If you constantly find yourself grabbing for potato chips and other salty foods, there could be something going on in your body besides simply wanting something savory to snack on. Salt cravings can arise for many different reasons, from dehydration, to stress, to your diet.
Dehydration is a fairly common reason for many kinds of food cravings, including salt. Salt cravings can pop up for various reasons such as you’re not drinking enough fluids. There are also less obvious reasons, such as if you’re dealing with a stomach bug or some other illness that’s causing you to vomit.
You’ve Been Working Out Intensely
As you sweat, the amount of salt in your body gradually depletes. The body’s natural response to this sodium loss may lead you to crave salt, especially if you’re working out in a humid environment or for a period that lasts an hour or longer.
You’re Under A Lot Of Stress
When you’re under a lot of pressure, your body doesn’t just react mentally and emotionally, but physically too, and this can include cravings for salty foods.
You’re Dealing With An Underlying Health Condition
Salt cravings are common in life and often don’t signal anything too serious going on in your body, but certain medical conditions can leave you with more salt cravings than usual. For example, with Bartter Syndrome the kidneys don’t function properly, leading to an imbalance of sodium, chloride, and potassium in the body. This leaves the body craving more salt.
Your Diet Is Already Heavy In Salt
Sometimes our cravings are just a product of our dietary behaviors. If you’re craving salty food, look at your current diet to see if it consists of a lot of processed and fast food.
Your Body Is Wired That Way
Our bodies need salt to function correctly. Registered dietitian Michele Sidorenkov explains that back in the days when foraging was a primary method of obtaining food, it was hard to find sources of sodium in the wild. She explains: “When we find salt, our body is wired to light up and signal us to eat more because it is so vital for our survival, and our bodies are still wired to crave it.”