thing is super clear, though: hypertensives tend to see great results with higher potassium intakes. This is likely not only due to adequate potassium, but also because eating potassium-rich foods often means ditching processed foods for whole foods.
A significant human adaptation, which sets us apart from all other primates, is our greater ability to conserve water [Link]. Even though we sweat more than any other organism on a size-matched basis (besides horses), we’ve adapted to consume roughly half as much water as our closest primate relatives.
Despite this, bad advice persists: “Drink 8 glasses of water per day!” Let’s settle the debate: barring medical or unique factors that may blunt one’s thirst mechanism, drinking to thirst is sufficient to maintain fluid balance, and drinking beyond it puts you at risk of diluting blood sodium levels [Learn More].
Dehydration’s effect on sweat sodium concentration is currently unclear [Learn More].
Dietary sodium intake does not affect sweat rate [Learn More].
It makes sense why high sodium intakes are conflated with poor health outcomes. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is notoriously high in processed foods, which contribute more than 70% of U.S. adults’ sodium intake [Link]. But when folks make the healthy decision to replace processed foods with whole foods (particularly when combined with other healthy decisions like exercise) they often end up sodium deficient.
Better aerobic fitness has no direct effect on sweat sodium concentration [Learn More].
Biological sex does not directly influence sweat sodium concentration [Link].
Both cold weather and high altitude present unique hydration challenges [Learn more].
In cold temperatures, you:
And at high altitudes, you ALSO:
Pregnant and nursing women may consider bumping up their sodium intakes a gram or two to replace what’s going to their children [Learn more].
Hyperhidrosis, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), and Addison’s disease all have the potential to contribute to sodium imbalance or deficiency, and typically require increased sodium intakes to manage symptoms. If you or a loved one has one of these conditions, consult a trusted medical professional to determine how much of a sodium shortfall may need to be made up.