Everything POTS, Lifestyle

High Salt Diet for POTS Treatment

If you have POTS, chances are, you need to eat more salt! If you’re anything like me, you may have been wary of eating too much salt because we are constantly warned of the health dangers that come with consuming high sodium diets. While this is true for most people, POTS patients are the exception.

The truth is, adopting a high-salt diet is a basic lifestyle change for POTS patients to improve their symptoms. How easy—and inexpensive—of a change is that?!

Tips for eating a high salt diet for POTS syndrome

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Why Is a High Salt Diet Beneficial For POTS Patients?

A high salt diet for POTS treatment is crucial because it increases both blood volume and blood pressure when paired with increased fluid intake. This simple fix can alleviate many of the symptoms that POTS patients experience daily, such as lightheadedness, dizziness, fatigue, and brain fog. Such symptoms are ones I’ll feel when my blood pressure is too low. Eating salt with a full glass of water is a relatively quick fix for me!

So go ahead, eat those high sodium foods! Don’t be shy with your salt shaker!

Salty Foods Perfect for POTSies

Fortunately, there are plenty of foods out there packed with sodium for you to eat. So, eating a high salt diet for POTS treatment is not too difficult! Be mindful, though, that not all of them are the healthiest choices, like processed or frozen foods. Below are some examples of high sodium foods that are super helpful for POTS patients to eat:

  • Soups/broth
  • Jerky
  • Bacon/turkey bacon
  • Soy sauce/hot sauce/buffalo sauce/salad dressing (most sauces, really)
  • Pretzels, crackers
  • Salsa
  • Salted nuts
  • Bread, bagels
  • Pickles
  • Olives
  • Popcorn
  • Cold cuts
  • Canned beans (regular sodium)
  • Electrolyte drinks such as Pedialyte, Liquid I.V., Gatorade, Powerade, etc. are helpful 
  • Other processed and/or frozen foods (Although, try to limit these, as they aren’t very high in nutritive value.)

Tips For Eating a Saltier Diet

According to the Cleveland Clinic, POTS patients should consume between 3,000-10,000 mg of sodium per day, depending on what their doctor recommends.

FYI, 1 tsp of table salt (which is a combo of sodium and chloride) is equivalent to approximately 2,325 mg of sodium.

Say, for example, your doctor tells you to eat about 4,000 mg of sodium/day. Let’s also say that you recorded your food intake for a week, and you discovered that you consumed on average 2,800 mg of sodium/day from foods. You still needed about 1,200 mg of sodium to hit your daily quota! That’s roughly another 1/2 tsp of salt!

So, here’s a neat trick an exercise physiologist told me for keeping track of this extra sodium intake: Measure out the number of teaspoons of extra salt you need for the day and keep it in either a plastic baggy, a reusable container, or whatever else you have handy. (I reuse a salad dressing to-go cup.) Take it with you wherever you go and sprinkle it over your meals as tolerated. It’s a great visual reminder of how much salt you have to eat throughout the day!

Adding a ton of salt to food isn’t always appetizing. Obviously, adding salt to spaghetti isn’t going to be as pleasant as, say, adding salt to a broth. For me, it’s easiest to add more salt to soups, eggs, rice, potatoes, and cooked protein (chicken, steak, etc.). But as your taste buds adapt, it will get easier for you to tolerate the extra-salty flavor of your food.

However, if you find you’re struggling to eat your required amount of sodium each day—because let’s be real, it’s a lot—then you may want to consider buying salt pills to help the process along. I don’t use them because I get enough salt from my diet or from electrolyte drinks like LiquidIV. However, I have heard excellent things about Vitassium Buffered Electrolyte Salts working well for other POTS patients who need very high amounts of sodium daily. Just make sure you take them with food, as they can upset your stomach if it’s empty!

High Salt Diet for POTS Treatment Reminders

Remember to keep drinking lots of water and fluids as you increase the amount of salt you eat. You’ll also want to monitor your blood pressure daily to check how your body reacts to these changes. Make sure to update your doctor with any changes to your blood pressure—whether it’s too low, too high, or within normal limits. A healthy range for blood pressure is between 90-120 for systolic and 60-80 for diastolic.

*Also, please note that if you have the hyperadrenergic form of POTS, eating more salt may not be good for you. This form of POTS can cause high blood pressure, and more salt will exacerbate that. Always consult your doctor before changing your diet!

Eating more salt as a lifestyle change with POTS
Here’s a little POTS humor for you. I found this shirt at Ocean City, MD, and I just HAD to have it! “Salty Vibes” is my life motto now. 🙂

What are some of your go-to salty snacks for POTS? Share below! And check out some of my salty recipes that can be a perfect addition to your POTS high-salt diet.

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14 thoughts on “High Salt Diet for POTS Treatment

  1. Hi Laurie! I’m so happy I found your blog! I was diagnosed with NCS and struggled for ages finding high sodium foods that weren’t just junk or left me eating pickles like candy (bleh!). One of the foods I found fairly helpful was Sugar free chocolate Jello pudding! One whole package has 1,360 grams of sodium and only 34 carbs (140 calories). In a pinch, admittedly, I’ve downed half of a package just to meet my 3-4G goal! It isn’t great daily, but it’s a great way to treat yourself, and still get a good dose of salt for those who aren’t salt fans (that’s me!). Thanks so much for posting!!

    1. Hey Kara! Thanks for sharing!! That’s another awesome idea for getting in enough sodium (in a tasty way!), and I’m glad you found something that works so well for you. I know other readers will find this really helpful to know too. Thanks for reading! 🙂

  2. Thanks. I will certainly start trying to follow a better diet for POTS. My dr was no help whatsoever, telling me to remember I’ve been on a low salt diet for years, to stick to it, but I had already realized that I felt better when I treated myself to salted popcorn in the evening. Kept trying this & sure enough!

  3. I’m still trying to nail down my POTS diagnosis and still a newbie with this whole thing, but upping my salt game has really helped. I will make chicken salad with red onion, pickles, pepperoncinis, tamed jalapenos, lemon juice, Mayo, salt and pepper. And it can be consumed in many ways – on salad, on bread, crackers, etc. I’ve also found that loaded baked potatoes work well, too, depending on the load. I also recommend cottage cheese with salt, pepper and other additions like tomatoes, onion, or green olives. If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll add a clove or two of pickled garlic or garlic stuffed green olives to kill two birds with one stone! Do you think this is going overboard?? Because my numbers are good as long as I keep this going.

    1. Hi Theresa! Thanks for reading and sharing your favorite salty foods! 🙂 I love those ideas and may have to try a few myself.

  4. I take salt tablets……..especially when I perspire when gardening. Also, there is a mineral water called Borjomi. ( a favorite of the Russian Czars). That works really well. I’ve had Pots for years but
    now I have a name for it. (I am 71)

  5. Love the blog. Lots of great info for someone with a new diagnosis. My Dysautonomia specialist recommended consuming an additional heaping measuring teaspoon of salt daily. I divide it into 3 portions and stir it into a small juice glass of OJ. It goes down easily and doesn’t alter the saltiness of every meal I eat. I also use the Saltstick capsules mentioned in the post when I have no access to OJ and they work well.

  6. Hello! Great list! I also really like putting salt on pickled beets and watermelon. Kalamata olives are good too, they are in a pickling brine. Lastly I like to make homemade guacamole and I add lots of salt and lime.

  7. Great blog, thank you!
    What I find easiest is to drink squash with added salt – I add about a teaspoon of salt to a litre of squash (slightly stronger than normal) and find that you can’t taste the salt! Works well for when you need a lot of salt quickly.

  8. I usually have a glass of “cimarrona”. It’s a drink that has different names all over Latin America, but it usually consists of: salt, lime or lemons, sparkling water and ice. I usually have it with water because I dislike sparking and no ice. It’s soooo good, and I can add as much salt as I need.

  9. Hi Laurie!
    So blessed to have found your blog! You have no idea what the past month has been for my 13 years old daughter- not knowing what was happening until 5/6 doctors told us is POTs! First it was the fear and the acceptance that our life had changed. Then came looking for resources to shed some light, hence finding you! Thank you so much, please keep posting and please keep making noise to make sure more people are aware of this very common but not well known illness. God bless you today and always.

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