Electrolytes are not Optional During a Fast (KetoGains)

One things I have struggled with on extended fasts is getting the formula right for electrolytes. There’s a variety of advice on what to do about electrolytes during a long fast varying from next to nothing (the “tough it out” mentality) to very specific minimums.

KetoGains has the following recommendations for electrolytes:

That is probably the best listing I have found in one place of what to take and how much to take.

Franky I think I failed to go past 25 days in my last extended fast due to not keeping control of my electrolytes so I’ve got a particular interest in getting this right. I really haven’t paid much attention to electrolytes in the past. All I have done has been to add Morton Lite Salt to my coffee (a couple of shakes). Mortons Lite Salt is half Sodium Chloride and half Potassium Chloride.

The Nutrition Facts Label for Morton Lite Salt shows:

The problem with Morton Lite Salt is that it is intended to be used to replace regular table salt and the manufacturer adds Iodine. Each 1/4 tsp has 40% of the RDA for Iodine. Too much Iodine can be a bad thing. 3/4 tsp would exceed the daily RDA for Iodine and only provide 36% of the Sodium and 30% of the Potassium.  My conclusion is that the Morton Lite Salt is a good thing to add as a shake or two into coffee since it gets both Sodium and Potassium over a few hours or a day, but is insufficient for daily needs during extended fasting. So what to do for electrolytes during fasting?

Sodium

For Sodium, this can easily be solved by using either Sea Salt or Pink Himalayan Salt. These salts do not contain Iodine. Morton Fine Sea Salt costs $2.24 for a 17.6 oz (500g) container.


Here is the nutrition label for the Morton Sea Salt.

To meet the 5000 mg minimum listed on the Ketogains electrolyte slide would be 10 servings of 1/4 tsp. The cost per day is ($2.24 for 36 servings or 6c per day).

Sodium: Use 2-1/2 tsp of Morton Sea Salt

Potassium

Where should Potassium come from? The KetoGains Electrolyte slide shows Potassium from either Nu-Salt® or NoSalt.

Nu-Salt® contains 0.530 grams or 530 milligrams of Potassium per 1/6 tsp. (1 g) serving. So a tsp of Nu-Salt® would have 3180 mg of Potassium. A half tsp of Nu-Salt® would have 1590 mg of Potassium.

NoSalt is a similar product. It is available at WalMart for $5 for 11 ozs.

Here is the nutrition facts for NoSalt.

Presumably the .25 Serving size is 1/4 tsp? One tsp would be 2560 mg of potassium which is in the Ketogains range. That means that the container has about 60 days worth of NoSalt ($5.00/60 days is less than 10c per day).

Potassium: Use 1 tsp of NoSalt or NuSalt

Warning for Taking Dietary Postassium

Note some medications, such as ACE inhibitors for blood pressure interfere with Potassium. Read this warning. Consult your physician for specific information.

Magnesium

This is probably best done with a supplement.The Ketogains suggestion is to avoid Magnesium Oxide and use Magnesium Citrate instead. The Magnesium Citrate is available in smaller doses of 70 or 100 mg so more tablets are needed).

These are available from Walmart for $6 for a bottle of 100. Three capsules would get to the minimum 300 mg of the Ketogains numbers. That would be 18c per day.

Magnesium: Take 3 of 100 mg Magnesium Citrate tablets

Conclusions

  • Sodium: Use 2-1/2 tsp of Morton Sea Salt
  • Potassium: Use 1 tsp of NoSalt or NuSalt
  • Magnesium: Take 3 of 100 mg Magnesium Citrate tablets

These are numbers for fasting only. Less are required when eating since some of these come from food.

Author: Doug

I'm an Engineer who is also a science geek. I was pre-diabetic in 1996 and became a diabetic in 2003. I decided to figure out how to hack my diabetes and in 2016 found the ketogetic diet which reversed my diabetes.

4 thoughts on “Electrolytes are not Optional During a Fast (KetoGains)”

  1. I have been water fasting for 6 years…not continuously.. ha. 7 days-9days-14days. This is my first fast using a liquid mineral addition called concenTrace- and I feel a world of difference. I had it in my head that it needed to be pure water and I suffered by it. This water fast, at day 5 feels like a juice fast. It’s been so smooth. I realize, fasting has been practiced for so long, likely the water even hundreds of years ago was full of minerals. All this distilled water purity fasting now seems ill informed and dangerous. I feel very grateful. Thanks for this article!!

    1. Thanks for sharing Rachel, how many drops a day did you use of the concentrace drops? I will be doing my first 4 day water fast in a few weeks

  2. I am a little confused, since the Morton Sea Salt and the Nu Salt each have the same ratio of sodium and potassium why wouldn’t you take one or the other not both to get your allowance of each of the minerals. The conclusion says to take a dose of each or am I reading it wrong?

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