Mineral Analysis of Unrefined Sea Salt Products: Potential Electrolyte Replenishment?

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Electrolytes are minerals in the blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge.

Electrolytes affect the:

  • Amount of water in the body
  • Acidity of the blood (pH)
  • Muscle function
  • Regulate function, our
  • Body’s hydration
  • Blood pressure
  • Rebuilding of damaged tissue

The primary ions of electrolytes consist of the following macrominerals:

  • Sodium (Na+)
  • Potassium (K+)
  • Calcium (Ca2+)
  • Magnesium (Mg2+)
  • Chloride (Cl−)
  • Hydrogen phosphate (HPO42−)
  • Hydrogen carbonate(HCO3−)

Electrolyte levels are kept constant by our kidneys and several hormones – even when our bodies trigger changes. When we exercise we sweat and lose electrolytes, mainly sodium and potassium.

To maintain electrolyte concentrations of our body fluids constant, these electrolytes must be replaced. Fresh fruits and vegetables are good sources of sodium and potassium and replace lost electrolytes. Excess electrolyte levels in our blood are filtered out by our kidneys.

Replenishing electrolytes by consuming sea salt can create an imbalance of certain electrolytes, typically calcium, potassium and magnesium.  Three popular sea salt products contain all the primary electrolytes (except hydrogen carbonate).  However, the percentage of sodium and chloride is much higher than the the other electrolytes.

The following Table lists the percentage of electrolytes in three popular sea salt products.  The quantities are listed in percentages per 1000 milligrams.  Therefore if sodium is calculated at 38.0%, then this would mean that there is 380mg per 1 gram of sea salt.  

Micromineral Analysis Comparison of Salt Products

Micromineral Analysis Comparison of Salt Products   
MineralRedmond Real SaltTMCeltic Sea SaltTMPink Himalayan SaltTM
Calcium.50.15.21
Phosphorus.01.04.04
Potassium.10.13.10
Sulfur.261.2.346
Sodium38.035.038.0
Chloride60.054.060.0
Magnesium.10.51.15
Silicone.14.27.15
Data based on Analysis Datasheet from each Company. PDF downloads at end of post.

For all three products, the sodium chloride content is from 89%  to 98%.  The magnesium, potassium and calcium content is quite low compared to the sodium chloride content.  For example, the potassium content is no more than 10 mg  or 50 mg per 1 gram of sea salt.  This amount of potassium is quite low per gram, especially when the RDA of potassium is 4.7 grams according to the Institute of Medicine.

The following Table list the RDA for the macrominerals (electrolytes) according to the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine which published the Recommended Dietary Allowances and Adequate Intakes for Elements (Minerals). 

Macrominerals (Quantity in body and RDA)

Macrominerals   
MacromineralQuantity present in average (70 kg/154.4lbs) personRDA (mg) 31-50 year MaleRDA (mg) 31-50 year Female
Calcium1.1 kg1000 mg1000 mg
Chlorine199 g2300 mg2300 mg
Magnesium35 g420 mg320 mg
Phosphorus750 g700 mg700 mg
Potassium225 g4700 mg4700 mg
Sulfur150 gNo RDANo RDA
Sodium90 g1500 mg1500 mg
Silicone30 gNo RDANo RDA

The Table below lists the RDA of the electrolytes and the percentage of each electrolyte.  It is apparent that potassium is the electrolyte with the highest percentage of 44% with sodium chloride at 36% of the total RDA.

Percentage of RDA of Electrolytes

Electrolytes  
MineralRDA (mg) 31-50 year MalePercentage of Total
Calcium1000 mg9%
Potassium4700 mg44%
Sodium1500 mg14%
Chlorine2300 mg22%
Magnesium420 mg4%
Phosphorus700 mg7%
Sodium Chloride (Salt)Combined36%
Totals10,620 mg100%


Informational References:

Recommended Dietary Allowances and Adequate Intakes, Elements (Institute of Medicine)  (PDF)

Redmond Real SaltTM Element Analysis (PDF)

Celtic Sea SaltTM Analysis (PDF)

Ancient Ocean® – Himalayan Salt Chemical Specification Analysis (PDF)

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