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Sodium and Potassium Balancing: Two of the most Crucial Minerals!
They are involved in so many functions: detox, adrenal health, hormonal balance, energy, and more. There seems to be an epidemic of low potassium and sodium, especially for those using HTMA. I very rarely see good levels of either nutrient.
Most of our lives, we’ve been eating processed foods which are not only deficient in most nutrients to begin with, they are severely lacking in potassium. They are also LOADED with nasty table salt. Let’s go into the importance of these 2 minerals and where to find good sources of them.
Sodium and potassium balancing is one of the biggest things we focus on with our HTMA protocols. We have seen hundreds of clients over the years that have had such huge improvements once they learn their personal balance of these 2 minerals- better energy, better sleep, improved digestion, and so much more.
The Importance of Sodium
Unrefined salts are essential to health: Himalayan Pink salt, Celtic Grey, and Redmond’s Real Salt are three amazing salts to try out. Unrefined salts have 70+ trace minerals, they are essential for adrenal health, and help to produce aldosterone- a steroid hormone just as important as cortisol.
Table salt is extremely unhealthy. It is processed to remove all minerals except sodium chloride, it usually has an anti-clumping agent added and synthetic iodine is added. Table salt CAUSES blood pressure issues, while unrefined salts balance blood pressure. Sodium deficiency signs include gastrointestinal distress, low blood pressure, cognitive impairment, muscular fatigue, general fatigue, and salt wasting.
A huge sign of salt wasting is if you have pets that like to lick your legs often. This means that your body is just excreting salt and not holding onto it. All salt is not equal and it is important to use a good quality salt and plenty of it. In adrenal fatigue, a majority of people are burning through salt and not replacing it. Drinking plain water flushes our salt out even further.
One way to help replenish sodium and trace minerals is to to take sea salt baths or foot baths. You can just go with regular Himalayan Pink Salt for sodium based mineral baths. Usually 1/2 cup to a full cup is perfect, and try to soak for about 20 minutes. Adding 1/2-1 cup of baking soda helps to neutralize chlorine in the water if you don’t have a filter that does so.
A popular way to replace your salt and trace minerals is to make salt water sole with Himalayan Pink Salt. Sole (pronounced sol-ay) is a concentrated brine that people use to hydrate, replenish sodium levels, help sleep, aid in weight loss, and improve digestion.
To Make Sole :
1) Fill a 1 quart glass mason jar about 1/3 full of unrefined, natural salt. Then fill jar with filtered water, leaving at least 2 inch gap at top.
2) Cover with a plastic cap (metal is reactive to salt and de-ionizes it), shake it, and let sit for at least 24 hours.
3) If all the salt crystals have dissolved after a full day, add a little but more of the salt crystals to the water. The sole will be ready when the salt no longer dissolves- this means the water has become fully saturated with the salt.
4) There will always be some undissolved salt crystals on the bottom of the jar but this is proof that the water is totally saturated with salt. You can store the bottle covered on the counter indefinitely-salt has natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
5) Start small with sole, adding just ½ tsp to a glass of water in the morning upon waking. You can add more or less depending on your taste preferences. Most people use a few teaspoons-a few tablespoons a day
The Importance of Potassium
Potassium is another critical nutrient that is measured on the HTMA. Potassium needs to be balanced with sodium and magnesium. Most sources claim we need at least 4000 mg of potassium a day! In a modern diet, most people barely reach the 1000mg mark, so many people are lacking in this important mineral. In adrenal issues, some people need to restrict potassium because it can lower sodium and make you feel worse. Potassium is needed for the proper functioning of cell, muscle contraction, nerve impulses, energy metabolism, and to balance hypertension.
Low potassium signs include:
- excessive thirst
- irregular heartbeat
- dry skin
- salt retention
On the hair tissue mineral analysis, the ratio between potassium and sodium is considered the “vitality ratio” because these 2 nutrients are so crucial for health. Potassium is a rough measurement for cortisol levels, and sodium is a rough measurement of aldosterone. So a high ratio of these 2 nutrients will be common in someone under massive stress and is producing high amounts of these hormones to cope with that stress. A low ratio signifies that these hormones are low and the person will need major adrenal support.
Potassium is needed for the proper functioning of cell, muscle contraction, carbohydrate metabolism, nerve impulses, energy metabolism, and to balance hypertension. We can lose potassium under stress and with detoxing. We need Vitamin A (from animal sources- think cod liver oil, eggs, butter, and organ meats) to help retain potassium. Vitamin A is another underappreciated deficiency! Since potassium and vitamin A have such a close relationship, a lot of the deficiency signs overlap.
Read my entire post on potassium here.
How to find more potassium!
The “Adrenal Cocktail”
A great way to help balance sodium and potassium is to use something called the adrenal cocktail. Most people reading this might be familiar with this, but here is the recipe for this adrenal booster:
• 4 Oz. of Orange Juice – fresh squeezed is best! If not using fresh, then at least look for a reputable brand that uses real oranges.
• 1/4 tsp of Cream of Tartar (excellent source of Potassium-you can also use potassium Bicarbonate)
• 1/4 tsp of fresh ground Himalayan Salt, Celtic, or Redmond’s Real Salt (excellent source of Sodium & 90+ other minerals)
It is helpful to prepare 2 servings at the start of the work-day and drink it mid-morning as well as mid-afternoon. You can also have this concoction any time you are feeling anxious or feeling fatigued. Some do well with it first thing in the morning, and some like it before bed time. Play around with times to find *your* ideal time.
** While the adrenal cocktail itself is a great addition to an adrenal healing program, the most important thing to remember is just to get these nutrients into your diet. As long as you are consuming plenty of unrefined sea salt, whole food vitamin C, and potassium, that is what is important. Coconut water or lemon juice can be substituted for the OJ in this recipe.
Check out this post on Proper Hydration for more variations on the adrenal cocktails.